It goes without saying that the last six months have been entirely unprecedented. Although this word has been used and overused, there is little other way to describe the world events that have shaped 2020. Businesses across the entire globe have had to rapidly update their digital capabilities in order to keep up with the fast-paced changes in society and to keep serving their customers amidst this trying time.
In order to do this, they have also had to update their digital marketing strategies; they can no longer rely on conventions, events, and face to face sales to reach potential consumers and are limited in their offline advertising such as billboards and public transport when everybody is staying home. This means that they have had to develop their digital marketing, no matter their size or reach before the pandemic hit.
As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that much business will remain online, and people will continue to work from home until a viable vaccine is found.
With the new focus on e-working and e-commerce, it is essential for small businesses to develop a well thought out digital strategy in order to maintain their share of the market when compared to larger companies. These larger corporations have more to spend on digital strategies like influencers and sponsored posts in order to ensure that their message is still reaching a broad, relevant audience. Likewise, smaller companies must maintain an appropriate and suitable message, however to cut budget expenses it is likely these small businesses will choose to create a more organic digital presence.
This organic message can come in many different forms.
There are endless opportunities to develop a stronger online presence, and as the coronavirus crisis seems set to continue into 2021, there has never been a better time to create the perfect online strategy for your business!
One of the first critical steps to developing a sound digital strategy is to research current online trends, as well as target markets. How old are they? How much time does this age group spend online? What are their preferred platforms and websites? Which colour schemes are most effective? The same questions can be asked about gender, interests, and a plethora of other traits that may influence consumers’ online habits.
Research can be conducted on social media or on search engines, depending mainly on the intricacies of a chosen target market. From which a business can adapt online campaigns to achieve results from a targeted PPC or SEO strategy.
The year of 2020 has seen a considerable increase in companies overhauling their websites and platforms in order to make online trading easier for consumers and clients. Companies that are continuing to function during this time have recognised the need for a robust digital presence, no longer can they rely on non-digital strategies and a physical consumer base to interact with their business. This has also led to some companies creating new methods to buy, sell and deliver goods and services whilst still maintaining all the anti-coronavirus measures recommended by various governments.
The importance of these digital platforms cannot be overstated; they are currently the first point that potential consumers or clients are likely to interact with. Whether this means a website redesign to create new pages and a better aesthetic, or the rewriting of sections and adding of blogs to go some way towards improving a website’s SEO ranking, there are always ways to enhance a website for a primarily digital audience.
Given that there will be social distancing and other protective measures for the foreseeable future, businesses are also getting creative with the content of their campaigns!
It can be quite hard to schedule photoshoots, product launches, or on-site consults when there is a need to account for coronavirus restrictions, no matter the budget or capabilities involved. Although this can be a setback, particularly for companies that are consumer-facing, it does provide strategists with the opportunity to be more inventive in their campaigns. In order to allow creators to work from home, businesses are considering animated advertisements, or computer created videos and graphics.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly been challenging, it has also shown the best in humanity as communities come together to support their most vulnerable members. For businesses that work within the community, this then creates the opportunity to bring these local heroes into the limelight as part of their strategy. There is a wealth of great stories to focus on that may create a more positive framing of the crisis, as well as reminding consumers which businesses have been serving them through the toughest of trials.
No matter what industry a business operates within, or whether the company is large or small, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more and more evident that we are moving into a technological age. It is crucial for all businesses to develop a strong digital strategy, as the coronavirus pandemic has moved so many consumers and clients online. This trend seems set to continue into the future, as social distancing and staying at home becomes the ‘new normal’.
At Inspired Works we have noticed a significant increase in the number of websites that now have an improved user-experience and responsivity to modern devices, this is a clear signal that businesses are prepared to invest in website development, optimisation and content to succeed in a market that has more than likely changed for good.
As content becomes more important for online growth, Holly brings a wealth of expertise in social media management and compelling content creation to Inspired Works.