Benefits of Internet Marketing in a Pandemic

woman on phone with mask

Benefits of Internet Marketing in a Pandemic

Has your marketing strategy adapted in light of COVID-19? Now that the magnitude has set it in, business owners looking to connect with customers and maintain those relationships are re-aligning marketing strategies. Personal relationships you’ve worked so hard building over the years with customers are unequivocally valuable. Without face-to-face interactions driving daily affairs in the “new normal,” the ever-increasing demand for connection is pushing toward an amplified digital presence to bridge the gap. Reflecting on 2020-21, it may be beneficial to analyze if you’ve kept pace with the shift in the way brands connect with consumers post-pandemic. While no single recipe exists on how to structure your business’ internet marketing plan, there are a few things to consider when navigating the digital spectrum to its fullest as to engage clients and customers during these unprecedented times where seemingly more people are turning online for customer engagement.

Mobile, Visual, Virtual

Face-to-face interactions have an intrinsic personability difficult to replicate. However, the digital space is increasingly coming into focus as the primary channel to stay connected with the world. Yet as this space grows, it becomes increasingly crowded – and to stand out in the crowd an improved digital marketing channel is vital in 2021. Think mobile, visual and virtual: a full toolset for everyone from smartphone purists to those consumers who still crave the in-person, human touch of doing business sans-monitors, a-la-latte in a conference room.  

Re-launch & Refresh

Pausing during the pandemic could mean taking more time building from within. Modify your website, social media and overall online content - it’s never too late to plan for changes in consumer behavior. Companies and nonprofits are keeping pace with those changes post-pandemic, and it’s reflecting in marketing budgets. According to a 2020-2021 Nonprofit Digital Marketing Benchmark Group survey conducted by TechSoup and Tapp Networks, 43% of nonprofits planned website relaunches in 2021 to attract funding and followers. Readjusting business models to reflect the current economic situation can help engagement through focused internet marketing. Pausing during the pandemic to build and brace for the future could be as simple as refreshing or relaunching your blog, website landing pages, social media, email marketing or SEO/SEM.  

Make Customer Loyalty Count

Superior customer service remains a driving force despite the shelter-at-home-order. In fact, excellent customer service perches at the forefront of what many business owners across the U.S. analyze as a vitally important ingredient to continued economic success. Customers demand it – perhaps more than ever before. In ranking consumer priorities over the next year, 74.5% of business owners said “excellent service” was most important when evaluating customers’ top 3 priorities over the next 12 months, according to a Duke University study of 274 marketing leaders for U.S. for-profit companies entitled, The CMO Report.  

Contact Marketing

Maintaining consistent contact with customers is critical as conditions change. In addition to video conference meetings, regular emails, texts, and other communications methods, add a personal touch through your own voice. In absence of in-person messages, consider launching your own podcast or live stream to keep the enthusiasm alive with customers. Podcasting is just one of many tools for your business to help meet customers’ demand for streaming audio content, and by keeping it fresh and updated, it’s a tactful method to re-insert a personal touch that’s “uniquely you.” Bonus is the perk of receiving additional data and insights on customer behavior, an avenue worth leveraging during these challenging times when in-person meetings are not likely (at least not anytime soon).  

All-In on Digital

Businesses, meanwhile, are shifting focus away from traditional advertising and back to digital. According to the Duke University report, 83.8% of businesses placed increased value on digital experiences overall, and 84.8% showed increased openness to new digital offerings introduced during the pandemic.   According to the CMO Survey Highlights and Insights Report, businesses in 2020 experience:  
  • 74% increase in social media spending in June 2020
  • 3% decline in traditional advertising spending forecast during next 12 months
  • 24% increase in the contribution of social media performance since February 2020
  • 68% of CMOs “shifted resources to building customer-facing digital interfaces”
  • 2% of CMOs planned to “transform their go-to-market business models to focus on digital opportunities”
 

Solid Content Matters

Have you added and updated your digital platforms consistently to help ensure your demographic knows and adapts to changes you may have encountered during the pandemic that might affect them? Hours of operation, pickup-dropoff locations, pandemic-tailored policies: These are all examples of information included in a web landing page refresh or content update. If you haven’t relayed these changes or are planning adjustments in 2021, there’s no better time to act than now to make it visible to your public. Boosting more online content (website, social media) with alerts and custom-tailored messages serves the dual purpose of informing and communicating when it may not be possible otherwise.  

Strategize Post-COVID 19 on Social Media

If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that the world is connected globally - and social media is a powerful tool to connect especially during times when other means aren’t available. Social media landscapes change, and it’s important you don’t get lost in the woods. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are just a few avenues to explore in heightening your business’ sensitivity to the post-pandemic demands. What many chief marketing officers know is that one key benefit of investing in social media growth today is that you can always re-adapt it to future needs as times change. Social media spending, meanwhile, is skyrocketing, chief marketing officers reported in The CMO Survey.  

Strengthen Your Digital Presence

While some traditionalists may initially scoff at the idea of operating on a 100% digital platform, there’s simply no avoiding the surge toward digital. If customers can’t see you in person, can they visit your My Google Business account or website, company hours, COVID-19 safety protocols? Also ask: Have I adapted by adjusting how much emphasis I am putting on these digital tools?  

More Information

If you’re interested in finding new ways to branch out to your customers, keep them engaged and ultimately drive your business, reach out to the team at Social Spice Media. We would be happy to discuss ways to improve your internet marketing strategy during COVID-19.