In today’s environment, it’s more critical than ever to adapt to daily changes, particularly when it comes to how you represent your firm. If you have a blog, social media channels or other content marketing initiatives, you are most likely tuned in to your desired brand and the areas of expertise you want to be known for. And when you were building out a 2020 editorial calendar at the end of last year, you didn’t expect a global pandemic — compounded by civil unrest, social issues and a tumultuous election — to set the tone for the year. After going through the extraordinary year that 2020 has been, there’s no excuse for being “tone-deaf” to current events.
Staying agile and being able to pivot your content may actually benefit your audience by addressing questions and issues they are facing personally. Think of your blog as your business’s own news site to discuss these current event-driven issues. And while you may have a regular posting schedule, it’s important to address topics impacting your audience as they come up. Just as media outlets must alter their plans when breaking news occurs, your content should be nimble too.
If you want your blog to have the same level of timeliness, relevance and readability as a respected media outlet does, then consider thinking like a newsroom would. What’s the headline for the day, week or month? What does that news mean to your clients and prospects? Maximize the potential impact by focusing on issues and aspects that would be of greatest interest to your audience.
Additionally, remember that although content is a key marketing tool, what makes it even more effective is authenticity. Are social justice initiatives part of your corporate social responsibility mission? If so, it makes sense to address the civil unrest the country has been facing head-on, offering insight in a way that supports your initiatives. Show your dedication through thoughtful and clear insight, while getting to the heart of the topic quickly.
It can be great to feature “evergreen” and “perennial” topics on your blog to cater to your audience, but such topics might have looked quite different this year with Tax Day moved to July, new provisions for charitable giving and the suspension of required minimum distributions. Navigating the nuances of these changes brings even more questions to the table. The opportunity? Modify the content you had pre-planned by incorporating advice and insight about these changes, in order to provide added value for your audience.
Pro Tip: In the face of a pandemic and fewer social interactions, utilizing video to work through complex topics can be interesting and time-efficient, while further humanizing your brand. Video enables you to convey emotion and approach difficult issues in a delicate manner. For example, during the early stages of the pandemic, Gregory FCA client Retirement Planners of America made the decision to cancel a 500-person client appreciation event to be on the safe side, even before restrictions and lockdowns started. But the hosting venue had already obtained the food to cater this event, so Retirement Planners of America donated the 500 meals to two local charities. Through video, they were able to both convey their compassion during this difficult time and highlight their community involvement.
In the end, while you generally want to stay on schedule with a blog, ask yourself: Is it essential to engage your followers at this moment? The answer could be “yes” in the case of a highly volatile market day due to widespread shutdown measures, for example. But if the answer is “no,” then perhaps wait until you feel it’s appropriate to continue with your regularly scheduled programming. Either way, it’s important to balance being intentional and strategic with being responsive to issues and events as they happen.