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The importance of content writing and copywriting in the times of Covid-19

Importance of content writing and copywriting in the times of Covid-19 outbreak

Importance of content writing and copywriting in the times of Covid-19 outbreak.

The world is gradually settling down to the reality of living amidst the Covid-19 outbreak. How can content writing and copywriting help you get through these difficult times?

The lockdowns came and economies all over the world are opening up with great caution. There have been heated debates on what is more important – preventing oneself from getting infected or restarting the wheels of the economy.

Millions of jobs have been lost. Thousands of businesses have been closed and many are on the verge of bankruptcy.

In the meantime, Jeff Bezos is almost worth $ 200 billion. A lot of credit goes to the spike in the online retail market because people don’t want to go out and shop.

As someone who provides professional content writing and copywriting services, I see an increased demand from my clients in the online retail sector. Many on-demand mobile apps are coming up that allow people to buy products from home.

Cloud services is another sector that has experienced phenomenal growth during the Covid-19 outbreak, as a greater number of companies prefer their employees to work from home.

Even Google and Microsoft declared recently that they are encouraging their employees to work from home at least for a year.

Companies like Intel are changing their work culture on a permanent basis so that more of their employees can take care of their responsibilities from home using cloud services.

How can efficient content writing and copywriting help you during the Covid-19 outbreak?

Coming to the main topic of the post…

Whenever a calamity hits, some businesses are affected more, and some businesses are affected less.

There are many businesses, due to their positioning and targeting, who even profit.

Businesses providing digital services are profiting during the times of Covid-19.

Netflix is profiting. Of course, Amazon. Microsoft and Google. Gaming companies. Online video conferencing companies. On-demand food, groceries and commodity delivering services.

Hence, if you are providing services that can be delivered online, you need to enhance your presence.

I’m not saying that suddenly you’re going to give Amazon and Google a run for their money, there are thousands of small businesses that are doing great during the outbreak.

This also means that you need to maintain your visibility.

Almost everyone searches online these days whenever one is looking for a service or are product to buy.

The first thing they do is, go to Google or launch the Google app on their mobile phone, and search for the thing they need.

It’s very important that they are able to find you if you want to sell to them.

No matter how great your product or service is, if they are not able to find you, how are they going to become your paying customers and clients?

You need to improve your search engine rankings. You need to improve your conversion rate.

Targeted content writing helps you increase your organic search engine rankings.

Efficient copywriting helps you improve the conversion rate on your website or landing page.

During uncertain times, you may feel that you can ill-afford to spend money on professional content writing and copywriting.

This is understandable.

But, if you are spending money on advertising (something like PPC campaigns), then SEO content writing is, though, I don’t like using this expression, way cheaper compared to advertising.

When you run PPC campaigns, you pay for every click. And this every click is for every keyword. If you get 10 clicks, you pay for them. If you get 100 clicks, you pay for them.

But when you invest in quality content, your search engine rankings improve organically.

So, whether you get 10 clicks, 100 clicks, 1000 clicks, or even 1 million clicks, the only money that you spend is on the quality content that you are getting from a professional content writer.

The same goes with professional copywriting. Even if you don’t want to improve your SEO and you would rather spend money on a PPC campaign, how much of that paid traffic is actually converting?

If your PPC campaign sends all the traffic to your homepage, let me be frank with you: you are wasting money.

Traffic from a PPC campaign must always go to a landing page that has been specifically created for a set of keywords. Landing pages are specifically used for PPC campaigns.

A landing page needs professional copywriting.

Once people come to your landing page through your PPC campaign, they need to be convinced by your copy.

Every headline, every sentence and every bulleted list point contribute towards your overall conversion rate.

Hence, if you ever thought of making strategic investments in content writing and copywriting for your website, now is the best time.

You need all the visibility you can get during the Covid-19 outbreak which, the WHO has predicted, is going to last for a couple of years, at least.

How to use content to market your business during Covid-19

Using content for marketing during Covid-19

Using content for marketing during Covid-19.

Marketing budgets are being slashed all over the world. This Forrester research says that marketing budgets all over the world have definitely declined due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but they are expected to start going up by the end of 2020 and may recover by 2021.

But it depends on which side the unpredictable camel of the outbreak sits. Nothing is for sure right now. Many countries don’t even know what their current position vis-à-vis the outbreak is.

