What are the content marketing trends that will dominate the second half of 2020? Lizzy Hillier looks at five overarching trends for content that have emerged in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Several content marketing trends that were already emerging before the outbreak have been accelerating during the Covid-19 pandemic, and consumer behaviour along with them.
Stakes will be high, if they haven’t been already, in H2. Budgets are being squeezed, and with a major recession on the horizon high customer engagement, acquisition and retention will be even harder to achieve, yet more crucial than ever. Fears of a second wave of infection in some regions, as well as increasingly complex safety guidelines, will exacerbate consumer uncertainty and could cause further reluctance to return to old shopping habits.
Without great content, many tried and tested methods that brought success before the pandemic may no longer cut it for consumers after experiencing such a sudden shift in their priorities.
While it’s still not entirely clear what the rest of 2020 holds, marketers must start implementing revised content strategies that address both what has happened and the new normal that awaits the market post-Covid. Here are five areas that they should focus on.
1. Social responsibility
Brand purpose has been gaining traction as an important aspect of content marketing over the past few years, as ethical and societal issues increasingly inform consumers’ brand and product choices. This has led to a wider adoption of sustainably sourced products, greener delivery options and charitable fundraising, to name just a few.
Covid-19 has thrown a spotlight on social responsibility more than ever before. The sheer scale of the crisis has meant that brands can no longer ignore the disruption it has caused to their business, their customers and society at large. As a result, many brands that have, in the past, shied away from social responsibility in their marketing strategies have been compelled to address it, or risk appearing tone deaf. This was then followed by the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd in May, which hammered home the message to brands even further: use your platform for good.
These two events in particular have been the wake-up call some marketers needed to take societal issues into account throughout their branding and marketing efforts. Consumers have had more time on their hands over the last few months to scrutinise the authenticity of brand communications and are calling them out more and more on issues that are important to them.
Consequently, it is clear we’ll see content more in-tune with current events during the second half of this year and in the long term. We can expect brands to take more time to respond to crises in a more meaningful and measurable way as and when is appropriate. Those that had already incorporated CSR into their branding pre-Covid will likely reap the biggest rewards, but it’s not too late for others to follow their example.
Alcoholic beverage brand Brewdog took to YouTube to demonstrate how it was using its production facilities to make hand sanitiser during the peak of the UK coronavirus crisis.