Guest Blog by Chris Street, content marketing coach who has coached and mentored Spring clients on handling TV, Radio and Press appearances.

As we head into 2021, with the ongoing change and impact on British businesses of Covid-19 and repeated national lockdowns, I’ve had client leadership teams asking for top tips on how to use content marketing to help survive the disruptions.

One of the main take-aways from last year for me, was that demand for online content actually increased, with more businesses looking to increase their profiles through various content marketing methods such as blogging, SEO copywriting, social media marketing and email newsletters.

And whilst we’ve seen the decimation of some well-known high street retailers in the last 12 months at the hands of Covid-19, it’s been encouraging to see many businesses move to offer more online-based services and product distribution where possible.

There are no guarantees as to what further impacts will be seen to business life during 2021, but there are a few consistent steps that can be taken to help protect businesses against further economic uncertainty this year.

Those organisations that are already creative, agile and culturally strong, are remaining more resilient.

One of the important things to remember is that disastrous events can, in fact, be springboards for businesses to adapt, develop, and thrive from adversity.

Content marketing is three times more effective than traditional marketing, in terms of new sales generation. Content really matters.

Having been a content marketing coach for 12 years, and worked with big brands as well as solo entrepreneurs, here are a few things to remember and implement during 2021 with your content marketing efforts:

Boost your local and relevant SEO – whatever happens with Covid-19 and further national lockdowns, it’s critical for your business website to remain highly visible online to local and relevant customers. Local products and services are more important than ever before, but you need to be found via Google searches to maximise new sales.

Create consistent content – one of the best ways to ensure your search rankings are regular and high on Google is by uploading regular content online. Blog content on your website, social media content, and especially the places online where your ideal customers are spending time in lockdown.

Build relationships – email marketing with existing customers is a powerful content marketing tool that can deliver a stream of added value. Giving customers exclusively curated content and offers via emailed newsletters makes them feel special and valued, as well as stimulating additional sales.

Engage online for offline connection – look at the forums, groups and places online where your ideal customers are hanging out, and then engage with them. Answer questions, provide expert tips, be helpful and approachable to generate more traffic, warm leads and potential new sales to your business.

Monitor the competition – during this turbulent period, make time to engage in competitor analysis, take a look at the websites of your top three competitors and see what they’re writing about. Reviewing what the competition are doing, and then doing it better, is a key function of effective content marketing. Good content marketing is constantly evolving.

Ask for help – whilst many business owners are struggling, the best source of information on better content marketing is already under your nose: your customers. Ask for their inputs, what they like about your products and services, what they don’t like, what they want to be seeing more of in 2021.

What’s in it for them – I see lots of businesses posting content at the moment that isn’t really helping or benefiting their audiences. The key test for content marketing is to qualify one simple question – ‘What’s in it for them?’ and if you’re not delivering them value, the content isn’t going to deliver any improvement to your relationship with them.

These are just a few basic and simple content marketing tips to take on board and try during 2021. They are general rules of thumb, which can be helpful for businesses large and small. Use the methods that work best for you.

Content marketing and Covid can co-exist: in fact, I’d argue that in 2021 the cost-effective nature of content marketing makes it the most valuable weapon in the arsenal of marketing tools that any business owner can use to survive.

For more advice, I offer free 30-minute content marketing consultations by phone to any business of any sector. To book in yours, please visit here.