As the pandemic unfolds, your buyer’s focus and needs are changing. What are you doing to keep them engaged with timely COVID-19 content?
The pandemic is still influencing factors that drive buying decisions, such as demand shifts and economic uncertainty. But many buyers have moved beyond crisis mode and are adjusting to a new normal. They’re drawing from lessons learned during the first year of the pandemic to reimagine and rebuild life after. Content strategy should reflect this progression.
Protect Your Position as an Authority
An often-overlooked component of authority is timeliness. If your information helped me yesterday but is irrelevant today, you aren’t an authority. Take a look at the COVID-19 content you produced from March through May. You’ll likely notice a tone that you wouldn’t use today, and topics and language that conjure the pandemic’s early days of uncertainty and fear, i.e., how to work remotely and build new delivery channels.
Our SaaS clients with pertinent products in HR, finance, mobility and supply chain focused a lot on how people could use their tools to navigate early-pandemic transition, but now they are talking about extending those capabilities to sustain momentum on digital transformation and recapture growth.
Creating new content to meet buyers where they are today is the fun part of this challenge. The not-so-fun part is retiring early COVID-19 content. The specificity of this content was necessary when it was created, but it will also erode your authority if you don’t retire it from websites and marketing programs.
Meet the Craving for New and Different
Life under various lockdowns and lockouts has been boring, and people are craving new and different experiences. This includes the content they consume, so take advantage of these cravings by producing interactive and immersive content experiences.
I’m not the only one advocating this. Dr. Debbie Qaqish, a Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group, gave an inspirational talk at the B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange on the lessons TikTok provides for revenue and marketing operations. She quoted research that shows when people are bored, they are more willing to participate in an opportunity that engages their creative mind. Now’s the time to plan a steady stream of fresh, interactive and immersive content to capture attention and keep people engaged with your brand.
Build Up Your Event Options
Although in-person meetings and events will return in the near future, it’s uncertain how quickly attendance will ramp up. B2B solution providers have come up with some amazing and fruitful event ideas this year, and they should keep it up. This will help fill the remaining in-person gap salespeople are struggling with while also diversifying your event options for content strategy.
Stay Relevant and Effective
The pandemic is continuing to affect B2B sales, as well as everyday life, and so it will still be a topic for marketers to address. However, be careful not to rely on yesterday’s content for today’s realities, which are different from the first half of 2020.
A small audit of all COVID-19 content might be needed to measure relevance and gauge repurposing potential if you have produced a lot of content. If not, I suggest you start fresh with new content that aligns with what buyers are doing right now as they strategize for the post-pandemic world.
For a glimpse at how buyer behaviors have changed during the pandemic, check out “Shift Your Content Strategy with Buyer Research” for useful takeaways from Demand Gen Report’s 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Study.
As Vice President of Content Strategy & Services for Content4Demand, Tonya Vinas oversees the agency’s team of content strategists and works across content-creation and delivery functions to ensure on-point, quality content services. She has more than 20 years of experience in B2B content development and formerly worked as a business and news journalist. When she’s not driving marketers to push the content limits, she’s cooking, reading about global trends and the economy or taking a leisurely walk in the valley parks along Lake Erie.