10 experts reveal their marketing wisdom in times of crisis - Chapter 1
These days, objects and foodstuffs that were taken for granted just over a month ago are becoming symbols of security. But in addition to noodles, flour and toilet paper, it is above all strong brands that give people support these days and maintain familiar everyday patterns.
Strong brands that have one thing in common: they are all trusted.
Trust, which can be built up in uncertain Corona times by means of content marketing and which will also be noticeable in sales in the long term.
A daring thesis?
Not at all, as numerous marketing experts from all over Germany have confirmed to us.
10 good reasons - why you should rely on content marketing now
For the following collection of statements, we asked ten of the most renowned marketing professionals in Germany the same question:
"Why does investing in content marketing make sense and matter right now?"
The result is 10 good reasons that speak for a timely content marketing investment:
"In uncertain times, strong brands provide security."
Content marketing is the best way to attract potential customers to a brand or an offer in the early stages of the customer journey and to encourage existing customers in their decision to choose us. This is how loyal customers can be won over via touchpoints with an outstanding user experience along the customer journey.
Content is the most important touchpoint alongside the user experience with the offer itself. Especially in uncertain times, such as the current Corona crisis, strong brands are a trusted anchor point that provides security. This trust can be achieved through authentic and useful content marketing along the customer journey and is an investment for the time after the crisis.
Olaf Kopp, Chief Business Development Officer, SEM Germany (Aufgesang)
"The digitization of marketing and sales is coming into focus for everyone."
Because the digitization of marketing and sales is now coming into focus for all market participants. This means giving fundamental thought to communication that is consistently and sustainably geared to customer benefits. There is no way around content marketing.
Dr. Stephan Tiersch, Managing Partner, Kresse & Discher Content Marketing
"If you inform people now, you gain visibility and trust."
I would not agree with this statement as a whole. There are many different and partly universal reasons why investing in content is worthwhile - even outside the marketing context, by the way.
For example, because people, especially in times of crisis like these, are looking for information and find it not least via Google & Co. Companies that satisfy this need for information (and perhaps also offer additional entertainment in view of the current rather cloudy mood) gain visibility, sympathy and trust among consumers.
This strengthens their position on the market in the long term, but it takes time (or consistency). So "now" may already be too late in this respect...
In times like these, I don't think it's helpful to focus exclusively on marketing. The point is not to "take advantage" of the situation, but to seize the opportunity to invest in growth potential (cost restructuring instead of cost reduction) - even outside marketing.
Because a company's starting point at the beginning of a crisis varies, and responding to one requires a holistic, strategic and financial assessment. In this respect, the management consultancy Bain & Company has been able to draw valuable conclusions from recent crises - not least that no marketing is no solution:
For companies, this means that they should take a critical look at their processes and internal workflows, review their tech stack, and evaluate and prioritize the effectiveness (ergo financial impact) of their overall marketing efforts.
Content can then subsequently serve as a basis for understanding consumers:
- What is the need?
- Which topics are of interest?
- Where and how does interaction arise?
In this way, new business ideas can be generated and communicated to the target group.
Robert Weller, Content Experience Consultant, toushenne
"Content marketing can highlight the relevance of products and increase sales."
Content marketing responds to people's needs and places a strong emphasis on user value in communication. This corporate journalism conveys messages that also have a long-term impact.
Content marketing can provide positive impetus along the entire value chain: It can support awareness and brand building, promote a positive image, and above all highlight the relevance of products and services and increase sales.
Content marketing is one of the most important marketing tools for companies right now.
Michael Dunker, Managing Partner, Content Fleet GmbH
"Those who invest now will see their visibility increase tremendously."
Timo Abid, CEO, seo2b
In crises, marketing budgets are often "cut". Budget freeze or shifted due to
de-averaging. In this case, it is often observed that the lower funnel is weighted disproportionately. However, this has a direct negative impact on channels such as content
marketing and SEO (see graphic: Scenario 1).
However, every crisis also brings opportunities and is also over again. Companies that now continue or
even intensify their content marketing and SEO activities can stand out as clear
"industry winners" after the crisis (see graphic Scenario 2 and 3).
In our article "SEO Opportunities in the Corona Crisis". we have also outlined this.
"In times of crisis, we should all communicate directly and authentically"
You can't not do content marketing - the saying sounds presumptuous (esp. because of its proximity to Watzlawick), but content marketing is not a channel, but a philosophy. In times of crisis, we should communicate directly and authentically with the target group, and this is made possible by social media, for which we provide content aimed at closing ranks ("Together we can get through").
