COVID-19 is often associated with feelings of fear and uneasiness in people across the world. While people have been concerned about their physical health and taken steps to safeguard it, mental health, which is something that has long been a lower priority – and even a taboo topic – is coming to the forefront. We’re all living in a brave new world: songs about how long to wash your hands are going viral, companies are providing free mental health benefits to employees, and businesses are acknowledging the need for work-life WFH balance.
This crisis has created an opportunity for healthcare and wellness brands to assert themselves as critical, useful resources in this time of need and uncertainty. This is also an opportunity to create authentic connections with consumers that will far outlast the pandemic. But how can this be achieved in a genuine and non-self-serving way?
Recent research from Global Web Index and McKinsey note that people are well-versed in COVID-19 basics, and they are now more concerned with finding information that addresses overarching health issues. “Mental Health,” “Migraine” and “Sleep-Related Condition” were three of the top search terms rising to popularity last month, while “Coronavirus Symptoms” was actually on the decline.
McKinsey’s study also noted that stress around the pandemic is having a profound effect on how people feel and behave:
- 63% of those surveyed are anxious and/or depressed
- 45% believe the pandemic has had a negative impact on mental health
- 25% are binge drinking at least once a week
- 20% of individuals surveyed are taking prescription medication for non-medical reasons
The key takeaway from this research is that in the midst of this chaos, people are seeking out solutions to handle their “new normal.” 83% of respondents want to hear from healthcare and pharmaceutical brands, and 74% now feel comfortable using telehealth services. Fitness and health apps have grown 35% since the start of COVID-19, and searches for “cooking recipes” online have risen by 30%.
So, what can brands do now with content marketing to meet these new consumer needs?
- Know your audience – listen to your community and address the needs they have now.
- Don’t be self-serving – this is simply not the time. Consumers don’t care what you are doing, but they do care what you can do for them.
- Unlock your expertise – you are the expert, share your knowledge! Trusted, reliable information has never been more critical.
- Explain your tools – share that you have the technology, explain how to use it, and how this can help customers or patients regardless of their location.
- Think video –production crews might be nice, but they are no longer necessary, as we see experts now posting videos taken on cell phones in their homes. Remember that content doesn’t have to only be written articles.
- Be available and easy to find – post information in a clear, organized fashion. Include FAQ’s, which can ease the burden on customer service calls.
- Update – stay relevant by updating content and letting the public know about digital and telehealth options. Have your experts share their expertise!
We’ve been continuing our own internal research at the inPowered labs, and came up with some thought-starters health and wellness brands can use with post-COVID content strategies:
- Staying healthy and safe – latest updates on cleaning and security protocols at physical locations.
- Restarting preventative health appointments, cancer screenings, general wellness visits, etc.
- Guides on telehealth capabilities and how to connect with a provider.
- Mental health & coping tips.
- How creating routines manage stress.
- Resources for mental health.
- Relationship strategies for dealing with family, spouses and children.
- No equipment workouts that can be done at home.
- Healthy eating and nutrition suggestions.
Three companies doing an excellent job of creating and distributing timely & relevant content to consumers throughout the COVID-19 crisis are Children’s Health, AbbVie and Peloton:
This North Texas-based company was one of the first healthcare brands to create a dedicated Coronavirus website with regular updates, all time-stamped and frequently updated. Some of the many topics covered on their resource hub address the full range of patient needs: ways to support the community, how to talk to with children about COVID-19, and information on how to use their tech tools for either virtual visits or safer in-person care.
AbbVie is a leading health + science research company with over 30,000 employees across the world. They also created a dedicated landing page on their website for COVID-19 information, which is well-organized and easy to find. Their content educated the public not only on how the organization is supporting COVID-19 research and clinical trials, but also supporting their team with an Employee Assistance Fund. We commend AbbVie for providing up-to-date communication that directly responds to the challenges facing individuals all over the globe.
The brand many were questioning after a controversial holiday marketing campaign has come back stronger than ever, in part due to their awesome blog, “The Output.” Their mix of motivational and inspirational workout content speaks to consumers’ unique situations and the “new normal” we all face. Some popular subjects covered on the blog include how to build mental strength, working out while working from home, and personal member stories of resilience. Their CEO also invited members to share stories of local heroes from the community, for the chance to be gifted a new bike.
In a post-COVID world, we can say one thing for certain: communities worldwide will continue to put an increasing emphasis on personal health, hygiene, self-care and mental wellbeing. Be kind to yourself & those around you; and remember that we’re all in this together.