Content in the time of Covid-19

content in the time of coronavirus

Until recently, I didn’t take the threat of coronavirus seriously enough.

Last week my husband lost 80% of his earnings, his sister developed a fever and my parents got stuck in Spain trying to return to the UK. As the cases mounted, a feeling of panic grew inside me.

A few nights ago an ambulance appeared outside our next door neighbours house. She’s a charming 85 year old lady, who survived WWII and has lived on the street her entire life.

By the end of last week I felt exhausted with fatigue and worry. I was reading the news constantly, scouring for any sign of hope. Finally I spoke to a GP friend who advised me (as an asthmatic) to stay away from people for the next 12 weeks.

At this point, I went into our spare room and cried. My 5 month old daughter was downstairs eating mushy carrots. I could hear her giggling. I kept thinking about the number of people whose lives would be turned upside down by this virus. People who were vulnerable that were at risk of losing their lives. I thought about my frail dad who survived a cardiac arrest last year.

We are living in odd, frightening times. I’m not ashamed to say that I was completely overwhelmed by it at first.

Now feels like a surreal time to be rebooting my business, but here we are. And it’s an interesting time for digital marketing. I’d like to share my thoughts on where I see content marketing going over the next few months. But overall, I want to say that the pandemic affecting us is a humanitarian crisis. It’s tearing people’s lives apart. So now is a time for togetherness. Whatever that means in a digital age.

Honest content
Something I’ve always believed in is the power of honesty. Now feels like a weird time to be marketing anything. Perhaps instead, we should focus on sharing the challenges and speaking openly about what we’re going through. There’s power in that.

Supportive content
Another key factor of the future of content has to be positivity. Much of the news we see now is negative. Frightening people is the last thing anyone wants to do. So let’s shine a light on the good stuff happening. Support our friends and their businesses. Share stories of hope. And do what we can to keep other businesses afloat.

Funny content
During the first week of lockdown, friends shared lots of funny videos with me. We were worrying about our sick relatives, bills to pay and the health of our daughter. I couldn’t get on board. But I’m starting to see the value in it now. Perhaps the most powerful tool we have is humour. This is needed everywhere (yes, even LinkedIn) to help people quiet the things that keep them up at night.

Laugh if you can. Connect with others. Don’t give up.

If you’re feeling at a loss for words, you’re not alone. But there is a place now for content like never before.

People are spending more time online, looking for answers and hope. Let’s bring back content as a force for good in marketing.