How Has COVID-19 Impacted Digital Marketing?

Individuals begin to view their surroundings differently when a significant event impacts their personal and professional lives. When a worldwide event occurs, humans as a whole tend to reassess what is important to themselves and those around them. COVID-19 has caused every country to limit their socializing to avoid exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus. Whether someone has previous experience in online shopping or had to adjust to life during a pandemic, consumers have turned to the internet to help them survive their isolation. They are staying home in lieu of going to traditional storefronts for their everyday needs.

For a business to thrive in challenging economic times, you must find ways to boost your online marketing expenditures, whether through Google Ads or social media platforms. This adjustment in the way you target consumers will keep you on top of the game and even attract more customers than before. Finding a company that can help you grow digitally as a small business is essential to your survival.

Why do you need an effective digital marketing strategy?

Companies that didn’t exist before the internet revolution, such as Amazon and Facebook, give hope to smaller businesses that are focused on socializing and shopping online. The companies that are mainly used at home are thriving during the economic crisis of the pandemic.

The last couple of decades has brought forth the popularity of digital ad spending, with a dramatic increase in the past few years. For example, in 2000, businesses spent only 3% of their advertising budget on digital marketing. By 2019, it was 51% and is expected to be more than 66% by 2023. The pandemic most likely accelerates the latest dramatic increase.

Consumers are not leaving their homes as frequently with many even working from home. This means that they are beginning to rely on companies who deliver to their homes to supply them. This change in the way people shop is why you need to reach them where they are functioning personally and professionally — in their homes.

The purpose of digital marketing is to direct traffic to your website or social media page. You want to engage them in their own space and convert their interest into a warm lead that will eventually turn into a sale. The great thing about marketing online is that you can track every bit of their activity. This knowledge will help you direct your marketing where it is most effective.

Digital marketing is unique when compared to traditional marketing. When presenting your business to customers through a computer or smartphone, your strategy is immune to the strict requirements of social distancing to avoid the transmission of COVID-19.

What types of digital channels are available?

The main goal of digital outlets is to drive traffic to your website or wherever you want to direct them to buy your product. Many of the most commonly used channels include:

  • Organic Searches with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    • Organic searches are the results when someone enters keywords into a search engine. Showing up in organic traffic is free to the company, but it doesn’t typically just happen by accident. There are various methods to increase your likelihood of appearing in those coveted spots.
    • Multiple studies show that anywhere from 71% to 95% of people do not venture past the first page of Google, so determining how to appear at the top is essential. Relevant content in the form of articles and blogs with SEO is just one idea.
    • 93% of information or product seeking starts with a search engine, and 59% of search engine users find a local business through a search engine every month.
  • Social Media
    • Examples of social media platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Your website is linked to your social media page, on which clients click to learn more or place an order.
    • Managing social media platforms require posting engaging content regularly. It reminds those who follow you about your products and services and even deals that you may be offering.
  • Email
    • With more people working from home and avoiding the public, they are more likely to check their email. Email was so overused that individuals began ignoring all but important and expected emails. It is once again a great place to generate traffic to your website.
    • Emails help to create your brand. Statistics show that email generates the highest ROI when compared to any other marketing approach.
  • Paid Searches
    • You can target your audience more specifically with paid ads. This service is offered in forms that include pay per ad, display, visit, or conversion. It is one of the easiest and quickest ways to direct attention, and ultimately traffic, to your products.  
    • It includes Pay Per Click, banner ads, social media post boosting, and more.
  • Mobile Marketing
    • There are 4.88 billion mobile phones worldwide, with 3.8 billion of those being smartphones. These numbers mean that 48.33% of the world has a smartphone, and this number is consistently increasing.
    • Smartphone users spend 90% of their time playing games and using other apps, so advertising through apps is a highly profitable way to reach consumers.
    • Another benefit is that mobile marketing can help collect data so that you can more accurately create a strategy.

How do you decide which digital marketing channel will work for you?

Every business owner knows that finding the marketing technique that will be the most efficient for them can be a difficult journey. All forms of marketing are effective for someone, but each industry has specifically better ones. Some types will bring quicker revenue while others are more a long-term solution.

Increasing organic traffic is important and can be accomplished by increasing direct and referral traffic. Organic traffic is one of the most coveted advertising channels. It is one of the best long-term methods; however, you may realize faster income by selling through established online advertising venues, such as Etsy, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Google Shopping.

The best choice is to employ a combination of options that feed off each other, such as links on a Facebook page to Instagram and your website.

One of the biggest marketing challenges during the pandemic is how to market to businesses (B2B) effectively. Business to consumer marketing (B2C) marketing is typically put in front of people in their homes anyway. Consumers and businesses want a personal touch since they are now performing even the most mundane activities online. Virtual events are on the rise, and people appreciate transparency. They want to know that companies and their products are trustworthy, while making them feel important. Digital marketing can be helpful in adjusting to how consumers have changed their mindset because of COVID-19.

How do you choose what digital marketing platform to use?

There are several factors to consider when debating which strategies to incorporate into your marketing, with the most basic answer being to focus on your strengths. Social media may be the best option if you are an extrovert or love networking and socializing. On the other hand, if you write well and your forte is indirect communication, finding a plan that makes you prominent in organic searches may work best.

Each channel with which you work will feed off each other, so the more presence you have will only strengthen your visibility and help to create a consistent voice for your brand.

HourGlass Media is a digital marketing agency built to create tangible results. For 15 years, we have helped over 3,000 small to medium-sized businesses discover the benefits of Multichannel and Omnichannel marketing. We help each client define their vision and develop an actionable plan to achieve their goals. We know that each industry and client comes to us with different needs, and we adjust to each circumstance accordingly.


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