The Importance of Content Marketing During a Crisis by Selene D. Guerrero

Selene D. Guerrero, Harlingen EDC, Marketing Manager

HARLINGEN, TEXAS (MAY 26, 2020) – The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced change on all of us. As a marketer and former newspaper reporter, this crisis also pushed me to think outside of the box in terms of how we continue telling our story as an economic development organization.

Our primary job is to ‘sell’ Harlingen, not necessarily a tangible product, but one we can help you experience with images, videos, eye-catching graphics, narratives, smart digital marketing, ads, and so on. All those components help us reach out to companies and encourage them to relocate or open up in Harlingen.

“We are centrally located in the Rio Grande Valley and by positioning your company here, you would be uniquely positioned to reach all major points of the Valley within a 45-minute drive…”

But how do you do that during a pandemic when nobody is having in-person meetings, shaking hands, looking at sites, grabbing lunch, and talking business? The reality of it all was that it wasn’t business as usual – and it wouldn’t be for quite some time.

What mattered was that our community needed information and that we needed to inform our audience about what mattered and what was occurring on a local, state, and federal level.

The importance of marketing and continuing with our Harlingen narrative was still key and as an organization, the content we were providing to our audience was critical.

Content marketing gives marketers a chance to tell stories and also become a resource hub for vital information, especially in a time of crisis. During the pandemic, our audience is hungry for content that informs and educates and that is pertinent to how they can continue doing business when so many are hurting.

I reacted to this situation as if we, the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation, was a news outlet for our prospects, audience, and business partners.

Content marketing encompasses various formats, but first it helps keep your audience informed. It’s my job as a marketer to inform and connect people to the right resources. The work we do now in keeping our key audience informed shows that we care and value them and most importantly, we want them to have the right tools to succeed as we navigate this crisis together.

Can content marketing work for you?

As a business owner, what can you do to effectively communicate to your audience and which platforms should you utilize

Whether you have decided to open up your business, then you need to keep your customers updated with what it is you are doing.

Recently, I reached out to small business owners and we discussed what they were doing differently. Many said they have been more active on social media and have updated their websites to include online shopping.

You can read Bandera Coffee Co. owner Rene Garcia’s story here, but he stressed the importance of keeping an open line of communication across their various social media platforms.

“We are constantly learning how we need to adapt,” Rene said, stressing the importance of keeping customers informed of all their decisions made.

Many others repeated the same: social media, website updates, online shopping options, and marketing.

In the end, we are all communicating a message to our audience essentially making us all marketers, but it’s how we go about it that makes our marketing effective.

Take the time to learn about your social media followers, your partners, the community, and the product and be strategic in how you market yourself in order to be effective.

For more about what we are doing and have done, visit our website.