Enhancing Your Digital Marketing during the Covid Era
Since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, the corona pandemic has upended life as we know it in an unprecedented and profound way. The business sector has been hit particularly hard, with nearly a quarter of all UK businesses either putting a halt on trading or closing temporarily. Most businesses have had to adapt in order to survive.
One important measure that any business can take to get through these trying times is increasing their online presence and digital marketing. Online trading is one of the only factords which doesn;t seem to have taken a plunge during the covid pandemic, In fact it’s blossomed, with some sectors reporting growth of over 100% year on year in online sales.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at why digital marketing is so important for companies in the current era. We’ll also explain how businesses are adapting, how you can enhance your company’s digital marketing strategy and what steps you could take to prepare for digital marketing post Covid.
Table of Contents
- Why businesses are increasing their presence online
- Understanding digital marketing in Covid times
- How to build your digital marketing strategy
Why businesses are increasing their online presence?
With people spending more time indoors, digital marketing is more important than ever. In addition, government issued Covid rules as well as those introduced by local authorities are restricting how businesses operate. As a result, in many sectors of the economy, demand has also taken a nosedive.
Sadly, some companies have already gone under, or at least witnessed many layoffs, while others are being kept afloat (just) with the help of government aid. In order to get by, many businesses have went online to retain relevance and consumer interest during this tumultuous time.
Growth of digital marketing
Throughout the 2010s, more and more businesses made use of social media and employed search engine optimisation (SEO) in order to increase or establish their online reach. However, now, many companies who have yet to fully optimise their online strategy are falling by the wayside as the need for a strong online presence continues to grow.
Throughout the pandemic, the internet has in many ways, has at least temporarily become the world’s primary social and consumer space. It is therefore essential that you adapt and have a good idea as to what approaches you can take to perform well in the online world.
With a high-quality digital marketing plan, you can improve the chances of your business surviving the pandemic. Through online marketing, you can remain engaged with your current customers, as well as reaching new potential customers based on your target demographic(s), even if your business has a limited or non-existent physical presence at the current moment.
Not only is a strong digital marketing growth strategy important for surviving the Covid-19 pandemic, but it could also improve the strength of your business all round and future-proof it for the years ahead.
While establishing an online marketing plan may be daunting at first, there are plenty of straightforward steps you can take to begin your digital marketing journey today.
Understanding Digital Marketing During the Covid Era
Adaption & Research
In the current climate, digital media is no doubt more valuable than it was this time last year. Marketers are adapting, although most are making short-term alterations to their marketing plan with few committing to lasting changes.
It’s important to embrace the changes that might be necessary for your business to continue, even if it doesn’t feel natural at first. This might even mean moving sales online for the first time or, alternatively prioritising online sales to a greater extent than before.
For instance, plenty of retail and catering companies have now put more of an emphasis on click & collect. Whilst some businesses which once provided classes or training, are now doing so via paid video stream.
Whilst every sector and business is unique, but there are some general questions you should consider regarding your online presence or the lack thereof.
- How could I use social media to my advantage?
- In what way might digital media help my business survive?
- Can I increase sales by online means? And if so, how?
- What steps could I take to better reach my target audience online?
- How can I reach customers, by online means who have not been able to or have chosen not to visit my business (if applicable) in real life? And how might I cater for these customers, such that they can enjoy my service or business again, even if in a virtual context?
Target Audience & Sales
Who is your target audience? When it comes to online marketing, it’s important that you know what your customers and potential customers are looking for. You should also consider how their lifestyle and consumer needs may have changed during the course of the pandemic.
Many business owners, will instinctively have a strong idea of who their target demographics are. However, with the data on hand via social media, you can understand your target audience even better than before.
Using online marketing tools available via platforms such as Facebook and Google Ads, you’re able to target likely consumers more accurately. With these data driven platforms allowing you a clearer understanding as to who exactly you should be trying to reach and how.
Digital marketing allows you to target people who have visited your website or shown an interest in your product, create lookalike audiences of your current customer base to increase more sales, optimise your marketing spend and lead your business ahead of your competition.
How to Build Your Digital Marketing Strategy
The consumer world is changing. Some brands who were already targeting ‘sofa-surfers’ have either managed quite smoothly during the pandemic or have seen their sales go up!
Take Zoom, for example. Between March and April 2020, Zoom saw peak daily meeting participation increase by over 100 million! Unfortunately though, for many businesses and particularly those who are primarily reliant on real-world sales, it has been anything but a positive year.
In this section, we’ll take a look at different points you’ll need to consider when launching your own data driven digital marketing strategy.
1. Web Content and SEO
Nowadays you can easily create a decent quality website using services such as Wix or Squarespace. However, are you optimising them efficiently?
The first step is to ensure you have your own domain. These are very uncostly and look much more professional than having, say a .wixsite.com or .weebly.com web address.