According to the above research, the CMO’s are taking the money out of out-of-home advertisements and moving the budgets to digital marketing for obvious reasons.

Despite the lunatics denying the severity of Covid-19, lesser number of people are moving out and are spending time working from home and consequently, being in front of the screen for longer durations.

Another thing many marketers are stressing is that, you shouldn’t stop marketing. A McGraw-Hill research of the 1981 and 82 recession found that businesses that marketed aggressively during the recession had 256% higher sales than those that did not.

But how do you market yourself if your business is making less money than before?

The answer is content marketing.

You spend less money than you spent on traditional advertisements, and it is far more effective. Especially now, when digital marketing is more effective than traditional marketing.

You can either publish original content or you can re-purpose your existing content, or you can do a mix of both.

The point is, now is the right time to let your customers and clients know that you are still in the game (you haven’t been destroyed by the Covid-19 outbreak) and you are still actively promoting yourself.

The dust is settling. In the early months of the year people were caught off-guard. Emotions were running high. People were scared and concerned. They were caught unaware.

Although the virus is widespread and a big part of the population is infected (in New Delhi right now 33% of the population is reported to have been infected by the virus), people are less worried. A lot has to do with the ignorance about the effects of the virus, but many businesses are getting back to their feet.

During this time, it is nice if you set a healthy example and use content marketing and digital marketing to promote yourself. Here are a few things you can do with your content:

Repurpose existing content

If you feel you have already got lots of content on your website or blog but you need to add new content, you can consider repurposing your existing content.

You may like to read: How to re-purpose old content?

Repurposing your content means generating new formats of content out of your existing content pieces.

For example, if you have a detailed blog post on how to do content marketing on mobile phones, perhaps you can create a slideshow or a video. You can also create a PDF e-book that people can download.

Refocus on your email marketing

Email marketing is a big part of content marketing, in fact, the most effective aspect of it. When you send emails to your prospects, your message appears right in their inbox.

You may like to read 15 ultimate content writing hacks for successful email marketing.

Of course, before you can send them emails, you need to win their trust so that they regularly open your emails.

Winning the trust of your email recipients is a different ballgame and requires a dedicated post, but for the time being, you need to understand that since most of the people are confined to their homes, they are more receptive to receiving valuable information through emails.

This Campaign Monitor study has revealed that more people are opening their emails than before. From February to March, businesses reported a 16% change in the open rate of emails.

This American Express blog post has shared some insights on the emerging email marketing trends during Covid-19 and what you can do to make your email marketing as effective as possible.

Accelerate your content publishing

Since more people are working from their homes, they are consuming targeted content with greater frequency than when they were going to their offices.

Also, while working in isolation, people are searching for relevant information to solve their day-to-day professional problems.

Basically, everything on the Internet is content. What you publish on your website, whether they are web pages or blog posts, is content. What you publish on social media, is content. When you send an email marketing campaign, you are broadcasting content.

To publish purposeful content during the outbreak, you first need to find out what your core audience is looking for.

For example, my clients want to improve their search engine visibility through quality content. These days, on my blog, I’m publishing lots of content that can help you improve your search engine rankings vis-à-vis the Covid-19 outbreak.

Information is another thing that people are constantly looking. They want to remain informed. Whatever business they are dealing with, they want to get the right information about whether the business can deliver or not.

You can also sail your content marketing boat on uncharted waters. If you have never published case studies, maybe now is the right time because they are a big confidence booster. If you have never published videos on your website, perhaps now is the right time.

Content marketing can help you in multiple ways during these trying times. For example, it can help you stay in front of your customers and clients. You can help them by providing them useful information and as a result, increase customer loyalty.

It was also set in motion your core content marketing strategy even after Covid is over.

B2B marketing content consumption increased during Covid-19

B2B content marketing has increased during Covid-19

B2B content marketing has increased during Covid-19

So says this PRWeb report. It is understandable. Since most of the people are confined to their homes, whether they are freelancers or full-time employees of some company, one of the best ways of reaching out to these people is through high-quality marketing content.

In-person, face-to-face meetings have been stopped or even banned at many places. Conferences and workshops stand cancelled for the foreseeable future. The B2B marketplace depends a lot on these communication channels.

You may like to read The relevance of storytelling when you’re writing content for the B2B market.

