Among the key insights we’ve uncovered in our weekly COVID-19 owned content report series is that businesses in the Consulting/Finance/Tax space are producing a lot of content.
Within the sector, one brand in particular stands out for their high-impact COVID-19 content strategy—Intuit. Intuit is a global financial platform company that generates over $6 billion in annual revenues. Among their portfolio of products is the popular suite of smart business tools QuickBooks, the tax preparation software TurboTax, and the personal financial improvement tool Mint.
Intuit defines its corporate brand through its mission of powering prosperity, its focus on innovation and social responsibility and through the strong connection of its cornerstone products, each of which has its own unique value proposition, target audience, and brand identity. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Intuit has ratcheted up their efforts via the creation of educational content and financial tools. As a company that is customer obsessed, they’ve prioritized delivering helpful, engaging experiences to their multitude of audiences—all while in the midst of tax season.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was important for us to respond quickly,” said Lara Balazs, Intuit’s Chief Marketing Officer and GM of Strategic Partnerships. “In service to our company mission of powering prosperity around the world, it was imperative that Intuit offer a response that best serves our local and global communities, customers and small businesses by focusing on what matters most during this time: putting money into the pockets of consumers and small businesses when they need it most.”
In this spotlight we’ll take a closer look at Intuit’s content strategy to help you understand how content can help support your business during this crisis.
Let’s start by looking at the company’s COVID-19 content hub.
Intuit COVID-19 Content Hub
Like many other brands, Intuit has created a dedicated page detailing its response to COVID-19. This page can be easily accessed via a ribbon at the top of the Intuit homepage.
From this page, Intuit links out to three unique tools they’ve built to assist consumers and business owners during COVID-19: Intuit Aid Assist, Intuit QuickBooks Paycheck Protection Program, and Intuit TurboTax Stimulus Payment Registration (which we’ll dive into later).
Intuit also details its philanthropic efforts to help communities impacted by COVID-19, as well as their fundraising initiative to help small business owners and QuickBooks customers. At the bottom of the page, Intuit explains what they’re doing to ensure the health and safety of their global workforce.
Taken altogether, Intuit’s COVID-19 info page serves as a comprehensive overview of what the company is doing in response to COVID-19. Even a cursory glance shows you exactly how Intuit is supporting customers, small businesses, communities, their employees, and the world at large. By showing you where their priorities lie, Intuit communicates that they’re a people-first brand with their customers’ best interests at heart.
“The reality is, there is no playbook for dealing with a pandemic. We needed to get support and resources quickly and easily into the hands of those who need it most, from all aspects of our business - customers, partners, employees and our communities,” says Stephen Root, Intuit VP of Brand, Strategy & Planning. “Now, more than ever, we need to be everywhere our customers are, and the resources we offer must be as varied as our customers are. It’s also important that our mission to power prosperity around the world comes through in how we can offer relief with the most impact. We truly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper, and we have tools to improve their financial lives, even in crisis.”
The COVID-19 info page is only a sliver of Intuit’s COVID-19 content output. Let’s take a look at some of Intuit’s other COVID-19 content efforts.
Intuit Aid Assist
Intuit Aid Assist is a free interactive tool that helps business owners and self-employed individuals assess eligibility for financial relief via the government stimulus program. To get started, simply answer a few quick questions to determine your eligibility. You can then find out how much money you may be able to secure via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and how much of that loan can be forgiven.
On the page there’s an FAQ section with answers to many questions pertaining to PPP.
Intuit QuickBooks Paycheck Protection Program
Once you learn your PPP eligibility, you can visit QuickBooks’ dedicated PPP page to apply for a loan. Intuit has arranged for QuickBooks’ Self-Employed customers who filed 2019 taxes with TurboTax Self-Employed to be able to apply for a PPP loan directly from their QuickBooks account.
The page also features info on how to apply, who qualifies, how to prepare your loan application, FAQs, and links to articles with additional information.
Intuit TurboTax Stimulus Payment Registration
The third of Intuit’s COVID-19-related tools is the TurboTax Stimulus Payment Registration page. On this page, you can fill out a short questionnaire to determine if you qualify for a stimulus payment, as well as how much you can expect to receive.
There’s also information on what you need to do in order to receive your stimulus check, and FAQs related to the program.
Through these three tools, Intuit has ensured its customers have all the resources they need to weather the economic storm brought on by COVID-19. The tools are intuitive, and the information provided on each page allows users to navigate the process with confidence. Furthermore, each tool is offered by a different Intuit product, allowing Intuit to foster brand affinity across their product suite while being helpful to their customers.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic played out around the world, the challenges facing consumers, small businesses, self-employed and accountants were swift and overwhelming. Across these three initiatives, we knew we could put a meaningful dent in the unforeseen challenges our customers now face,” says Balazs, “By using our platform capabilities, we could quickly launch these offerings to help consumers and small businesses better understand and potentially access billions of dollars through the recently passed federal aid and relief programs. There has been no perfect solution for this unprecedented situation. But we know we can’t face this alone, which is why we have worked tirelessly to ensure we have the greatest impact on those who need it most.”
