It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted a huge number of industries, and also digital marketing hasn’t been unscathed. Lockdown has resulted in many businesses having to adapt not just their marketing plans, but their entire business models.
Professionals from many different industries, including digital marketers, will need to gather learnings from the past three months and apply these to future marketing strategies. Here are some of the ways digital marketing has been impacted by lockdown and what that means for the future of online advertising.
More adopters of video content
At the very core, lockdown has changed the way we communicate. Unsurprisingly, more people are using video to communicate with family, friends, colleagues, partners, clients and really everyone and anyone. Barriers have been broken when it comes to technology and generations of people who have previously avoided such communication methods are now more confident than ever using video calling. What does that mean for video content? It means there is more acceptance for it and the ways we consume media in general.
On top of this, lockdown means it’s much easier to consume video content: being at home more means more freedom to watch video content as and when we choose, no reliance on data allowances or needing headphones on public transport, no having to wait until we’re home from work – simply put, there is more time to watch videos.
For businesses who have been considering video content as a part of their digital marketing strategy – there’s never been a better time to strategise and invest.
Businesses are more agile
As a result of coronavirus and lockdown restrictions businesses have had to adapt quickly. Some have completely changed their business models overnight in response to Covid-19; setting up online shops in a matter of days, creating bespoke delivery services, utilising social media to take orders or creating entirely new business streams such as producing masks or hand sanitiser.
As lockdown begins to ease and industries return to a new normal, we’ll see businesses more open to investing in their digital assets. A word of warning for marketers however, the speed and agile approach to digital marketing during lockdown means that business owners will expect things to move much quicker when it comes to digital marketing following lockdown. Clear timelines, dependables and deliverables are highly recommended to ensure expectations are managed for both parties.
Responsive content marketing and creative
We are seeing a similar agile movement for digital content marketing and creative – brands are quickly responding to lockdown through the assets they are producing. Subtle simplicity here can be all that is needed to make an impact.
Video conferencing brands changing visual assets to include images of people working from home instead of working in offices. Baking brands promoting recipes around cheaper product alternatives or using store cupboard ingredients or 2 ingredient recipes or running brands promoting programs around running for mental health and meditation rather than marathon training plans.
Local SEO is more important than ever
Lockdown restrictions mean consumers have more limitations on where and how they can shop and in fact, we’ve found that consumers are actively looking to shop locally. Local SEO is critical for ensuring local businesses have a presence with their local community.
There’s some simple things businesses can do in this space to ensure they can be found locally online; ensure your Google Business Listing is in place and up to date, ensure media channels clearly indicate the business location, ensure your website is marked up for local search and consider highlighting your local presence strongly across key pages in the conversion funnel and through advertising channels.
A more consistent tone of voice
We’ve seen the backlash that comes with brands promoting messages that aren’t in line with their tone of voice, and this will only be amplified following lockdown. The key message here is that it’s ok to be emotive and empathetic, but only as far as it fits with your brand. Content should be promoted in line with the existing tone of voice to maintain brand consistency.
Broadly speaking, law firms shouldn’t start posting tips for parents working from home and in the same fashion, fast food restaurants shouldn’t post statistical content on the impact of coronavirus on mental health.
Even more advertising relevancy
There is so much advertising data surfacing as a result of lockdown; more people at home, means more logged-in searching and less cross-device and incognito activity. Advertisers will be able to use this expansion in information to increase the relevancy of their advertising and give consumers what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it.
This benefits everyone! Consumers get what they’re actually looking for, and increased relevancy means advertising spends will become more reasonable and controlled, benefiting businesses.
Finally, if nothing else, use this downtime to refocus
If you’re one of the many businesses affected by coronavirus and your marketing budget has been diminished or repurposed, use this downtime to reevaluate your marketing plan.
Consider changes you’ll need to make when businesses begin to open up on a bigger scale, can you invest in video? Consider improving your customer communication channels and if you’re a local business, ensure you’ve done everything you can to ensure your customers find you.