Content & Influencer Relations During COVID-19: Creativity & All Things Digital

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work at V2. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is our unwavering commitment to driving our clients’ businesses forward in spite of the challenges the pandemic has thrown at all of us. In a recent blog post, we explained how we quickly adapted to the changes in the media landscape and speed of the news cycle to keep our clients front and center in a way that mattered.

But how has content marketing and influencer relations changed as a result of the pandemic?

Below are a few highlights of how V2 has nimbly and creatively pivoted several content and influencer programs in response to COVID-19. Read on for some use cases and best practices for executing in the age of coronavirus (hint: have you tuned into any webinars recently?!).

  • Decibel is ramping up its webinar program this year, for which V2 is tasked with identifying and procuring influencers as webinar guests each week. Additionally, V2 ideated and supported a virtual live summit called the CX Expert Summit in early April, which was hosted by influencer Katie Martell and featured four influencer guest speakers, as a way to increase brand awareness and engage with new audiences. While Decibel’s webinar program and influencer engagement would have ramped up regardless of COVID-19, the program and the Expert Summit have been particularly helpful platforms to engage with customers and prospects, given all industry events have been canceled and brands are increasingly forced to lean on digital to fill the gap.
  • DaySmart repositioned its normal hub-and-spoke content strategy to better serve its small business audience, which has been deeply impacted by COVID-19. Rather than delivering one long-form content asset (the hub) followed by smaller iterations (spokes, like infographics), V2 is executing a multi-spoke series all dedicated to supporting small businesses in their post-pandemic strategy. On top of this, the V2 team will be supporting DaySmart in executing its COVID-19 webinar series — from engaging influencers to shaping the content covered.
  • Roux Institute at Northeastern University founded its Resiliency Series, in which it curates resources from across the University onto a single site to help its key audiences — including current and prospective corporate partners, potential students, community partners and future staffers — manage through this time. V2 managed the end-to-end content timeline: identified and calendared weekly featured content and experts, wrote web and email copy, and managed the back-end tools for content management and distribution to point audiences to new material each week. The initiative is serving as a model for other regional campuses to replicate for engagement.

Similar to our media programs, it is important to revisit content and influencer programs with a critical eye toward COVID-19 sensitivity. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to consider for your business:

  • Survey reports — If a survey was commissioned in Q1, is it insensitive (or nonstrategic) to still release the report amidst COVID-19? When does the data get stale? Most clients/teams agree that it’s better to get the data out there ASAP, while still considering the current climate. For some clients — especially those with small business customers — we are able to reframe the report in light of the current crisis and release it as usual. For other clients with less coronavirus-relevant data, it is better to publish the report on their website and announce it via a blog post, rather than over the wire. It is a compromise that ensures the report is timely but not tone-deaf.
  • Webinars/podcasts — Amidst social distancing, going digital is more valuable than ever. If a business has a strong roster of spokespeople or network of influencers, consider instituting a webinar or podcast series!
  • Bylines/blogs — Just like media campaigns, any written content on COVID-19 must be genuinely relevant, not opportunistic. Content should be informative and appropriate—make sure it’s not a “stretch.”
  • Sudden work-from-home expertise — You’ve seen it on LinkedIn: everyone has just become a remote work expert and is offering hacks for how to stay productive, connected with colleagues, etc. It’s stale, it’s saturated — stay away! 

May 18, 2020


By Jordan Stanley