Digital Marketing During A Pandemic

Marketing Strategy

Whether you are still battling through the pandemic or just opening back up, running a business during this difficult time can be intimidating or even, overwhelming. Fortunately, so many have shown the resiliency and adaptability required to stay financially competitive in this complex commercial environment.

Maintaining customer interest has proven to be a challenging component of our slow, steady return to “normal”. Marketing was initially considered an opportunity to cut costs, especially for businesses that were closing temporarily. However, many companies that are adapting their businesses to survive during the pandemic needed to communicate and engage their target markets in new ways.

The digital transformation that has occurred over the past few months has shown us various emerging, accelerating and slowing trends. Shifting your sales, services and access online will require you to identify changes in consumer behaviour, develop your business’s digital presence and adapt your marketing strategies to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adapting Your Marketing Strategy for Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic – and its widespread consequences – have affected almost every aspect of our daily lives. So, it is no surprise that the impacts on supply chains, distribution lines and sales have been substantial. Not to mention, the stores that struggled to keep groceries and toilet paper on the shelves for months and our online retailers, which have felt tremendous stress on their warehouse stocks.

Being agile and adaptable has been the saving grace of many companies who feared the worst at the start of this year’s national shutdowns. But those businesses which have managed to sustain, development or expand their business have done so by acclimating to our current financial environment. This means developing their sales practices, evolving their goals and transforming their online presence.

Digital marketing has been a surprising success (amid the pandemic), thanks to the overwhelming shift of traffic, shopping and communication to online platforms. It may seem like you have nothing to present or sell online, but you can be sure that your brand, products or services, your customers and your financial future can all benefit from remaining in the conversation and on people’s minds.

Some simple changes could make all the difference in your online presence. Initially, you should reassess, re-evaluate and refocus you’re your marketing plans. Stay calm and do not panic, this is an evolution intended to maintain or increase your exposure despite the difficult circumstances.

Understand your markets and your communities and make sure that your tone, language, imagery and campaigning are all sensitive to the current situation facing everyone. Your campaigns, as well as your timelines and goals, need to be readjusted. Be considerate of your customers and remain positive, be a trusted and supportive voice in your community and online. We need all the positivity we can muster during this time.

Changes in Consumer Behaviour

This year has looked vastly different from so many perspectives. Our movement, interactions, communications, access and activities are more limited and difficult during lockdowns and social isolation. People and societies have been reshaped by the pandemic and that means our consumers’ needs have also changed. And, so must the businesses that cater to them.

Online engagement, ecommerce and digital market access have all seen incredible rises, while in-store and face-to-face shopping, international shipping and buying on credit have all decreased. Mckinsey have identified six key changes in consumer behaviour that have occurred as a result of Covid-19.

  • Shopping: There has been a huge digital migration to online stores and retailers for almost every type of trade.
  • E-services: New e-services and digital platforms have transformed the way we deliver goods and services to the masses.
  • Home: Our homes have become the place from which our professional and social lives are led, including shopping and personal administration.
  • Community: With limited local and international mobility during lockdowns, providing for our communities has become more localised and focused.
  • Trust: Building and growing spaces that are reliable and safe for customers has become top priority. People need to trust your commitment to their physical and financial wellbeing.
  • Purpose: Brands are being held to higher standards and their role in society is under more scrutiny than ever. Your purpose for – and impact on – your community at-large need to be beneficial.

Retain and Grow Your Customer Base During Coronavirus

The success or failure of your business during the Covid-19 pandemic can depend on your ability to retain loyal customers and expand your high-value customer base. If you have closed your store temporarily or lost some of your occasional customers, your loyal customers will be the ones who keep your business open by spending more – and more often.

A strong digital marketing strategy can help you maximise your customer engagement and expand your base of returning customers. These six steps can facilitate this kind of growth during the pandemic:

  • Content marketing during the pandemic
    To develop a good content marketing strategy, a company should perform an internal content audit, provide relevant and helpful information and drive resources towards changing customer needs during Covid-19.
  • Paid advertising and Covid-19.
    Make use of conversational and brand marketing tools to keep your business in the forefront of people’s minds. Paid advertising is a great way to focus and expand your exposure during a difficult time for business.
  • Social media marketing and coronavirus.
    Whether you have just started or are well-versed in the world of social media, you need to be there now! If you have neglected your social media channels, invest time and resources into them. Business need to be online, social and active in the larger conversation going on.
  • Offer discounts and promotions.
    By offering discounts, promotions or “pandemic specials”, your business is able to attract new customers to your store and incentivise customers that have left to come back.
  • Email marketing and Covid-19.
    As has been mentioned, communicating with your target market is essential to success during the pandemic. Purchasing decisions and customer loyalty can be greatly impacted by relevant information, stock updates, free coupons, reminders, etc. being relayed via email.
  • Optimise your ecommerce store.
    It is no secret that consumers are turning to online shopping solutions during the pandemic. Optimise your ecommerce store by evaluating your homepage SEO, enhance your product pages and improve your interfaces and page loading times.

Conclusion

Digital marketing has not been on the forefront of business leaders’ minds during the coronavirus pandemic. However, many of these businesses have seen reduced customer engagement and lowered sales. Digital marketing has offered companies around the world the digital solutions they need to remain relevant and successful during the pandemic.

Digital marketing can help improve your business’s sales, engagement, accessibility and reliability even during the most difficult global circumstances.

For the best digital marketing services for your business, contact Cognite Marketing to request a free digital marketing strategy session with us.