Digital Marketing is slated to be the cornerstone of brand revival efforts for businesses in a post COVID-19 scenario. The number of users on the internet and social media has grown by approximately 300 million over the last year. 4.57 billion people use the internet currently as per reports, indicating 7% of growth on a year-on-year basis. Users on social media have grown swiftly in excess of 8% from April 2019, touching a whopping 3.81 billion people currently. In fact, experts suggest that 50% overall user penetration should be possible globally by end-2020 itself, in spite of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The volume of people using mobile phones has gone up exponentially, increasing by a whopping 128 million individuals over the last year. 5.16 billion unique mobile phone users were reported in studies at the beginning of April this year. 76% of users of the internet between 16-64 years confirm that they are spending more time on smartphones in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak as compared to their pre-lockdown behavioral patterns.
Why digital marketing will matter more in a post COVID-19 world
One of the biggest recent trends has been a sustained increase in overall socializing on digital platforms with family members, colleagues, friends and even business/trade/commercial partners. Digital platforms are mostly becoming the sole channels for communication with the world outside. Approximately 47% of internet users in countries that were surveyed, have confirmed that they are spending more time on social media while close to 50% of this section confirm spending more time on social media channels than before. This is the time when digital marketing will come to the forefront, enabling businesses and brands to start the revival process in a post COVID-19 world. Newspapers, television advertisements and billboards will all bear the brunt of reduced visibility and economic upheavals (read ad budgets).
As a result, with more people online and for longer durations, chances of witnessing and responding to digital advertisements naturally go up considerably. Social media will be a major digital marketing hub along with websites that have trending or relevant content. Digital marketing will hold the key towards keeping brands/products/services relevant in an age where people or prospective buyers will emphasize more on need based purchases. The best part is that all this can be done at a fraction of the cost that would normally be required for print, television or outdoor media advertising. Digital marketing will become even more important since big companies will now realize that small firms have been benefiting from higher returns on investment (ROI) all this while. Traditional marketing returns have been slashed to half or even less in this period already.
Some important aspects worth keeping in mind:
- The total absence of live conferences/events and limitations on doing business face to face.
- B2B companies face a total loss of events, trade shows and exhibitions for networking.
- Smaller firms and start-ups may not be able to mobilize word of mouth or referrals offline in the current scenario.
- Digital channels will be the clear winner as large firms, MNCs and businesses calculate the losses from cancelled physical events and traditional advertising channels.
- Companies will most likely switch towards social media marketing, profiles, content marketing, videos and SEO and influencer driven campaigns.
- New e-commerce channels will launch along with more websites and campaigns focusing on home-workers.
- Sales and marketing professionals will develop digital strategies more including doing research on customer behavioral patterns and buying habits.
- Social media will be leveraged for establishing firm camaraderie amongst people.
- Prioritize vital campaigns and pause unimportant ones.
- Focus on solving problems of customers rather than blindly pushing products/categories.
- Inform prospects/customers about the impact of COVID-19 on your industry and business while notifying them about process changes.
- Showing support and respect for other businesses even in your own industry.
- Adopting a more personalized approach towards email lists, websites and social media channels for differentiating the brand from the competition.
- Have brief, easy to understand yet helpful content for mailers or marketing communication. Keep the disaster angle in mind while adding something useful for prospects during this time.
- Tap trending topics and see how you can connect to them with a suitable narrative online.
- Improve and enhance social media posts while keeping your website responsive, cutting-edge and highly compelling for audiences.
- Reshape and enhance your CTAs or calls to action.
- Revamp your strategy for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keep sharing more information about your brand for enhancing relationships with customers.
- Try and leverage activities like quizzes, competitions and contests for brand awareness and attracting more buyers.
- Track digital marketing results and insights for consistent improvement.
- Respond swiftly to queries and build conversations online with your target audience. Engagement is the key, more so in the current scenario.
Why should companies keep spending more on digital advertising?
Why should companies keep spending more on digital advertising?
Most companies should realize that digital advertising and marketing is the need of the hour. This is the perfect channel for differentiating your brand from the rest and also for new launches or announcements. In fact, advertisers will profit from a buyer’s market scenario where CPC/CPM has gone lower while bidding. Launching targeted search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns along with paid social media campaigns will help in tapping this opportunity.
Digital advertisements and marketing campaigns will remain the most effective and cost-friendly means of getting the message out to bigger audiences for quite some time now. Even in a post COVID-19 world, social distancing will continue to be the norm and people will continue being online, even more than before. Customize and tailor digital marketing campaigns for reaching out to this audience which is already engaged. Sensitivity, subtlety and creativity are the three buzzwords for crafting intelligent digital marketing strategies that will help your business revive and gain lost ground. Social media and other digital marketing channels are set to become the hottest new platforms for promoting/selling products and services. For businesses/brands, it is now all about tapping them for consistent and productive results.