Today’s world is anything but business as usual. But our charge as digital marketers hasn’t really changed; we continuously seek ways to anticipate and respond promptly to our customers’ needs as times change, especially for the crucial web design and digital marketing changes that we may face.
The difference is that the coronavirus caused an unexpected, instantaneous, seismic shift that has affected every aspect of our personal and professional life. Amidst the tumult, we’ve had to immediately pivot toward new business practices.
We have also experienced changes in the digital world. This “new normal” has not only heightened online usage, but has also changed the public’s online behavior across digital marketing channels. Still, we forge ahead. Looking for ways to help and engage customers while growing our businesses.
Have you adjusted your digital marketing strategies?
So now, while it’s still a bumpy ride, many of us have settled in a bit. It’s the perfect time to ask ourselves two questions. First, have we made appropriate changes in your digital marketing strategy during COVID-19? Answering this question requires making a careful assessment of our current digital initiatives, assets, and website performance. The second question is if we’re in a position to continue adapting to an uncertain future. For this, we have to stay abreast of evolving audiences’ concerns, online behaviors, digital touch points, and performance trends.
Based on the answers to the questions above, we can find opportunities to provide better value to our audiences now and into the future. Specifically, how can we best tweak our websites, social media properties, and other forms of digital communication to improve customer experience?
Here are some ways to meet digital challenges:
- Adjust your website to current traffic trends: Analyze web traffic and performance trends over the past three to six months. Then, focus your efforts on pages that have jumped in popularity, finding ways to highlight them and make them more accessible for your crucial web design and digital marketing changes. Performing all these measures require deep technical expertise. So if you are not on top of the required skills, hire a digital marketing consultant.
- Digitize Services: Don’t get overshadowed by competitors who have kept up with the times. Draw in customers by converting formerly in-person services to their digital equivalents. Equally important, promote the availability of these services.
- Personalize Digital Communications: Look for new ways to personalize, or contextualize, digital engagement. Leading digital marketing agencies in Canada recommend you leverage each visitor’s online behaviors and purchasing history to anticipate needs, convey the right messages, and highlight the most relevant content.
- Examine Sales Shifts: Examine which products have exploded and which have tanked during COVID-19, and then shift digital focus as necessary—looking at visibility, navigation, CTAs, and social promotion.
- Remove old, outdated content: As you review your digital marketing strategy, look for opportunities to improve quality, user experience, and SEO on each page and on your website as a whole.
Social Media Influence
Limitations on socializing, shopping, and other activities during COVID-19 have resulted in a social media explosion. Social media is the most common way that consumers get information about brands and products, according to 82% of respondents in a study for Deloitte. The same study found that nearly three-quarters of respondents increased their social media consumption during the pandemic. Even more, 14% of shoppers are making purchases through social media.
Perhaps most important, over half of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that social media plays a crucial role in impacting both their decision to consider and to purchase from a brand.
The message is clear—refocus your efforts on social, especially encouraging social sharing. Take the time to understand how your audience’s social media behaviors may have changed during the pandemic, and update crucial web design and digital marketing changes accordingly.
Alternative Channels for Crucial Web Design and Digital Marketing Changes
- Video/Virtual: Necessity is the mother of invention. With that in mind, consider increasing video content and virtual experiences to create stronger customer engagement.
- Email: Another result of spending more time at home is increased use of desktop computers. This has led a rise in email opening rates. For example, March and April of 2020 showed a year-over-year rise of 20% over 2019.
- Mobile: The pandemic has also catapulted the use of mobile. Data from a global survey held in March 2020 revealed that 70% of responding internet users worldwide were using their smartphones or mobile phones more as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak. Likewise, 70% of mobile marketers say COVID-19 strengthened their business, according to Liftoff’s Mobile App Trends Report.
- Local: Also, recognize that even when our customers emerge from their homes, shoppers are more likely to stay local. You can leverage this trend by posting relevant information and changes in business operations in Google My Business, Facebook, Bing, and Yelp accounts.
Your Message Takes on New Meaning
During these rapidly changing—and often emotionally challenging—times, people need businesses to be more transparent, informative, and empathetic than ever. Make it easier for them to do business with you by increasing the visibility of your current protocols. If you’ve altered your policies to be more customer-friendly, such as improved financing terms, find ways to consistently highlight this information on all digital channels.
It’s more important than ever to do your best to anticipate questions, publish and post business changes promptly, and be responsive to questions you get through website forms, social channels, emails, and other interactive communication channels. Also, don’t assume you know how others think and feel. Try using polls and other mechanisms to ask what more you can do to help.
According to digital marketing agencies in Canada, you learn more about customer challenges during COVID-19, look deeper into how you deliver your messages digitally—the content, format, and timing. A study done provides this helpful information:
- Don’t overwhelm customers: During the pandemic, respondents feel that the tone of the content is ‘overwhelming’ (17%).
- Relate to current events: 43% share more information and resources as they relate to current events. Sharing timely and relevant industry information or community services should be a constant part of your digital marketing strategy.
- Participate with a cause: 37% are sharing more content supporting specific causes.
Furthermore, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Stay on brand, but with a new level of empathy about how your messages may be perceived. Your digital marketing practices should revolve around this core philosophy. Review (and update as necessary) your copy, tagline, and imagery.
Turn Your Crisis into an Opportunity
Companies that successfully move past the pandemic will be proactive, agile, and open to seeking new digital solutions. As we transition through different stages of the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, view your digital marketing channels through the lens of how you can best support your prospects, customers, and business partners. Your digital marketing team or agency can help you review and adjust your current strategies for the greatest success. Find expert advice…
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