Not all findings notice an increase in the spending on content marketing especially in the B2B arena. For example, this McKinsey survey found mixed reactions among its responders.

Sales leaders are already moving quickly to navigate the crisis, with the best ones focusing on how to make targeted changes that help their businesses weather the storm and start preparing for the recovery. As we update this survey in the coming weeks, we will also share perspectives on planning for the recovery as well as reimagining the new normal for sales.

Many B2B companies are reducing their marketing spend but on the other hand, there are many companies who have increased or maintained their current budgets thinking that there is more reason to keep in touch with their core customer base in whichever way possible.

Digital interactions are obviously increasing whether they are through targeted content or video events.

90% marketing among the B2B circles is happening through video conferencing, mobile phones and other digital platforms.

This LinkedIn study reveals that 42% of the respondents faced budget cuts in marketing (whether conventional marketing or content marketing), which is a big challenge. 47% marketers said that they have increased focus on emotional and human-centric content during Covid-19. Consequently 19% confessed that there has been a drastic reduction in the product-focused content.

You may like to read The importance of quality content during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The author of the above LinkedIn report rightly comments that marketers have no idea how to deal with the current situation. They have a precedents with other market conditions such as the recession or the bursting of the dot-com bubble, but the Covid-19 outbreak is a completely new, unexpected phenomena that engulfed the entire world within a matter of a couple of weeks.

This Forbes article says:

The pandemic has led to nations limiting business activities, which has added immense pressure on business owners. While some organizations have closed, the remaining are left to deal with the harrowing aftermath. They are facing unprecedented challenges, including supply chain disruptions, a slump in customer demand, regulatory changes and increased uncertainty about the future.

The reality is that you cannot ignore marketing. Ad hoc responses don’t pay dividends. You need to put a strategy in place. I personally believe that the Covid-19 situation is going to last for a long time, and we need to prepare accordingly.

7 blog writing ideas during the Coronavirus outbreak

7 blog post writing ideas during to coronavirus outbreak

7 blog post writing ideas during to coronavirus outbreak

You know that you need to blog regularly. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the lockdowns in its wake, everyone is either sitting home or stuck somewhere.

If you run your own business or if you have a small company, this is a good time to improve your search engine rankings by publishing quality content on your blog.

Depending on which source you decide to trust, roughly 2-4 million blog posts are published every day. 70 million posts are published every month just by WordPress users.

Even if the figure has been reduced by 50% due to the Coronavirus outbreak, 1-2 million blog posts every day is still a very big number.

As I quoted one of the HubSpot reports in a previous blog post, businesses that publish on an average 16 blog posts every month receive 3.5 times more traffic than those businesses that publish on an average 4 blog posts a month.

Hence, consistently posting fresh content on your website is particularly important. As it is, business may be down for you and on top of that if you ignore writing and publish content or blog posts on your website, it is going to make things worse.

But what to publish? People’s priorities seem to have changed. They are either very alarmed and worried about their livelihoods, or they are simply clueless and in shock.

Obviously, Covid-19 or the Coronavirus dominates every discourse these days. People want to read about the virus as much as possible. They want to read about how it is infecting, how bad it is and what are its after-effects. They also want to read about its economic impact.

They may already be going through hardships due to the outbreak.

Nonetheless, they also want to know how to do digital marketing in the times of Covid-19.

Content marketing or digital marketing begins with publishing quality blog posts. If you are running out of ideas, listed below are 7 blog top writing ideas during the Coronavirus outbreak.

1. Write about your personal experience

Blogging is about sharing your personal experience. It is usually written in the first person. You can write a blog post on how the Coronavirus outbreak is personally affecting you.

For example, one of my biggest clients has completely vanished. He was a big income source.

Although personally I don’t recommend depending on a single source of income, in the hubbub of life, you end up ignoring many aspects of your business and one of these aspects was, generating more income streams.

How is your online traffic these days? Has your traffic increased or decreased? This data can give valuable hints to other businesses.

How about your employees or business partners? How is the Coronavirus affecting them?

Many topics and subtopics can be created out of this.

2. Write about what steps you are taking to promote your business during the Covid-19 lockdown

Most of the businesses are itching to get back on their feet. In fact, many governments are more eager to ease out the lockdown than they should.

