Writing great content during lockdown (and beyond!)
Now, more than ever, maintaining your marketing messaging is key. With widespread local lockdowns and rumours of a 'circuit breaker' full-scale lockdown being imminent, your potential customers are going to be online more than ever.
However, the golden rule of content is that it should NOT all be about selling. Consider what your audience actually wants to hear – what do they need to know and understand about you as a company and the product or service that you offer before they are willing to make a purchase?
Sell by letting people in, sell by making them feel included, sell by showing them how amazing your product or service actually is and in the end, they shouldn’t really notice that you’re selling at all.
The one exception is where you have amazing offers to shout about. These are direct selling tools and can be shouted about as such but dressed up appropriately. You wouldn’t say: ‘Oops we have waaaay over ordered on this product and need to shift it fast, so we’ll sell it cheap!’ – at least, not to your customers.
How about: ‘Limited time offer – get your hands on this amazing XYZ with a whopping 50% off! While stocks last.’
Doesn’t that sound more inviting? And it’s got a call to action in there, suggesting urgency because you have limited stocks and people don’t want to miss a bargain.
Here are some really great ideas to help you along your way with curating the most fantastic content suitable to share on social media, your website, email marketing, blogs and more - perfect to keep your messaging consistent while not switching off your audience.
The awareness day
Choose days relevant to you and your business. National Chocolate Day for a sweet shop, International Day of Charity for a charitable cause and so on. Keep it real, keep it honest and make use of that trending hashtag!
Meet the team
People don’t buy from businesses, they buy from people. As humans we are inherently nosy and love to find out about people, it’s why gossip magazines are such a hit. Introduce your team, create simple graphics, ask them some funny questions that will make people laugh and give some inside info (within reason…).
Behind the scenes
How is your product or service actually created? Do you use interesting machinery or have a fancy and unique technique? What does your office look like? You’ll have seen so many programmes like Inside the Factory and How It’s Made, and the success of these again down to our sheer human curiosity. But it’s also reassuring to see where physical products are made, that it’s clean and the staff are in appropriate clothing, that the warehouse is tidy… all that jazz.
If you sell a physical product, where are your raw materials from? In food for example, are you using local suppliers? Is that produce Red Tractor Assured? Do you support local businesses and initiatives in sourcing your ingredients? People like to feel good about what they buy and we have a huge focus on reducing food and material miles right now. Suppliers are often very happy to get involved and be tagged, provide photos and information and so on.
Used sparingly, inspirational quotes are a great way to back up what you are saying. It just gives some authority to quote someone well-known and an expert in their field when you are giving an opinion or some advice. So, in marketing, we’ll quote people like Jack Welch, Philip Kotler and Simon Sinek.
You’re an expert at what you do, so share the love! If people see you as a wealth of information, they’ll come back to you time and time again. So share ways to use the product, how to store it, how to care for it, how to get the best from it. If you have a service, pieces of advice are great – we do this a lot on our social media feeds, sharing useful snippets that people can put into practice.
Would you buy something that had a poor review score? Try to get hold of testimonials from your clients and share them. Share them everywhere. Show people what a great job you have done for other people and they will be more likely to come to you than someone who doesn’t have those recommendations.
When major things happen in the industry, be the first to comment. What does this mean for your customers and for you, what will change, what can you do to take advantage of the situation or mitigate risk? Always reference reputable sources such as broadsheets and industry publications – not Wikipedia or tabloids!
How have you helped other people? Detailed case studies on the work you have done can attract new business, especially if it’s an example that resonates with your audience.
Have you got a new office? New member of staff? New piece of equipment? Aside from the obvious PR opportunity, it’s great content for your social media and shows that you are committed to continuous improvement of your business.
A quick snap of things happening in the office is a great piece of content. Here’s Susan with her birthday cake! We had pizza here in the office for lunch. The office dogs are here again! The possibilities are endless, just be sure to keep it professional and double check any ad hoc photos for anything client-related or confidential in the background.
Need a recap? Download the Peachy Digital Content Prompts sheet and you can print it, share it and refer to it as much as you need!
Lizzie Turner-Jones, managing director of Peachy Digital