6 Reasons Why Digital Marketing Is Essential During the Pandemic & How to Get Started
The COVID-19 pandemic rattled businesses across the globe. From small local businesses to major corporations like Disney, companies are being forced to make tough, strategic decisions to withstand the continuing effects of the pandemic.
Companies are being forced to shut their doors or pivot their strategies entirely to make it through the pandemic. And with the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight, businesses must look to long-lasting strategies and tactics for a solution.
As a result, adopting a strategic digital marketing strategy has never been more essential for businesses of all sizes.
Digital marketing has been and will continue to be a wise investment for companies. Through digital marketing tactics, small and large businesses can stay connected to customers, continue to sell products and services, and position their brand as an authority — all without a physical presence.
Why Should Businesses Embrace Digital Marketing During the Pandemic?
Across the world, businesses are experiencing sweeping, but often necessary, restrictions to eliminate the coronavirus. Many of these restrictions limit the occupancy and operating hours of a physical business, and they force employees to work from home, when possible.
In addition to allowing a business to remain operational when under pandemic restrictions, there are six distinct reasons why digital marketing is now more important than ever.
1. Your Customers Are Now Online
Between the statewide stay-at-home orders and various business restrictions, your customers are online now more than ever. Even if your business thrives on in-person interactions and selling opportunities, these new mandates require companies to embrace online marketing tactics to survive.
In March 2020, right as the virus widely impacted the United States, total internet hits skyrocketed by 50% to 70%. Demographics that were previously not active on the internet adopted new technology and behaviors to stay connected to loved ones, shop online, and keep up with the world news.
Customers are online now more than ever, and this mass adoption of online consumption will only continue to grow in the future.
2. Digital Marketing Strengthens Customer Relationships
For businesses that built a loyal customer base through personal in-store interactions, the thought of relying on digital marketing tactics can be scary. Instead of face-to-face conversations, you’re separated by screens and buttons.
Yet, through personalized marketing automation, social media posts, live streaming videos, and endless other digital marketing strategies, companies can strengthen their existing customer relationships while creating new ones entirely online.
By remaining active online during a global pandemic, businesses can ensure their brand is consistently in front of the right audience while actively working to attract new customers.
3. Advanced Targeting Capabilities
Through digital marketing tactics, like display advertising, social media advertising, and more, businesses can intricately target their efforts toward a specific audience.
These efforts go beyond income and location demographics too. With digital marketing, you can target everything from an audience’s interests to online activity. This depth of targeting is nearly impossible with in-store and offline marketing strategies!
4. Cost-Effective Promotions
In comparison to outdated and traditional marketing channels, digital marketing offers a wealth of cost-effective opportunities for businesses — even before the pandemic.
Digital marketing, on average, can cost a company anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000-plus per year, depending on the scope of the work and the strategies used. On the other hand, traditional marketing channels, such as television, radio, print, and events, start in this range for a single ad or campaign.
Also, traditional advertising mediums tend to be limited in nature. Companies are restricted to a specific time slot or location for their advertising. The possibilities with digital marketing are virtually endless and start at mere pennies per click!
In a time when companies are struggling to generate revenue, producing more results with fewer resources is key, and digital marketing efforts can help make that happen!
5. Acts as an Additional Sales Channel
Thanks to COVID-19, companies that previously operated solely in person have launched online marketplaces or in-depth websites as a way to continue generating revenue.
As a result, these online entities act as an additional sales channel. For example, a local gift shop can create an online store to continue selling their products, or a manufacturing firm can develop online resources as a lead generation tool, driving in qualified visitors and connecting them with the sales team.
When embracing digital marketing, the opportunities to increase B2B and B2C sales online are endless!
6. Increased Brand Awareness
By utilizing digital marketing, companies of all sizes can increase awareness of their brand on a local, regional, national, and even global scale.
Through various social media, content, and advertising initiatives, companies can improve awareness and recognition of their brand throughout their target market. In 2020, HubSpot found that 33% of marketers are using digital marketing tactics, such as paid advertising, to improve brand awareness.
Rather than relying on traditional, verbal, word-of-mouth (WOM) brand awareness, companies can look to digital WOM metrics like retweets, shares, and mentions across social media platforms.
5 Digital Marketing Tactics to Leverage Now and Well Beyond the Pandemic
Get started with digital marketing today by adopting these five tactics and strategies:
1. Search Engine Optimization
With a worldwide increase in internet usage comes an uptick in search activity as well. This means if your website isn’t ranking for relevant and local keywords on search engines such as Google, you’re missing out on a significant amount of website traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) works to position a business’s website, content, and information in the search rankings for a specific query.
This digital marketing tactic involves a multitude of components designed to influence a website’s rank on search engines. These components include:
- Keyword-optimized website content
- Backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites
- Internal linking strategy
- Website speed
- Optimized website metadata
Since 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine (BrightEdge), it’s imperative to ensure your company ranks for relevant local, topical, and industry keywords during the pandemic and the future.
2. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Companies looking for a digital marketing tactic that’s low-cost and extremely efficient at driving sales experience great success when utilizing pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
This tactic involves creating targeted ads based on online activity, keywords, search intent, and other various factors. When a user clicks on the ad, the company is charged per click. Often, the cost per click (CPC) is anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on the competitiveness of the keyword or campaign goal.
These paid campaigns can be utilized to direct searchers to a specific online product, content piece, or web page. Google has even reported that businesses experience an average $2 return for every $1 spent on Google Ads.
3. Social Media
Most businesses understand that they need to be active on social media in 2020 and beyond; however, they fail to realize how much they can accomplish on social media!
From organic post content that captures the attention of your loyal audience to advertising campaigns designed to attract and target new fans, there’s a wealth of possibilities for brands available on social media.
With an uptick in adult social media usage as a result of the pandemic, businesses are flocking to social media to identify and engage with potential customers. And with the new ability to use social media platforms as an additional sales channel, companies are taking advantage of these networks to drive e-commerce revenue during the pandemic as well.
4. Email Marketing
Among the top digital marketing tactics used well before the pandemic is email marketing, and there’s a reason for its widespread use: a 3,800% ROI.
You read that right! Successful email marketing campaigns result in a $38 return for every $1 spent.
With email marketing platforms, companies can personalize their email workflows and individual messages to increase their chances of conversions.
On top of being a vital communication channel during the pandemic, email marketing also offers a phenomenal opportunity to drive revenue during challenging times.
5. Retargeting Ads
As much as an increase in internet traffic leads to more website visits, it doesn’t always lead to increased conversions. However, these users are still scrolling and shopping around the internet.
With this in mind, businesses can use retargeting ads to recapture the attention of a previous website visitor. This tactic is especially helpful for companies looking to increase their online conversion rates during the pandemic.
Pro Tip: Add a call tracking number to your retargeting ads to track offline leads generated from these efforts.
Position Your Business for Post-Pandemic Success by Embracing Digital Marketing
By building a solid digital marketing strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic, your business will be well poised for success beyond the challenging times.
And by tracking your online and offline success with toll-free phone numbers, you’ll know exactly how well your digital marketing efforts are performing. Claim your vanity or toll-free number now!