In a global pandemic, creating brand content is not on the list of priority for most brands. Brands will now reconsider the expectations of their customers and align marketing strategies with customer empathy.
Content Marketing has grown from just blog posts and editorial techniques. It's a systematic approach that depends on a wide variety of tools to continue communicating with customers.
Coronavirus has created a whole new environment for marketers. It has highlighted the importance of depending on building strategies and not on just traditional channels of marketing.
During this outbreak, the goal of marketing for most brands is to invest in experiential and content marketing approaches delivered across online platforms.
During the coronavirus pandemic, content creation has become an efficient way for brands to keep in touch with the customers. This is how brands build themselves in the long term.
Here are a few examples of brands which have improved their content marketing during the Covid-19 crisis.
To thank front-line workers, Walmart created employee-generated content on their Facebook page.
This is not always groundbreaking. Perhaps that is because Walmart is one of the world's largest businesses.
They could have taken a whole host of approaches. Still, the decision on the Walmart Facebook page to feature employee-generated content was a significant one. Their recent ad also featured many employee-generated snippets.
Behr Paint and West Elm
Behr Paint and West Elm have built digital backgrounds for Zoom users who want to spruce up their local appearance.
Behr has created a "Behr Your Life" library of virtual room designs that people can access and use in the virtual life tab of Zoom from a link posted to their Twitter account for free.
Image Source: https://www.adweek.com/
West Elm, the furniture and home decoration chain, has posted a range of digital backgrounds to its Instagram page for download. The interior designs include log cabins, sunny kitchens and spacious living rooms with modern furnishings.
This is a smart way to create content that's important to the current situation. You just have to make sure it fits with the priorities and the voice of your brand, and generates value for your audience.
Nike used content marketing to ramp up interaction with the customers since the stores are partially closed due to the lockdown.
The company created its own subscription app - Nike Training Club, which provides live workouts, fitness plans and expert tips. They also made its membership free. Nike is putting out more content for its Nike and Nike Running Club applications, Nike.com website, and social media to support millions of its customers during the pandemic.
Nike has created a marketing campaign, “Play for the World”, which uses its roster of athlete endorsers and demonstrates how they remain in top shape during the pandemic.
Image Source: https://news.nike.com/
The brand offers all athletes the digital resources they need to stay healthy indoors.
Most of us spend more time at home in these days of social distancing than is normal. IKEA understands this and has created an ad to inspire people to reconnect with their homes.
Ikea encourages people to stay home through a campaign called #StayHome.
This ad leans more towards engaging with the audience and encouraging them to find comfort in their own homes.
The ad is relevant to the market and in alignment with the objective of IKEA but it does not try to sell to the viewers directly. Plus, IKEA also inspired people to stay home without being too obvious about it.
This shows it is essential for brands to develop content that communicates to the audience where they are right now.
DoubleTree, a Hilton-owned American hotel chain, is renowned for the chocolate chip cookies it serves guests at check-in. The recipe of the cookies is a corporate secret.
As this desperate time called for an extraordinary measure, DoubleTree chose to reveal the chocolate chip cookie recipe with its daily guests trapped at home.
Image Source: https://www.thelittlekitchen.net/
The brand maintains a connection to its customers by using video content marketing at a time when people aren’t thinking about hotels.
Facebook brings out a new section of the COVID-19 Information Center which will appear in the near future at the top of all consumer News Feeds.
The new panel will feature the latest official news and updates on the outbreak, as well as links to helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Amid this chaos and disruption due to the outbreak, Facebook takes this great initiative in the form of news content curation to showcase its value.
Unity Technologies has made three months of premium content available to game developers from its Unity Learn library.
As the name suggests, Unity Learn offers developers instructional content to create games using the company's technology. This material includes videos, full training courses and sample projects.
Fast Company has compiled a list of popular illustrators who provide free interactive classes and tools for both adults and children.
Image Source: https://jarrettlerner.com/
It is a perfect example of content marketing as it takes what these illustrators do best and shares it with the world across multiple channels.
Illustrators communicate with their target audience, create community around their art and promote their own brand.
All the above examples have one thing in common. Regardless of the market they exist in or the nature of their business, these brands seek to make themselves useful to customers at a time when they are stuck at home.
Even companies that have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic can find brand assets that help in creating compelling content marketing strategies.