Sometimes the news cycle is so dense with tragedy and disaster that it’s hard to figure out how to position your content marketing in the midst of it. If your online users are saturated with updates on the latest terrorist attack or Zika outbreak, how can you justify promoting your super-cool new software platform? The backdrop of crisis-laden news stories makes for a confusing environment in which to conduct normal marketing activities. Here are a few guidelines for navigating this dilemma:
Know What to Avoid
A serious health crisis or act of newsworthy violence does demand a change in your content choice. If you post your standard upbeat content without acknowledging the background of human tragedy, you run the risk of making your brand appear cold and heartless. If you do acknowledge a crisis, however, you have to strike the right tone; otherwise, people may feel that you’re just trying to exploit news-related keywords for your company’s benefit.
Offer Useful Information
Depending on what’s most appropriate for your brand and how local the crisis is, you can offer a live link to breaking news, or you can produce static content with real value. For example, if your readers are likely to be traveling in places where the Zika virus is endemic, you can post the latest helpful information on prevention tips and areas to avoid.
Become Part of the Solution
Another way to be helpful is to connect with a respected fund-raising organization and offer people a direct link for making financial contributions. If a disaster is likely to require long-term financial assistance, you can commit a certain portion of each sale to be directed to the aid effort and have one category of your blog content that follows and supports the progress of this aid.
Have a Crisis Plan in Place
Just as you have an emergency exit strategy mapped out for your physical office, you need to establish a crisis content plan. This may include sending out a tweet or post of condolence, or it might include pausing your active marketing outreach for a week. Of course your response will depend on the exact nature of the situation, but you’ll protect your brand voice more effectively if you’ve already given it some thought.
Content marketing in the tech industry requires agility, and your ability to respond appropriately to breaking news is just one illustration of this fact. You are a participant in the larger dialog of society, and it is essential to choose your voice and present your brand as contributing to the common good.