January 6, 2023

Creating value – working with a content marketing agency in uncertain times

Communications, Content marketing, Digital Marketing

Length: 8-minute read

Quick summary: Every crisis is an opportunity to learn. Working with a content marketing agency in times of crisis and uncertainty can help you turn learnings into opportunities and continue to grow your pipeline for better return on investment in the future.

How you can leverage a content marketing agency to deliver certainty even in times of crisis

For many businesses, working with a content marketing agency is an essential step towards developing an effective content marketing strategy that helps to grow brand recognition, improve reputation, engage with potential customers, and grow a healthy sales pipeline. Businesses recognise the value that working with a dedicated agency can provide and are more than willing to invest in these services to help grow their business, especially when revenue is great.

However, organisations will often cut their marketing and communications budgets at the first sign of strife, which can be counterintuitive as this is the time when you need them most. The pandemic has provided countless examples of both what not to do and what to do in times of uncertainty, as every organisation worldwide was forced to rapidly adapt to the same crisis. And, while every business found itself weathering the same storm and responding to the same crisis, each organisation had different approaches, complicated by their own unique challenges.

One of the biggest challenges for many was how to maintain business-as-usual in such an unusual time, and how to demonstrate this to customers, suppliers, and beyond. As companies moved rapidly to adjust how they operated due to the pandemic, they needed to not only strategically communicate changes with all key stakeholders, but also show prospective customers that they were still open and able to assist them with their needs.

A comprehensive content marketing strategy can get your message across with ease and timeliness

The biggest benefit of having a public relations (PR) and content marketing agency on-hand in times of great uncertainty is having ready access to a team of experienced consultants that have a deep understanding of the media landscape. In an event like the pandemic, for example, news outlets will always be hungry for content that satisfies the public’s desire for information. This means they’re looking for stories that offer a different angle, useful advice, or a new perspective.

This provides opportunities for companies like yours to act as a thought leader. If you are interested in providing commentary on trending topics, first consider these five key questions:

  • Is this relevant to my business?
  • Am I a credible source of information for the audience?
  • Am I an authority on this topic?
  • Do I have new information to add to the conversation?
  • Is it appropriate to provide comment on this issue?

If the answer is yes, then it’s important to develop a content marketing strategy and media plan that will get cut through with the relevant journalists. Working with an expert in media relations will ensure you’re targeting the right journalists and putting together a story that will work for them, which is where your dedicated agency comes in.

However, media relations isn’t the only value that a PR agency can provide to your business in times of crisis, or any time. For example, during the pandemic, savvy organisations doubled down and continued to invest in content marketing services so they could continue to create value for their customers, even in turbulent times.

There are three key reasons this helped to deliver success for such companies.

1. Connect with new audiences

Crises, uncertainty, and times of great change force businesses to look at their operations carefully and identify new solutions to bridge gaps and correct vulnerabilities. When this happens, they need to find the answer to their solutions as quickly as possible to ensure they can seamlessly mitigate the risks and reduce the potential impacts to their business. Having a dedicated content marketing agency on hand means you can rapidly pivot your content marketing strategy to meet prospective businesses at whatever stage they are in the sales funnel. And, you can do so with valuable content that helps them understand why your solutions are the best fit for their business.

Complementing this with integrated marketing communications can help you take this one step further to ensure that every message you share with the market will be consistent, no matter where in the funnel your potential customers find you.

In times of uncertainty, you’ll likely come across companies that may not have been on your marketing radar before. As such, you’ll have a unique opportunity to educate critical decision-makers at these organisations and develop strong, lasting relationships that will continue to deliver mutual value into the future. An agile content marketing strategy will help you achieve this.

For example, operating under strained circumstances throughout the pandemic meant that many organisations were made aware of gaps in their capabilities, technology, operating processes, and more. They asked questions of their processes they’d never thought of before, explored solutions they’d never considered before, and were forced to get up to speed with concepts they’ve never examined before. This created an exceptional opportunity for clued-in businesses to step into the gap with useful, valuable, calm, pragmatic advice that genuinely helped these organisations pivot successfully to a new way of working.

2. Deliver additional support with a dedicated content hub

A content hub can be a valuable marketing and communications tool at any time as it can be used to help reinforce the messaging you already have in the market by housing supporting blogs, assets, and more. In times of crisis and uncertainty, it can become even more valuable.

Creating a searchable information hub is a great way to collect all your content and updates and present it to clients and prospects in an easily digestible manner. If a potential customer is looking into your company for more information to determine if your products and solutions are the right fit for them, you want them to be able to find the information they need quickly and easily, or you might risk losing their business. Especially if prospective customers are facing a crisis they need to adapt to, like a pandemic that has forced them to pivot to remote working and invest in supporting technologies, it’s essential you don’t confuse readers with a complicated web of stories they need to sift through to find what they require.

A dedicated content marketing agency can help you create new and highly-targeted content to reach these new audiences. At the same time, content specialists can also help to review your existing content bank for material that can be updated and refreshed, then rereleased to a whole new readership. Creating and sharing a wealth of new content will likely see more visitors heading towards your website as they look for more information on your company. And complementing your content bank with a supporting content marketing strategy can help you to maximise potential and ensure that your content is aligned with the existing marketing messaging. This can help present a consistent company image in the market, which is essential for any organisation, even in times of disruption and uncertainty.

3. Think long-term and plan for beyond the crisis

Especially in times of crisis and uncertainty, businesses may not always be in a financial position to immediately invest in new solutions and technologies. However, that doesn’t mean that they immediately cease to be prospects. Many companies can play the long game with potential customers and leverage the value of a content marketing agency to deliver dedicated content that will help businesses beyond their immediate challenges and into the future.

Every crisis is an opportunity to learn and develop strategies for future challenges. Consider what your clients will need at the end of a crisis to maximise their business success, or what you’ve learned as a business that you can use to provide better service and expertise for customers.

Your agency can help you use the learnings you gather from times of unpredictability as a basis to develop high-value content assets, then build omnichannel marketing campaigns around these to help generate demand. This will let you really understand your audience and build a marketing strategy for the future.

For example, the pandemic provided an opportunity for businesses to develop whitepapers and supporting materials for the other side of COVID-19. Many businesses that experienced success throughout the pandemic were able to do so by turning their learnings into additional value for their customers.

How to make a content marketing strategy work for you in uncertain times

Having an effective strategy in a crisis can potentially spark more sales opportunities when the demand returns. With the support of a dedicated content marketing agency, you can continue to create value for clients and prospects now that may lead to more business later. Providing content that genuinely helps them deal with issues is incredibly valuable, and it can help you develop strong relationships with decision-makers who will then be more likely to come to you when they are ready to buy as you will be top of mind. 

Recognition PR has decades of experience in managing highly successful content marketing strategies for our clients, and we know how to generate strong results, even in times of great uncertainty. To find out how we can help your business expand or develop a content marketing strategy that will cut through the noise in a crisis, contact us today.



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