There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we used to live. It has affected everything from the way we interacted to how we did business. This is why when the pandemic struck and everything shifted online, digital marketing boomed!
For a very long time, traditional/offline marketing has been trying hard to compete with its online counterpart. You can say that COVID-19 was the final nail in the coffin for traditional marketing activities.
While in the pre-pandemic period, agencies were trying hard to convince businesses to pursue digital marketing, post it, the conversation has shifted to pursuing digital marketing strategies that offer the greatest ROIs.
Nearly all studies and researches show that every aspect of online marketing has increased. In this resource article, we see five major ways COVID-19 has changed digital marketing forever.
COVID-19 and Digital Marketing: What really happened?
As soon as the pandemic struck with its full force in March 2020, most countries of the world went for lockdowns. These nationwide lockdowns lead to the closure of shops and businesses in the US, Europe, and Asian countries.
With millions of businesses suffering, governments of different countries allowed for- Online or Ecommerce Operators to function. Businesses like Amazon saw great gains, so did platforms like social media. In more ways than one, the pandemic changed consumer buying preferences forever.
Everything you needed was available online and getting provided through online platforms, technology, and software-
- Day-to-day grocery requirements were getting fulfilled thanks to platforms like Amazon, Walmart, Carrefour, and others in the field.
- Going to the movies was substituted with streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney. The entertainment needs were taken care of at home.
- Communicating with friends and family members was made possible thanks to messenger platforms like WhatsApp, Skype, and others.
- Remote working became the norm and platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet became the accepted ways of doing business worldwide.
- Social media platforms helped people learn new skills or simply spend time-consuming content the world over.
According to Igloo agency, our growing reliance on digital platforms meant brands became eager to be present on them. As consumers, we’re discovering, researching, and buying online, digital marketing became the most sought-after activity for businesses, big and small.
List of 5 Ways COVID-19 Changed Digital Marketing
1. The priorities of customers have shifted on online platforms-
There is a certain distrust of brands that only engage with self-promotional advertising. Customers in the post-pandemic period want to buy from brands that are helping.
They expect brands to help out in some way or the other towards improving the pandemic situation. For example, customers expect businesses to take note of their employee safety.
According to experts, there is a form of an unwritten social contract that has formed between customers and brands. The expectations have exceeded just from quality products and pricing to societal impacts and issues.
2. Brands are more conscious about digital marketing given their increased investments-
In the pre-pandemic period, maintaining a presence online was part of a brand’s basic hygiene. However, ever since digital marketing spends and investments have increased, brands are engaging with strategies, ROIs, and processes.
This means that agencies have come under fire and are their actions are being scrutinized much more than ever.
Brands are looking at everything from the quality of the guest posting articles to the kind of posts that are going on social media. Since the investments are bigger, the stakes have also been raised higher.
3. Social Media has shortened the customer’s buying cycles-
Social media platforms have undergone their own specific transformations in the pandemic. That warrants a separate article in itself.
However, they have been credited with shortening the consumer buying cycles. For example, Facebook Store and Instagram Shop have condensed the search and discovery period with actual buying. Ecommerce stores have also benefitted from this.
In-app purchases are one of the biggest things that have emerged from the pandemic. This has led to brands increasing shopping ads on Facebook.
4. There has been a shift in how brands promote engagement on online platforms-
Rather than hard selling products and services, brands are now looking to emerge as authoritative voices in their domains. This means providing possible solutions to what problems people are searching for online rather than pushing products down their throats.
A lot of brands have started seriously investing in their website blogs and dedicated resource pages. The chances of winning consumers through Inbound Marketing can help create a loyal customer base.
This is why they are willing to spend on markers that can help them establish their expertise. This is the approach in everything from social media to guest posting and link building.
5. Content creation on search and social is going through a dramatic transformation-
Following from the above point, one of the best ways brands would engage audiences was through their content. The basis of this content has seen a dramatic shift in the post-pandemic period.
One direct fallout of this is Influencer Marketing. The focus on smaller influencers with more engaged followings is what brands are after.
A lot of emphases is also being given to video content as this is the most engaging of all content types. Additionally, short-form videos like Instagram Reels and TikTok are also becoming very popular.
The Bottom Line
Brands that have been able to understand the transition have not only been able to sustain themselves, but also register growth. Businesses that kept playing the waiting game and keep expecting things to get better with time have been forced to close shop.
Either way, the discipline of digital marketing has grown. It has grown from something that was vague to something that has a direct, clear, and comprehensive purpose. The strategies have become more result-oriented and performance metrics are being tracked.
If you have any other questions, you would like us to answer on digital marketing, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below. We will be more than happy to address any of the concerns you might have.