3 ways to pivot your content strategy

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You need to keep your audience engaged during these challenging times. Brands who do this are likely to recover more quickly.

There are 3 things to take inspiration from when considering how to pivot your content strategy within your digital marketing.

  1. Reach people who can’t reach you right now – share recipes, how-tos and useful stuff.
  2. Create new content or stories from new products you’re creating – people engage with stories behind brands.
  3. Switch in-person events into the digital space – they can work just as well.

Make sure whatever you do adds value. Whatever content you plan should be relevant, impactful and doable.

Watch the video to find out which brands are winning at content right now.

Full transcript

Hi friends, I hope you’re all staying safe and well, I thought it would be a good idea if we chatted for a bit about some of the great content that we’ve seen recently from businesses and brands as they’ve reacted to this COVID-19 reality that we all find ourselves in. I thought it would be great if we could draw some inspiration from these ideas that would help your business thrive during these challenging times.

So the first point is about reaching out to those who can’t reach you right now. We know the hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit with pubs, restaurants, venues, all closed for the foreseeable future. And it’s obvious that lots of customers are going to be missing their favourite food, drinks, and entertainment and some brands are responding with some really great content in this situation. And one of the ones I wanted to talk about was Pizza Express.

So they have dedicated a whole section of their website to homemade favourites, and it’s about them sharing their recipes. So what they did was on a Sunday morning, they released the recipe in a series of step by step guides so that you could follow along and make your own Margarita pizza. And the post got a whole tonne of engagement, got a whole tonne of responses from followers making their own pizzas. And while to some people it might just feel like just social media activity, it’s so much more than that. It’s about loyal customers and future customers engaging with a brand, with content that they really enjoy, and it’s about putting that brand top of mind for when the time comes that life returns to normal.

Other notable mentions of foodie brands who’ve done the same sort of thing are Pret a Manger, Boston Tea Party, and our very own Exploding Bakery in Exeter. I can’t wait to get back to you guys for coffee and cake, so excited!

But on the other hand, a brand that I think has kind of missed this opportunity is Burger King in France. They published an advert called the Burger King Whopper (*quarantine whopper) and while as a standalone piece of advertising it was very creative, as far as I could tell there weren’t any social opportunities to engage with that so they haven’t leveraged that opportunity as well as they might.

And that’s the key thing that I want you to think about for your business. If you’re separated from your customers at the moment, which I’m sure you are in some respect, think about what it is you could do for them in order to maintain the connection with them. What would be useful? What would make their lives better? And how can you keep them in your ecosystem with useful content?

The second point to talk about is creating new products. So we’ve seen huge brands like Ralph Lauren, Barbour and smaller brands like Brewdog or Community Clothing getting involved in making scrubs, PPE, masks, hand sanitizer for frontline NHS and care staff. That’s so wonderful to see, and the kind of content that usually results from that is coverage in the local press, sometimes in the national media. And, you know, you can tell that those gestures are coming from a genuine heart of the brand.

But there are more things they could be doing, I think – telling the story of the people behind these gestures, because people are going above and beyond all the time in this current climate. I think brands could do more to tell the story of the people behind them.

You’ve got some brands who aren’t manufacturers, who are producing content that works for their particular audience, such as Joe Wicks. You can’t fail to have seen his PE classes for kids every morning, live on YouTube.

Crayola for instance, have created a whole part of their website for free downloadable colouring sheets. All in the name of supporting kids who are at home now and can’t go to school.

And so, in terms of what you can do for your business: is there something new that you can create right now that your followers or even a new audience need? What is it that you have the capability to do?

The third point is in-person events. We know it’s impossible to meet in large groups or even small groups at the moment, and several high profile events have had to pivot entirely into the digital arena: Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, SMX London – they’re coming up, they’re going to be delivered entirely digitally, and recently we attended Future Sync, and Sabio’s DisruptedCX event. Both pivoted into digital events, and both really successful.

And what I found most interesting about it was that the sessions were a mix of topical, relevant-for-right-now content versus future and forward-looking content, and also content that was piquing our interest in drawing lessons from the past. So, the key to all of them was being interesting, useful and relevant.

In terms of the actual delivery, if you’re thinking about delivering an online event, think about the basics in order to make it successful, like superfast internet, crystal clear audio, and you need clear signposting to your attendees. So, you need to send them links of where to watch the live stream, and where they can comment and where they can get involved.

And the flip side to that is if you’re going to have attendees getting involved you need a host in order to manage the incoming questions so that the presenter can get on with delivering the session, and you’ve got a host managing the incoming content from the comments.

I saw a brilliant mnemonic from Rebecca Vogels and Forbes (I’m sure I pronounced that incorrectly so I’m sorry). When you’re thinking about what content to create, make sure it passes your RID test:

  • Relevant
  • Impactful
  • Doable

And that works across the board but it’s particularly pertinent right now. I quite often see recipes out there that are allegedly made from store cupboard ingredients. I can tell you there’s some of those things that I don’t have in my kitchen, and a lot of people don’t.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and content that you really like so post the link down in the comments and stay safe, and I will speak to you soon. Bye.

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Author:

Sarah is the Head of Digital Marketing & Strategy at AB... and enjoys helping organisations get the most from their marketing activities. With an affinity for a data-driven approach, she specialises in customer and user experience, SEO and PPC management. At the moment, she's really interested in voice search. Sarah is Google-certified in both Ads and Analytics and has over 11 years of experience in digital marketing. She also has an MSc in Digital Marketing Communications and joined the AB... team in April 2017.

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