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Creating an Adaptive Content Strategy

Emily Marshall

Creating an Adaptive Content Strategy by Emily Marshall on May 26th, 2020

No matter your sector, connecting with consumers is still a brand’s biggest asset and its most delicate relationship. As we continue to work through the pandemic, what brands say and how they say it continues to be scrutinized by the public. Brands have been forced to reevaluate their content strategy moving forward into the foreseeable future, and one small oversight could easily become the next example of what a brand should not do during a pandemic. 

While restrictions lift in one region and buckle down in the next, below are some things to consider when it comes to content creation for your brand right now, and for the future. 

 

INVEST IN THE LONG TERM CONTENT:

Building trust with your audience is key. While audiences expect to see some new pieces of content, they trust your brand to ensure this content is meaningful and not forced. The pandemic has offered a slew of new content ideas and ways to communicate with the public many brands hadn’t considered, such as video series through Facebook Watch, podcasts, educational content, blogs/articles, e-blasts, etc. Long term content strategies like this allow you to nimbly move in and out of trending topics without shifting your strategy. These also give your audience something to look forward to and builds trust over time as they are seen as a valuable piece of communication from your brand. 

It’s also important to consider the timing of this new content, and how often your consumers see it. If you’ve never sent a newsblast before and now you’re suddenly sending three per day, you will likely lose your consumers’ trust.

STAY NIMBLE AND THINK AHEAD

One important lesson for marketers and brands that came from the current pandemic is the importance of keeping your content nimble and adaptable. For many brands, it took weeks to change their advertisements, and unfortunately consumers noticed. While there was no way to predict this pandemic, brands could begin to consider ‘potentials’ earlier in the creation process. For example, while recording the voiceover for your TVC, record some extra options that you can easily switch in and out to reflect your desired CTA. If you’re creating a digital ad for retail, have the designer also make a version that reflects online availability – just in case. 

KEEP THE CONTENT TRAIN CHUGGIN’:

While not all campaign content can be executed right now, it’s important to continue to brainstorm and keep the creative juices flowing. It’s also worth considering: what will my future content look like, and how will it vary from right now? What did I think I needed to reach my consumer that I actually don’t? Challenge your teams to think of new out-of-the-box digital campaigns or new and creative ways to intrigue your audience online. Create and maintain an ongoing content list so that you can track ideas to execute when the timing (and budget) is right.

GET MORE SOCIAL:

When it comes to social content, adjust your social listening and keep your ears to the ground in your communities. How are people talking about your brand?What conversations are they having? Where are they located and what does COVID look like in their region? Be mindful of your audience when releasing new content, and pivot your strategy as their sentiment and behaviour changes with their lifestyle.  Consumers are online and on social media more than ever, and marketers should be reviewing all of their data and platform capabilities to take advantage of what’s available. Facebook and Instagram have used this opportunity to upgrade their platforms and offer new features that support local communities and group message functions, and Research shows that for platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are experiencing small changes in community behaviour. Monitor your analytics and stay nimble with your posting strategy to make the most of your organic reach.

 

While considering content for your brand, remember that the world is in a sensitive place and you don’t always control where your content will appear. Does your content seem tone deaf next to COVID-19 coverage? Is it insensitive? While it’s not necessary to shift your entire content strategy, as marketers it’s our responsibility to re-evaluate the content we have coming up the pipeline, and stay agile to ensure we can adapt our content to suit the current landscape.