Insight

Four vital steps to fire up your post-lockdown content strategy

More online research, more virtual events and even less physical interaction; this is the reality of the way people will research and buy products and services for the foreseeable future. Here’s how to evolve your content strategy to cater for an increasingly virtual world.

The way we research and shop for products and services will rely on more virtual touchpoints than ever before, whatever the industry. While a basic web search has often been the start of the sales funnel in recent years, the virtual experience is going to extend even further as we come out of lockdown. Already we’ve seen estate agents adopt virtual reality (VR) headsets to reduce travel and exposure to potential infection, and coffee shops that have pivoted to become mail-order roasteries to fill the gap left by lower footfall.

Grayling’s own research of +1,000 professionals conducted during Q2 2020 finds that nearly two thirds (61.5%) are able to do all or most of their work from home. For those involved in product or service procurement, they will now expect to conduct more of their research remotely than they did prior to lockdown.

Content is therefore going to play an ever-more important role in informing and persuading audiences, so here are four critical steps to re-evaluating your content to make sure it delivers on your post-lockdown business objectives:

  1. Where is your audience at?

Have your customers’ priorities and needs changed since the Covid-19 pandemic? What are they looking for now? What questions are they asking? How long are their buying cycles? Who is involved? It’s a great time to re-assess trends on your website analytics, investigate other search queries and review up-to-date market data to see what your audience wants now.

  1. Search will become even more competitive

How has your search traffic performed since lockdown? Have you run an audit to see how your critical landing pages are ranking?

With so much more remote working, potential customers will be conducting a lot more online research, potentially with longer- tail search terms. What niches can you compete in? Are you serving the right content for the query type?

What about your link-building strategy? Content and PR need to be more joined-up than ever. For more, read my recent post on why tech firms must find a new tone of voice for a post-lockdown world.

  1. More virtual interactions

For the foreseeable future, your content will need to involve more virtual interactions. Take a look at what fashion label Diesel is doing with its 360-degree virtual showroom. I think we’ll see a huge increase in video guides and videoconference training and demo sessions as part of sales and client onboarding. These sessions can all provide valuable insights to honing your content strategy, so make sure your sales and content teams are aligned so you can make the most of feedback from the frontline.

How can you use these virtual touchpoints to help your customers and prospects?

  1. Raise your social media game

The lockdown also highlighted once again the value of social media as a real-time customer service outlet. Comms turnarounds must be quick and effective. Is it time to look at the mission and purpose of your social media, run an audit, canvas your audience to see what they want from you and, therefore, evolve your social strategy? How will your social media strategy support your content going forward?

Now is a great time to re-evaluate what you want to achieve with your content and social media to address your customers’ post-lockdown preferences. Your content strategy must evolve to support this new, more virtual, world. Are you ready?

Do you need help articulating your content strategy?

Please drop me a line to see how Grayling could help: liz.alexander@grayling.com