Since the coronavirus hit earlier this year, it’s hard to go anywhere without hearing about it. It’s all over your social newsfeeds, companies everywhere are releasing coronavirus support landing pages on their websites (yes, including us) and you’re always eagerly awaiting the next update about the loosening of lockdown restrictions.
Sure, we’re all talking about it, but how are you meant to go about writing about it? Whether you’re a copywriter, a content marketing professional, a blogger or an SEO, it’s important to adjust your copywriting techniques to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic.
From perfecting the ideal tone of voice to maintaining accuracy, here are some copywriting guidelines you can use during the coronavirus outbreak from the content marketing experts here at Passion Digital.
Copywriting Tips During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Adapt Your Strategy
During these times, it’s important to make sure that the content you’re producing is relevant, useful and sensitive. For example, if you’re a business trying to sell a product or service, now may not be the best time to produce scarcity-driven content that says things like Order now before it’s too late! or Limited spots are left, so book now! It’s likely that this approach won’t resonate with your customers, who will probably be worried enough already about their careers, health and family.
It’s also important that businesses modify their content strategies to fit the current climate – especially those in the travel industry. We helped one of our travel clients, Teletext Holidays, in this regard. While it wasn’t safe to encourage people to travel during the heights of the pandemic, we found lots of other ways to create relevant content that was responsible, useful and most of all: entertaining.
We helped Teletext turn their blog into a stay-at-home holiday hub. They produced blog posts to inspire the reader to have a holiday from the comfort of their own home, from cooking international cuisine and learning a language to creating a beach getaway in the back garden. Once countries began to reopen for domestic and international tourism, we created blog posts for them that feature the most recent information on each country’s current status, which are updated as and when things change.
This is just one of the many ways you can create useful, unique content that is relevant to your business and interesting to your customers, while maintaining a responsible, realistic and sensitive approach.
Accuracy Makes for Great Copywriting
Since the coronavirus hit, many things have been postponed or cancelled completely. Whether you’re a business or a freelance copywriter, it’s a good idea to go through your scheduled press releases, blogs, landing pages, social media posts, automated emails – the list goes on – to ensure that you are not suggesting that people attend an event that is no longer happening, visit a facility that is now closed or participate in an activity that is not safe. You should also stay on top of the latest coronavirus updates, which will help you with all future content you produce.
Pay Attention to Your Tone of Voice
Anyone who writes copy knows that tone of voice is important and that there is a power in the words you choose. This means that, especially during the coronavirus outbreak, you should pick the words you use very carefully and make sure that your tone of voice doesn’t come off as insensitive. While puns and a casual tone of voice may be a part of how you or your brand normally write, it’s a good idea to dial it back a bit for the time being so you don’t come off as too flippant, which could put off the people who read your content.
That being said, positivity and puns are not the same thing – maintaining a positive tone and looking on the bright side makes for uplifting content, which many people are very much in need of right now.
As for the words you choose, it’s for the best to avoid terms like ‘contagious’ and ‘infectious’, as many people now negatively associate the meanings of these words. It’s never a bad idea to avoid newly common cliches as well, such as ‘unprecedented times’. You’re a writer, after all – you know the benefits of spinning overused terms and phrases into something fresh and unique. And, of course, Thesaurus.com is a friend to all.
Maintain High Standards
Now more than ever, it’s important that you maintain high standards with your writing. As a copywriter, you have one of the most important jobs right now. You have the power to uplift, inform and support the public with your writing (the pen, after all, is mightier than the sword). So double check your facts to ensure they’re correct and up to date, stay informed, be sensitive and empathetic to others, have someone proofread your work and, above all, don’t stop writing – we need copywriters now more than ever.
“The world standard in Pay Per Click advertising” – Perry Marshall, ‘Ultimate Guide to Google Ads’
David Rothwell has supported and managed Google Ads (formerly AdWords) and Google Shopping since 2005.
He is the author of the ‘Fully Booked’ Google Ads series, ‘The Google Ads Bible for eCommerce’ and co-author of the Amazon #1 best-sellers ‘Sales Genius#1’ and ‘#Remote Working!’
He loves to travel, and lives in the UK, Barbados and as a Digital Nomad.