This is mainly due to the increase in time people spend online and has, in turn, influenced a change in consumer needs and preferences. However, although digital platforms have been popular for quite some time, the impact of the novel coronavirus has forced businesses to increasingly rely on digital marketing.
More specifically, there are three factors related to COVID-19 that have played a role in businesses’ decision to further adopt digital marketing. These include: the constant need to adapt to new guidelines and update advertising accordingly, the opportunity to take advantage of a sharp increase in smartphone and internet use, and the reality that face-to-face business that has been drastically reduced due to a lack of accessibility.
Adapting to Change: Who Adapts Wins
The first factor for this most recent shift toward digital platforms is the fact that businesses have had to adapt to government guidelines that change at a moment’s notice. As a result, adapting to these situations means that a business’ marketing strategies have equally had to follow suit. Therefore, creating messaging that falls in line with evolving guidelines and restrictions has not only become a useful digital marketing tool, but it has also been critical to operations during these uncertain times.
Another important factor for this adoption has simply been the importance of reaching those who are no longer leaving their home. Digital marketing has enabled businesses to target people spending more time at home and working online. Companies are making moves to become more visible and accessible online by developing or creating new websites, e-commerce platforms, and digital marketing campaigns. Evidently, by giving the ability to target consumers wherever they may be with specific and relevant messaging, digital marketing is helping businesses swiftly adapt to change.
How to Approach Digital Marketing
This begs the question of how to actually implement digital marketing strategies at this time. While each business is unique and has different goals, there are several key principles to keep in mind when approaching digital advertising during COVID-19:
- Be relevant – digital marketing has enabled businesses to provide messaging that resonates with their audience by staying relevant with up-to-date information and offerings that continue to provide value.
- Help others – support other local businesses or causes that align with you and your business. For example, a local business could reward customers for shopping on their online store by providing gift cards to local restaurants.
- Be transparent – your customers will appreciate your honesty at this time. So be transparent in your messaging and in the way your business is currently operating. By making sure you communicate changes to business hours, as well as any changes due to current health safety practices, you can maintain your consumers’ trust and continued support.
Will This Trend Continue Post-lockdown?
While digital marketing has proven effective during lockdown, it may be worth considering whether this will continue as business begins to resume to some normalcy. Will brands make the effort to continue providing hyper-relevant messaging to their customers? Or will most companies fall back to traditional blanket strategies that caters to all? The answer may not be clear until far into the future. Regardless, one thing that will be plain to see is that digital marketing provides value as a simple and effective solution to target your audience and supply relevant, up-to-date information.