The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the world as we know it. It has  also significantly impacted the way people do things, including how they do marketing. To stay relevant, copywriting agencies recommend that businesses incorporate the current situation in both their content and messaging.

Aside from shifting business trends dramatically, the current pandemic has also affected consumer priorities as well as the marketing landscape. This article is created to help you design a messaging that’s suited to the current situation so you’ll continue to have a powerful and quality connection with your customers.

COVID-19 Essential Copywriting Guidelines

If you’re a copywriter, below are some of the basics you need to keep in mind:

Be sensitive.

COVID-19 has impacted people the world over on a level that’s  truly unprecedented. With that in mind, the importance of ensuring you don’t sound insensitive or exploitative has never been more important.

In line with this, steer away from using wit or humour in your copywriting. Even being overly casual is not recommended as it can be off-putting for some. As a general rule of thumb, approach your copywriting with a positive, helpful, and inspirational tone.

Be mindful of using insensitive words.

Not using overt puns is a given. However, it is also important to keep in mind that there were several phrases and words that were deemed completely harmless prior to the pandemic. For instance:

  • Viral
  • Infectious
  • Contagious
  • Spread
  • Killer (like in “killer deal or idea”)
  • Gather
  • Event

If your business is still relevant and operating, be extra careful not just of the terms and phrases you use but with your positioning as well. Case in point, among some of the measures taken to address the pandemic is steep interest cuts.

If you’re a copywriter for a mortgage company, writing “Take advantage of the extra low interest rates now!” will convey an excitement that’s undeniably inappropriate. On the other hand, writing “Allow us to help you navigate this unstable economy,” does not only sound appropriate but it also gives the situation the proper respect it deserves.

When it comes to words and phrases, the following rules are worth remembering:

Good words to use - connect, navigate, cope, respond, contribute, play a role

Words to avoid - advantage, gain, capitalise, profit, offer, make the most, opportunity

Think contribution as opposed to conversion.

Even if your business is considered “non-essential,” there is still a way you can stay relevant. Your primary goal however should be to continue providing value to your audience as opposed to getting more sales. It’s safe to assume most people nowadays are just trying their best to stay afloat, so focus on contribution rather than conversion.

Ensure accuracy.

Now more than ever, ensuring that you stay accurate can help retain that trust you have worked so hard to establish over the years. In addition, it can also help you easily keep up with the constantly changing search trends.

For copywriting to be effective, you need to be able to deliver accurate information while conveying a greater message at the same time. You have to remember that even if your intended message is “We are here to help,” but the information you are providing is  not accurate, the message will not come across as intended.

At best, it will come across as “We’re careless,” and at worst, “You can’t trust us.” It is also important to remember that inaccurate information about the COVID-19 virus is everywhere so it’s crucial that you ensure information you are providing is correct.

This is especially vital if you’re writing ads or social media captions that can be shared easily and can go viral before you know it. Some of the best places to find accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 include:

  • World Health Organization
  • Center for Disease Control
  • org’s Coronavirus Coverage Guide
  • The Department of Public Health (your state or country)


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