It would be a grave understatement to say that the widespread COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives. From our work life balance to the way we shop online and keep in touch with our not-so-near but dear ones – everything has been impacted by the onset of this virus. With all these major changes being brought about, marketing strategies have had to take a detour and marketers have had to rethink how they are going to beat the odds in this new normal.
Today we’re going to discuss what businesses – both local and cosmopolitan – can do to not only stay afloat in these gargantuan waves of change but also leave a noteworthy mark in the hearts of their old and potential customers.
How to find a new balance in this age of precariousness?
The crisis we’re facing right now has led to many entrepreneurs to closing shop in the face of uncertainty. What one must bear in mind is that you only lose if you quit. Keeping the ball rolling in such a crucial time can prove more beneficial than business owners can foresee.
Since organizations are dealing with analysis paralysis at this stage they need to cogitate over the fact that any move aimed at keeping their shop alive will do exactly that – help keep the business running, and delaying decisions will only breed more future problems to deal with.
Decisions are never final since no change is ever absolute. Learning to adapt with these micro changes is the only way to persevere.
We think it’s safe to say that online storefronts, websites, and social pages will continue to be the new way of life when it comes to shopping given most people prefer shopping online due to social distancing norms or purely because it’s just less cumbersome. As it stands in 2021, the number of digital buyers in the world is at 2.2 billion, which is 1 billion more than in 2020. That makes 27.84 percent of the 7.9 billion people in the world ardent online shoppers, as stated in this article by Oberlo.
With all these new factors coming to light businesses are now forced to adopt and or adapt to new marketing methods to survive.
While some companies have been doing digital marketing for years, many are rather new to it and could use a few constructive cues to help steer their efforts in the right direction. Regardless of which group you belong to, your business could use some insight on how to survive during these trying times.
What is happening in the world of Digital Marketing at the moment?
Taking into account the recent developments around e-commerce trends many digital marketing aficionados have reported a significant increase in the number of companies wishing to launch new e-commerce channels, create or update websites, and target their social media campaigns specifically towards those working from home, and focus on using SEO and influencer outreach to reel in new audiences.
Once companies understand the needs of their consumer base and reallocate their budgets on tending to those needs via the numerous digital marketing channels available, kicking it off from scratch can become a lot easier than it seems at this point.
How can a Growth Marketing Agency understand the needs of their consumers?
When it comes to growing your business and increasing sales, the one thing that can help you win the long race is maintaining a healthy relationship with your customers. Them knowing that you, as a business, are there for them will imbibe a strong sense of trust in their hearts and they will inevitably recall you whenever a requirement arises.
Businesses can leverage the many channels to focus on understanding what their target market expects from them and all of their relevant digital marketing tactics will fall into place. Instead of getting bogged down on which channel to use, digital marketing agencies needs to recalibrate their stance on becoming a more active member of the community.
A few tips on how they can go about doing so are as follows:
- Helping others selflessly and providing value. Any business that only focuses on spiking conversions at this time will not stand the test of time. This is the time to create value in the community and focus on long-term. When people know you’re there for them they will ride for you. Creating a brand image that sings loyalty to their consumer base is key.
- Communicate effectively. When reaching out to our customers it is important to comprehend what walking in their shoes must be like. As such, you must mind your tone. Being inappropriately casual or humorous will backfire since there are people who have been hit hard by the pandemic. Instead try to sound helpful, positive, and inspirational. That way you can relate to their feelings.
- Do not bite off more than you can chew. Many businesses fall to cheap tactics such as overpromising in the face of adversity to gain the trust of potential customers. There is absolutely no need to do so. The global economy is in a standstill, so there is no reason to say you can provide products and services as quickly as you usually do or faster than your competitors. Promising more than you can deliver will only bring a bad name to your business.
- Let the status of your operations be known. Whether you are still open or have decided to halt operations for the time being, make sure to communicate that with your clients. Update any signage or messaging you may have – offline and on your website, to let them know you’re still active and offering your products. Alternatively, if you aren’t open, post a message or banner on your home page and door front to let people know of your position and provide a way for them to get in touch with you if needed.
Now that we’re clear on this front, let’s deep dive into the crevices of your digital marketing efforts to help you strategize and make the most out of this situation.
