Healthcare websites are talking about COVID-19, of course. News sites are doing so, too. But if you’re in a different industry, you might be wondering whether your blog should be mentioning the pandemic or sticking with your usual topics. Blogging about COVID-19 may seem like anything from a necessity to a no-no.
Most of our clients want us to write about the pandemic for them, at least some of the time.
First, health and wellness are major topics for most of the people we blog for. We’re in a position to provide useful, authoritative information that helps people make important decisions about health and safety for their families. These clients want us blogging about COVID-19 almost every day.
Among those that aren’t in the healthcare field, many feel that a failure to write about the pandemic would make them seem out of touch or even uncaring. And the pandemic is affecting everyone in so many ways that it’s hard to think of a business that really has no connection with COVID-19.
The screenshot above shows one of our non-medical blogging clients. This software company makes goods and services associated with sales tax. Does that have any connection with coronavirus? You know it. Most states rely on sales tax for as much as half of their revenue, and they are getting desperate as consumer spending plummets — and sales tax with it.
Some states are reopening as fast as they can to avoid any further economic consequences, and some of those states are seeing surges in cases of COVID-19. Other states are expanding the sales tax they collect from remote sellers, hoping that the rise in ecommerce will bring in more funds… from people other than their voters.
The truth is, the pandemic is on people’s minds. Google Trends tells us that coronavirus is the most-searched topic in the world this year. Healthcare websites have a responsibility to share accurate information about COVID-19 and how patients should respond to it.
But a lot of the questions on people’s minds aren’t questions that they need to ask their doctors.
Can you catch COVID-19 from your pets? Should your dog be social distancing on walks, or can you cheer up your neighbors by letting them pet your pooch? Pet-related businesses like vets and groomers can answer that.
Snack food sales are soaring. Can you offer healthier snack suggestions? Or, for that matter, recipes for indulgent cookies, since that’s where people are going? Many food-related or health-related websites can help with this.
Grooming has changed for a lot of people, whether it’s men shaving their beards so their face masks fit better or women cutting primping time to the bone. How should you dress for at-home workouts? Is skincare an important part of self-care during a pandemic? Beauty industry blogs can educate and entertain their visitors with answers to these questions.
Answer people’s questions. But be careful with your claims. We saw a financial services site today that gave seriously outmoded information about sales tax and ecommerce. They’ll lose some of their customers’ confidence because they didn’t bother to check those facts.
We can’t really think of any industry that has absolutely no useful information to offer people experiencing a shut-down, a re-opening, or anxiety about the pandemic. If you don’t want to give advice, though, there’s also relevant news.
Often, the major news sources don’t report on narrow niche news, and you can help your readers by bringing in that specialized point of view.
Some of our clients work with manufacturers, and that’s an area where there is a lot of specialized news that isn’t showing up in major news outlets. The screenshot below shows an example of how we’re synthesizing multiple news sources to present targeted news reports.
The whole thorny problem of food shortages during the pandemic brings up a lot of complex issues — and blogs are great places to explore complex issues. This website’s visitors can get all the current news on this topic, from the angle that resonates with them.
The lighter side
We also have clients who believe that people just aren’t reading about the pandemic. Folks are suffering from news fatigue, they figure, and why add to their stress by writing more about coronavirus?
The reasons we’re writing about it pretty much every day are listed above. However, we can also see that posts about the pandemic aren’t as popular as you might think, by and large.
So maybe it’s time to write about other things — cheerful, distracting things.
We have to say that it’s too early to treat coronavirus lightly. Jokes and quips aren’t the right direction.
But you might be fine with fun things to do at home with your family, tips for better Zoom meetings, or awesome garden projects.
As with so many other questions about COVID-19, we don’t yet have enough data to give an absolutely definite answer to the question of how best to include it in your content marketing. Our answer is based on the data available to us so far, but we want to know what you think, too. Share your experience in the comments!