What it means is, whether you are open for business while the Coronavirus pandemic is at its peak or you plan to open after the dust settles, you need to promote your business.

If you are choosing not to promote right now, rest assured that your competitors are.

The wheels of commerce do not stop. Whether you feel like promoting your business right now or not, you must put in some effort.

Hence, if you are actively promoting your business, what measures are you taking?

Are you trying to improve your SEO? Are you filling the gaps? Are you adding quality content? Are you increasing your social media presence? Are you revitalizing your newsletter? Are you working on that e-book you have been planning to write for years?

There are scores of things you can do to promote your business during the Covid-19 lockdown. Write about them.

3. Write about what has been your work from home experience

Literally millions of people are working from home.

Frankly, aside from the fact that one must remain locked down and be very careful, I have been working from home for years. What has changed is, most of my clients are also working from their homes these days.

What is your experience? Has it affected your productivity? Are you looking forward to working from home for many more months? Or do you need the sword of the office hanging over your neck to remain productive and to deliver?

If you have just recently started working from home, what sort of environment have you created for yourself? How is it affecting your productivity and efficiency?

4. Advise your customers and clients on how to remain safe

This is one of the most pressing concerns these days: how to avoid getting infected by the Coronavirus?

This will be a slight digression from your usual postings (for example, my content is mostly about content writing and content marketing) but since you already have some traffic on your blog, you can use it to raise awareness about how to keep safe from the Coronavirus.

Everybody knows that you must wash your hands repeatedly and keep your face covered and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes when you think you might have touched something infected.

Nonetheless, you can give some interesting twist. You can also write something on how to avoid getting infected and how to avoid infecting your loved ones if you cannot help going out and you must expose yourself due to an unavoidable reason.

5. Write about the interesting stuff you’re finding on the Internet

Everything is not gloom and doom on the Internet. People are finding plenty of time during the lockdown to create interesting stuff. For example, this family is creating chalk drawings with the help of their little daughter.

Activities during the coronavirus lockdown

People are preparing lists of books they can read during the Coronavirus lockdown. They are creating Netflix lists; music lists and all sorts of lists people can use according to their taste. You can prepare your own list and publish it on your blog.

6. Write about your fitness schedule

One of the biggest problems faced by people who are working from home is that their movement has been curtailed.

People cannot go on walks. People cannot go to the gym. Even the usual physical exercise such as walking on the pavement or using the public transport or using the stairs in the office has been brought to a grinding halt.

Nonetheless, people are using creative ways to keep themselves fit and healthy. There is a deluge of mobile apps that help you follow a well-defined fitness schedule while you are in the lockdown.

Share your fitness schedule. Even if you don’t have any, just talk about how you feel about it.

7. Write about the new things you have discovered about yourself while working under the Coronavirus lockdown

Again, I have always worked from home so when it comes to discovering oneself, I think I have made plenty of discovery.

What about you? If you have just started working from home and that too, due to the Coronavirus lockdown, what have you discovered about yourself? Are you able to work without supervision? Are you missing the meetings or the air of importance that an office gives?

Do you like house chores? Recently I was reading an article where a person says that he has discovered that he loves doing house chores which he used to find boring when he was going to office.

Someone else has written that she really enjoys reading stories to her little kids.

Another person has started compiling lists of to-do apps that can help you work in isolation while keeping track of what you have done and what remains to be done.

A big part of writing blog posts during the Coronavirus lockdown is writing about the pandemic and at the same time writing about you and your business. The topic ideas need to revolve around the current context.

Relevant versus opportunistic content writing

Relevant versus opportunistic content writing

Relevant versus opportunistic content writing

You need to continuously write and publish content to remain visible on Google and other search engines.

This Hubsot report says that, according to a research, businesses that wrote and published 16 blog posts or more in a month received 3.5 times the traffic compared to the businesses that wrote and published less than 4 blog posts a month.

This is quite logical, actually. The more content you give Google to crawl, index and rank, the more content it has to show when people are looking for the related search terms.

As is the case with content marketing, only the content that is useful and relevant does you good. Useless content harms you in terms of search engine rankings and conversion rate.

This brings me to the main topic of this blog post: relevant versus opportunistic content writing.

What content do you write and publish during the coronavirus outbreak?

This is a vital question and I’ve been pondering over it for quite some time now.

