The coronavirus pandemic will almost certainly be the top news story in May 2020 as it was in March and April. But there are still opportunities for marketers to publish content that will attract an audience.
Recall that content marketing is the act of creating or curating content, publishing it, and distributing it with the goal of attracting, engaging, and retaining an audience of customers and potential customers.
Content marketing uses the idea of reciprocity to nurture customer relationships. It also touches many other areas of marketing, including search engine optimization.
Here are five content marketing ideas that your business can try in May 2020.
1. The Coronavirus Pandemic
Even if it peaks in the United States in April 2020, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to remain an important topic in May. Savvy — and sensitive — content marketers can provide useful and informative articles, charts, videos, and podcast episodes that make sense in the context of current events.
This does not mean writing about death tolls or discussing the advocacy of various handwashing techniques — unless, perhaps, your business sells hand soaps. Rather, consider an example from outside of the ecommerce and retail industries.
The Bible Project, which is a religious ministry, launched a weekly “Church at Home” guide that included:
- A 5-to-10 minute video,
- A short audio message,
- 3-to-5 Scripture readings,
- 6-to-8 discussion questions.
The weekly guide is delivered via email and is archived on the ministry’s website. This content is useful for the ministry’s “customers” and it was prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Thus it makes sense in context.
If your business sells fitness gear, you might borrow this idea and publish a weekly “Workout at Home” guide. An online shop selling fishing supplies could publish guides describing how to fish and maintain social distancing (if that were a problem).
Here the goal is to develop content your audience of potential customers will enjoy reading or interacting with that is driven by or related to the pandemic.
2. Video Tutorials
As of April 2020, YouTube reported having more than 2 billion, logged-in users each month. Those folks collectively watched more than 1 billion hours of video each day. That is worth repeating. YouTube users watch more than 1 billion hours of video daily.
A year has 8,760 hours. Thus, folks watch the equivalent of 114,000 years of video each day on the platform.
And that data was based on viewing behaviors before many social distancing recommendations or stay-at-home orders were in effect. So there is little doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged more online video watching.
For May, consider releasing video tutorials that will help your audience learn new skills or complete a specific task. Your video should be related to the industry your company serves and the products it sells.
For example, The Eastwood Company, which sells automobile restoration products online, produces excellent video tutorials. At the time of writing, the company’s YouTube channel had more than 319,000 subscribers.
Here is a video that Eastwood released on April 1, 2020.
3. Host a Writing Contest
User-generated content is powerful and influential for at least two reasons.
First, when a consumer creates content that praises your business or the products you sell, she is committing to your company. Her natural desire to be consistent will lead her to be loyal to your business and to continue to buy from it.
Second, the content she created can serve as social proof. Other shoppers, who might otherwise be uncertain, will see her content and decide to buy from your company.
Professor Robert Cialdini pointed out both of these factors in his widely read book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” While his examples were somewhat negative — they included cults and prisoner of war camps — the impact was clear.
For your May content marketing, host a writing contest. Ask participants to write a paragraph or two about your business. Let’s them know that entries may be published, and offer a prize for the top three essays.
4. Nurses Day: May 6
“Registered nurses are the lifeblood of any medical facility. The nurse is often the first person a patient sees when they come in, and the last person they see when they leave. May 6 is National Nurses Day and the first day of National Nurses Week,” explained the MedPro Healthcare Staffing website in a blog post about Nurses Day.
Nurses and healthcare professionals generally have been taxed and strained during the Covide-19 outbreak. Their long hours, dedication, and importance to society are certainly worth some attention.
As part of your May content marketing, consider:
- Blog posts or articles noting Nurses Day and National Nurses Week,
- Profiles of nurses that make sense for your industry,
- Content from users about how nurses have helped them.
5. Reuse an Old Idea
I’ve been writing a monthly list of content marketing ideas at Practical Ecommerce since 2014. If you’ve been reading this feature since then, likely you’ve not tried every suggestion. So here are two ideas from each of the past six years for your consideration.
- Star Wars Day
- National Teacher’s Day
- Celebrate Wes Anderson’s Birthday, May 1
- Write an Information-rich Product Page
- The Twilight Zone Day
- National Pet Week
- Memorial Day
- Cinco de Mayo
- Start a Hashtag Campaign
- Start Telling Stories
- How-to, All Month Long
- Mother’s Day
If any of those ideas are interesting to you, click on the earlier list for details.