Shifting Your Content Marketing Story to Meet the Moment

Well, this was a plot twist that none of us saw coming.

Here we were, as content marketers and communicators, minding on our business. We had our carefully crafted quarterly plans, launches, and campaigns all plotted out. Then the coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived on the scene. All of those went out the window. And now, here we are.

We need a rewrite.

My colleague Becky Graebe talks about how the outbreak is the only story that matters right now. Companies (and by extension, marketers and comms pros) have to figure out their place in that story.

There are discussions occurring inside all companies right now about how they should be publicly presenting their brands. For our part, we believe that it’s essential to find your role in the coronavirus narrative – and embrace it. Look at this way. Your company had great products, solutions, and customer service before the outbreak struck. That hasn’t changed. People might even need them more now to maintain business continuity until we all come out on the other side of this. And for communicators, the role of providing critical information is more acute than ever.

The challenge is adapting our stories to strike the right, empathetic tone.

At Dynamic Signal, our platform helps companies communicate and engage better with their employees, so they can do their jobs better and feel like they’re a valued member of a community. With the emergence of the coronavirus, we’ve shifted our content marketing focus to explain how the platform keeps employees safe, informed, and connected during this incredibly traumatic time.

Three words sum up everything we’re doing.

Make a difference.

We thought it might be useful to show how we’re adapting by creating timely and helpful information for this unique moment. Our hope is that it may spark some ideas for you.

We’re all just trying to figure this out and adjust to the new plot. Our approach – to borrow a sports metaphor – is flooding the zone with appropriate content related to the coronavirus.

Blogs

We’ve always had an active blog. We pushed out nearly 100 articles alone in 2019. But now we’re publishing a minimum of three new pieces a week. Graebe, in particular, has been a machine as she writes on topics that matter to our audience of communicators, marketers, and HR professionals. She’s discussed topics like how customers are using our platform for getting critical information to employees, the importance of maintaining human connections with our people and mobilizing advocates to tell the brand story.

Members of our leadership team are providing their perspectives on dealing with the crisis from an executive viewpoint. We have posts from Customer Success Managers detailing how specific product features could be helpful during this time.

The goal is simple. We’re all in this – as the shelter-in-place catchphrase goes – “together alone.” Maybe there’s something in this steady stream of content that our audience will find useful and show that they’re not really alone in their challenges.

Webinars

We’re hosting, on average, one webinar a week. The title says it all: “Dynamic Signal’s New Normal Webinar Series.”

Industry leaders like Carrie Goldstein and Jenni Field, as well as our experts, have straight-talk conversations on relevant topics designed to leave attendees with take-home ideas (and people are literally at home now) that they can apply to their programs.

Dynamic Signal WebinarsKeeping that pace requires some adapting. For instance, we’ve had to radically condense the time to publicize them, Also, our webinar decks have become minimalist. But that’s been a reminder for us that what matters most is the quality of the ideas, not the accompanying visuals.

Oh, and some of the blog posts either promote the webinars and our guests, or they recap the content and/or address questions that couldn’t be answered during the available time. So, we’re building synergy between the two channels.

Website

We created a coronavirus resource page to house all of our content. We’re also curating the best information that we see elsewhere. We want a one-stop-shopping location, so our audience can see how their peers are thinking about (and solving) the same problems that they’re now confronting.

COVID-19 ResourcesThe homepage also was tweaked (but only slightly) to acknowledge the need to have ways to communicate with employees during a crisis.

Long Form Content

We were this close to releasing a new eBook that we designed around introducing our most recent platform innovations. But as the news about the pandemic kept getting darker, it just felt off-point and too business-as-usual.

So, we adjusted on the fly. We’ve edited the eBook around the obvious story: Managing Employee Communication in a Time of Crisis. It still explains the new functionality. But now it’s in the context of how it might be practical for companies as they connect with workforces that are more distributed than ever and are even hungrier for information.

Now, you might say: “This is too much content.”

Any strategy has a point of diminishing returns. But we’re not there yet. How do we know? Data. Our internal measurements – views, webinar attendance, etc. – tell us that people are craving more content, not less. The coronavirus resource page now receives the most traffic on our website. For webinars, we’ve seen increases in the average number of both registrants and attendees.

When it comes to coronavirus story, we’re all currently navigating the pulse-quickening section. This is the part where the heroes – each of us – is being sorely tested. But we also know how these stories usually conclude. There’s a happy ending.

We’re hoping, in some small way, to contribute to that day with information helping everyone get to that final chapter.

For all of Dynamic Signal’s coronavirus-related resources, visit here. 

Post Author

Mark Emmons

Mark Emmons is the storyteller at Dynamic Signal. He previously was a newspaper reporter at the Detroit Free Press, the Orange County Register, and the San Jose Mercury News. He reluctantly uses the Oxford comma.