We’ve all experienced huge changes over the last couple of weeks, spanning our personal and work lives. In these uncertain and unprecedented times, there’s understandably a lot of anxiety around how the coronavirus pandemic will affect businesses and the way they are marketed.
During the last couple of weeks, Loom have been in regular contact with our clients. Communication is essential as we adapt their digital strategies based on the unique circumstances they face and the evolving situation.
More generally, we wanted to help keep businesses up to date on how the current situation is impacting digital marketing activities. We will also share any new processes that you can put in place in order to help your business get through this difficult period.
In this article, we highlight a range of reputable resources and industry advice that can help you re-assess and re-adjust your digital marketing strategy as needed. We also offer some of our own insights.
While there is no silver bullet, and next steps will look different for every business, we hope this regularly updated resource will help you to shape your digital marketing strategy in a more agile way over the next few months.
What trends are appearing in light of Covid-19?
The coronavirus pandemic has changed consumer behaviour on a global scale. This means that businesses need to constantly adapt their short term marketing strategies in order to better meet evolving consumer needs where possible.
We’ve identified some of the key digital trends that have emerged over the last few weeks, as well as learnings from the more advanced pandemic in China, where consumers have been in a state of emergency since January.
Below, we outline what these are and provide links to reputable sources for you to find out more.
The topic of brand loyalty is key at the moment. Based on the outbreak in China, this article examines how important consumer trust is now and for the foreseeable future. It states, “even as businesses face mounting logistical pressures, retailers must strive to meet expectations through proactive decision making and a willingness to make trade-offs elsewhere,” adding, “loyalty can be reinforced or broken at moments of extreme social stress.”
This article notes the importance of how your brand communicates updates during this difficult time, with messages promoting stability helping people to stay centred. It states that when it comes to brand messages, “this is a time to think out of the box, but not a time to get over-clever.”
During this time, customers will have more questions about how your business is logistically dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak and how it will affect them. Having FAQs or easy to understand resources on your site will help evoke trust and transparency.
As more people stay at home, the combination of boredom and increased spare time looks set to increase mobile and internet usage. This presents an opportunity for increased online advertising reach – especially for brands who have previously focused on offline advertising. While print and traditional ads are set to slow, digital ads such as video, paid and broadcast ads look set to occupy more marketing budget.
For brands, it’s important during this time to make sure content and social assets are available for all types of ads, such as mobile, vertical, short-form video, etc.
As consumers become more conscious of their own spending, the luxury sector looks set to see a decrease in sales. While this clearly presents an immediate issue for luxury brands, this article in Forbes talks about how the knock, “can serve as a great catalyst for brands to transition to the new luxury paradigm faster than they probably would under normal circumstances.” This means re-shaping such brands to be more personable and more purposeful in order to evoke stronger brand-loyalty.
Insight from this Forbes article discusses how consumers, in particular, millennials, are responding to the pandemic. It shows how they are more focused on needs than wants when it comes to purchases, and have become more practical and realistic in what they buy. For some businesses, this could present an opportunity to meet these different needs.
With more people staying at home, consumers are looking for more quality online content and virtual experiences. For brands, this presents an opportunity to provide engaging content that could also help solidify brand loyalty during this time.
For local restaurants or food shops, the ability to home deliver is crucial when it comes to meeting your customers’ needs. Delivery apps are innovating in order to help keep local businesses afloat, hiring more staff and cutting fees for the consumers. Businesses who are able to adapt to this need quickly can provide a much-needed service.
Following on from the above, fast-food companies are also ramping up “contactless” pickup and delivery services to keep their workers and customers safe – something that can help them to continue to offer their much-needed service. Businesses that are offering their own delivery need to be able to provide a similar delivery service.
Ways to adapt your digital marketing strategy
Despite this challenging time, it’s more apparent than ever that digital holds huge power when it comes to connecting us. We want to help businesses harness this as effectively as possible and help them connect and communicate with their customers in a proactive, agile and authentic way.
We’ve highlighted some ideas on how you can use digital channels strategically during this time.
Use PPC & Biddable Media to get core business messages out
For businesses that need to communicate changes to their service quickly, biddable media can help you do this in a speedy and effective manner.
Both pay-per-click advertising or paid social can act as a great way to let as many people as possible know how your business is operating during the outbreak, helping you better serve your audience in challenging times.
Invest in organic channels to better position yourself for future growth
While this is a really difficult time, we know it won’t last forever. And based on market recovery data from previous disasters and pandemics, challenging times such as these tend to be followed by a rise in market activity.
This insight may allow some businesses the time to invest in longer-term digital marketing channels such as SEO. This strategy can allow you to help better position and solidify your web presence for the brighter times ahead – in turn reducing your reliance on biddable media in the future.
Focus on your online content
As people are at home, online content consumption is on the rise. This trend presents an opportunity for businesses to share entertaining, useful, relevant and empathetic content across websites and social media with a more engaged audience.
While online content may not impact sales or service use at the moment, good content can help to reinforce brand trust and loyalty in the long run, helping your business develop a more personal identity. However, it needs to be done extremely well to avoid coming across as insensitive or out-of-touch during a time where people are more likely to be sensitive.
What advice have digital marketing bodies given?
We’ve collated a broad range of resources provided by industry bodies and authority figures to help you better understand how others are navigating digital to best respond to the outbreak, both from a business and an HR point of view.
Biddable Media Resources:
The Drum Resources:
Bristol Media Resources:
Other useful resources:
How we can support you and your business during the pandemic
Like most of us, the Loom team is working from home. But this is the only thing that’s changed in our day-to-day working lives. We are still dedicated to helping your business ride this strange and difficult wave as best as possible by providing strategic and agile digital marketing.
Our digital experts are ready to support you in any way needed, adapting your digital marketing strategies to help you with the short term and long term implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re available on the phone, personal mobiles, emails and Slack – whatever works best for you – as well as a whole range of video conferencing and digital collaboration tools. Regardless of the methods, we’re here on this journey with you.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0117 923 2021 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.