The year 2020 has been a learning lesson for entrepreneurs and marketers across the globe. Data from Yelp shows that 60% of the business in the U.S. that have shut down during the pandemic won’t reopen. And the pandemic isn’t even over yet.
While the world is still reeling under the economic and social impact of COVID-19, many businesses are improvising their routine operations and marketing strategies. From encouraging remote working to building online stores – business operations have drastically changed.
Moreover, 1 in 3 consumers claims that the pandemic has altered their purchase behavior.
With people still staying indoor to ensure their safety and wellbeing, it’s become imperative for brands to reach out to their audience using online marketing channels.
This, in turn, has compelled business owners and advertisers to realize the potential of digital marketing. While the switch to digital from traditional advertising had been on the rise, COVID-19 has escalated the process.
Changing Consumer Behavior
Today, consumers are spending most of their time indoors (primarily in their homes). Consequently, they aren’t just randomly browsing through the internet. Instead, they’re searching for creative solutions to their problems.
Whether they want to purchase groceries and apparel or home appliances and smartphones, consumers are doing it online. Also, they’re looking for ways to entertain and educate themselves on the web.
Brands that tap into this trend of increased internet usage right now will ultimately reap the benefits when the pandemic is over. In other words, you need to publish valuable and enriching online content to strike a chord with your target consumers.
Altered Search Trends
According to Google Trends, the pandemic has resulted in a massive surge in the popularity of coronavirus-related keywords. Many marketers are targeting such keywords to drive increased organic traffic to their websites.
In other words, businesses have modified their SEO strategies to rank higher for relevant COVID-related search queries. Focusing on these keywords now will help you stay connected with your audience even if your business is temporarily shut.
However, it’s worth mentioning that consumers aren’t just looking for information on COVID-19. Instead, they’re actively seeking content that deals with the impact of the pandemic on their lives and offers solutions to their new-found problems.
A Competitive Landscape
The popularity of digital marketing will only escalate, even after the pandemic is over. As more business owners and marketers fully realize the importance of digital marketing, you can expect some cut-throat competition. This also means increased cost of digital advertising.
Brands that hop on the digital marketing bandwagon can leverage their early mover advantage once COVID-19 is gone. In a post-pandemic world, consumers will still continue to make most of their purchases online. And they’ll likely choose businesses that have handheld them through these testing times.
The landscape of digital marketing, therefore, has been thoroughly transformed. If you haven’t already built an online marketing strategy, it’s high time you do so. Recruiting a digital marketing agency, such as Lounge Lizard, might be a good idea at this point.
Even if you have an existing strategy, make sure you update it to fit with the changing scenario.
Digital Marketing Survival Tips
Here are five tips to up your digital marketing game in a post-COVID world:
1. Understand Your Audience’s Changing Needs
The pandemic has likely modified your audience’s needs and preferences. For instance, if you’re running a pet care store, your target consumers might be more concerned about things like:
- Can pets get COVID?
- Do pets spread coronavirus?
- How to clean your pet after a walk in the park?
Instead of creating promotional campaigns, you need to focus on providing valuable and useful content to your audience. Make sure you connect with them and identify their most pressing concerns at the moment.
From online surveys and audience polls to social listening and Q&A sessions, you can use various channels to interact with your audience. You can even host a live session on Facebook or Instagram to connect with them. Also, monitor the comments section of your blog and social media posts.
2. Strike a Balance Between Evergreen & COVID-Related Content
Of course, focusing on COVID-related keywords is going to skyrocket your website traffic for the time being. But you should also continue to publish useful and engaging evergreen content to provide continuous value to your audience.
This is essential because coronavirus-related keywords will lose their importance after the pandemic is over. However, a well-written piece of evergreen content will continue to attract website visitors for years to come. All you have to do is identify topics that will always be relevant to your audience.
For instance, if you’re running a content marketing agency, possible topics for evergreen content include:
- The Ultimate Guide to B2B Content Marketing
- SEO Content Marketing Checklist for Beginners
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Build a Tenacious Content Strategy
3. Focus on Omnichannel Marketing
Digital marketing is all about reaching your potential and existing customers through their most preferred online communication channels. It is, therefore, time to ditch the segregation among various techniques, such as:
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Influencer marketing
- Email marketing
Now that your audience is spending most of their time online, you should reach out to them using all possible channels. Create a consistent brand persona and cross-promote your campaigns across different channels.
4. Don’t Ignore PPC Advertising
Declining sales and revenue have forced many businesses to skimp on their advertising dollars. This, in turn, means the level of competition associated with certain keywords has decreased. That’s why investing in a well-optimized pay-per-click advertising campaign will be a smart move.
If search ads, such as Google ads, don’t fit your budget, you should consider running PPC ads on Facebook. Facebook ads are more cost-effective and offer a wide range of razor-sharp targeting options. Also, they’re a great way to attract Facebook’s diverse user base comprising 2.7 billion monthly active users.
5. Leave Room for Changes
One of the biggest learning from the pandemic has been the futility of building long-term plans and strategies. This doesn’t mean you should stop focusing on the bigger picture. Instead, you need to ensure that your digital marketing strategy is flexible enough to incorporate unprecedented changes.
Do you have any other COVID-19-related digital marketing tips? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.