This should be the content marketing year for your company.
Her team had meticulous plans to generate content and improve sales.
Then COVID-19 happened and all of these plans seemed to have failed.
Don't give up yet.
Your strategies and keyword research may no longer be relevant to the current pandemic market, but there is still room for adjustment.
Regardless of the dire situation, I can tell you that there is a way to take advantage of the changing search trends of the pandemic era to develop and execute new content.
If you are wondering how that is possible, let me guide you through the following process.
Repositioning marketing strategies
First and foremost, marketers need to know that following the 2019 strategies – or even January to February 2020 – won't prevent this.
The world has changed too much for that. And it will continue to change.
Companies have already started to update their crisis communication plans, but this will be an ongoing process.
COVID-19 will not go away very soon – we will feel its lasting impact on the economy and the way we work through 2021 and beyond.
For this reason, collecting and using data to promote your content marketing must be a priority.
I mean, when was the last time finance and investment saw a 280% increase in search popularity?
The data we collect during this period will show the gaps in the market in which your company can enter or expand.
And if we understand the data we have, we can better place the company as a positive resource for customers and clients.
The needs of the target group change and your marketing strategy has to change accordingly. You need to focus your strategies on empathy.
What does this mean and how can you implement it?
I'll explain that in this guide.
The frameworks I've designed show you how to use search trend data so you can create the content your audience needs right now.
You can use a number of digital marketing tools to mine the information I'm going to talk about.
1. Look for gaps in the market
One of the most widespread consequences of the pandemic was the increase in remote work.
And due to the number of people working at home, the number of people using the Internet has increased.
Since there is nowhere else to go to chat, we all spend our time online for work, leisure, and getting the latest news.
People spend more time on streaming sites and network apps to stay in touch with their friends and family.
This is an important piece of data for you – your audience is now completely and completely online, especially on social media.
You don't have to look for them because you know where they are.
After knowing where they are, you need to analyze how and why they are using the online tools available to them.
Check out this graphic from Microsoft Advertising.
What do you see?
You can see that the search for certain industries has been dramatically affected.
Travel and cars have fallen – probably because nobody is going anywhere. On the other hand, technology and entertainment are increasing for obvious reasons.
Although the search for certain travel-related and automotive-related terms has decreased, you can still find ways to use topics in these industries by expanding your search.
For example, people are not looking for car insurance now – they don't use their cars as often, so they don't want to increase their premiums.
But they'll look for ways to service their car when it's not in use – car covers, seat covers, oils, and paints for their engines and paints.
If the shutdowns have affected your business, it may seem daunting to look at the popularity of your search terms.
With a little creativity, however, you can find the areas where related searches are increasing so that you can use these terms to re-enter the market.
You will find that people do not leave entire industries behind – they are only looking for new articles and services in this industry.
You need to focus on these areas now when creating your content – look at the new keyword trends in your industry, explain the patterns and create your content.
2. Analyze analysis trends
What we found above is that not only is there data in industries affected by COVID-19, but there are also ways to derive ideas from that data.
Let us examine in more detail how this conclusion can work for you.
Some of the hardest hit industries during the ban were restaurant businesses.
During the block, people cannot go to restaurants. This has affected popular search terms that the industry would have relied on.
Here's what we found when we looked at addiction trends in the live entertainment and restaurant industry:
In the months before the crisis in January and February, these areas increased because people regularly go out.
There was a significant drop in March following the announcement of the closures, and this number fell further in April.
As we look more closely at specific search terms in the industry, the picture becomes clearer.
Take a look at the search trends that we’ve examined for “best restaurants near me”:
The 45% decline in 2020 is in stark contrast to the term's popularity in 2019 when the world wasn't in a crisis.
But that doesn't mean that people aren't interested in restaurants at all.
It is not possible for most people to cook every single meal – they still want restaurant-quality food at home.
So what are you looking for to alleviate this concern?
You are looking for grocery deliveries and pickups.
Take a look at the addiction trend comparison we've done for “best restaurants near me” and “grocery delivery” in the past few months:
What can we derive from the search trend data above?
That people are open to alternatives – restaurants are still relevant, but the search terms directly related to them have changed.
This means that restaurants now have to create content that moves away from geographical location terms and more towards food delivery and pickup.
3. Pivot for customers
Let us distance ourselves from the service industry and look at a product-based industry like gaming.
Check out the popularity of search terms for Nintendo Switch in March-May 2020 compared to last year.
The top is huge and competes with the trends we would see during the December vacation.
As people spend more time indoors, they're looking for products to keep them busy and entertained. Hence the need for a game console.
We can see the following from the increasing popularity of this search term:
- People want more access to in-home entertainment than before.
- Because they isolate themselves, they have more time to devote to leisure activities.
- Game consoles sell out quickly, leading to a supply shortage.
Once you've drawn these conclusions, you can adjust your content structure – what can your product currently do for your customers?
If you are an entertainment-based company, here are some marketing tips to help you use the search trend data to your advantage:
- You can create entertainment options content for your audience.
- You can create entertaining pieces for your audience.
- You can share alternatives with people who can no longer buy a Nintendo Switch.
However, knowing how we can adapt to changing circumstances does not mean that your job is done.
Times will continue to change and you must be able to grow despite the changes. Let me explain how.
4. Content Ideation Framework
The examples I shared with you make sense on their own – but can you apply them to your niche brand?
Brainstorming content ideas is always a challenge, but I use a content strategy framework that has worked for me for years.
The framework I'm talking about is GRAP.
Not surprisingly, with so few people traveling anywhere, the need for luggage has dropped dramatically.
At the same time as we were dealing with home decor and organization, we found a massive increase in the pandemic:
Here's a closer look at the key word for home decor and home improvement:
There are many related keywords that are all trending.
Right there you have your keywords to start creating your content.
First, create titles that are optimized for the keywords that are becoming increasingly popular in this area.
Design pieces that specifically answer questions your audience may have – making it easier for them to find you.
Don't limit your content streams – create blogs, vlogs, social posts, charts, graphs and infographics – so you can reach people where they are.
Everything around us changes – adapting to these changes differentiates the innovative companies from all others.
However, adjustment for no reason has no effect.
You need to analyze the search trends that impact your business to encourage cross-over content generation and revenue generation.
To sum it up again: Here's how:
- Search for gaps in the market.
- Analyze analysis trends.
- Pivot on customer needs.
- Adaptation to the content framework.
- Generate ideas for crossover content.
Marketing professionals have the tools to influence the audience and drive a new narrative forward.
By using data and gaining new insights from your findings, you can also be successful in this crisis environment.
In-post pictures: Venngage
Screenshots from the author, May 2020