Writing About Covid in 2021 – Cringeworthy or Useful
13th January 2021

Is writing about Covid a good idea? I’m often asked this by clients and those in my network. There isn’t a hard yes or no answer to this. Let me tell you what I’ve told them. 

If you want to include content about the pandemic in your content plan ask yourself whether this is a useful, topical piece that adds value. Is it timely? Will it solve a problem or serve a welcome purpose? Is it the right time? Covid content is everywhere right now so ask yourself if your brand and if your business should join the throng. That’s a lot to consider. It’s better to think these things through rather than to be someone who merely jumps on the bandwagon because something is trending on Twitter, again. This doesn’t mean you should stop creating content. Search Engine Journal illustrates brilliantly in this article why reaching out with effective content is more important than ever.

Do your Readers Want to Read About it?

not listening, writing about Covid in 2021

Who else has their “La la la la – not listening” ears on?

Do you want to read about it? Personally, I veer away from brands writing about Covid, unless I suspect true value is lurking within. On one platform I blocked a number of keywords to reduce the onslaught of pandemic-related noise. I certainly won’t be the only person to do this. At a time when many people are furloughed, self-isolating, working from home or have lost their job a lot of online content is being consumed. Think about your core values, your business mission and your target audience. Do you think they want to read about Covid-19 from you too? Or, do you think you have a unique perspective that will benefit your niche following?

Don’t Ignore Covid-19 – There’s Nothing Worse Than Being Blinkered

The pandemic has invaded all areas of life on a global level. That’s no exaggeration. There isn’t anyone that hasn’t been affected by it in some way, apart from perhaps these incredibly isolated folks. Business as usual social media posts and blog content can come across somewhat blasé if not handled sensitively. Likewise, “Our business is bringing in more profits than ever and we are thinking of buying a plane” is just going to piss people off. Be aware of the difference between being grateful for your good fortune and being blinkered when countless businesses have folded around you and unemployment levels are rising.

Don’t ignore Covid-19 altogether when planning content, even if you decide not to dedicate space in your calendar for focused content. Do plan your content carefully.

Evergreen Content

Topical pieces are fine. They have a place in your content calendar. Evergreen content, however, is king, queen and the court jester, all rolled into one delightful royal bundle. Evergreen content builds trust, reliability, keeps you relevant and Google loves it. Remember that as soon as you mention Covid, your copy is outdated. Things move that fast and this situation will, one day, take on that surreal gloss that such things do once the emergent phase has passed. If you know that you can make evergreen content about Covid work, then 100% keeping writing about Covid in 2021. Go for it.

One way around the evergreen/topical divide, where you prioritise evergreen content but have a valid point relating to the pandemic to make is to create a removable section. Instead of dedicating a whole article to the menace, create one section that you can alter or delete when it is no longer factually correct, useful or relevant.

If You’re Going to Do It – Do It Right

Should you want to create something that is firmly focused on the pandemic-at-hand, make it unique, useful, interesting, or if you can do sensitively, funny. Resources are shareable, and consider what media you use. Video is very popular during a quarantine when everyone is on their phone, as is social media content and blog posts that solve a problem for the reader. This Ted Talk featuring Mary L. Gray is a great example of useful, informed and shareable content that shows she is an authority in her field. This is content that can be trusted and referred back to.

 

So, Is Writing About Covid in 2021 Ok, Or Not?

I appreciate the irony of writing about Covid to make others think twice about doing the same. In my defence, this is hopefully a useful piece of content that will outlive Covid-19 and which can be tweaked down the line to be a more generic, evergreen piece about writing about current events. Practising what I preach, right there.

At the end of the day, you know your target audience best and you are your brand’s voice, or if you’re a copywriter for a brand, you should have a pretty good grasp of the particulars. Test the waters, be aware of swift and frequent changes and generally be sensitive to others when planning your 2021 content.

Nicki Cawood, Nicki Cawood Copywriter,
Nicki Cawood is The Small Business Copywriter.

Established in 2006, she has provided copywriting, editing, rewriting, blogging support and more to many many small businesses. 

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