The Need for Digital Marketing in the COVID Era
Since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, shelter-in-place, and quarantine orders have affected nearly all our daily lives. Nonessential businesses were forced to close and rethink how they’d stay afloat during the health crisis.
Many business owners, especially those with physical storefronts, have experienced shifting consumer buying patterns first-hand. People started shopping more online and connecting with brands closer to their hometowns. Now, the ability to leverage digital marketing effectively has become an indispensable asset.
Before and After COVID-19: What’s Changed?
Rapid implementation of technology is taking place to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19 on business owners. Creative digital marketing campaigns are helping companies cope with changing customer expectations and buying practices.
Three primary shifts that are changing the market and causing business owners to finally establish their online footprints. Going digital is no longer a possibility but a necessity. In the post-COVID era, online marketing is becoming a best practice for nearly every business.
Consumer Shopping Behavior
Before COVID: Customers visited brick-and-mortar stores.
Now: Online shopping is the norm. Consumers spent 30% more at online retail shops in the US during the first half of 2020 than they did the previous year. Going outside isn’t as safe as it used to be, which is why customers are searching for more low-touch, stay-at-home options. People are more hesitant to leave the house, but they still want access to the products and services they need daily.
For example, many restaurants are experiencing a decrease in in-house dining. But, demand for delivery orders has skyrocketed. Businesses are meeting the need for at-home delivery by launching their own apps or setting up e-commerce options on their websites.
It’s crucial to maintain consistency and functionality across multiple devices. Depending on the type of product you sell, consumers may try to interact with your business differently. For example, some people might look for your product via a Google image or voice search. Others may prefer to contact you via Social Media or instant messaging. Make sure consumers can find you where they’re looking for you, and that your company shows up in their search results.
Customer Engagement Practices
Before COVID: Brands connected with customers in-person and face-to-face.
Now: Online communication is becoming the preference in the post-COVID economy. Consumers are opting for texting, instant messaging, video conferencing, and chatting over in-person interactions. Now, brands have more opportunities to reach new customers and gain their trust than ever before.
At the same time, a haphazard approach to digital marketing won’t work. Effective marketing campaigns leverage up-to-date funnel metrics and are agile enough to adapt to changing conditions.
Luckily, conversion-focused marketing campaigns are helping business owners meet Return on Ad Spending (ROAS) minimums. By making data-based decisions, companies can ensure that their messages reach the right audiences on the appropriate channels.
Hyper-personalization and engagement are helping businesses survive the new normal and thrive by achieving scalable growth. For example, trigger-based messaging captures users’ attention when they’re most likely to buy. Combining this technique with AI-based Analytics enables a continual evaluation of the campaign’s performance and changes in consumer behavior habits.
Product and Service Opportunities
Before: Business owners had limited options to integrate their web presence with reality.
Now: Affordable digital tools help small businesses meet customer expectations in a time of uncertainty and restrictions. As a result, more business owners have the chance to profit by offering promotions or incentives online.
For example, consider how financially detrimental it would be if a wine producer could no longer conduct in-person tasting events. The company could recover profits by marketing a virtual tasting session. Participants would purchase or receive the wine samples in the mail before the event. On the day of the tasting, the connoisseurs would join the video meeting via an email invite. This option could enable the wine producer to continue business while adhering to social distancing.
Contactless delivery and curbside pickup are enabling businesses to continue getting physical products into the hands of customers. But these services only succeed if customers know about them. One way companies are gaining a competitive advantage is through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. PPC marketing can be one of the most influential and cost-efficient ways to give your business the exposure it needs.
Digital marketing used to be optional or low on the priority list for some business owners. Now, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the economic impacts of COVID-19, and although none of us can be sure what the new normal will look like, we can still prepare for it.
Looking ahead, we’re likely to experience a further increase in digitization and competition between small and mid-sized businesses. Targeted and segmented digital marketing campaigns make shopping more convenient for consumers in all industries. Entrepreneurs that solve these pandemic-related challenges have a much higher chance of surviving a future crisis down the line.
Learn more about the Need for Digital Marketing in the COVID Era at Outside the Box Marketing. We’d be delighted to tell you more.