What if everything you knew about marketing changed overnight?
This is exactly what happened to online marketers in the wake of COVID-19. They woke up in a brand new world and had to figure out brand new ways to respond.
By seeing how these marketing industries responded, we can learn the answer to the big question. Specifically, what does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for online marketers?
If you're an online marketer, then things look pretty bad right now. Let's get started by ripping the band-aid off with the major bad news.
Generally speaking, online marketing traffic and revenue is in a state of flux. And we don't know exactly how long such fluctuations are going to last because we don't know how long the pandemic will last.
On the bright side, the keyword here is "fluctuation." While some particular industries are truly suffering right now (like the oil and travel industries), others are actually getting a boost because everyone is stuck at home (like video game companies and online news outlets).
You may have an opportunity here to pivot to additional online services and marketing innovations that will help your company succeed during this unprecedented time.
Because consumers are stuck at home, they are hungrier for good content than ever before. However, some forms of content have become more popular than others.
Perhaps the biggest growth has been that of interactive content. This includes things like online quizzes, interactive polls, shoppable social media, and AR/VR video (more on this in a bit).
Most forms of interactive content offer users a kind of double value. Actually interacting with the content can provide a pleasant distraction for a stressful time. And then sharing the content with someone else (such as sharing the results of a quiz) gives them an excuse to interact with others online.
If you already offer interactive content, you should take that content to the next level. And if you don't, there has never been a better time to dive in!
It sounds a bit "Zen," but here's some honesty about online marketing: most companies right now are simply reacting to these unexpected changes as they occur. If you want your business to really stand out, though, then you should take this time to proactively innovate instead of simply reacting.
For example, may now is the time to master dropshipping and other advanced shipping methods to expand your business nationally or even globally. Or maybe this is the best time to pivot to some additional customer services that you can offer in a fully online environment.
Don't think of the pandemic as forcing temporary changes and count down the days until things get back to "normal." Instead, take this opportunity to redefine normal and position your company for some post-pandemic success.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have had a long and rocky road. While many people assumed this would be the future of technology, things like VR have never been able to fully succeed in areas like the video game industry.
Now, the global pandemic is poised to change all of this. Individuals who are wary of leaving their house really love the idea of exploring virtual worlds. This is one of the reasons that the video game industry has gotten such a major boost during the pandemic.
On top of that, technology to experience AR and VR games has become very affordable. And technology to simply watch VR videos is even cheaper.
Consider investing in AR and video content now if at all possible. As we said before, the motto during this time is "innovation." By pioneering the use of this tech in your field, you may emerge from this crisis in a much stronger position than your competitors.
Once upon a time, a company's website and a company's social media presence were very different animals. All commerce was housed on the website, whereas social media typically focused on building relationships with customers.
Thanks to COVID-19, these worlds are truly blending. And it has created the (admittedly inevitable) rise of social commerce.
That term simply means finding ways to integrate commerce into your social media. Doing this can mean anything from social media ads linking back to your site to shoppable posts and stories.
Basically, you want to create an organic experience where a customer can order something as soon as they are interested. And social commerce is the key.
Earlier, we touched on social media as a way for companies to focus on customer relationships. During COVID-19, you should explore additional ways to help focus on those relationships.
Think back to all those stories of companies making online products and resources completely free. They aren't doing that for their health: they are doing it to foster trust and goodwill among consumers during an uncertain time.
Look at some of your own content that you previously kept behind a barrier. That eBook you made available only to mailing list subscribers? Make things like that available to everyone in order to strengthen your customer relationships.
Right now, it can be difficult to see past the current crisis. But for your business to succeed, that is exactly what you must do.
Longterm thinking is critical right now, and it goes hand in hand with innovative thinking. Perhaps you have had to make staffing changes thanks to the virus. But do you have a gameplan to streamline your staffing news when this is all over?
Don't be discouraged by dips in organic traffic and conversions. Look past things like performance-based marketing taking a dip and instead focus on some longterm brand building.
Now you know how different marketing industries are responding to COVID-19. But do you know who can help your marketing efforts succeed during this time?
We specialize in helping marketers like you sell their services to growing businesses. In order to start reaching more customers than ever, come register and sell your services today!