Content in the Age of Quarantine
Safe to say, it’s a brave new world as we enter unprecedented times in response to COVID-19. Many of us are adapting to working from home for the first time, sharing spaces with families or roommates, and discovering innovative ways to connect with each other when in-person gatherings are (temporarily) a luxury of the past. But let’s focus on the positive: The desire for connection has never been more real. In an almost immediate response to quarantine lifestyle, our relationship to devices has changed -- some might say, deepened. Social media has taken on a whole new significance -- we’re using it to connect with each other in novel ways. Group video-calls are not just for work anymore; they’re for brunches, workouts, dance parties, and even weddings.
The economy has all but shut down, but more people than ever are looking for content to pass the time, ease their anxiety, provide information, and substitute for in-person experiences. Food delivery and e-commerce are doing well, but you can’t FedEx an experience. In response, influencers, digital, and social media teams in nearly every industry across the world are pivoting their content calendars -- sharing more raw, authentic and relatable content. Instagram posts are more lo-fi and less polished than they were a week ago. There are more videos, Instagram Lives, and experiential content designed to make up for what we can’t do in person. Looking at Italy, who’s a few steps ahead of us in their shelter-in-place response, TechCrunch reported that “live streaming across YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Mixer grew by more than 66% in Italy between the first week of February and [mid-March], according to StreamElements, and viewers were watching nearly double the number of channels.”
Live-stream content has always existed, but now it’s de rigueur. Here are some ways you can update your content to be more relevant during a time when consumers are feeling a bit more vulnerable:
- Be sensitive: ultimately, we all want to increase sales, but now is not the time to be uber promotional. Adopt a softer approach, referencing products in a way that feels relevant to the current situation. Keep this in mind when partnering with influencers as well!
- Bring in your team: many brands are taking the opportunity to humanize their teams, sharing content from their team members in a fun, casual and approachable setting. Is Sally from Social Media really good at designing a shelfie? Have her teach your followers how to do this at home!
- Try new things: Now is the time to get resourceful. If there’s something you’ve been toying with testing out, seize the opportunity. People are craving newness!
While our routines will one-day get back to normal, our new relationship to content both as producers and consumers is here to stay, and we think that’s a good thing!