Why Digital Marketing Is So Important During COVID-19
Jun 10, 2020 | 4 MINUTES TO READ
How Our Toronto Agency Can Help with Your Marketing
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of life as we know it, and marketing is no different. Businesses are now forced to adopt and adapt to new marketing methods to survive. While some companies have been doing digital marketing for years, others are unsure how to use it successfully. Regardless of which group you find yourself in, every business could use some insight on how to survive during these trying times.
As a leading digital agency in Toronto, WSI Comandix recognizes what is happening all around us and would like to help you with what we know and do best – web marketing in Toronto. In this article, you will learn about the effective use of digital marketing during COVID-19, and why it is the most important form of marketing during this time.
Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
All traditional marketing channels have one thing in common – the ability to convey a brand message to a broad audience. Traditional marketing includes marketing channels such as:
- Printed media
- Trade shows
Compared to these methods, digital marketing channels are more interactive. They generate instant feedback in the form of likes, views, clicks, retweets, comments, conversions, or other actions. With traditional forms of marketing, messages are broadcast to a wide audience with few options to narrow the target. Digital marketing allows businesses to choose their target audience and display custom messages that are most likely to resonate with them and encourage them to take action. This customization produces better marketing results for the business.
When Traditional Marketing Channels Shut Down, People Turn to Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing has been around for a while and has gained popularity for its numerous unique benefits. However, until recently, many businesses have relied solely on traditional marketing channels.
For context, there is almost certainly a family business in every town that relies on naturally occurring word of mouth referrals to attract customers. This is the most basic form of traditional marketing in practice. On the other end of the spectrum, there are B2B companies that tend to exclusively promote their products and services at exhibitions and tradeshows that are attended by other businesses operating within the same industry. Between these two extremes of traditional marketing is another category. These are many small and medium businesses that rely on billboards and print advertising to attract customers. In most cases, they are spending significant amounts of money on these marketing channels.
These three categories of businesses that have typically relied on traditional marketing channels are among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The different social distancing measures employed by countries around the world to curb the spread of coronavirus disrupt the fundamental building blocks of traditional marketing. With people avoiding close contact and interaction while also sheltering in place, most traditional marketing channels have no audience. Even the most eye-catching billboards or print ads in magazines are not effective since most people are not leaving their homes. A clear example of this shift is the cancellation of major B2B events with no indication of when they will resume.
Traditional marketing channels have essentially been put on pause. So, considering this new reality, how do businesses communicate with potential and existing customers? Well, the solution is digital marketing.
The Role of Digital Marketing and Digital Agencies in a Time of Crisis
People around the world are sheltering in place to avoid coming into contact with or spreading the virus. Some countries even have strict guidelines requiring citizens only to leave their homes when it is necessary. As you would expect, most people have turned to browsing the web to entertain themselves, and the web usage statistics reflect this new reality. Ever since the novel coronavirus started spreading mobile data usage spiked, and so did traffic to popular websites.
Social media channels have become the best means for people to stay in touch with loved ones and connect with people outside their homes. Almost all social media platforms have reported a significant increase in user activity over the last few months. Some businesses were quick to notice the opportunity to provide digital users with meaningful engagement during the crisis.
Digital marketing experts have reported a significant increase in the number of companies wishing to launch new e-commerce channels, create or update websites, create targeted social media campaigns for those working from home, and focus on using SEO and influencers to reach new audiences.
This is the best time to embrace the numerous digital marketing channels available today. After reallocating your budgets, getting started is easier than it seems, and the good thing is that results are almost instantaneous.
Getting Started with Your Web Marketing in Toronto
For a business with no previous experience in digital marketing, getting started might seem overly complicated due to the wide variety of digital marketing channels.
SEO & Content Marketing
93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. A business can boost its ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and increase visibility by performing Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Content marketing has the objective of attracting and retaining a target audience by providing them with valuable, helpful, and informative content. SEO is most effective when combined with content marketing. However, the results are not immediate, though the long-term impact is enormous. With the ongoing pandemic, most businesses have used content marketing to share interesting content and publish informative blog posts that educate their customers on the impact of the pandemic on their industry and how they can cope.
It is safe to say that search engines are the gateway to the web. With paid search, any business can appear on the SERP by bidding on keywords that their target audience tends to use in their search query. With paid search marketing, companies can achieve predictable results, and it can be easily scaled up or down depending on budget or need.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are some of the most popular destinations on the web, taking up a significant majority of all web traffic. Businesses can use these platforms to share interesting content and engage with their customers to keep their spirits up.
