How Will COVID-19 Change The Future of Content Marketing?
There’s no question that the COVID-19 outbreak has changed content marketing in the present, but what, if any, impact will it have on the future of content marketing? That’s a question I’ve been mulling over lately. In some ways, the changes we’ve seen have been inevitable, but COVID-19 pushed them to happen much soon than anticipated.
Think of the changes we’ve already seen. Since March, I’ve noticed an increase in video marketing and digital experiences, even from businesses and organizations that had practically no experience with video content. While content marketers have seen a trend towards video content for years, no one expected it to take off like it has, but that is a direct result of the pandemic.
I’ve also noticed that the messaging has shifted to become more human, customer-centric, and empathetic: “Here’s what we are doing for you” and “Support your local community by…”. There’s much less focus on making the sale and much more focus on pulling together to get through the challenges of COVID-19.
There’s also been a strong shift toward sharing information just for the sake of sharing information: “Find more resources at XYZ” and How-To content, for example. None of this content necessarily leads to a product landing page, but you’ll definitely see a logo or a website address tucked in there somewhere.
I think (and hope!) that this type of content marketing is here to stay. The way I see it, this is the essence of content marketing.
COVID-19 Exposed Content Marketing’s True Power
Content marketing has always been about making connections, fostering customer relationships, and building a loyal brand following. People need that now more than ever. Isolated from friends and family, working from home, laid off, or furloughed, we are still seeking connections; we just have to do it from a distance.
We have been forced to consume digital content in ways we never had to before. That gives content marketers an advantage because we’re already there. We’ve been in the digital arena for years. In some ways, it feels like our time has finally come! Finally, people have time to watch our videos, take our quizzes, read our posts, follow our tweets, share our photos, and examine our infographics!
Even more important, consumers are paying attention. They are paying attention to how brands respond to the crisis and they’ll remember it once they start spending again. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2020, Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic:
- 65% of survey participants said that how a brand responds to the crisis will have a huge impact on their likelihood to buy that brand in the future.
- 71% agree that the brands and companies they see placing profits before people during this crisis will lose their trust forever.
- 65% agree that hearing from brands they use about what they are doing to respond to the pandemic is comforting.
There’s no question that content still has the power to influence consumer perception of the business and that consumers will make buying decisions based on those perceptions.
Content Marketing Post COVID-19
What does this mean for the future of content marketing?
Our customers will expect to have regular online interactions with us. They will expect to find video content or to engage with a brand representative on social media pages. They will know they can trust your brand for the information they seek and they’ll continue to seek it out.
I don’t see the demand for content changing much post-COVID-19. If anything I think it will remain steady or increase and that we will still see a demand for content that takes a more human-centric approach.
What do you think? Do you think content marketing has changed as a result of COVID-19? Do you think those changes will extend into the future?