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How to Survive the Coronavirus Downturn With Smart Content Marketing

The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly spread around the world, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and causing thousands of deaths. In addition to the public health crisis, businesses are also facing serious economic and market downturns. People have been told to shelter in place around the world, and many nonessential businesses have been ordered to close their brick-and-mortar stores. While the economic downturn is serious, there are some strategies that businesses can take to enhance their abilities to survive the current crisis. Smart corona crisis content marketing can be used to reach new customers and to expand your base of loyal consumers or clients.

How does corona affect different industries, including online trade?

The coronavirus downturn has already had a major impact on multiple sectors. It has had an outsized impact on retail, restaurant, hospitality, and travel businesses.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the retail sector accounts for a quarter of the annual U.S. gross domestic product and provides 52 million jobs. While many brick-and-mortar retail stores are closing their doors, there has been an increase in online sales. Red Points conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers and found that 58% have chosen to purchase more items online than they normally would because of the coronavirus.

Restaurants have also suffered a major hit. According to the BBC, reservations at restaurants in the U.S. fell by 84% from Feb. 18 to mid-March. A large part of this decline can be attributed to a combination of restaurants being told to close their doors to dine-in customers and consumer fears of contracting the disease. Many restaurants are also now offering pickup and delivery services to customers who are staying at home. In addition, many people have turned to various delivery apps to order groceries online.

Regardless of your business type, turning to crisis content marketing with a digital marketing plan can help you reach new customers who have largely turned online to place orders for goods and services. Corona crisis content marketing might help your business remain afloat and succeed during this difficult period.

Scenarios for demand or reduction of search queries, traffic, and clicks

As businesses search for ways to save every penny during the coronavirus pandemic, their marketing budgets might seem like an easy way to cut costs. However, if you cut your content and digital marketing strategy, your business will have trouble keeping its existing customers and reaching new ones. To understand how to create a crisis marketing strategy that might help your business during difficult times, you should understand the various scenarios for the demand or reduction of search queries, traffic, and clicks.

According to the survey by Red Points, 58% reported they are likelier to purchase items online because of the coronavirus pandemic. If the pandemic continues for a lengthy period, that percentage increases to 73%. Understanding that a substantial amount of business will likely be conducted online can help you to understand why your advertising efforts should be focused on that audience.

In the current crisis, considering the types of search queries that people might use is important. Red Points reports that a majority of people are searching for things that they regularly use, as well as products that can help them feel better while they are stuck at home. People are likely to search for products online that they are afraid will run out in local stores. They are also likelier to search for entertainment options through online media, including movies, videos, and games.

With more people shopping online, the key will be to attract consumers to click through to make purchasing decisions. Using well-written, savvy content on your website and social media pages can help you connect with consumers and show them why they should choose to do business with you. While the coronavirus crisis is wreaking havoc, it also presents a silver lining for businesses that want to expand their online presence and attract new customers. After the crisis eventually ends, the business landscape will likely be permanently changed, with a sharp increase in the number of people who choose to make purchases online.

To get a better idea of the types of searches that people are conducting, make sure to closely monitor tools like Google Search Console and Google Trends. This can help you to understand how searches and interests might be changing around topics that are relevant to your business or industry.

Google Trends during Corona Crisis

Google Trends Graph for the term “delivery service”; Source: Google Trends

Why you should focus on content marketing crisis management right now

When businesses are faced with challenges, they need to prepare to push through for the long haul. Within the context of the coronavirus outbreak, it can seem difficult to know what to do. Businesses should focus on retaining their existing customers since it is less expensive to retain current customers than to attract new ones. You should also work to increase your brand’s visibility so that more customers will be driven to your website so that you can make sales.

Your content marketing crisis management strategy should recognize the value of producing high-quality content that will help you stay connected with your current customer base while attracting new customers. Content production is a relatively low-cost way for you to share the innovations that your company is offering and keep in touch with your loyal customers.

Crisis content marketing also helps your brand become more visible. Preserving your advertising and marketing budget can help to ensure that you have good visibility. Consumers tend to develop preferences for services and products based on their exposure to them. If you produce high-quality, shareable content, you can increase your visibility and build a strong brand reputation.

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How should content be designed in the corona crisis?

Your crisis marketing strategy should include a digital marketing plan for how your content will be designed. Google prefers well-written articles that provide value for the readers. You should strive to create evergreen content. Your existing evergreen content should be updated to improve your search engine rankings.

Focus on optimizing your conversion rates by posting positive articles that showcase your business, using case studies and recommendations. Create a social media funnel by creating regular posts on your business’s social media channels with links back to stories and articles on your website. Make sure to engage in discussions with people who visit your social media pages.

Including relevant keywords in your articles and blogs is important. However, you should avoid keyword stuffing. Use Google Analytics to figure out the keywords that are ranking well for your business’s sector and build content around them.

Finding opportunities in times of budget cuts

Even when budgets are being slashed, you should look for opportunities to grow your business and increase your customer base. Think outside of the box. For example, many companies ramp up their advertising efforts during the holiday season and then experience a disappointing slump once their peak seasons are over. However, there are things that businesses can do to grow and to keep their customers engaged during the off-season.

Marketing in the time of the coronavirus pandemic should be viewed as off-season marketing. Do not stop producing high-quality content simply because your sales have fallen. Publish articles about future trends to stay in front of your customers and to remind them that your business continues to operate. Focus on growing your database of potential customers and keep them engaged with captivating content. Consider offering incentives and discounts. Many people who might otherwise be reticent to spend will do so when they can take advantage of discounts and incentives. Finally, make sure to take care of the things that you have placed on the back burner. Tend to your website to make sure that it is fully optimized.

Which channels can be used?

Your marketing strategy during the coronavirus crisis should incorporate as many marketing channels as possible. Make sure that your online store is optimized to take advantage of organic searches from Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and Bing.

Grow your email list to expand your email marketing channel. A smart email marketing campaign can help to drive traffic to your website from emails. Leverage your blogs, buying guides, and videos to drive traffic from your content marketing channel. Take advantage of the social media marketing channel by using a social posting calendar and regularly posting smart content on your social media pages that links back to your website. Consider launching an affiliates program. With smart strategies in each of the various channels, you can build your referral traffic and enjoy improved conversion rates and sales.
Offers and discounts

Strategy to improve the ranking in budget freeze times

If your ranking is not where it needs to be, you should work to improve it. Even when your advertising budget is frozen, you can still take steps to increase your rankings and your sales. Start by updating your content. Your content can become outdated if you do not pay attention to it. Complete a content audit to identify what needs to be updated and create new content or revise the existing articles to make them fresh. Content refreshes can be viewed as an investment in your existing ranking.

New, up-to-date content can help to gain potential new customers. You should aim to achieve high coverage with your new content. For your e-commerce store or online shop, improve your product descriptions. Make sure that they include plenty of detail and specifications with descriptions that make people see how your products will benefit them.

Creating better guides can help customers to see how different products will offer solutions for their lives. Your guides should be engaging and include visuals to keep your readers’ attention.

While the coronavirus pandemic has upended both life and business, you should take advantage of the opportunities that are available to your business with a smart content marketing strategy. By leveraging high-quality content, taking advantage of all of the marketing channels that are available to you, and optimizing your website, you can help your business grow and retain your existing customers so that you can emerge from the downturn in a stronger position.

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