Webinars and Podcasts
Virtual events and live sessions are the only ways for most businesses to provide informative content and engage with their potential customers “face to face.” For instance, a local auto repair shop may host a public webinar to provide helpful car maintenance tips to essential workers who cannot afford to have car break downs during this time. Podcasts are also an effective marketing channel that businesses can use to engage with potential customers, most of whom are stuck at home. You could advertise on any podcast that is popular within your niche or appear as a guest to provide helpful advice or to tell an interesting story.
Most people have their smartphones virtually everywhere they go, which makes email one of the most effective digital marketing channels. For a business that already has an existing customer base, you can reach out to them through customized email campaigns focusing on special promotions, coronavirus related tips or any other type of content you know your audience likes.
There are many digital marketing channels to choose from. Instead of getting stuck on which channels to use, focus on understanding what your target market expects from a business during a crisis and all the relevant digital marketing tactics will fall into place. Some of the things you need to watch out for include:
- Be mindful of your tone. These are trying times and being inappropriately casual or humorous may not sit well with people who are hardest hit by the pandemic. Instead, be helpful, positive, and inspirational.
- Focus on providing value. This is not a time to chase conversions but rather to provide value to your community. Otherwise, people will turn against you.
- Don’t promise if you can’t deliver. The global economy is in a standstill, so there is no reason to say you can provide products and services as quickly as you usually do.
The Future of Digital Marketing – Finding the Best SEO Company
The reality we are all faced with is that the coronavirus is not going anywhere any time soon. With the timeline for herd immunity, a cure, or a vaccine still far away, experts project that normal life will not resume until at least 2021. In these circumstances, businesses that had exclusively relied upon traditional marketing need to come to terms with the new reality and embrace digital marketing before it is too late. The companies that make the best use of digital marketing will have the greatest chance to survive this pandemic and any other that might come in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marketing During COVID-19
How Can A Digital Marketing Agency Help Reverse the Economic Impact Of COVID-19?
The increased global internet usage during this pandemic has provided a great opportunity to boost your online business presence through digital marketing, which may also lead to higher lead conversion.
Digital marketing tips to help your company thrive:
- Do not cut back on your digital marketing budget. If anything, allocate more resources.
- Audit your content to freshen up your site by removing non-performing or irrelevant content and updating or optimizing content that can boost your brand.
- Focus on your online reviews to boost your local SEO for “near me” searches.
- Invest in PPC advertising to take advantage of increased internet traffic by increasing visibility and awareness.
What Is the Importance Of Content Marketing During COVID-19?
When people are mostly staying in their homes, content marketing could be an effective means of staying in touch with your customers and increasing pipeline generation. If you employ the right content marketing strategies, engaging and communicating with your customers can remain constant regardless of how the pandemic shapes up in the coming months. With tradeshows effectively cancelled, digital lead generation channels are the next best thing. While some marketers might argue that digital marketing might increase lead volume with varying quality, the same can be said of trade shows and exhibitions. If you carefully vet the leads, content marketing can be very effective in pipeline generation.
How Can You Adapt Your Marketing During the Coronavirus?
- Help others selflessly. This is the time to create value in the community and focus on the long-term. It might take longer to break-even, but it will be worth it.
- Make use of paid ads.
- Make use of payment plans to boost your declining conversion rates.
- Offer educational training for people looking for new opportunities during and post-pandemic.
- Diversify your business into areas that are less hit by the pandemic using national or international SEO where possible.
How Is The COVID-19 Pandemic Fast-Tracking Digital Transformation in Companies?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been forced to rethink their operations and focus on their digital strategy. Companies that have previously relied on traditional marketing have little option but to adopt and adapt to digital marketing. This has been reflected in the following ways:
- Increased ability to work from home
- Increased access to telemedicine services
- Exclusive use of remote learning
- Most conferences and events going virtual
- Rise of technology and tools that support team collaboration and cloud meetings
Develop an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy with WSI Comandix
The year 2020 will go down as a pivotal year in history. Many businesses will remember it as the year traditional marketing stopped being as effective, and they had to make the change to digital marketing. If your business is yet to make this shift, now is the time to start developing your digital marketing strategy and positioning your business to thrive in the new virus-conscious environment. Contact WSI Comandix to get more helpful advice for your business or to start creating your digital marketing strategy.
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