Welcome to our sixth report on the impact COVID-19 is having on owned content production across the business landscape. This week’s report reflects 4,140 pieces of content published by 194 different brands between April 8, 2020 and May 19, 2020. 

Here’s what our proprietary Knotch data is telling us:

The COVID-19 Content Production Seesaw Continues

covid analysis

It appears our hypothesis from last week’s COVID-19 content report was accurate: COVID-19 content production comes in waves that align with the current news cycle. Those news cycles are typically lasting about two weeks.

Because of this, we see an initial increase in COVID-19 owned content production the first week the news cycle changes, followed by a decrease the second week, when there isn’t as much new information to provide. Then the cycle repeats itself once more after the news cycle changes again.

Over the past month we’ve seen the news shift their focus from flattening the curve to reopening the economy. Now the narrative is focused on safely reopening the country while also minimizing outbreaks.

Here are some examples of content put out by brands this past week that fit that narrative:

Industries that have returned to the level of COVID-19 content production from the start of the previous news cycle include Automotive, Consulting/Finance/Tax, and HR/Payroll Services. Energy and Transportation exceeded their previous three-week high, while Retail/CPG, Technology, and Telecommunications saw a continued decline in COVID-19 content production.

We should note that, while COVID-19 content increased this past week, it has overall been on a downward trend over the past month.

Next week we predict that there will be an overall decrease in COVID-19 content production across all industries. It will be interesting to see if that comes to pass.

Impact Assessment Has Become the Most Popular COVID-19 Content Topic to Write About

As a reminder, the theme definitions are as follows:

  • News & Updates: Crisis news related to the activities of the business.
  • Crisis Management: The steps the business is taking to manage the crisis internally and externally.
  • Community / Collaboration: Information on how the business and individuals can work together to overcome the crisis.
  • Impact Assessment: Assessing the impact the crisis has had on the industry the business operates in.
  • Philanthropy / Support: What the business is doing to aid in relief efforts.
  • Informational / Educational: Educational content about the crisis.
  • Operational Impact: How the crisis has impacted day-to-day operations.
  • Public Health and Safety: Information on how to protect your health and what the organization is doing to protect their customers’ health.
  • Employee Relations: Content directed at employees to help them navigate and understand how the organization is responding to the crisis.
  • Leadership: Guidance on how to lead during a time of crisis.

While most other content themes have, by and large, declined in prominence, Impact Assessment content has by and large remained steady. This week it represented 17% of all COVID-19 content produced. This indicates that it is a reliable topic for brands to focus on when trying to engage with their audience during this crisis.

Why has Impact Assessment content had such staying power? We believe it’s because COVID-19 continues to radically impact the world in numerous ways. This leaves brands with no shortage of fresh information to provide regarding how COVID-19 is impacting their sector. Consumers looking to make sense of the new normal seem to be hungry for this kind of information.

Good examples of Impact Assessment content include the following:

Crisis Management and Informational/Educational content rebounded this week after a sharp decline last week—likely a byproduct of the increase in COVID-19 content production overall. Leadership, Employee Relations, News & Updates, Public Health & Safety, and Community/Collaboration content also saw small increases. Philanthropy/Support content saw a sharp decline. Operational Impact content—which shot up last week—saw a small decline this week.

Overall, we’re seeing all content themes trend towards the mean. This indicates a more even distribution of COVID-19 themes focused on in owned content.

Here’s the overall breakdown of the most prevalent themes in COVID-19 content published since April 8:

No Change in Content Themes Shared on Social Week-Over-Week

covid analysis
covid analysis

The four most popular themes of content to share on social continue to be the following:

  • Crisis Management
  • Informational/Educational
  • Philanthropy/Support
  • Community/Collaboration

The percentage of content brands opt to share on social media remains at 37% of their overall COVID-19 content production. 

Here are a few examples of social posts we liked from the past week:

Keyword Usage Continues to Track With Major Crisis Themes

All keywords used in owned COVID-19 content headlines reflect the larger implications of the crisis—namely healthcare and the economy. 

In fact, week-over-week, the 11 most popular keywords have remained the same.

Key Takeaways

Another week of data gives us lots of new takeaways. Use the following insights to inform your COVID-19 content strategy going forward:

  • COVID-19 content production spikes every two weeks to align with the latest news cycle. Make sure you’re producing new content about COVID-19 when there is a new narrative to discuss.
  • When you do produce new content, one of the most reliable themes to focus on is Impact Assessment. Consumers want to hear brands’ perspectives on COVID-19’s changing impact on the world.
  • As time goes on, there’s been a more even distribution of themes focused on in COVID-19 content. While Crisis Management and Informational/Educational content was popular early on, it has declined in recent weeks. Meanwhile, other themes have increased in production.

Click here to access the full weekly report.