Content and Quarantine: 3 Lessons
We know you’re probably tired of receiving COVID-19 updates from every organization you’ve subscribed to or visited in the past three years. But, for certain brands, crafting content around COVID-19 is both a responsibility and a benefit to the customer. It’s time to stop doing what you had planned and make a new start.
During the quarantine, Roundtree has increased the web traffic for our clients by an average of 170% and boosted the average time spent on their webpages by an average of 17%. This was done by creating original content for our clients. Looking back, here are three principles that helped us achieve these results.
#1 – BE RELEVANT
Your organization may not specialize in infectious diseases, but you can still create content that connects with your target audience in appropriate ways.
We have three clients who manage money (more than $1B to be exact). Obviously, their clients are going to be concerned about market volatility. We created a six-week content plan for each of these clients to help put the volatility in perspective. These pieces communicate competence and instill confidence without being overly technical. Here are two examples of content we created for asset managers:
If you’re a faith-based organization, the Bible has plenty of material about crises whether it is famine, war, or disease. There are still ways to talk about your organization’s work while maintaining relevance to the current crisis.
#2 – BE CREATIVE
Within a span of ten days, we launched three initiatives for clients in response to the current crisis. Crisis creates an opportunity to fill gaps and offer new services. We approached our faith-based clients with some big ideas that would move their mission forward instead of coming to a halt.
- We helped The Generosity Trust launch a campaign to support frontline ministries serving in vulnerable neighborhoods.
- We created a prayer initiative for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) which is being used by more than 25,000 people.
- We provided a way for churches who were not equipped for online giving to facilitate donations through the PCA Foundation. Over 225 churches in the denomination are now utilizing this platform, which is more than 10% of all churches in the denomination.
#3 – BE AGILE
We had been working on a fundraising campaign for a client that was set to launch in May. It was going to be a mass appeal using direct mail and digital ads. We approached the client as the impact of the virus continued to grow and encouraged them to reconsider the focus of the campaign. We didn’t encourage them to stop it. Rather, we wanted to actually connect the appeal to the current crisis.
The client agreed. We pivoted, created new collateral, and launched it. The appeal started through an email campaign that has now resulted in $40,000 in gifts. That was the original goal of the whole campaign! The direct mail will hit mailboxes next week and digital ads will launch soon.
Once again, because of the current crisis, you should STOP doing some marketing activities you had planned. You should also START doing some things you had never envisioned.
Your organization should not appear to be capitalizing off the situation, rather it should be clear that you’re doing everything in your power to help those in need and mobilize your audience to join with you. Use words like “share,” “join us,” “help,” “support,” “respond,” “navigate.” People want to help in times of crisis. Help them find tangible ways to do so.
Clear, consistent, and relevant content marketing is key for organizations that want to share value and keep their clients and donors engaged.