Top 7 Digital Marketing Strategies to be Successful
The world experienced a major crisis when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the early days of 2020. It’s not the first time the world experienced an epidemic, but this is very different.
The effects of this pandemic are catastrophic because COVID-19 is a total failure of multiple (health care, economy, supply chain logistics, etc.) systems, all at the same time. Before and after pictures of how the world looked and operated are so dramatically different, it’s not even recognizable!
Just in the U.S. alone, according to the Labor Department, over 30 million people lost their jobs in June 2020. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut permanently since the pandemic escalated in March, according to researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago. According to the CDC website, the number of deaths related to COVID19 in the U.S. is over 192,000 as of Sept 12th, 2020.
In addition to the above health crisis and economic disasters, many hospitals experienced a severe shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and stores ran out of sanitary items like hand sanitizers, toilet rolls, etc.
All these changes related to supply chain, healthcare, unemployment, etc. point to dramatic changes in the economy, competitor landscape, and lifestyle. To be successful, businesses need to adapt their operations to find new leads & marketing strategies to respond to these challenges to continue to do business in a new world that looks radically different from the one we left behind.
Post COVID-19 lifestyle heavily relies on online activities such as virtual meetings, social media networking, and e-commerce.
So, if you are a business owner and wondering how you can continue to grow your business post COVID-19, here is a list of things to consider for your marketing plan.
1. Marketing Audit
2. Revisit Search Marketing (SEO, PPC, & Local SEO) strategies
3. Invest in Content Strategy
4. Shift to Mobile First
5. Go Social
6. Email Marketing
7. Secure Good Reviews
Most of the items on the list above can be done in any order, but it’s a good idea to start with the Marketing Audit.
The pre and post-pandemic situations are dramatically different. A lot of things have changed, for example,
a) The products and services people need today are different (and sometimes non-existent) compared to the pre-pandemic.
b) With thousands of businesses closing, and some businesses changing their product line to adapt to the new world, the competitor landscape might have changed.
c) The world is increasingly becoming contact-less. Most in-person events and activities have gone virtual or contact-free. Instead of trade-shows, network meetings, and one-on meetings, we are now using Zoom meetings and video calls.
d) With over 20 million people still either unemployed, underemployed, or worried about keeping their jobs, businesses have a challenge finding demand for their products and services in the new economy.
So, this new way of doing business demands a new set of skills, forms of communication, marketing strategies, resources, and policies to keep businesses alive. So, if you haven’t already done an audit of your marketing activities since pandemic, this may be the time to get it done to identify the gaps and take care of them before losing the business.
Invest in Content Strategy
Content is the central piece of inbound marketing. Content in digital marketing is used in all three (attract, engage, and delight) phases of an inbound marketing strategy to influence conversion. Content can be product demo videos, case studies, and product reviews, etc.
In addition to people having unlimited access to smartphones and 24/7 high-speed internet connectivity, the pandemic has forced people to use online methods for e-commerce.
Because of the limited availability of visiting stores, online content is where people can come across or experience your products. It’s a smart strategy to produce online content for all stages of the buying journey.
User-centric content that generally answers people’s questions like, what is your product, why should they use your product, and how it can help them solve their problem, etc. dramatically help conversion. In the absence of physical store visits, the videos demonstrating the use of products and services help them make buying decisions easier.
Revisit Search Marketing (SEO, PPC, & Local SEO) Strategies
An effective digital marketing solution should be focused on driving targeted traffic to websites and generating leads. Search marketing services such as Google Ads (aka PPC), SEO, and Local Search optimization are the best tools in a digital marketing toolbox to grow your business in this contact-free economy.
With changes to competitor landscape, people’s lifestyle & earning potential, it’s no longer the same market. So, you need an updated marketing strategy to deal with the newly emerged challenges and transformed demography.
To reach new lead demography, It’s essential to revisit your marketing and communication strategies. You may need to consult your marketing team to see if the pre-epidemic SEO/PPC strategy still makes sense. You may need to put together a plan to target new keywords, different or additional demography, and need to expand or change the geographical scope, etc.
Search marketing techniques (SEO and PPC) not only help to clearly target your customers, but they can also make your marketing campaigns efficient and expand the scope for a nominal cost. It has never been easier for small and medium businesses to go regional and national with their marketing campaigns.
Make sure you update the settings in Google My Business (GMB) page to let your local prospects and clients know you are open for business, the modified schedule (if applicable), and whether your products and services have changed (in-person dining vs. curbside pickup only, etc.) recently.
Shift to Mobile First
Not long ago, people were using laptops for most personal and business activities. With over 80% of the U.S. population using Smartphones, the ability to reach the prospects and customers has never been more effortless. Because of this, the need for making things work seamlessly for smartphones has become a top priority.
Modern Society is driven by gadgets that help people with their Micro-moments. Micro-Moments can be defined as instant urges to turn to their gadgets to do something, watch something, or buy something. Smartphones have been serving these challenges very effectively.
So, if your website and marketing are not built with a mobile-first strategy in mind, you may be incurring a revenue loss, so it’s time for you to get started!
With more and more people using social media to stay connected with their family friends and stay up to date with news, events, and products, your social media presence may be one of the first touch-points and experiences customers have with your business.
Social Media campaigns can be used to launch new products, improve your reputation with customers, create brand loyalty, and even generate leads.
From creating viral campaigns to building Social proof and interacting with your customers, you do various marketing activities with Social Media platforms. Here is a list of some interesting ideas.
Email marketing is a cost-effective tool that allows you to easily reach a broad customer base. Surveys say over 54% of smartphone users check email on their phones multiple times a day. Developing a method to capitalize on these interactions is critical.
According to the Campaign Manager report, during COVID19, the email open rate has gone up by 20%. Constant Contact reports that for every $1 a company spends on email marketing; they can expect to earn $38 of revenue on average.
Email marketing is one of the best strategies the marketers can use with such an impressive ROI (approximately 4 times better ROI than other digital marketing strategies).
Here is a list of some popular email platforms. It’s crucial to pick the right email marketing platform since it can have a significant impact on the success of your email marketing campaigns.
Secure Good Reviews
Having great reviews to influence buyer’s decisions was necessary before the epidemic, and now it’s more crucial than ever. It’s no secret that positive social signals and influencer marketing help drive sales. Reviews are proof of positive customer interactions and instill a sense of reliability about your brand and competency.
You can collect customer reviews on your own site or use product review platforms. These third-party platforms, usually for a fee, enable the customers to add and reviews and share ratings on social media and link review data to your sites. Here is a list of popular review platforms.
In conclusion, the pandemic will end, hopefully, sooner than later. When it ends, there will be clear winners and losers in the business world. Businesses that made bold changes to adapt to the new norm of doing online business in the contact-free and mobile-first economy will thrive and come out unscathed. Businesses that failed to take online and e-commerce initiatives to cater to the ever-demanding online shoppers will fail to compete and eventually close.