5 ways COVID-19 has changed marketing for good
As we move further into 2021, we take a look at the many ways COVID-19 has changed the way we approach marketing, and why this might actually be for the better…
- 8th February
Before we begin, we’d like to say a huge well done – you’ve made it through 2020! It’s been a tough year, but we’ve no doubt your business has adjusted well to this bizarre dystopian sci-fi novel we’ve suddenly found ourselves in. But can the same be said of your marketing?
The approach to marketing has needed to change significantly over the past year, an impact that in our opinion will continue to last long after we’ve said good riddance to COVID-19. Now in the throes of Lockdown 3.0, almost a whole year since the first time around (ah, memories), we take a look at 5 key ways we believe COVID has changed marketing for good.
- A digital-first approach
2020 saw a huge upsurge in digital marketing for obvious reasons, but this is a trend that is set to stay. The importance of a strong online presence is now more critical than ever, as this is where many potential customers are turning for answers. Internet usage is sky-high, so your online brand needs to make the best first impression possible and inspire them to get in touch. That’s why there’s never been a better time to invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to improve your website’s rankings. By aligning your web content with the search terms customers are using to discover these answers, you’ll ensure your business remains at the very top of their search results. Importantly, with remote working now the norm for many businesses, physical marketing efforts will inevitably take a back-seat, as customers get harder to reach at home addresses. Pursuing this physical approach can often be more hassle than it’s worth due to the time and effort required to get the necessary data in order. Instead, a digital alternative is a much better bet. This can’t just be like every other email campaign you send, however – it has to have the wow-factor in both appearance and execution, setting you apart from the all-digital din.
- A smarter approach to social
With over 450 million more users active on social media since 2019 (yes, you read that right!), you’ve now got a bigger audience than ever at your fingertips. So why not grab the opportunity by the horns and start harnessing the full potential of social in your marketing armoury? Start making more use of sponsored social ads and pay-per-click (PPC) to capitalise on this captive audience. Enhance and grow your social community by taking the time to engage with customers and partners; interact with their posts or create polls they can vote on, and never underestimate the power of a hashtag. Evaluate which social platforms are best suited to you instead of just sticking with what you’ve always had. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are constantly growing in popularity, so find out how you can best utilise these to stay relevant. Most importantly, don’t forget to measure success – it could be the difference between you becoming a social media legend and a lemon.
- More streamlined marketing
Diving deeper into a digital marketing approach needs the right tools. It’s why integrated collaboration suites the likes of Microsoft 365 are becoming the coolest kids in school – they both offer employees the best experience possible and help streamline marketing operations (MarkOps). What’s more, by harnessing the rich stack of game-changing technologies now available to marketers (MarTech), marketing can be more effective than ever! Productivity is accelerated, budgets are able to go even further, and the chances of success are greatly increased. Capitalising on MarTech is a complete no-brainer, but with thousands of tools available, scrutiny and evaluation is critical. A top pick is marketing automation, with 20% of marketers harnessing it for email campaigns and 68% of businesses now using it in some way (HubSpot). We’ll be exploring the many advantages of automation in the coming weeks, so watch this space for more insight!
- Great content is critical
Strong content has a massive hand in helping to boost your online brand, and has never been more crucial. As potential customers turn more frequently to the digital experience, your content could become the deciding factor between them pursuing a sale or not. It should always be high-quality, timely, and appropriate to the platform on which it appears. This often means having a think about whether short or long-form content would work best at what time. Short-form content like social posts should tease the customer to interact, and long-form content should aim to convert a passing visitor into a warm lead that demonstrates some intent. If you’re not creating thought leadership content on a regular basis, your customers will switch off. It’s so important to prove credibility in your content and make your business their go-to for answers.
- A new age of events
Many global events have either needed to be cancelled or morphed into virtual offerings over the past few months. While it’s highly unlikely every industry event from now until forever will be a virtual one, there are benefits to at least making a virtual option available. A lot of the time potential guests can’t attend in-person events due to personal commitments or the cost implications of travel, but deciding to make an event virtual, or at least introducing a virtual element, helps eliminate these obstacles. Bonus tip: if your business isn’t already taking advantage of webinars to maintain momentum in the absence of physical events, you should be.
There are loads of cool ways in which marketing will change post-pandemic, but we strongly believe this is for the better, and encourage you to embrace them with enthusiasm and an open mind. After all, the future is a mystery, and it’s always better to be prepared for whatever life throws your way.
We’re here to help you grab hold of these exciting opportunities and get the very best out of your marketing regardless of pandemic, zombie apocalypse, alien invasion, or other, so give us a bell if you’d like to learn more.