Every marketer is considering how to shift content plans during these uncertain times. From navigating changing event plans to shifts in audience attention, it’s natural to be questioning what activities should stay on your priority list. How can you make sure you’re working on the right things?

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Everyone’s to-do list is being viewed through a new lens. For content teams, this is a time to focus on fundamentals. That’s the stuff that sometimes gets delayed or neglected. Yes, you’re also stepping up to meet your organization’s — and audience’s — needs. However, these three projects will help you tune your content engine, both now and in the future. And with ongoing collaboration across functions, these activities will pay future dividends in audience engagement. Your audience will remember you for delivering better content, leading to better customer experiences! Consider the following three projects:

One: Review What’s in Your Content Queue and Reprioritize

A lot of content queues revolve around key events, launches, and campaign plans. After that, the content factory may operate on a first-come, first-served basis. But in this new environment, content teams should be working closely with communications and crisis response teams. Crisis communications generates a need for a lot of content in a short period of time. Content teams have to be ready to support projects outside of marketing.

This urgency will prompt a review of whether your organization still needs everything going through the queue. At the very least, some assets need to be scrubbed and carefully reviewed for messaging that hits the right tone and intent. Other assets may be postponed or scrapped altogether. The content team should be proactive in identifying and fast-tracking content quick wins: assets that, with repackaging or adjustments, will support customers during this time. All of this affects workload and budget. It may mean you’ll adjust spending with agencies and vendors. Your in-house content creators may be re-working or reprioritizing deliverables. The sooner you have a handle on your queue, the sooner you’ll be able to adjust content plans and activities for the rest of this year.

Two: Shift From Existing Event and Customer Content Plans to Capture Timely Human Stories Differently

Everyone plans for the surge of customer or expert interviews, videos, and case studies during event season. But with event postponements (or conversions to virtual events) this year, think about how you can capture and update this content differently. After all, anything that highlights your customers’ experiences and business outcomes with you, in their own words, is more valuable than ever.

At a time when people feel isolated, customers want to hear from their peers or others who have experience with similar challenges. They’re more receptive to, and appreciate, a more informal, down-to-earth video or podcast-style interview. These assets deliver information your audience needs in a more relatable, human way. These assets from your own executives help to reinforce company values and build employee engagement.

Another angle of this is working across your organization to refine the proof points in your content. Think about the nuggets your organization has in customer reviews or latest case studies. A few organizations are already surfacing customer stories related to COVID-19. With skillful storytelling and a sensitivity for being helpful, not opportunistic, these stories give audiences valuable insight. These proof points can be adapted into quotes, callouts, social posts or presentation slides. Or, they can prompt blog posts that answer the most common real-life questions and approaches. Audiences dealing with stress and uncertainty appreciate useful information, particularly when it’s crafted with brevity and simplicity.

Three: Say Yes to the Content Audit You’ve Been Postponing

The thought of starting a content audit right now might make you want to roll your eyes. But think about how you can define a scope that makes sense for your organization — and that you can handle. This is especially the right time to have a true picture of your existing content. Performing an audit for certain asset types, or for content by specific stages and personas, can be helpful when your team is shifting gears from business as usual.

A content audit will help you identify what you need. It’s also a form of spring cleaning: You can reduce the clutter of old assets. It’s then easier to find your remaining content. You also spot opportunities to reposition existing content for newly prioritized scenarios.

The most fundamental content projects help you know what you have and what you need. They are audience-centric and help your content engine gain operational efficiency. Now, more than ever, audiences need a sense of connection and benefit from the insights your content projects will deliver. Pursuing even one of these projects puts you on a path to build audience engagement and optimize the customer experience.

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