This communication, addressed to the market, is a mandatory investment in "content marketing", even if you can't sell products right now.
Sepita Ansari, Managing Partner, SYZYGY Performance GmbH
"Content is important. Period."
The question can be seen in two directions:
- Are we talking about people who haven't invested in content marketing before and are now starting to do so during a crisis?
- Or is it about people who have been around for a while and should not interrupt the investment now?
Let's start with the second direction: Those who are already doing content marketing have hopefully already achieved good success with it in the past. But especially in times of crisis, it doesn't make sense to stop investing in marketing. Rather, it is important to go full throttle now and, for example, to use the crisis itself as a topic for content marketing.
Many companies and individuals need help right now in dealing with their problems, and you can score points with the right content right now. After all, content marketing always means focusing on topics that resonate and not simply "doing things by the book".
Let's move on to the first direction: you're late. Content is important. Period. So the question is rather what has kept you from investing in content marketing until now.
Otherwise, everything from the previous paragraph applies: In times of high uncertainty, companies can score points by not simply making irrelevant product advertisements, but by winning hearts with valuable content.
And that's exactly why now is the time for content marketing.
Markus Hövener, Head of SEO, Bloofusion
"Medium- and long-term measures continue to have merit."
The Corona virus is hitting a lot of companies hard and is impacting marketing budgets extremely quickly. I am convinced that marketing investments, be it in long-term content marketing or short-term paid ads, should not be blanket cut off in times of crisis like the current one.
On the other hand, depending on the industry and the measure, it is still necessary to check how useful current actions are and how they need to be adjusted or paused if necessary. For example, in some industries it obviously makes sense to pause measures with short-term goals (such as sales in the travel industry), while medium- to long-term measures (SEO, brand, content marketing) continue to be justified depending on the available budget.
Punchline: Companies want to continue to operate with a strong brand after the crisis and will have to make investments to do so.
Those who pause their actions across the board put themselves in danger of having to start with a reduced brand perception in a very active and competitive environment after the Corona crisis.
Damir Dzelalagic, Founder & CEO, House Of Yas
"With direct messages and video calls, you're there for your customers."
Now that our public life has all but shut down, online and especially content marketing is more important than ever. The time to fully focus on content on the web has come for many right now. Communication and constant contact with customers & users is the be-all and end-all.
For those companies that have not yet set up a magazine or blog section on their website, now at the latest is the time to seriously think about it. Through these areas it is easy to inform the target group and customers and keep them up to date. This is especially important in the current situation, but also makes a lot of sense after "Corona times" to actively get in touch with your own community.
With the help of your own website, it is possible to give your content a special platform. Here you have "fool's freedom", so to speak, which is why you can get creative and think outside the box. Give your customers and users ad-on content that offers them added value and captures their attention.
This not only increases brand awareness, but also has a lasting impact on your image.
Combined with the social media channels, you have all the tools that help you keep the direct contact going in a very uncomplicated way. Updates and cool content will bind your customers in the long term. Offer special services, such as consultations via direct messages or video calls, to be there for your customers, especially in the current situation.
Daniel Unger, Co-Founder and Managing Director, eology GmbH
"Content is and will increasingly become the digital customer advisor."
Content marketing is able to assist at every step of the customer journey (visibility, trust building, conversion, and retention) and for many businesses can successfully digitize what is often a very effective consultation.
A company that impresses with professional competence at the point of sale, in Salescustomer service, etc., can also achieve this very effectively in the digital age by building up a thematic / expert world.
Let's just think progressively: content is and will increasingly become the digital customer advisor.
The valuable thing about this "competence digitization" from within the company is then again the sustainability: While the individual consultation cannot be saved, high-quality content online has an effect over a long period of time and can inspire a large amount of potential customers.
It is important to remember that content marketing is not a project and will not immediately increase sales overnight; strategies must be conceived now, processes put in place, and the first steps taken so that results can be achieved in three to six months. The current situation presents an ideal opportunity for this.
For me, this brings us full circle, because in times like these (home office, no personal contacts, trade show cancellations, etc.), we should be thinking all the more about where to spend or - better - invest the marketing budget: in the next short-term campaign or in sustainable content that contributes to digitization?
The question is also answered by the Content Marketing Trend Study 2020, where around 70% of B2B/B2C marketers state, that good content is cheaper than advertising in the long run..
Nicolai Kuban, CEO, contentbird GmbH
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