The takeaway? Prioritize utility over sales. Do what’s in your customers’ best interest—especially during times of crisis. What sort of unique ways can your brand help customers during COVID-19?
Additional COVID-19 Content Resources
Intuit’s COVID-19 resources go beyond their interactive tools. They’ve also created COVID-19 owned content hubs for all of their brands. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Intuit Financial Tips
Intuit's primary owned content hub can be found on the Intuit website. Their Financial Tips page is loaded with advice on the government stimulus package and how to manage your finances if you’ve been laid off or if your business has been forced to shut down. At the bottom of the page, there’s links out to their other owned content hubs, including their Financial Tips blog, with even more information on financial matters related to COVID-19.
QuickBooks COVID-19 Resource Center
Outside of the main site, Intuit has developed a COVID-19 resource center specific to QuickBooks users. Here you’ll find content primarily targeted at small business owners navigating the fallout from COVID-19. Some of the resources on this page include:
- A link to QuickBooks’ PPP tool
- A town hall series featuring business and political leaders discussing the state of small business (recent speakers include U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin)
- A step-by-step guide on how to prepare your business and employees during COVID-19
- Links to additional QuickBooks guides and articles
- Links to third-party websites with additional information
Coronavirus Tax Center
On the TurboTax website, Intuit has built a content hub for tax information updates during COVID-19. Here you’ll find a running list of the latest tax updates on a state-by-state level. You’ll also find updates on federal taxes, the government stimulus plan, and small business assistance, plus links to TurboTax tax tools that can help you start filing your 2019 return.
On a separate page, Intuit has created a content hub to service accountants. The Accountant and Tax Professional COVID-19 Resource Center is loaded with links that can help accountants answer their clients’ most pressing questions related to COVID-19. There’s also a series of webinars accountants can register for, and resources specific to all of Intuit’s tax products.
Lastly, Intuit has adjusted the content strategy on all of their product blogs to focus on COVID-19. But rather than concentrate only on the financial aspects of the pandemic, Intuit has covered topics as varied as health and wellness to travel and the environment. Here are some examples of recent blog posts featured on Intuit content hubs:
- Inspirational Podcasts We’re Listening to From Home
- 5 Ways to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day from Home
- Does Travel Insurance Cover Coronavirus?
- What Coronavirus Relief Means for College Students and Grads
Having a wide variety of content related to COVID-19 allows Intuit blogs to be a one-stop-shop for all COVID-19 information. This ensures readers spend more time with Intuit, and build affinity for the brand. Most importantly, it establishes Intuit as a trustworthy and reliable resource during a very uncertain time.
“Over the past few years, we’ve focused on uniting our marketing and communications efforts at Intuit in a way where paid, owned and earned content are well choreographed to deliver a consistent message. Because consumers do not discern between the three channels – all are important, and all must be in sync with one another,” says Balazs. “With our marketers and communicators working in lock-step with designers, our work has made a true impact. Now, more than ever, our integrated efforts are so important – not only are people hungry for value-added content, in this case, they really need our help.”
In summation, Intuit has produced A LOT of COVID-19 content—and rightfully so. COVID-19 is a crisis unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. By producing a high volume of quality content, Intuit communicates a simple message—we’re here for you.
So, what can other brands learn from Intuit’s COVID-19 content strategy? Here are a few takeaways:
- Be useful: Intuit leveraged its data and technology to create proprietary tools to assist those being affected by COVID-19. Think about what your business does better than anyone else, and consider how it can be leveraged to help others during this crisis.
- Be empathetic: By creating tools and content designed to be helpful, Intuit communicates that it is here to support others. This is evident not only in its content, but also in its charitable work. Efforts like these generate goodwill towards brands, and allow them to retain mindshare with their target audience.
- Be different: Intuit is far from the only brand creating content around COVID-19. But most other places don’t offer tools to help you secure a PPP loan or stimulus check. Being different in your approach to COVID-19 content will allow you to retain consumers who otherwise would have gone elsewhere for their information.
- Take a multi-channel approach: Intuit has tools, blog posts, and webinars on COVID-19. Creating content in multiple formats allows Intuit to meet its customers where they are, while also standing out from the competition. What are some unique formats in which you can talk to your audience?
For more COVID-19 research and insights, visit the Knotch COVID-19 Resource Center.