At a time when optimism around the world seems to be in short supply, there has never been a better time to use content marketing in a positive way.
Writing upbeat content marketing copy is often easy when there is an obvious positive story to tell about success, an inspirational story, or development that promises lots of good things in the future. Sadly, for those tasked with producing content, that is not all they must do.
Often content needs to be produced that tries to offer the best perspective on things when matters are not progressing in a positive manner. However, while that can make the work seem harder, it is in fact when content marketing comes into its own. If you can be positive when all around you are not, your content will stand out.
Why writing in grim times is nothing new
This has never been truer than in crisis situations. Just as many a writer had to try to create an upbeat tone just over a decade ago when the financial crisis threatened the world with the deepest recession since the 1930s. So, content writers now are working against a backdrop of a global pandemic that threatens both lives and livelihoods, while forcing most people to radically change how they operate in their daily lives.
Given that the daily news now consists almost entirely of a running commentary of grim statistics and alarming developments, with only distant hopes of lockdowns ending, normality returning and someone coming up with a vaccine, it would be very easy to be sucked into the same tone.
However, the reality is that now can be the perfect time to offer optimistic, positive content.
What not to write
Some kinds of content – albeit more likely to be social media posts than blogs – has taken the following kind of tone:
- The COVID-19 pandemic is a positive opportunity to re-set and work out what we are doing with our lives.
- The pandemic is good news really because it has reduced pollution.
- The pandemic may be nature’s way of telling humanity to change its ways.
This kind of tone may prove particularly unhelpful as people battle with the worry about their health, their family, isolation, and potential unemployment. Such content tends to ignore these realities.
If you are writing as a content marketer, this is also very unwise, as it means you are likely to be overlooking.
How to take an upbeat tone
In this particular situation, it makes sense to acknowledge the difficulty and then focus on some actual positives.
This is best done if the goods or services you offer can provide some relief to people struggling with difficult times. For example:
- On a B2C basis – you can offer something that is useful for people while stuck at homes, such as video games, home sports equipment, gardening tools, or online services.
- On a B2B basis – Something that will help a firm steer through a difficult period, such as discounts on services.
- For all – Something that helps with financial pressures, such as payment holidays (this mainly applies to providers of financial services).
Those who can provide such offers to customers should focus heavily on this in their content.
A second way of taking an upbeat tone is to explain how things can be better once the crisis is over. Again, this does not minimize the crisis or try to make it look like a good thing, but it can help readers to look forward to a better future and to consider the opportunities that are available to them.
Good examples of this include:
- Emphasizing how the economy, while likely to suffer a deep recession now, will probably enjoy a strong recovery as government packages to keep people in jobs and protect firms mean they will be able to get up and running again faster than in a normal recession.
- Explaining how the pent-up demand of all the things people have not been able to do will translate into more consumer spending.
- Outlining how firms will have been able to learn lessons about how to keep a business going under challenging circumstances, which will enable them to be more resilient in the future against a range of problems.
- For example, a firm that can maintain business continuity through people working from home can keep going if its office is affected by a fire or flood.
Telling a positive tale
The most upbeat message your content can send out is of ethical action and human kindness.
In the midst of the current crisis, it is not just NHS staff who are getting plaudits, but also carers and volunteers who are doing their best to help people in difficulties. This contrasts with the negative publicity some are getting from actions such as ignoring social distancing rules.
- When it comes to firms, there is no doubt some will emerge from this situation with their reputations enhanced and others diminished.
- On the one hand, we have already seen cases of wealthy football clubs reversing their decisions to use the government’s ‘furlough’ scheme, while billionaire business owners may face flak for laying off staff.
- Firms that take a more high-minded approach to staff and also support important causes at this time will enjoy a boost to their reputation, as they demonstrate that they have a social conscience and are not simply obsessed with the bottom line.
It should not be forgotten that content is not all about selling in the here and now but telling a story. This means telling an upbeat tale about your firm. There is no better time to do that than to show how it has values that genuinely mean something – and proves this by the way it acts in the most responsible and helpful way when it matters most.
After all, while this pandemic and the attendant restrictions on life will end, there will no doubt be future times – economic crises, periods of harsh weather, and other situations – where a positive, optimistic and ethical tone to your content will create a highly positive impression.
SOURCE: Digital Agency Network