The COVID-19 pandemic changed the operations of many industries. If you’re in marketing, you know that things are a bit different than they were before the novel coronavirus appeared on the scene. Many businesses turned to marketers to help them figure out what to do next.
eMarketer predicts global digital ad spending will grow 17% in 2021 and reach $389 billion. The changes COVID brought to the way people shop forced businesses everywhere to step up their digital advertising games. The marketing industry scrambled to find unique ways to reach customers online.
Even post-COVID, the marketing industry is sure to keep some of the new things it has implemented in the past year. Here are some of the key factors promotional experts should consider as they continue into a post-pandemic world.
1. Know Your Client
People start to ignore what they see too much of. So many companies are on social media that users may just skim over ads. You have to find out what is different about each client and promote it in your campaigns.
Talk them through how to figure out what their unique value proposition (UVP) is. Once you know how they are different from competitors, it’s much easier to grab their target audience’s attention and keep it.
2. Retain in-Person Contact
It’s tempting to move everything online. After all, there is little risk of contracting a virus via a computer screen. However, people crave human contact after months of not seeing family and friends. There are some instances where you should maintain in-person interactions.
One example would be a new hire to your company. Make sure you bring them into the building and show them around. Introduce them to the leaders and their co-workers. At the same time, maintain social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent recommends spacing people at least 6 feet apart in a work environment.
You should also reach out to new clients. Simply chatting on the phone or via email can seem quite impersonal. Put on a mask and deliver a welcome basket.
3. Improve Your Website
Since more people are online, websites have increased in importance. Make sure your and your clients’ sites provide pertinent information.
People may still be wary of going out in public post-COVID. Explain processes you’ve instituted to keep them and your employees safe. Create a new page on your site that explains these methods in detail. How can you put them at ease? What services can you continue, such as curbside pickup or contactless delivery?
4. Increase Social Media Spend
It stands to reason the more time people spend online, the more they’re on social media. There are many benefits to promoting your marketing firm and the businesses you represent on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Narrow the parameters of who sees your ads, targeting a highly specific audience. You won’t waste money throwing an advertisement at a bunch of people and hoping it sticks somewhere. You’ll know exactly who you’re promoting to and how your UVP and business model impact them.
5. Go Mobile
You likely already ensure your website responds to different screen sizes. You may understand a lot of people access social media via their smartphones.
However, the number of people using their mobile devices to access the internet is higher than ever before. Statista estimates mobile internet users make up 91% of total internet users around the globe.
If you want to take your marketing business to the next level, you need apps your clients can easily access. You must be ready to read data from anywhere at any time. Embrace mobile technology and the power of a mini-computer in your pocket at all times. Automate anything you can and be aware of the latest tech trends.
Also, be sure to optimize your site for mobile devices. There’s nothing worse than for a user to access your site only to have problems with sizing and navigation.
6. Find More Influencers
The use of influencers has been on the uptick for a while, but many businesses turned to them during the pandemic to figure out the best ways of reaching new customers. Some of the biggest names in the influencer stratosphere report increases in the number of people contacting them for help promoting their products.
Keep in mind that the top names may be overbooked at the moment. While you can reach many people at one time, there’s something to be said for tapping into the smaller, more concentrated audiences of micro-influencers. Consider working with those who have only a few thousand followers. You may even want to create an online street team and lift up ordinary fans to become micro-influencers for your brand.
7. Host More Digital Events
People got a taste for online events, working from home and doing things much more conveniently. Even though it was a forced situation, many enjoyed the less stressful lifestyle of social distancing. They get more time with their families and to pursue hobbies.
In the future, consumers will likely demand more digital events. It’s cheaper to stay at home and attend a conference, and you don’t have to line up child care or a pet sitter.
Expect your clients to recognize the lowered expenses for their companies, too. They won’t have to shell out deposits to book a venue, hire a caterer or order name tags. Everything digital creates much less overhead.
While you may still plan and promote some in-person events, expect them to be scaled back and for cyber conferences to rule the day.
Be Open to Fresh Ideas
If the pandemic taught marketers anything, it was to be open to doing things in a new way. Look for creative replacements for promotions you used to do. Be willing to brainstorm with clients and help them as they recover from a strained economy and changes in their industries.
Stay creative and look for better options than the way things used to be done. With a little skill, you and your clients will come out ahead.
Eleanor is editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.