From Surviving To Thriving: 5 Ways Digital Marketing Can Help Business Adapt to the Age of COVID-19
It has been roughly two and a half months since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a Pandemic. Since then, different countries around the world have taken several steps to halt the disease spread. This has led to a rapid change in the way society as a whole operates. Even the digital world is not left out of this new phase we are entering. Changing consumer behavior and online interactions are sending a lot of businesses especially those offering non-essential products and services into a panic mode. These businesses are experiencing both a steady decline and negative results with their digital marketing efforts. This, of course, has sent their Digital PR and marketing experts scrambling to find new viable solutions best suited for the COVID-19 era. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective, feasible, and tactical ways you as a marketer can adjust your existing strategy to build back momentum and mitigate losses for your clients during this difficult time. In this article, we are going to discuss five top recommendations on how you as a digital marketer can adapt your marketing strategies to the age of COVID-19.
1. Show Empathy
COVID-19 has disrupted the daily life of many. A lot of individuals have seen their loved ones fall sick, lost their jobs, or are struggling with a failing business due to the pandemic. Not only is there a great deal of uncertainty, but also fear, concern, and anxiety. This is the time for you as a marketer to step up and show brand empathy. In simpler terms, your marketing efforts should clearly indicate how your brand is doing its own part in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19). A great first step would be with your messaging, it needs to be thoughtful, significant, and positive in response to the unprecedented situation. As a marketer, you can have a significant and positive impact on the specific number of people you are reaching. It is important to remember that empathy can distinguish honest authentic communications from regular marketing.
There is no doubt that your business or that of your client exists to deliver value. But during this difficult time, your focus should be on how you can make an impact with your messaging. For instance, you can embrace a strategy whereby your brand donates a certain percentage of proceeds gotten from sales during the pandemic. The main idea is that you are using your marketing approach to bolster the standards and values of your brand. Customers can see right through a commercially exploitative marketing campaign, which can result in a feeling of deep resentment towards the brand. The truth is customers are rapidly choosing brands that do more than just product development and sales. They are patronizing brands that align their business structure by doing good and giving back, especially when people are most vulnerable. as empathic with their strategy are poised to gain respect and attract new loyal customers.
2. Track social sentiment to understand your audience
Human behavior and online user interactions are rapidly changing due to COVID-19. This means that what worked some months ago in terms of your messaging might be completely obsolete and ineffective right now. A smart move would be for you to measure social sentiment and consumption trends regularly to better tailor and present your messaging. This enables you to create purposeful content that customers are most likely to search for and consume. As a marketer, you need to understand that trends depend largely on consumer obsession over a particular subject matter. Trends are powerful because they reflect the current mood of a large number of people. The best places to start your investigation include community forums, social media platforms, use of premium social analytics tools, and even reports on consumer attitudes, habits, and expectations. The whole idea is about closely observing and monitoring anything that widely represents the general mood of a vast number of people. This move is powerful because it provides you with an insight into the consumer mindset around a particular subject. Using the input you have acquired from conversational clusters, site behavior, social analytics tools, psychographics, etc you can then segment your broad audience accordingly. Afterward, adjust your strategy and messaging to ensure that the relevant information customers are looking for is ready and clearly available.
3. Consider Paid Ads
A lot of brands across different regions are shifting their focus and relying heavily on organic content posting. This move is in response to uncertainty in the financial markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are bracing for financial impact by cutting back their ad spend and slowing down their investments. In order to still engage their audiences, brands are looking for inexpensive alternatives with lower risks. Now that there are little or less small to medium businesses using paid ads, the competition in that area is less intense, leading to a decrease in cost per click (CPC) and resulting in cheaper Paid Ads. As more people stay at home in observance of social distancing and self-isolation measures, there has been a surge in web traffic, and fewer advertisers mean lower cost per clicks (CPC’s) and cheaper paid Ads. This presents you with a great opportunity to acquire some bit of market share, as other brands cut back on advertising. Even though there has been a drastic drop in the conversion rate of certain industries, it is nowhere near the reduction rates of cost per clicks (CPC). On average, certain industries in various sectors are receiving higher ROI on paid Ads than before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Ever since several quarantine measures against the COVID-19 were put into effect in different parts of the world, there has been an increase in internet use. This is a strong indication that a lot of people are turning to the internet for a variety of different reasons. However, users are also shifting their focus to other areas, in search of new engaging and interesting content to consume. Given people’s digital habits and online behavior, you can consider paid ads in other areas like social media and video platforms.
If you haven’t tried paid Ads, especially if your business offers essential services or products, you should definitely consider it. If you already have, consider doubling it, as bids are lower and cheaper than ever before.
4. Geographic Diversification
There is no doubt that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a global issue, however, some countries are worst hit more than others. While the swift response of some countries against the virus has slowed down it’s spread and saved thousands of lives, others are witnessing an explosion in daily cases. The truth is a reduction or rise in the disease spread can affect your web traffic either negatively or positively. The best thing would be for you to develop a strategy that guarantees constant results either way. By knowing this, a smart move would be for you to consider international expansion. It is too great a risk for you to rely heavily on a single country for all your web traffic. This might also be one of the reasons why you feel none of your other efforts are paying off. In order not to expose yourself to risk, you need to diversify the regions you get your traffic from. Developing a global SEO strategy might take some bit of time, depending on your technical skill, experience, and available resources, but you can be certain that the rewards are great.
5. Observe, Modify and Implement
As user behavior and online interactions changes so will the digital landscape during and post COVID-19. There is no one fits all solution or approach against any impact the Coronavirus might have on the digital space at large. Hence, you will likely need to be more hands-on than usual as many of the widely used key performance indicators are in flux. Conventional tactics won’t work at this time, only exceptional and innovative ideas. Tracking or reevaluating your regularly can inform you of changes in the landscape, to develop a new plan for action. Therefore you must be ready to alter any spending budgets, alter bids, and adjust your campaigns frequently.
It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves across different critical sectors. A lot of individuals, businesses, and organizations have felt the bitter end of the pandemic. Even digital marketers are not left out of the loop as their clients who are bracing against any financial impact are either cutting back on Ad spends or other related investments. However, businesses and organizations that have the necessary resources to weather the storm must adopt an effective new business model that conforms to the present situation.
The only way for your business to survive and emerge strong after the pandemic is for you to act and make informed decisions based on the current interest, mood, and pattern of customers. Even though it might take some time for your efforts to yield results, you must remember that only those businesses that take adequate steps and adjust to the new environment will be in a better position to emerge triumphant when normalcy returns.