Only write about the coronavirus if you’re an expert

As a digital marketer and copywriter, I’ve gotten many requests for “a coronavirus blog post” over the last few months. And I’ve been steering my customers away from such articles. Why? Because they aren’t infectious disease experts.

We need to stop adding to the noise and as marketers, actually helping our customers make sense of this crisis – either through explaining what our products and services offer or offering resources they can find elsewhere.

From a blogging and SEO standpoint, writing articles related to “COVID-19” and “the coronavirus” will have a short shelf life and do little to increase your SEO value in the long term. Instead, we should be writing about the challenges that the current marketplace is presenting. And then closing with how our business is the solution to those challenges.

The reality is, challenges in the marketplace will remain long after the pandemic comes to a close. For example, online was killing retail already; it’s just even more underscored now with many retail stores closed or forced to operate under adjusted restrictions. Will your content still be relevant once you can’t attach the word “coronavirus” to it?

Content marketing is all about the customer

I hold an undergraduate degree in journalism, and I love to write. I don’t mean I enjoy journaling after a long day. The writing that I love is the type of writing that you read when you head to Google looking for a how-to article or insights on a problem you’ve never encountered.

No big words. 

No fancy phrases. 

Just simple sentences, average vocabulary and lots of bulleted lists. 

Why? Because that’s what the customer needs. I layered on a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication, which educates marketers on thinking like a customer.

Consumer fatigue from coronavirus promotions set in a month or two into the pandemic. Slowly we’re realizing that social distancing and alterations to our daily lives are the new normal. So we don’t want to see a reminder every day in our inbox, social media feeds and favorite industry blogs.

Listen to what your customers are saying! Instead of following the trends and writing another coronavirus blog article, write about what your customers need to live in the new normal. 

Answer questions, solve problems and be the team that’s there for people when they need you.

The risk of offering medical advice with no expertise

In those early weeks of the pandemic, everyone wanted to publish articles about how to protect yourself from the virus. From an SEO standpoint, this had one serious consequence. These authors had no medical expertise.

Google’s algorithms are extremely sophisticated. Health matters fall under what Google refers to as “YMYL” or your money, your life. Because there is so much false news posted or bloggers hoping to rank well for new longtail keywords, Google carefully filters content related to consumers’ money or their life.

So if you’re not a doctor or medical professional, avoid commenting on medical matters. Again, this means offering solutions. 

For example, you don’t need to join the political or medical debate on whether or not people should wear masks. Instead, showcase how your product makes it easier to breathe while still containing potentially hazardous mucus droplets from reaching the air and infecting others.

As the pandemic continues to develop, consumers will face new challenges. Instead of posting an article related to the health matters around the pandemic or further encouraging hand washing, help consumers solve challenges.

You might even try to avoid using the terms coronavirus or pandemic. Your followers might appreciate your fresh perspective.

Looking for a content strategy that helps your business grow and speaks to your consumer’s needs? Bridge the Gap Communication offers content marketing, SEO blogging and related services that help you grow your business through engaging content.

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