The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes in the way we approach things. Many industries and sectors were poorly impacted, leading to unprecedented changes. Unfortunately, this is the same for marketing as we used to know it. There has been a massive fundamental change in marketing and how we do business caused by the pandemic. However, while the methods may have changed, the goal is still the same:
- Create brand awareness.
- Build customer affinity and loyalty.
- Increase leads.
- Grow the business, ultimately.
The pandemic outbreak forced every one of us to change our lives, not just our daily lives, but the way we conduct business has changed too. This crisis affected every business, irrespective of size, and led us to adapt our thinking and approach in the market and how we execute our marketing strategies.
Although the pandemic created a sense of uncertainty for businesses and the marketplace as a whole, the coast is becoming clear, and we are starting to see what the future looks like and the changes that the pandemic has enforced. This article discusses the future of marketing and the different changes that we’re experiencing due to COVID-19.
Until recently, many businesses saw the digital-first approach as a vague concept. However, recent events have pointed out the importance of this approach to businesses. As a result, most companies now see it as very important to their marketing, including their user experience and branding. This is even more important for businesses and industries that suffered greatly due to COVID-19, such as tourism and travel industries, physical retail stores, automotive, restaurants, fashion or apparel businesses, etc.
So rather than starting with devices, mediums, and channels, businesses have to pay more attention to the people that will use the technology and not the technology itself and the goal they are hoping to achieve.
So, the digital-first approach seeks to solve new problems and approach new opportunities believing that the solutions must be digital. Moreover, it is a fact that customers now shop online first for the things that they need rather than running to a shop. For these reasons, businesses must have a solid online presence as this will put them firmly ahead of other companies in the same space.
Paid Search and SEO
Out of the different ways the COVID-19 pandemic affected marketing, its effect on paid search and SEO is likely to be the most severe. This crisis changed consumer behavior from what it used to be. Then, most people could not run out of their homes to a nearby shop to get whatever they wanted to lead people to search for the stuff they need online first, instead of browsing for the available options in person and exposing themselves.
SEO has always been crucial for businesses because they only need a relatively small initial setup investment, and from there, they essentially get free internet traffic. However, the emergence of the pandemic and the resulting change in customer behavior has made SEO even more important for businesses than it ever was. This also includes local marketing and local SEO.
It is said that many businesses will fail to survive the pandemic and the massive losses that it brought with it. However, companies that survive have to realize that customers will need to check them out online first and confirm their availability before they step out of their houses to reach them. There will also be new businesses coming up, and prospective customers will check them out online first before going out to them in person. This is why SEO, paid search, and local SEO have all become more critical for businesses now than ever.
As a result of the lockdown and social distancing measures to tackle the pandemic, both paid and organic social media marketing experienced a massive boost. More people now relied on social media to socialize, so they became familiar and intimate with the different social platforms such as Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, and others. These social media platforms have experienced a massive increase in their usage.
This has led businesses to focus more on building and maintaining solid relationships with their customers. Marketers are also looking for ways to be more effective and efficient in communicating with their audience.
There has also been more focus on the corporate culture, vision, and mission. As everyone stays back at home to protect each other, we are all making sacrifices for what we believe is the greater good. This mentality is likely to find its way into many things, including the manner and form that people shop. As a result, a new sense of community will drive more customers to try and be sure that their money is going to companies that are doing things the right way.
For instance, customers may become more curious about whether their food is sourced sustainably or not and how companies are ensuring that their employees are protected and looked after during the pandemic. The best channel for marketers to achieve this goal and others is through social media, where they easily meet the customers and show them what they want to see or know.
As per changes in customer behavior, there has been a shift in how customers shop, and ad spend has also adjusted to respond to this shift. The global lockdown measures put in place at the height of the pandemic meant that print advertising shrank immediately. This also gave room to an increase in streaming services, TV viewership, gaming platforms, social media platforms, and many other in-home media.
Customers now the shop has led to an increasing focus on price, specifications, and product features. Unfortunately, the online shift in consumer behavior is unlikely to change post-COVID. This means that marketers have to focus their advertising on getting the right messages out and doing this through the proper channels.
Before COVID came, there was already a significant shift in the way people consumed content, with more people starting to choose video content over other types of content. As a result, video marketing has grown throughout the pandemic to become a significant content type and will continue to grow afterward.
Marketers realize the importance of video content and have shifted with the times. As a result, the ad spends on digital video in the past months have increased while there has been a decline for other channels.
Video-sharing platforms such as YouTube have experienced a considerable usage increase in the past few months. As a result, video marketing will continue providing opportunities for businesses to create informative, high-quality videos that the audience resonates with.
Achieving more with less
Marketers have been forced to be innovative and look for new ways to achieve more with fewer resources. They understand that they have to be strict with their priorities as far as marketing their services or products is concerned, and they must choose cost-effective tools. They must use technology solutions that help them consolidate, do more, move quicker with fewer resources, and free up marketing resources.
This trend is likely to continue in marketing in the post-pandemic future as marketers focus on initiatives and messages that generate the highest values for their business and increase the engagement from their customer base to strengthen their relationships.
Marketing as we know it has changed, thanks to COVID, and the change might be permanent. However, marketing goals have not changed. So, it is essential to adapt your marketing strategies whether you are reaching corporations or individual customers. In an ever-evolving environment like this, you must make sure you are not left behind if you want to succeed.
Sherri Carrier is a professional writer at best essay writing service reviews and a member of several writing clubs in New York. She has been writing her poems since she was a child. The young author gets inspiration from her favorite writers and people whom she loves.