Over the last couple of months, many of us have sadly faced a number of challenges, spanning both our personal and work lives. In these uncertain and difficult times, there is understandably a lot of anxiety around how the coronavirus pandemic will affect businesses and the way they are marketed.
During the last month, we here at Omni have kept in regular contact with our clients in order to keep them up to date with how the situation may affect them. Communication is essential as we work to adapt your digital marketing strategies in the face of this unprecedented and ever-evolving situation we all find ourselves in.
Our biggest aim throughout these challenging times is to give our clients the up-to-date information and help they need in order to continue their operations as effectively as possible. This includes informing businesses about how the current situation is affecting digital marketing activities, and sharing any new processes you can put in place to aid your navigation through this period.
In this article, we will highlight a range of reputable resources and current industry advice, alongside some of our own insights, to help you, and us, adjust your digital marketing strategy as needed. Although each business will require its own tailored ‘next steps’, we hope that this regularly updated resource will help you to adapt and prosper over the coming months.
What trends are appearing in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Unsurprisingly, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed consumer behaviour in a way not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. As the situation continues, businesses will need to adapt their short-term marketing strategies to better meet the changing needs of consumers wherever possible.
We have identified some of the digital trends that have emerged over the last few months, as businesses and consumers adapt to this ‘new normal’.
This is a critical time for brands to reinforce loyalty
Gaining the trust and loyalty of your customers is always important, but there has arguably never been a more important time to reinforce the idea of brand loyalty. In order to remain relevant to their audiences in these times, businesses may be required to make some changes and trade-offs.
This article by Bain & Company stresses the importance of adaptability: “even as businesses face mounting logistical pressures, retailers must strive to meet expectations through pro-active decision making and a willingness to make trade-offs elsewhere,” adding, “loyalty can be reinforced or broken at moments of extreme social stress.”
Messages of Stability are important to help people stay centred
Communicating with your customers and audience during this time is crucial. Promoting stability and normality is important to help people to stay centred. Although you will need to think outside of the box, getting “over-clever” may do more harm than good.
Consumers will have more questions about your business’ services
As uncertainty continues to rule, customers will probably have more questions about how your business is logistically managing the COVID-19 outbreak and how this could affect them. Setting up an FAQs section or easy to follow resources on your site will help to promote trust and transparency.
Consumers are spending more time online & digital socialising is on the rise
With a huge proportion of the population now staying at home, mobile and internet use is seeing a huge spike. While some businesses may be cautious of continuing advertising campaigns, this time could, in fact, offer an opportunity to increase the reach of your advertising – especially for brands who have previously focused on offline advertising.
While print and traditional ads are set to slow, digital ads such as video, paid, and broadcast ads look set to occupy more marketing budget. During this time, it is essential that brands can take advantage of increased digital exposure. Investing in digital content ads such as mobile, vertical, and short-term video could be crucial in moving forward.
Changing brand perception
With an unprecedented health pandemic and the resulting lockdown, people are becoming increasingly aware of a looming financial slowdown. In times like these, the luxury sector is more likely to see a decrease in sales. However, this could be turned around by working to change brand perception.
This article in Forbes reveals how the knock “can serve as a great catalyst for brands to transition to the new luxury paradigm faster than they probably would under normal circumstances.” This means re-shaping such brands to be more personable and more purposeful in order to evoke stronger brand-loyalty.
Practical and realistic purchases on the rise
It has been reported that customers – in particular, millennials – are changing their shopping habits in response to the pandemic. People are becoming more focused on needs rather than wants when it comes to purchases and are opting for more practical purchases. For some businesses, this may present an opportunity to meet these different needs.
Virtual experience and online content are more important than ever
As people continue to stay at home wherever possible, there has been an increase in audiences looking for quality online content and virtual experiences. Taking advantage of this could help to set businesses apart from the competition and enable them to continue to engage with their customers. Engaging content could also help to solidify brand loyalty during this strange period.