1. Reevaluate your Relationships and Offerings
The pandemic has created quite a shift in the needs of customers. And as their needs are changing, you as a business must learn to adapt to those changes. One easy way to do is it to list out your products and ask yourself how many of them are still relevant in the era of COVID.
For example if you are a fashion brand that caters to the accessory needs of your consumer base you might find that creating stylish and savvy COVID related accessories such as masks and gloves over your regular product line, may prove more beneficial both for you and your customers as that might just be what people are looking for at the moment.
If you are an only brick-and-mortar store then perhaps it’s about time to shift your efforts online. Creating a store involves a ton of technicalities which you may not be familiar with but worry not. There are some top tier digital marketing agencies operating out of NYC that can help you build your online presence in no time. Going the extra mile and creating new channels to deliver your offerings to your customers shows that you care for their needs and will create the type of goodwill that will last you for years to come even when the pandemic becomes history.
2. Think Opportunity
The silver lining to this entire ordeal is that people are spending more online than ever before. Today’s consumers were already making most purchasing decisions online before the pandemic, but now some people rarely leave the house. Investing in digital marketing – whether it’s online ads, social media, blogging, or all of the above – is a no-brainer when your target audience is spending a large amount of time every day online.
Let’s talk about how you can leverage your channels to gain insightful information and create a presence for yourself through these channels.
Content and SEO
SEO and content go hand-in-hand in improving your rankings and creating a more prominent image for your e-commerce website. The topic in itself is so vast that we can spend days taking about it and coming up with new and tailored strategies to help your business push forward. Top SEO agencies in NYC and other marketing capitals will help you draft an extensive and elaborate plan to improve your website rankings, however generically speaking, there are some crucial factors that every enterprise needs to be cognizant of if they wish to see their sales graph tread upwards.
- Target search terms related to COVID-19 that are relevant to your business. Many more people are flocking to search engines to find information on the pandemic rather than other channels and if you can connect your content to the COVID related searches, Google will inadvertently take notice and rank your website or landing pages higher.
- What’s the easiest way to lose customers that are looking for what you have to sell? Slow loading speeds! Improving your page and site load speed can give you the advantage that you’re looking for. Having a fast loading website can help customers navigate your store with ease and find what they need. It also helps you rank higher as Google factors in loading times when calculating ranking positions.
- Create and update your content regularly. Being hands on with your content that will stay relevant over time regardless of trends will build trust among your consumer base and will eventually turn interested visitors into customers. Removing non-performing or irrelevant content and arduously update and optimize content that can boost your brand image.
- If you are a local business update your Google My Business listing and optimize for local search. Optimize and update your “near me”, “around me” and “open now” queries to show for your listings. Another way to smartly use local searches is to direct customers to your online store when your business pops up. This way you’re not only retaining customers but also letting them know of your newly created online presence.
Once you’ve moved everything online, one of the fastest ways to get your business to show is via paid search. At this point any business can appear on the search result pages by bidding on the right keywords at the right time. It is fundamental to step into the minds of your target audience and understand what keywords they will or will not tend to use in their search query at a particular stage of the funnel.
Search queries can vary depending on which stage of the funnel the prospective customer is at. It is also important to have a control over your budget by not letting spam clicks drive up your bills. This can be done easily with negative keywords.
Negative keywords can reshape your campaigns and will make sure your ads show up only when the user is most likely to covert while searching with the right keywords and queries. With paid search marketing, companies can achieve predictable results, and it can be easily scaled up or down depending on budget or need.
Handling your Google ads account can be tricky business and if you aren’t familiar with the numerous metrics and dashboards, you can stand to lose money. Under such circumstances it is best to seek out a PPC marketing agency that has shown promise in handling multiple client accounts and will most likely make the best out of your dollars too.
Social Media Marketing
The average internet user spends upwards of 2 hours and 36 minutes per day on social media in 2021 according to a report by Statista. With over 3.2 billion people using social media channels daily for more than 2 hours, you can easily get your business to show if you target them the right way, on the right platform. Just to give you an idea of how this time-spend is distributed here are a few insightful statistics.
- TikTok being the up and coming platform for all video content, infotainment and entertainment has its users spending an average of 45 minutes daily on the app.