In fact, recently I wrote What marketing rules to follow during a crisis like the Covod-19 outbreak, aside from other posts on writing and publishing content during a global tragedy.

One thing is clear. The crisis is going to get over, whether it takes a few months or a couple of years.

Even if things don’t improve much health-wise but most countries manage to flatten the curve, economic activities, in various altered forms, are going to resume.

If you don’t want to be left behind, you must focus on publishing content on your website to maintain the presence that you have created so far, or improve it.

The question is not whether you write and publish content or not, the question is, how to differentiate between relevant and opportunistic content?

The blog post from Skyword has some good insights on how to decide what is relevant and what is opportunistic when writing content for your website in the times of an international crisis like the Covid-19 outbreak.

It talks about 3 R’s to consider: Research; Refine & Reflect.

Research what most important is to your audience right now.

Think of how what you are writing and publishing solves their contemporary problems.

Make sure that what you are writing and publishing makes sense.

You don’t want to seem like a greedy jerk. You don’t want people think that even during a crisis of such scale, all you can think of is your business.

To be frank, everyone who is not dealing with the virus directly, is worried about his or her business, and there is nothing wrong in that.

We are all worried about the financial safety of our loved ones.

We know that once the world recovers its footing economic activities will resume and then people will be scrambling for all the opportunities they can get.

In terms of writing and publishing content, what are most of my clients concerned about right now?

Right now, they are mostly concerned about two things:

  1. How to scrape the bottom of the barrel and get as much work as possible (or sell as many products as possible).
  2. How to make sure that when things pick up again, their customers and clients can find them.

Many of my clients know that while people are unable to go to offices and take care of their normal activities, they are generating lots of targeted content to improve their SEO and expand their presence.

I’m not a healthcare expert. I’m not a doctor. I’m not even the news portal with the responsibility of keeping my visitors informed about the latest threats that coronavirus is posing or the new discoveries that are being made.

This information is already abundantly available, and one can easily find it.

When people come to my website, they’re looking for a good content writer who can help them publish quality content on their websites and blogs.

They are looking for a writer who can help them improve their search engine rankings.

They are looking for a copywriter who can help them improve the open rates of their email newsletters.

Basically, they want to improve the performance of their digital marketing efforts as much as possible.

They are also worried about the future.

Everything seems to be altered right now. People are being laid off. Old ways of doing business are being questioned. We are on completely uncharted waters.

Not just about their livelihoods, they are also worried about their own health and the health of their loved ones.

The over availability of news bombards them with all sorts of fears and worries.

Amidst all this, they are courageous enough to think about their business in terms of strategy and action.

So, although, mine is not a portal where they are looking for information on how coronavirus spreads and how it can be prevented, they are certainly looking for information on how to improve their SEO and overall conversion rate.

How to create a balance between relevance and opportunity?

For some, opportunities are always there. I recently read in a ZDNet update that since most of the people are working from home, cloud-based services are doing brisk business.

We cannot resent them for that. People have more reason now to use cloud-based services. G Suite is doing better. Microsoft 365 (previously called Office 365) and Microsoft Azure are raking in great profits.

Despite various controversies, Zoom is suddenly in great demand.

Technologies that can deliver food and other services with minimum or even zero human interaction are being developed with great speed.

So, yes, in every challenge, even if it is a global catastrophe, people are going to find opportunities, or they are going to be present where they can make use of the situation profitably.

There is no harm in explaining to your prospective customers and clients how your business can help them.

I can help people improve their search engine rankings, engagement and conversion rate through quality content.

People may not be directly looking for solutions from you. But they need you to empathize. They want to know that we are all in the same boat.

Right now, when you are writing and publishing content for your website and blog, write according to the current context.

Consider the problems they are facing and despite that, promote your products and services in such a manner that they seem appropriate under the circumstances.

For example, instead of saying “I’m great at content writing so hire me”, you can try something like “I can understand the problems you’re going through and I too am going through more or less the same set of problems. Maybe we can work out an arrangement where I can provide you my services and help you in whichever way I can using my content writing abilities.”

As someone who knows what the power of content writing is, through constant publishing, I try to educate my visitors on how important it is, especially now, to focus on publishing high-quality content so that their messaging can adjust to the new realities of our time, and despite these realities, they can leverage whatever opportunities are available.