It’s also important to keep your web content up to date. Post regularly, update plugins, check your user experience and your site speed. People have short attention spans these days. So if they find your site tricky to operate, slow or frustrating, then they won’t stick around for long. Make sure you are clear as soon as they land on your site the services you offer and avoid any confusing clutter on your site.
Further, you should check out the analytics section for your website or/and use Google Analytics to understand how people are using your site and how many visitors it is receiving, as well as to access other helpful stats!
2. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
As for SEO, this is a process of improving the scale and quality of traffic to your website by optimising your sites content. Search engines such as Google look for certain attributes when ranking your site against your competitors so it’s an important subject. It can often be the difference between you and a rival clinching a customer.
One particularly important concept in the world of SEO is keywords. These are words or phrases that people are more likely to search for when performing a Google search.
For example, if I ran a stock trading company. Some keywords to include would be broker, trading, blue chip stocks, investment etc. By featuring these relevant keywords in your web content and meta description, you’ll increase the likelihood of more people finding your content!
In terms of web traffic, the difference between optimised and non-optimised content can be huge! And in these uncertain times, it may even act as a lifeline that could save your business!
If you’re a small business, one great way of reaching more people is by using keywords that, while searched for in a significant enough volume, are not used by many of your competitors.
This way, your website is less likely to be lost below a range of bigger brands. However, these potential steps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content optimisation. There are many SEO techniques that you should consider. Such as calls to action, site crawls, web speed and sitemaps just to name a few.
If you need support when it comes to content optimisation and more, we can provide you the help you need with our high quality tier 3 plan.
3. Social Media and Blogging
There’s currently about 2.7 billion users on Facebook, while apps and websites like WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram also have more than 1 billion users worldwide.
Needless to say, social media is a great way of marketing to customers and potential customers online. When it comes to posting social media content, it is best to keep it short and sweet, where possible.
There are also certain times of the day and week when it is more effective to post on social media when it comes to engagement. For instance, 11am to 1pm is considered a great time window for posting on Facebook in the UK while Sunday is the worst day of the week in terms of engagement. However, this can vary greatly dependant on your brand, customer demographic and what you are selling.
If you can afford it, you may prefer to hire a social media marketer to expand your social media presence, which is also part of the digital marketing packages we offer.
Posting videos on sites like Facebook and YouTube can also help increase awareness of your business and help in the first stage of the sales funnel, should you take this approach. Blogging is also a useful tool for your business to attract more clientele.
If you choose to post content online and wish for it to help with your online sales, you should research what methods you can use to keep your readers hooked. Further, you’ll want to include some sort of call to action (CTA) at the end of each piece. For example, this might mean encouraging readers to sign up to an email subscription or even checking out your online store.
4. Online Advertising
While there is a lot you can do for free online to improve your company’s digital marketing, sometimes you need to give in order to gain. If your business is in a particularly dire situation, you may be very hesitant to spend anything, if you even can. However, if you have something to spare, it’s worth keeping an open mind. The key to advertising online in a way that is successful is to reach your target demographics and offer them something that they might be looking for or by provide a solution to a problem they may have. Once again, you’ll want to do this in a way that outperforms your competitors.
5. Email Marketing
In comparison to many of the other options a company has when it comes to customer outreach, email marketing is one of the cheapest. Due to GDPR regulations, whoever is on your emailing list has voluntarily signed up, meaning you have an already engaged audience to send promotional material out to. Not only this, but email marketing can also allow you to automatically send out emails and offers to website visitors who have added things to their cart but failed to complete the transaction for whatever reason.
Offering these “cart abandoners” a simple nudge or even a small discount like 5% off their purchase can help to complete a transaction which otherwise would have fallen by the wayside. Not sure where to get started with email marketing? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can give you some tips and advice for FREE!
What Else Can I Do?
If you’re looking for more ways to increase and improve the online marketing of your business, you should contemplate starting a podcast or launching an online guide or/and course. If it’s within your current budget, you may even want to sponsor a YouTuber or online influencer, if it’s relevant to your business. This could be a great way of promoting your brand to a suitable internet audience.
Preparing for the Post-Covid World
With the recent announcements of effective Covid vaccines passing phase III trials, many people are cautiously looking toward life after Covid and it’s important that you prepare your business now.
You should think about what online elements you may continue to focus heavily on after the pandemic and how your online and real-world presence can coexist as effectively and beneficially as possible post-Covid!
Digital marketing during the pandemic is important but even after, much of the changes seen during this era will be here to stay to some degree or another. It is arguably more accurate to say that rather than the world returning to normal after Covid, we can expect to enter a ‘new normal’ where remote working and digital marketing, among other changes will remain more important than they would have otherwise, had this pandemic never occurred in the first place.
We hope you enjoyed our guide as to why businesses are increasing digital marketing at this time and how you can do so for your business! Don’t forget to check out our blog and like our Facebook page for more helpful marketing content. For practical support, you can sign up to one of our top of the range monthly marketing subscription packages via our online store, where we also offer a logo design, start-up plan and a chatbot building service.