Consumers are purchasing more food online
As the importance of social distancing has taken the stage over the last few months, and for the foreseeable future, an increasing number of customers are buying food online. This represents an opportunity, not only for food shops but also local restaurants to offer home delivery in order to continue doing business.
Delivery apps are innovating in order to help keep local businesses afloat, hiring more staff and cutting fees for the consumers. Businesses who can adapt to this need quickly can provide a much-needed service.
Contactless deliveries are key to providing these services
Following on from the above, food companies are also ramping up their ‘contactless’ pick-p and delivery services in order to keep their workers and customers safe. This is crucial in order to maintain customer confidence in your services. Businesses that are offering delivery will also need to maintain a similar delivery service.
Ways to adapt your digital marketing strategy
It has become more apparent than ever that digital holds the power to connect us. Our aim is to help businesses to harness this potential as effectively as possible and helping them to connect with customers in a pro-active, agile, and meaningful way.
We have highlighted some ideas on how you can use digital channels strategically during this time.
Using PPC & Biddable Media to get your core business messages out
In order to communicate changes to your services quickly, biddable media can be invaluable. Paid for social and search ads can help you to reach your potential customers in a speedy and effective manner.
Both pay-per-click advertising and paid social is a great way to get your message out to as many people as possible and let your audience know about any changes to your services during the lockdown.
Invest in organic channels to better position yourself for future growth
Although this is a stressful and unnerving time for everyone, it is important to remember that it won’t last forever. Looking at data from past disasters and pandemics, challenging times such as these have often been followed by a rise in market activity and a gradual return to normality.
Looking ahead might allow you the time to invest in more long-term digital marketing strategies such as SEO. This will help to better your position and reinforce your web presence for the future. In turn, this could reduce your reliance on biddable media.
Focus on your online content
Online content has become more important than ever as people stay at home and inevitably use the internet more. There has never been a better time for your business to share engaging, useful, and relevant content across your websites and social channels.
Although this might not always translate into sales or service use right now, in the long run, continued engagement can reinforce brand loyalty and help your business to develop a more personal identity. Crucially, however, make sure that your content is sensitive to the situation or your business could appear out of touch.
What advice have digital marketing bodies given?
We have gathered a collection of useful resources, provided by industry bodies and authority figures, to help you understand the most effective ways of navigating your digital marketing strategy during these times. Hopefully, these can help you to figure out how to respond to the outbreak and lockdown in a way that could potentially benefit your business.
- Google’s response to COVID-19
- 5 principles guiding our media teams in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak
- 3 things we’re considering as we rethink live events
- Working from home? 4 tips for staying productive
- 6 tips for better video calls while working at home
- How To Address The CoronaVirus Pandemic For Your PPC Campaigns
- Navigating The COVID-19 Crisis: A Guide For Retailers
- Five Things PPC Pros Can Do NOW to Keep Commerce Moving In The COVID-19 Era
- 4 Major Trends Caused by COVID-19 and How to Respond
- New to Working Remotely? These Resources Can Help
- Navigating new work challenges
- Linkedin Covid-19 Trusted resource feed
Other useful resources:
- Managing Complex Change: COVID-19 – Consultancy Covid-19 Playbook
- Coronavirus Business Support
- Coronavirus: supporting yourself and your team
How Omni can support you and your business during the pandemic
Like most of us, the Omni team is working from home. But this is the only thing that’s changed in our day-to-day working lives. We are still dedicated to helping your business ride this strange and difficult wave as best as possible by providing strategic and agile digital marketing.
Our digital experts are ready to support you in any way needed, adapting your digital marketing strategies to help you with the short-term and long-term implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re available on the phone, personal mobiles, emails and Slack – whatever works best for you – as well as a whole range of video conferencing and digital collaboration tools. Regardless of the methods, we’re here on this journey with you.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0114 3490785 or email us at [email protected]