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

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.

How to take an upbeat tone

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