The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic had upended the projections of every business and digital marketing is no exception. The health scare factor accelerated the need to shift gears, pronto.
The transition to remote work prompted by the social distancing measures has created the need for virtual marketing of brands, customer interactions and basically conducting overall business. The crippling impacts in the early couple of months during the first wave of the pandemic have been long-lasting and potentially permanent in case of certain businesses.
Take, for instance, a few clothing manufacturers quickly pivoted to creating and distributing masks to the public, while select distilleries galvanised their entire operations to producing hand-sanitiser in response to a spurt in demand.
On the digital front, several brands took to various social media platforms, offering free tutorials or lessons, free trials, or providing engaging and entertaining content to draw the attention of people who have been forced to remain indoors.
On the digital bandwagon
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, brands can no longer create their real-time ambiance for their products or services. They had to shift focus to digital marketing for creating the luxury of their brand for selling products as well as services.
Brands had to up their transparency quotient to show customers their worth. A positive outcome has been that this extended a better opportunity for consumers to associate and engage more closely with brands.
In a matter of months, lifestyle and perspective have shifted so dramatically for everyone, and accordingly, brands have had to shift their content to ensure that their message remains relevant and well-received.
For a brand or a company, the relevance of online presence has never been more important, and with Covid-19 the strategies that the companies were using to strive through the market were no longer feasible to function. They had to come up with plans and strategies in a short period of time to design the roadmap ahead.
As a result, the spotlight has shifted on experiential marketing as an attempt to cater to the need for customer-curated experiences. Innovation has been the mantra for brands that have had to pivot to digital events to retain a particular customer’s attention – and the challenge here has been real.
The impact of experiential marketing can last longer for almost any brand or industry as it is all about immersing consumers in live experiences whether it is through a website, webinar, or landing page.
Even tech giants are no longer competing with the improvements from their older products or services. Now, they are competing with other brands stating that ‘Their product is better than any other product’, rather than saying that ‘Our new version is better than the old one’.
The window of new opportunity: the Internet
Considering that people were confined to their homes (and of course, screens) during the lockdown, traffic and search volume had surged, so those taking advantage of these low cost-per-click (CPC) rates benefitted from a much higher return on investment (RoI) than prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
People have been spending more time online now than ever. In fact, a detailed research from GlobalWebIndex reveals that people all over the world had been spending considerably more time on their digital devices as a result of coronavirus lockdowns.
At least three-quarters (76%) of Internet users aged between 16 and 64 in surveyed countries say they had been spending more time using their smartphones compared to their pre-lockdown behaviour, with almost four in five women reporting an uptick in mobile use.
As the number of users increased over time, companies, influential brands, even tech enterprises had to produce more and more content to market, for the users to consume.
Reports released by Mindshare India and Vidooly have stated that YouTube and primary video-sharing platform garnered over 300 billion views in first quarter of 2020.
As millions of people across the world continue to surge and increase their time spent on the Internet, it is essential for brands to realise that it is important to be in front of their target audience to move ahead. Considering that customers have not stopped making purchase decisions, so businesses need to be ready when your audience searches on the Internet.
It is all about brand recall
Hope, however, remains in the fact that when this situation ends and all businesses resume, the marketing efforts undertaken will help to create brand recall and keep your business relevant in front of the target audience.
Covid-19 has changed the way companies function overnight, it also helped companies using digital marketing, as there was an 18% increase in the digital sales growth in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019, as per a report by Deloitte.
While businesses need to understand that this situation is not going to last forever, it is not a one-off scenario either. They need to retain their foothold when it comes to brand presence as it may be harder to recover later after losing the momentum; that’s how digital marketing works in the long run.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)