COVID-19 delivered a wake-up call to people, governments, and organizations all over the world. It has demanded a reassessment of relationships, policies, methodologies, and general ways of thinking. In that sense it delivered a silver lining amidst the chaos.
Among those who may benefit most from recognizing that it’s time for change are businesses. Old methods of connecting to customers and clients have proven less effective over the last fiscal year and even with the arrival of the vaccine there is no turning back. Companies that made it through the economic recession must rethink their customer/client acquisition strategies, not to claw their way back, but soar into 2021 and beyond. This will occur through increased adoption of digital marketing.
How Businesses Must Evolve Their Digital Marketing Strategies After COVID-19
I. Move Sales and Bookings Online
Look no further than the consumer activity of baby boomers through 2020. As a result of COVID-19, approximately 45% of the baby boomer generation have increased their online shopping activity, with over 60% of them using post-online purchase delivery services (i.e. Amazon) more than they used to.
Baby boomers are traditionally the least trusting among consumers when it comes to online shopping and booking. But now that they have had a taste of its convenience they will not return to old habits. The same goes for the other consumer segments, which of all increased their use of web-connected devices to compare options (prices, selections, etc.) and make purchases.
“The dramatic rise in the adoption of e-commerce and omnichannel services, sees no sign of abating. The latest data suggests that there will be a huge increase of 169% in e-commerce purchases, from new or low frequency users, post-outbreak. And, what’s more, the vast majority of consumers who have increased their use of digital and omnichannel services, such as home delivery, curb-side pickup, or shopping via social media platforms, expect to sustain these activities into the future.” (FORBES)
Growth of eCommerce is unavoidable for any business that hopes to sell their products and services in our post-pandemic world. Follow these 5 essential steps towards eCommerce success to make it happen.
II. No More Social (Media) Distancing
The examples of how social media became an essential business tool in 2020 are everywhere. With frequently changing hours of operation businesses needed to reach out to consumers in real-time to let them know about both schedule and procedural changes. Businesses that did not have adequate eCommerce systems (as per above) in place to buffer the loss of “in store” sales had to take to Facebook and Instagram to sell their products and services. Those businesses experiencing disruption in the supply chain needed social media to communicate updated shipping information. Again, the examples are numerous.
COVID-19’s impact on the economy struck fear in the hearts of all businesses in 2020, but for those without the crutch of social media to lean on it was downright terrifying. Moving forward, your business must increase its social media marketing efforts. Facebook and Instagram have made some significant updates to their advertising platforms to allow businesses to grow their sales post COVID-19. Will yours take advantage?
III. Adopt a More Organic Way of Making a Living
Traditional (and costly) marketing channels were rendered ineffective throughout the pandemic. What good is billboard signage and transit advertising when consumers are spending fewer hours in commercial environments? What good are expensive radio and TV ads when adoption of streaming audio/video services skyrocketed through COVID-19? Who is grabbing newspapers and periodicals from magazine racks and other high-touch surfaces anymore? The answers are none, and no one.
Your customers and clients are going online more then ever to consume content. They begin their search for content on Google, and when prompted they look for products and services on the very same resource. Will yours show up at the top of their organic search results pages? The only way to ensure this occurs is to optimize every single page on your website for organic success through the science of SEO. Learn more here.
IV. Evolve Your Website for the New (and Improved) World
Everything above leads to this key call to action. Efforts to increase eCommerce activity, organic traffic, social media driven purchasing, and other digital marketing initiatives (email and PPC) demand that your website evolves to accommodate it all.
It’s important to note that a website redesign for 2021 (and beyond) is not simply a recommendation. It is in fact a demand put forth by both the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Google. For one, the W3C requires that all websites abide by the official Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Failure to comply may result in a lawsuit filed against your company. Secondly, Google has given businesses until May 2021 to update their websites for the up and coming Page Experience ranking update. Failure to comply with the latter can result in financial penalty in a different way – via a loss of traffic and subsequent reduction in sales. The good news, is that these concerns can be avoided through a much smaller spend – investment in a website redesign.
There is one call to action to trump them all when it comes to digital marketing after COVID-19. Contact Strategis Consulting Group for FREE audit of your current online marketing strategy. From there we can put you on a path to success in the exciting new world.