Breaking News: Shifting Your Marketing’s Front-line Content

Designing your content calendar around current events is a time-tested way to stay relevant on social media. It may seem obvious to design your social media content calendar around local events in your area, but (inter)national news and trending topics are just as vital. The coronavirus pandemic is one example that has challenged digital marketers everywhere as they adjust their content to stay relevant to the change in people’s behaviors. Marketers had to quickly jump in to pause scheduled content and adjust their strategy to stay current and show their audience they are there for them during this trying time.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a drastic “bad news” event that prompts a closer look at your content calendar. Trending pop culture topics or any sudden shift in consumer behavior can also prompt the same response. This is where social listening comes into play, as paying attention to your audience’s current interests and relating your content to their conversations is the most effective way to reach them. From once-in-a-lifetime happenings (COVID-19, the federal legalization of marriage equality, Brexit), to regular occurrences (the Olympics, the Met Gala, holidays), to the ever-evolving flow of trends and fads (the Ice Bucket Challenge, the black/blue vs. white/gold dress debate, big Hollywood premieres) — there’s always something going on that may change the way you create ads and content.

It can be tricky to navigate rearranging your media schedule when involving your company in conversations surrounding trending topics and news events. When done properly, though, it can increase brand awareness and even sales. Our team has created this list of tips to help your social media content weather all breaking updates!

3 Steps To Help You Adjust Your Content for Current Events

  1. Act Quickly: Timing is key to ensure your social media content stays current. As with the coronavirus pandemic, it was important to quickly adjust content for trending conversations to show your relevancy. Shifts in behavior can happen with a blink of an eye, so having the technological systems in place to adjust marketing content just the same is key to success.
  2. Re-prioritize Planned Content: Take a deep dive into your regularly scheduled content to ensure it is relevant based on current events or if you need to make adjustments. When the coronavirus took the world by storm, it was important for marketers to shift their marketing efforts with caring and “we’re here for you” content versus promoting products and services without sensitivity. Your priority should be about making community connections instead of social selling when an uncertain situation arises. A company refocusing this way will be remembered positively in the long term.
  3. Avoid Obvious Advertisements: As we touched on above, it is important to be part of the conversation around current events and trending topics instead of disappearing during those situations. However, you need to leverage your marketing efforts for these events in a more authentic way. Focus on educational marketing and showing support on the topic instead of appearing as just another salesperson. The last thing you want to convey is that your company is pandering, gimmicky, or exploiting struggle for profits.

Pro-Tips for Adjusting Your Content Calendar

Team Cohesion

When adjusting your content calendar, your entire marketing team must be on the same page. Having this cohesion will create a smooth and successful implementation of any changes in your digital marketing strategy. With most marketers working from home right now during the pandemic, make sure your team communication is well-equipped to collaborate on changes in your social media campaigns.

Technological Systems

Having the systems in place before a drastic event happens is key to ensuring you can stay current in all situations as they unfold. Make sure you’re simpatico with your media management platforms so that you can pause and start campaigns as needed. If you need help developing your digital marketing program for our changing world, our team can help you find the best strategy and systems with our Digital Transformation service.

Stay Informed

By staying on top of industry news and societal shifts, your digital marketing content calendar should be able to weather any changes to come. Especially in our digital world where updates happen at the speed of light, be proactive by following reputable sources, keeping an eye on trending topics, and enabling notifications for relevant hashtags. The more in-the-loop you are, the more accurate and authentic your marketing efforts will be.

Our world can change at the drop of a hat, so you have every reason to be as equipped as possible for consequent changes to your content calendar. Not only will preparation and flexibility be easier on your marketing budget in the long run, but it will show your audiences that you are adaptable, relevant, and trustworthy. Your customers and clients rely on you to know what’s happening in the world and are able to offer solutions for them! For times like now as we all navigate this health crisis, never be at the mercy of a communication crisis too — be timely, make community connections, and manage internal processes effectively. If you have questions about your business’s current events social media strategy, contact us to help guide you.