Crisis Marketing – How to Create Content in Challenging Times

Crisis Marketing - Rainy clouds over field - Julia Ngapo Business Coaching

Crisis Marketing – How to Create Content in Challenging Times

What on earth can I say?” has never been more of an issue than in recent years. First, there was the challenge that Covid presented – Could we and should we continue promoting our businesses when so many others were suffering? – and now, of course, we face the upheaval of the Queen’s passing, as the nation adjusts to a new era. 

So is it better to just remain silent, or should we carry on regardless with that stiff upper lip that we Brits are famed for?

There is that feeling of awkwardness present, of what can we say that will support, whilst not appearing insensitive? How can we continue to run our business, whilst being cognisant of others’ feelings and challenges?

Here are my top 5 tips on getting your crisis marketing content right.

1. Pause the scheduler

Many of us rely on scheduling tools to get our marketing messages out there.  However, how many of us, when we prepare and schedule content a week or two in advance, can remember exactly what we have scheduled?  Pause that scheduler now!  The most innocent of articles and posts may appear in a different light during a crisis. Instead, just talk to your audience as one human to another.  Any challenge offers an opportunity to connect with our audience on a much more person-to-person level; a shared experience, and to build a sense of community around the shared emotions of the situation.

2. Don’t ignore the situation

Following on from the previous point, when challenges strike on a national or even global scale, many of us will have the feeling, “I don’t want to bring my audience down”. But remember that marketing and in particular, social media, is never about you! 

It’s about the wants and needs of your target audience.  What do they need to hear from you right now?  It could be that’s the reassurance of “Business as usual”, it could be some appropriate feel-good posts. Only you know your audience but concentrate on content that is reassuring, or that creates a feeling of optimism.

3. Show Empathy

Whilst empathy should always be a part of your marketing, it becomes even more important during crisis marketing. Ask yourself what you would like to see content-wise from the brands you follow. What language or style of content would you feel insensitive and inappropriate? And then use this as a guide for your own strategy.

4. Don’t be afraid to sell

The selling of products or services online may feel inappropriate during times of hardship.  However, this is not about “profiteering”, this is about not only providing the goods and services that people want and need but about keeping businesses, together with all those who rely on that business, afloat.  Remember that only 20% of your overall marketing should be promotional, anyway, so providing you handle any promotional opportunity with appropriate language and transparency, then continue in whatever manner feels right to you.

In addition, ensure you keep your audience informed of any changes in business operating hours, or anything else affecting your processes or customer experience.

5. Communication is key

Ensure that any short-term change in your strategy is communicated throughout your organisation. It is vital that everyone knows how your crisis marketing will work; what to say and how to say it so as to avoid any embarrassing mistakes.


Yes, times are challenging, but people are still spending money. It’s about reframing our thinking and delivering what our audience wants in a slightly different way, perhaps.  Above all, concentrate on the value you can bring to your audience.  That could be with a free offering, but it could, equally, be the reassurance of “being there” still, of continuing to tell your story and demonstrating in some small way that life is carrying on and normal services will resume shortly.

If you would like support to navigate the challenges that your business faces on a day-to-day level, then why not book a call? I have worked with many business owners and leaders, offering business and executive coaching and mentoring and supporting them to improve performance, both for themselves and their team, reduce overwhelm, increase clarity around their business direction, and remove the mindset blocks that hamper their progress. Book your call today.

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