The pandemic has struck us like lightning. It has affected the economy, the people, the businesses and of course our lifestyle. Everything related to the virus has been discussed, blogs have been written and when it comes to marketing, strategies have been revamped and refurbished.
As we find ways to acclimatize to the ‘new normal’, we must keep in mind that there’s an end to this conundrum. Every business owners and brands must be ready to bounce back and return stronger and smarter.
Marketing post-COVID-19 will demand that brands and companies redesign their performance game plan and develop continuous experimentation within the key practices such as SEO, PPC and social media.
A proactive approach is what needed to sustain and grow your business during and post the crisis. Knowing your marketplace/ customer/ consumer needs is always the best way to meet market demands – but what you knew before may not serve you well tomorrow.
Here’s how you can approach your marketing post-COVID-19:
Develop a plan to “take the temperature” of the marketplace. You need to hear and listen to gather new information. Don’t assume anything. Your customers can tell you what they will need, but you must ask them.
In this time of rapid change, it’s critical to conduct customer interviews, surveys, market research or customer feedback by other means. Gather the comments, attitudes and data, then analyze. And please be objective, that is, be open to things you may have never thought would occur, and to how it can impact YOU!
Try social monitoring tools that could help you discover what people think about you as a brand. And remember, lead with empathy, not competence. Try to be part of the solution to their problems.
You might have had your 2020 plans, but then COVID-19 happened and everything went out the window. Such an indecisive time requires forward-thinking, new strategies and re-planning on many fronts. Armed with these new insights from the marketplace, you need to re-plan and prioritize strategies and tactics in all critical areas that could help you grow.
Understanding what your customers will value in the post-COVID-19 business world and acting on it will ensure your survival and success and put you ahead of major competitors. This cannot be over-emphasized. Knowing the customer will sort the post-COVID-19 business winners from losers.
It’s also important to remember that customers buy VALUE, and value comes from meeting their needs, which comes from understanding their needs, in their words and actions. Focus on providing value, and revenue and profit will take care of itself.
Going digital is the norm
An industry that witnessed a positive impact from the crisis is the digital world. Billboards that would usually have been seen by thousands now stand beside empty streets, fewer people are venturing out to get newspapers, shop for clothes, electronics and nobody is holding events.
In the meantime, with so many more people online and for longer, the chances of seeing ads on social media or interacting with content marketing blogs are greater.
With a growing demand for online services and amenities, there are some obvious verticals you need to focus on to:
Social media – one of the best places to reach your target audience. You need to distance yourself from being a brand that blatantly promotes their products. Social media was made for communicating and sharing, so communicate with your audience. You must speak their language to truly connect with them.
Create a new buyer persona in accordance with the post-pandemic period. If you’re able to figure out what interests your audience, you can accordingly plan your social media content that your audience can relate to.
You can consult a social media marketing agency in Mumbai to get a brand new perspective and insight that could help you revamp your social media presence.
Also, a great brand presence in social media will help you obtain loyal customers who can help you generate business through word of mouth.
Website and SEO – having a website is an absolute necessity as it represents the face of your company and business online. If you have a website just for the sake of it, it will be the equivalent of a visiting card left inside a drawer that’s rarely opened.
You must have a website that conveys your business’ value and holds the attention of the users with a superior and user-friendly design. The internet is filled with websites that offer similar products and services as you, so what sets you apart? Figure that out and see the change for yourself.
Now that you have a unique website, you need to work on your SEO.
If you already had an SEO strategy in place before the pandemic took over, you need to keep in mind that the rules have changed. The search trends are significantly different and you must learn to revamp and adapt to it.
With the data collected through social monitoring and gathering new insights, you need to strategically target keywords and put out content that gives value to the users. This will not only lead to a better SERP ranking but also contribute to the rate of conversion.
Content is still king and if you’re able to create content that stands out and assists your audience in a ‘non-promotional’ manner, the content will convert.
Of course, when the restrictions are lifted the initial reaction of many will be to jump offline and do things that they couldn’t before – visiting friends and family, visiting museums and theaters, returning to pubs, restaurants, sports grounds, places of worship, gyms and libraries. However, digital marketers must keep in mind that the recovery would be gradual and not a sudden rebound – leaving sufficient space for digital to thrive.
It is likely that for many, using the internet more for shopping, gaming, keeping in touch and other activities will have become something of a habit. In addition, it could well be that consumers emerge from the crisis with some very different priorities, values and attitudes – all of which could impact how they want to spend their time and money.
As the world goes increasingly digital, so will marketing. What marketers need to do is understand the changes in the buyer personas and respond with modified strategies for a different, post-pandemic world.