Every day, all day, people are sheltered in place and looking for something to do. Their one window to the world outside? The internet, of course. They’re looking for content that might be of interest to them or their business, for products or services that might help them adjust to the new normal.

And while content can serve as a welcome distraction, the fear and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is always in the back of their minds.

While everyone must be mindful of personal frustration, pain, fear, and even the loss of loved ones during this time, people are looking for concrete ways to relieve these emotional hardships. So, the question is this. Can you offer them some type of relief through creating content around your products or services?

And if so, do you have a plan to ensure that you are receiving an ROI on the traffic that is driven to your website by this content?

There are 5 questions you must ask yourself before creating COVDI-19 inspired content:

1. What value do I have to offer?

Begin at the beginning. Consider the product or service you offer. How can those experiencing the frustrations and/or anxieties of “lockdown” find value in those?

For example, if you sell home improvement products – paint, stains, flooring, etc., you can focus on the need that people have to remain busy and active within their homes. If you sell gardening and lawn supplies, you are providing a means for people to remain busy and active. And if you sell exercise equipment or videos, you can fill a need to remain physically fit for those who cannot get to the gym.

When you can tie your product or service to human needs during this challenging time, you have a basis to relate that to dealing with this unusual situation people find themselves in. In short, you have a solution to a problem they are experiencing.

2. How can I translate that value into compelling content?

The goal, of course, is to get a website boost in traffic. So, as you craft that content, you have to find ways to tie it to the COVID-19 impact on people’s lives. Select topics that will resonate with your current audience.

For example, how your fitness video can help to keep people physically active and stimulate those endorphins that will boost moods. You may want to cite research that speaks to the mental benefits of exercise and fitness. The more expertise you can provide, the better.

Your title, your subtitles, and the text of your content must include the most popular keywords/keyword phrases that your research says are resonating with audiences. Consider those that relate to COVID-19, to being stuck at home, and to the need to find a meaningful activity, etc.

One of the best ways to do this is to come up with potential keywords and phrases and then “test” them by doing your own Google search. See what comes up from those searches. Read that content and see how you can incorporate any of it into your own content, using those keywords too.

Once you have the most popular keywords that relate to COVID-19, choose 2-3 that you plan to use. Incorporate them into your title, your introduction, and throughout your content where they can occur naturally. No stuffing and no unnatural contortions just to get them in.

4. Has my audience changed?

Here’s the thing. Under normal circumstances, you have a specific target audience. But things have changed. People who were not particularly interested in at-home physical fitness, for example, now are.

People who were not looking for home or yard improvements now are. Your audience has probably not significantly changed demographically, but it will be wider now.

So, use the same publishing venues that you have always used to get the customers you now have, but do a few other things too.

  • Set up a referral program with current customers, providing a discount for both them and a new customer who comes on board;
  • Step up your advertising in the same places you advertised before but with content that speaks to a “cure” for coronavirus woes;
  • Set up reciprocal arrangements with related niches where you promote each other’s products or services.

5. What medium of content should I use?

Now is the time to show your audience how they can fill those hours at home and how you can expertly help them do just that. So, here are some strategies:

1. Video

They don’t have to be perfect. Be casual, be entertaining, be informative, and even be inspirational. Consumers love videos, and you can speak to the common frustrations of stay-at-home lifestyles.

Then show how your product or service can be one solution. Publish those videos on such places such as Facebook Live or YouTube Live.

2. Podcasts

You can show yourself as an expert in your business niche, demonstrate how your product or service can solve a problem – their idle time. Publish those on recognized providers like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, etc. And here’s the bonus: Google likes podcasts and will rank you better when people search for your products or services.

3. Don’t forget about your own website and blog

When visitors come to your site, they are looking at what you have to offer. Be sure that your videos and your podcasts are there, too, and make certain that you give any viewer the opportunity to share, ask questions, etc.

The road to driving traffic to your website where consumers can enter your sales funnel hasn’t really changed that much. You will still need to use the foundation of the strategies you’ve always used. What has changed is the unusual circumstance in which your prospects are finding themselves in now.

As you look to use this pandemic as a marketing tool remember this: you must always be empathetic and mindful of unique situations in which your audience members may find themselves. You can even reveal your own personal challenges and frustrations so that your audience can establish relationships.

Keep the content flowing, show how you can address pain points, and you’ll be sure to receive a sizeable ROI on the traffic you drive to your website.