LinkedIn recently sent out a guide on how to optimise your brand’s content marketing strategy during this time. The guide covers several points, which have been unpacked and analysed below.

Here’s what your brand needs to be doing on LinkedIn:

1. Amp up your content strategy

Ever since the crisis, more brands have been reliant on digital for their strategies, meaning content marketing has been on the rise. Although, it’s important to note that it’s not the same content marketing as it was before, as your audience's needs and interests have changed; and therefore, so should your strategy.

According to LinkedIn, "a strong content marketing strategy is about having a long-term plan to drive growth for your business.“ So if your brand is looking to plan ahead, it’s best to plan for the long-term!

What this means is to opt for quality over quantity. Ensure that you produce one strong piece of work over the span of a week as opposed to producing several average pieces of content a day (that none of your consumers are going to engage with).

You can create a strong, long-term plan by deciphering what your consumers need during this time. Keep in mind, your consumers are no longer out and about at events; most are working from home and many are spending more time on social media.

In fact, “social media use has increased by 21% worldwide.” Therefore, making your brand’s presence known on social platforms has become a must, so if you haven’t opened up a business page on LinkedIn, now is the time to do so!

It might also be time to revisit your social style guide and change a few things around to make your posts more relatable and engaging.

With people spending time at home and looking for new ways to be entertained, the saying ‘video is king’ is a gross understatement at the moment. It might be time to rev up that video editor and get familiar with video content.

Additionally, many brands are experimenting with webinars. Seeing as people are no longer allowed to gather at large events, brands have to find new ways to showcase themselves and their offerings, as well as share insights. Webinars are a great way to do this, as your audience can now learn all about your brand and the industry it's in from the comfort of their homes.

2. Be human in marketing

The crisis has been traumatic for everyone, which is why your consumers need a lot of empathy and understanding. This means that brands need to alter their advertising campaigns as well as their tone of voice.

Avoid using hard-selling tactics to push your products and services and try to adapt your strategies in order to make them more empathetic. If your brand can find a way to reduce costs on essentials, do so.

Alternatively, perhaps support your consumers by giving them discounts on particular products or services, such as fabric masks, toilet paper and canned goods, that can help them during this time, rather than taking advantage of them when they are at their most vulnerable.

You can even take it further and offer helpful promos or giveaways. Take it from Takealot, South Africa’s largest online store, and its parent clothing organisation, Superbalist. The two companies joined together during the pandemic to produce over 500 000 cloth face masks for consumers. In doing so, one free mask would be distributed to customers with every Takealot purchase.

“Brands must today, more than ever, show their generosity, spontaneity, humility and self-awareness, even give people something to smile about. It is these most human of characteristics that advertisers need to adopt if they are to come out of the crisis, and come out of it stronger,” says the team at LinkedIn.

3. Focus on organic growth

Brands need to be patient during this time and focus on putting their efforts into organic growth. This is because organic growth is one of the best ways to gain brand awareness, and yes, this does form part of your long-term content strategy (as previously mentioned).

LinkedIn offers several insights on how to grow your brand organically. They are:

Keep your LinkedIn profile active
Ensure that your consumers know that you’re still around and you’re not going to abandon them. You can show this by posting on your page regularly, and by responding to any comments or queries from your consumers. Although LinkedIn mentions keeping your profile active, this applies to all social platforms that your brand is on.

Post all the visuals
Whether it’s an image, video, PDF, infographic or otherwise, the need for visuals in your content marketing has not changed. Remember to keep them appealing and relevant to your brand’s message in order to garner optimal engagement.

Keep your audience in the loop
Your audience wants to know about any changes happening with your brand. Whether it’s a new event or a change of product availability, it’s important that your consumers are always ‘in the know’ so that they know how to respond.

Optimise for SEO
Has your page been loading at the same slow pace all this time? Time to get around to it and change that. Are you using keywords that generate traffic? If not, it might be time to adjust your SEO strategy for the better.

Take note of your audience’s responses
Utilise social media tools and features that will help you keep track of what your audience is saying about various topics within your industry or to spot what’s trending. For instance, LinkedIn has a ‘Content Suggestions’ feature that can help you find trends that will fuel your content.

Remember to use mentions
Mentioning other users in your posts with @ will boost your brand awareness, as the person you are tagging will be more likely to share it with their own followers and interact with your content.

Encourage employee advocacy
Encourage your own employees to share your brand’s posts in order to gain more traction. According to LinkedIn, “content shared by employees has twice the engagement rate of a company”, so it’s easy to see why this would be beneficial to your brand.

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*Image courtesy of Pixabay