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There was probably a point in January when you sat back and congratulated yourself on creating a robust marketing plan for the year, right? Months ahead of you scheduled, content clusters researched, audiences identified.

And then along came Coronavirus and changed all of that.

Suddenly the topics you’d planned to cover with your content were no longer relevant, and instead completely new topics have seem to have taken over your industry. It can easily seem like you’re suddenly scrambling for a new focus, and you wouldn’t be alone.

When Venngage analyzed Google Trends to see the impact of Coronavirus on Content Marketing SEO, we found that every single industry had seen significant shifts in trending topics over the past few months. Searches for “Work From Home” were up over 300% from the same period last year.

But should your content marketing be reactive? Or should you stick with your plan, and weather out the storm?

Well really, the answer you need comes a bit earlier down the line. Your content marketing plan should have space built in to it for reactivity to some degree. That is to say, you should plan your overall strategy and approach, but allow breathing space for new ideas that might emerge.

In practice, it can be difficult to strike the right balance. If you’re a smaller team, or a team that requires multiple layers of sign off pivoting quickly to meet a change in audience focus might not be on the agenda for you. But if you can, it’s worth arguing for a little bit of leeway where possible. Maybe schedule only 80% of social media posts in advance, aiming to react to daily news and changes with. the other 20%.

Because reactivity is what consumers are looking for right now. When lives changes, companies need to react quickly. At Venngage, when Corona hit we very quickly switched up our immediate focus into user education. How can we use our skills to help our users through this? The result was creating a bunch of resources for switching to remote working and learning, that have a direct benefit for our audience.

Take stock, if you haven’t already, with how you have been responding to a change in user needs. Have you seen any benefit from your approach, such as a rise in engagement, or a rise in sales? Have customers reached out and thanked you for your content during this trying time?

If the answer is no it’s time to reevaluate your reactivity. Can your drop in engagement be attributed to a change in content? If so, it might be time to revisit your original content plan.

It’s important to remember that your content marketing plan is your content marketing plan for a reason. Because it’s content that resonates with your audience, or content that enables you to move into a new niche. Dropping all of that planning and research in favour of something reactive and un-researched isn’t always the right answer.

The. balance between planning and reacting will be different for every company, but the answer is never 100% planning OR reacting. There has to be a balance.