Why Brands Must Rely on Digital Marketing Now, More Than Ever?

As the internet became a part of our daily lives, digital marketing has proved to be imperative for brands. Considering 4.5 Billion internet subscribers globally, more & more businesses now focus on creating an online brand image because that’s where their customers are!

However, in the past few weeks, the outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted our lives and multiple businesses across the world in unprecedented ways; marketing spends and activities of many brands have been paused, including various digital marketing initiatives. Today, it’s critical for marketers to look beyond this situation and gain a long-term view of the picture before pausing their digital marketing efforts.

People are spending more time online now more than ever. In fact, as the coronavirus pandemic places a quarter of the world’s population under lockdown, internet hits have surged by 50-70%, according to Forbes. So, brands need to carefully define their digital marketing strategy and find newer & sensitive ways to communicate during this time. Here are a few strategies you might find helpful for your digital marketing initiatives:

Go for Responsible Marketing: Set the right tone of your content to communicate in these difficult times. At present, it is important for brands to establish an emotional connect with consumers, and therefore the messaging should be chosen carefully. Create engaging paid and organic content which is meaningful and relevant in these times; for ex: many brands are changing & twisting their logos to indicate social distancing. Your brand messaging can also highlight the importance of social distancing, staying at home to keep everybody safe, sharing helpful insights on work from home or important business tips in this crisis.

Get your brand in front of your target audience: With COVID-19, all traditional marketing efforts are almost entirely out of the picture. As millions of people across the world continue to surge and increase their time spent on the internet, brands need to understand that it’s important to be in front of their target audience, always. Not all customers have stopped making purchase decisions, so you want your business to be ready when your audience searches on the internet. Also, when this situation ends and all businesses resume, your marketing efforts will help to create brand recall and keep your business relevant in front of your target audience.

Keep your audience engaged with email marketing: It’s critical that brands keep their audience engaged but they need to avoid using bulk and automated communication at this time and position themselves strategically. If you're sending out emails to customers explaining how your business is addressing the crisis, then make sure the information is relevant and use the opportunity to differentiate yourself. Ensure your customers know that you are open for business, how you’re navigating the issues and the situation won’t impact any critical deliveries. Reach out to your customers individually by sending them personalized emails, newsletters, etc. Messaging at this time will undoubtedly play a crucial role in defining your relationship with your customers going forward.

Track the changing consumer behaviour: Keep a close watch on how your customer behaviour is evolving during these times. Indeed, when the world bids adieu to the COVID-19, the customer buying behaviour might have transformed – their interest in products or services, their needs and expectations from brands, spending patterns, etc. It is essential for brands to delve deep into these changes and work on their digital media strategy accordingly.

Make the smart move, avoid any product launches: Even if it’s absolutely essential, it is advisable not to release new products amidst these turbulent times. It doesn’t matter if you’re launching the products / services through digital marketing, your efforts might not lead to favourable results and might hamper the brand image. Schedule it for the future, when the market reopens and the energy supersedes.

Businesses need to understand that this situation is not going to last forever and their business isn’t closing. They need to retain their brand presence as it may be harder to recover later after losing the momentum; that’s how digital marketing works! So stay positive and use this time to redefine your digital marketing strategies, strengthen your existing connections & build long-term trust with your audience and set yourself up for success post this crisis. So start planning your comeback!

- by Raman Mittal, CMO & Co-founder, TO THE NEW

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