Successful Content Strategies During a Global Crisis

COVID 19 Blog case studyIn the context of a global health crisis, it can be a challenge for marketers to strike the right balance between providing useful information and avoiding the appearance of tone-deafness. Facing such a dilemma, many brands choose to pull back on their content strategy. However, our insight shows there’s no better time to supply useful content.

People are spending more time at home. They’re cooking more, focused on making their homes more comfortable and working to keep their families healthy and well.

Our readers are not only interested in the details regarding official policies but are also (understandably) in need of coping suggestions for keeping their families and daily lives as close to normal as they can be,” said Robert C. Marsala, multi-platform producer with Hearst Media CT. “It is important to have a mix of informational content as well as lighter-themed articles to help distract from the stress of living in this new reality.”

Through data and direct conversations, we know editors appreciate the expertise trusted brands are willing to share. Overall, our content downloads are up 5% over last year during the same timeframe. New outlets have begun using our content and others have increased their activity. In addition, the results of our social campaigns are seeing unprecedented success (impressions are up 194% and engagements are up 76%).

This is partly due to a reduction in resources for publications that still need content to fill their food, home, garden and lifestyle sections, and it’s partly reflective of readers’ increased attention on content that helps them live better.

We’re aware that the coronavirus is weighing upon the minds of our readers and we like to choose articles that recognize it without inundating them with no escape,” said Rick Dahl, graphic designer with the Stewartville STAR. “So while we occasionally break up our content with non-virus topics like recipes, we’re always looking for stories that recognize the realities of the pandemic but also provide constructive ways to cope.”

Snapshots of Success
Adapting your strategy to deliver useful content consumers can use to navigate uncertainty gives you the chance to position your brand as an expert and resource. Consider what some marketers are doing this spring to make their mark in these challenging times:

Family-Focused Recipes Achieve 1,000+ Placements
One national commodity board provided kid-friendly snack recipes in a half-page Premium Release to help readers keep children busy while simultaneously creating nutritional treats.
(See above for "Kid-friendly Creativity in the Kitchen" project image)

Why it worked:
• Timely appeal for families at home
• Tips that applied to a wide audience
• Recipes boasting eye-catching images

Results (in less than 1 month):
• More than 1,000 digital and print placements
• More than 170 million total impressions
• ROI of 118:1

Tip-Focused Video Guides Homeowners, Earns 100+ Placements                                                                           

By supplying home improvement ideas in Video format for homeowners looking to update their living spaces, a national association created a visual piece of content that resonated with consumers spending more time at home. LifstyleVideoRelease Productimage02 2

Why it worked:
• A theme that resonates with homeowners
• Tip-oriented content consumers could put into action
• High-demand format with visual appeal

• More than 100 earned placements
• More than 50 million total impressions
• More than 165,000 total views

Contact us today to learn more or get started on your own successful campaign.







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