How did COVID-19 alter the world of Digital Marketing?
There is no industry left untouched by alterations due to the pandemic that has made the world business and economics ride through a thrilling roller coaster of changes.
There is no corner of the world and industry that has been left untouched by the terrifying impact of COVID-19. Many of us, mainly the younger generation might have never seen an epidemic situation. The world has turned upside down, from businesses to households, lifestyle, and the internet of things. Even the economy saw a lot of changes in and around. Some of the industries have seen a boost, while others have closed down. The world saw a shut down for months, making it a historic moment of the century where more than 70% of the countries enforced a lockdown. These not only included underdeveloped nations but also developing and developed nations.
A lot has been going around in the world and its functioning has been impacted severely by this cruel pandemic. The economy is under huge unrest due to more and more reserves of the world bank going into finding medications for coronavirus. Even small economies are facing unemployment as the sources of income were shut. These collapsed economies included small and medium businesses as well. Even big company names and several government organizations too halted for the time being taking preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus. With this world wide cease, business operations stopped even for online businesses. Thus, there is no skepticism against the statement that the ‘world economy’s backbone cracked’ because of this epidemic.
World vs. COVID-19
According to a study conducted by “Serpstat research” the world saw a huge downfall in the ways in which it operated. The study included participants from the USA, Germany, Spain, and some of the European states. The following data would clearly pinpoint what happened when we were locked-in our homes.
24% of the total surveyed group confirmed that either they or their colleagues were laid-off or dismissed during the COVID-19 shut.
Work From Home
One of the biggest things that turned out during the pandemic was that people started working from home or remotely. The study revealed that 64% of the participants started working remotely.
Sources Of Income For Businesses
Businesses found their sources of income shrinking, thus, they thought of diverging the SEO budget to PPC (Pay-Per-Click). About 63% of the companies favored this.
The result of the surveyed businesses showed that 46% of them lost essential customers in the past months since the inception of the lockdown. Whereas, 12% claimed they enjoyed joining-in with some new ones.
40% of the participating individuals claimed that their salaries were cut. Out of all the participating businesses, 9% said that they were planning to cut off employees’ salaries for real.
28% of the businesses said that they observed a decrease in online traffic, while 27% claimed that they had increased traffic.
Digital Marketing vs. COVID-19
Nobody can deny that even the digital market suffered a huge loss during the several months of the lock-down. Businesses and industries were drastically affected, from manufacturing to supply chain and logistics as well as marketing. Even some digital marketing businesses shut their operations preventing the spread of the deadly virus amongst their employees affecting health and safety on duty. Although this was on a temporary basis, there were still some side-effects cast on the whole business. Decreased online traffic, engagement, lower sales, and search rankings pushing down, all these can be counted as the side-effects of a shut down of an online business.
Some may say that getting your business online will help you to take a huge leap on the financial erosions, but to be careful, this is not the correct solution to gain momentum in commerce. Even if you have applied all the digital marketing strategies and tactics dealing with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Social Media Marketing (SMM), results may not turn up overnight. The acknowledged one knows that to get some positive outcome in hand, one has to wait for a minimum of four months. Thus, in the time to come, digital marketing would surely boom.
Some of the changes that Digital Marketing underwent during this pandemic follows:
Empathy is the key
Most of the brands and companies have learned their lessons well because of this global pandemic that deals greatly with only the needs and wants of the customers. This pandemic has made the customers less tolerant towards brands talking only about themselves. The customers are more interested in listening to what the product is offering and why purchasing it would benefit them.
Marketing and sales are working hand in hand
Marketing is a lot of things altogether. From gathering consumer insights, tracking and monitoring people’s reactions towards a specific message or announcement, and also collecting feedback for the business. In the century where everything is online, there is hardly a chance that anything specific to information and details is left behind. Thus, in business to business, marketing and sales are working hand in hand to achieve the goal of standing out to the expectations of customers.
Content will always be your best friend
Educational content has always been the best way to get your message out there. However, recent trends have seen that there are some formats that are getting more popular than the other such as webinars, video interviews, short content on Facebook, and Instagram. However, the content creators have to be very precise in what they put out on the social platform.
Integrated campaigns that provide value
After the pandemic and even during, digital marketing trends have been forming around the idea of creating ‘integrated campaigns’ that run across multiple channels because being present on only one kind of platform isn’t enough now. Marketers have to think about moving beyond just closing deals and profiting themselves. For instance, they now have to think of connecting with your existing and potential customers through an educational online event that you can easily promote on your social media, messages as well as sending emails to your subscribers, blog collaborations, and so on.
Imperfections are okay
The pandemic has made people focus more on the content rather than the appearance. People have become more accepting of imperfections. All they need is content that tells them something interesting, keeps them entertained and informed. Even for the video and content creators, the process has become less expensive and a lot less time-consuming. It is good news for the beginners entering into the digital marketing industry to start with less equipment and focus more on the delivery of the particulars.
The new normal for businesses indulging in Digital Marketing and other online services have to ensure that they create a space that makes the customers feel a lot safer and personalized. Adapting to the new customer behavior is the ideal way if you are looking to emerge as a leader in your industry be it information and technology to food and beverage. This is the time to reimagine your marketing tactics and adapt to survive the market.
The new shopping habits
The pandemic has made people adapt to technology in less than 3 months, that is, 8 weeks. To surprise, people have been turning towards various digital platforms to shop for whatever they need. One of the major reasons is that they are trying to establish a more contactless way to access the products and services that they need. This shift in the shopping behavior of the customers is likely to stay for long because of the benefits that e-commerce provides them including it being more efficient, affordable, and safe for the customers to shop without reaching out to physical stores. Thus, it is vital for marketers to rethink the way they used to connect with customers.
The e-service adoption
The pandemic has made the customers adapt to the new ‘e-service’ market. From banking to shopping and telemedicine visits. They are developing more confidence in e-services and so the marketers need to take on the opportunity and create newer ways to connect with the customers. It not only benefits the other e-service providers but also a golden chance for the IT industry to boom as people will be approaching them for website development and other services to grow their business larger.
Local is the new ‘best’
Brands are turning to make the customer experience more localized because the global shutdown has made all the users and customers turn to the local market. Thus, the marketers are making new social-media pages and forums for the communities to come and interact. This will not only make the marketers build a better reputation. People are seeking local businesses with greater confidence, safety, and trust with quality. However, it will be difficult for marketers to consider digital marketing and stand out the expectations of the customers adhering to their behavior changes.
Operating from home
People have learned how to work from home and operate in a space that offers them comfort, efficiency, and effectiveness. The marketers too now have to take care of providing the customer experience in a manner that can be obtained remotely. Businesses and marketers now have to sustain the advantages of smart devices by communicating their messages over them. It is a great way to begin with two-way discussions.
The purpose of your brand
Conveying social values is what makes the brands reach higher ground than the other competitors in the industry. It is all about how the brands respond to the crisis and deliver the customers because that is the only aspect that the customers measure the true ‘worth’ for continuing purchasing the goods or services of the particular brand. Thus, it is up to the business or the brand to ensure that they communicate the messages distinctively clearing on the ‘purpose’ on which they are established. It is time for action or otherwise, the cost is losing the market share.
The bottom line is that businesses have to keep meticulous monitoring of digital marketing trends evolving. These trends are not specific to only a few industries but all because there is no way that any business could survive without getting ‘digital’. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has altered operations and functioning significantly but the customer is and always will be the king. Thus, no matter what comes and goes, the only thing to success is determination and continuous adaptation to the market.