- YouTube users spend an average of 11m and 24s daily on the platform.
- Snapchat garners a spectacular 30 to 45 minutes per day on an average even after all the completion they’ve been facing with these new and upcoming apps.
- WhatsApp has become the 2nd most popular app after Facebook and has recorded a whopping 65 billion messages being sent daily on the platform.
- Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users and the country with the highest number of monthly Instagram users is the United States at 130 million, followed by India at 100 million and Brazil with 91 million users.
Click here to read more fascinating social media facts.
Social media platforms are a gold mine for business to get their word out and create a fanbase for themselves. Keeping these numbers in mind invest in social media in a way that not only drives sales but brings your brand image to a position where Gen-Z’s and millennials can connect to you.
But here’s the catch. Nor every business can be broadcasted on any or all social media platforms. You need to cater your ad spends and allocate them accordingly if you wish to see the best results. Social media ads and PPC go hand-in-hand in this aspect. So if you’re not quite sure how to go about allocating your budget on these platforms seek out a social media agency that can guide and advise you or completely take over your social media efforts – from creating interactive posts and generating informative and user-friendly content to managing all your paid social media campaigns. This market is extremely lucrative hence deploying your resources in the right manner is paramount to the success of your business.
3. Openly Communicate With Your Consumers
In this ongoing pandemic many users that have been loyally following and have stuck with a particular brand for a while now, are looking to those brands for their extended support and communication in these trying times. As a business it is important that you rise to the occasion and respond to your users. Both the consumers and business are experiencing a lot of changes and the only way to get through these times is together. Many market surveys and researches have concluded that customers have felt closer to and found it reassuring to hear from the companies that they have known and trusted over the years, during the pandemic.
As stated in an article by MarketingDrive, over 56% of customers have said that they are pleased to hear about their favorite brands taking actionable steps such as making donations in goods and cash to help those that were severely struck by the pandemic and 40% have voiced their demand to know more about their activities in response to the effects of the virus.
Smart businesses are using this opportunity to gauge what their customers would like to see them do and respond to the feedback gained from such surveys. A couple of ways to expand on the breadth of view is as follows:
- Create a customer database and segment them into smaller groups based on the stages of customer interaction and what you wish to communicate with them. This database can prove to be a nifty tool for email newsletters and to also develop multi-channel messaging across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email.
- Take the time of day out to rethink the newsletters you are sending out, the content you are creating, and the general approach you have towards communicating with your customers. When trying to address the immediate needs of your customers you might have to consider revamping your content calendar altogether or maybe reserving non-relevant content for later while you focus more on articles that cater to doubts, fears, and questions related to the current situation.
- Put some time into developing your online reputation by contacting past customers to ask for reviews and testimonials and put some of the best across your social media channels. This will not only make your customers feel valued then next time they come across your review page but will also set a positive tone for potential customers.
- Practice effective social selling. Social selling is not just about adding new contacts to your list but using a brand’s social media channels to link with prospects, develop a connection with them and engage with potential leads by creating meaningful interactions and presenting your brand as a problem-solving entity. When you do that, you’re more likely to build trust and loyalty which will inevitably push your businesses to crush your sales targets.
Hosting events used to be a pretty effective way of making your presence prominent prior to COVID but since all efforts have been moved online there’s no reason to not do so with your events as well. Until in-person gatherings are safe to resume event planners will need to invest more funds and resources into digital marketing strategies. People are growing more accustomed to the idea of having to carry out all of their work online so when events are done correctly ,with the help of the right digital marketing channels, it can actually make events easier to conduct and deliver a more impactful experience.
With a worldwide pandemic on the loose, the internet has become a lifeline for almost all businesses, reinstating the importance of investing in a digital marketing agency. Having a customized digital marketing strategy for your business is pressing and momentous to positioning your business to thrive in the post-COVID environment.
Thinking about taking your business online or boosting your marketing efforts? Worry not!
At Mobikasa we are equipped with the finest team of experts to take care of all your marketing needs from web design, to social media, SEO and paid ads, to deliver an all-round end to end service.
Ready to drive up your sales? Leave a comment below and we’ll have one of our experts get in touch with you shortly!