We all have to think differently about how we market digitally, as consumer behaviour has changed, we have to change, and probably for the long haul. The goal remains the same: to generate brand awareness, increase leads, create customer loyalty, and ultimately grow and scale our businesses. Also with the growth of online activity and more websites, more hacking is happening. Hackers gain access to your details, causing a breach of your information and also causing havoc to your website and brand.
In this article, we will take a look at six ways Covid-19 has changed the future of marketing
- SEO and paid search
SEO (Search engine optimization) and paid search are some of the most impactful ways the pandemic has changed and increased users searching online.
The current health crisis is changing the behaviour of consumers. A lot of people are avoiding the shops and if they do go, it is for a very brief time. They are using the web to search for items before they shop.
Search engine optimization has always been powerful, as a marketing tool for your business to be found, however, with the advent of the Coronavirus and the changes in consumer behaviour, SEO is more important than ever. This includes local SEO, as well as local marketing in general.
Many businesses will not be able to withstand the pandemic, but for those that do, customers are going to want to check online and confirm that they are still open before venturing out in public.
There will also be a lot of new businesses popping up, and customers will do their research and then decide if they want to venture out to visit or contact the business, hence the crucial importance of SEO, local SEO, and paid search.
- Digital advertising
During Covid-19, ad spend shifted dramatically in response to the shift in the way customers shop. As lockdown measures were put in place around the world, cinema, out-of-home, and print advertising shrunk almost instantly.
In the meantime, in-home media usage went up, including:
- TV viewership
- Streaming services
- Social media
- … and various other media.
Because of the way we are shopping these days, there is more focus on product features, specifications and price. And with the consumer behaviour shift online likely to remain post-COVID, marketers now have to focus more on advertising the right messages, to the right market using the right media. To see how advertising spend has changed, see the ad spend article here.
- Digital First
Most companies did not approach their marketing as digital-first. However, that has changed since the outbreak of the pandemic. It has become critical that businesses approach their marketing as digital-first, including branding, user experience, e-commerce, security and so on.
This is especially true for businesses that have been most impacted by Covid-19, such as the travel and tourism industry, retail – brick and mortar stores, restaurants, automotive, and apparel/fashion businesses.
Speak to us so we can assist with a Digital-first and digital transformation strategy.
- Social Media
Social distancing and staying at home has boosted social media in a way never seen before.
People are using social media for socialising and are now more familiar with the different platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more – all of which have experienced a massive increase in usage.
We as a business now have to maintain and build stronger relationships with our customers, and marketers are looking to build more quality than quantity, in terms of their communication.
There is now a higher focus on corporate culture, mission and vision. As we stay home to protect people and our loved ones, everyone is making a sacrifice for the greater good. That change will and has moved into the way people shop and consume content.
That sense of community will drive consumers to want to know that their hard-earned money goes to companies doing the right thing in the world. For instance, they want to know whether or not their food is sustainably sourced, and they are protecting their employees during these times. Social media is a great way to help companies and marketers achieve these and other goals.
- Digital events
Virtual events are here to stay and much of the webinars, meetings and digital events have been necessitated by the outbreak.
Companies and marketers are making use of event tools like Google, Zoom and Microsoft Teams to help them stay resilient during the pandemic. With tools like these, we can continue to communicate, and add value to customers, even at a time where businesses are faced with constrained budgets.
- Video marketing
Video is more popular than ever and continues to grow at a phenomenal pace.
Even before Covid-19, more and more people were choosing video over all other types of content. Today, video marketing continues to grow at an incredible pace. See article here.
YouTube and other video sharing sites have seen a significant increase in usage and the video marketing space will continue to provide opportunities for businesses that can create high-quality, informative videos that resonate with their audiences.
We recently launched the B.O.N website with a video campaign that we created, showing a family story that was emotive and captured the right target market. Video is a powerful marketing tool and especially on marketing video channels like YouTube.
Marketing has changed, and the key to success in such an ever-evolving environment is to not get left behind.
We were already living in an increasingly digital world, and the global Coronavirus crisis has accelerated that trend exponentially.
Let Temple help guide you through these challenging times, and help ramp up your digital marketing strategy.
Brendan Temple is a business owner, marketing strategist and passionate mountain biker. Connect with him on firstname.lastname@example.org