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When a crisis hits, how do you respond? 

The world is experiencing the unprecedented impact of a global pandemic. Businesses are closing, people are being told to stay home, and everyone is reeling. Emotions are high. Uncertainty is status quo. 

So how do you, the business owner, react? Do you completely back off of your content marketing strategy? Crawl into a virtual hole? Set your business aside and start binge watching Netflix?

If you’re stressed about your company’s economic outlook, know that you don’t have to be. Right now, online business owners {both those who are old hat and those suddenly thrust into this crazy virtual world} ARE the economy. 

The good news is that you have the opportunity to adapt and adjust. In the words of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Don’t panic.

Adaptability + flexibility are key

In times of uncertainty, adaptability + flexibility are key. Here’s what that’s looked like here at North Star {so far}:

  • We’ve taken the pressure off of our team by letting them know upfront that they have absolute freedom to take time off if they are sick {or if they have sick family members, or suddenly have to wrangle their kiddos from home}. 
  • We’ve assigned back-up writers to each of our client projects in case we have a writer that needs to step away. This way, no balls get dropped and we are still able to offer our clients the stellar service they deserve. 
  • We’ve helped our clients create content that appropriately responds to their audience’s needs at this time. {For example, we have an incredible education client who is putting out additional content for parents on how to best support their children at home.}
  • We’ve adjusted our own content to better respond to the evolving situation, including the needs of our audience {you guys!}.

Now, once you’ve adjusted your way of doing business {or running it}, you need to look at your content marketing strategy. As a company that specializes in personality-driven content that is empathetic and effective, we wanted to take a moment to give you a few tips as we all navigate these uncertain waters. {You can also download the entire list plus journal prompts to help you make an actionable plan for your particular business here.}

1. Acknowledge the situation

When disaster strikes, it can’t be ignored. It’s on your audience’s mind, it’s on your mind, and it’s disruptive to “normal” operations. Make sure your content acknowledges what’s happening. Otherwise, you may appear tone-deaf to current circumstances. 

2. Listen to your audience

Now is the time to reach out to members of your audience and see how they’re doing. Find out what they’re afraid of, what they’re hopeful for, what’s causing anxiety, and how the situation is impacting them personally.

3. Access + adjust pre-existing/pre-planned content

If you schedule content in advance, run Facebook ads, or have otherwise pre- planned content, now is a good time to give them a thorough analysis. Something you wrote several weeks (or even days) ago may no longer be relevant. Make adjustments so the content speaks to the current situation.

4. Create contextual content

Your content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Consider the 2-3 topics you talk about most in your business, and think about how they connect to the current situation. From there, you can create content that makes sense given the current situation.

5. Offer meaningful solutions to real problems

Now is the time to double down on what you’re good at. You may be hesitant about selling, but your audience may need you now more than ever. Again, context is important. Consider how you can help your audience during a time of uncertainty. Your ability to offer them solutions will have an impact on your audience as well as the overall economy.

Again, we’ve got these tips {along with 4 others, complete with journal prompts for each question} available in worksheet form. Our goal is provide you with practical resources that help you stay the course and adapt to changing times with a revised {yet effective} content marketing strategy.

One final word of advice: Don’t just react. ACT. Make a plan, remain flexible, and stay the course. You’ve got this, friends!

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