As we let the dust settle on what can only be described as a very strange 2020, we look positively towards a post-pandemic 2021. With the hope of the vaccine being rolled out as quickly as possible, we thought it would be the right time to create our ‘Marketing after Covid-19’ guide for businesses.
Things have certainly changed at some speed since the start of the pandemic back in March 2020! Many industries are going digital at an accelerated pace. Businesses who adapt their digital marketing efforts can take advantage of the new reliance on technology to their advantage.
Here goes, we hope you find our marketing after Covid-19 guide useful:
The pandemic and lockdown probably forced you to adapt your business and move it online. If you were closed and looking to re-open, you should seriously consider having a major online presence. The result of lockdowns has forced most businesses to provide and online service and this is not likely to decline after covid-19 has gone away. Consumer buying habits have certainly adapted and a new norm is certainly going to remain long after the pandemic.
What does this mean practically for your business? You will probably need to create, update or adapt your website so you can focus your product or service offering on the new ecommerce trends and channels. Think of a bar or restaurant who can only operate as a takeaway service; they have had to adapt their website offer to provide online purchases with either a collection or delivery option. Customer habits are likely to remain long after the pandemic has gone away. They will either go out to the restaurant to eat or choose to order a collection/delivery to eat at home. Therefore, the business can benefit by offering these additional channels, and provide these options for customers.
Another example is the meetings and events industry. As these are very restricted during lockdown it has meant that any type of event has had to be adapted. Therefore they have moved online or have been done virtually. The event agencies that adapted and can facilitate these types of events are the businesses that have been able to stay open and survive.
As we come out of this pandemic, the way we work has changed. Lots of us work from home, and therefore the need for virtual or hybrid meeting and events will only increase.
The key takeaway is change is happening fast. If you want to position your business in the best possible way after the pandemic you really need to think about how your customers’ habits have changed. You can then position your products and services in the best possible way that customers keep coming back.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything over the last 12 months. From the way your business operates, the services provided, and the way you interact and relate to your customers. As we leave the pandemic behind, we should not fall back into old habits. It is important to retain and enhance your transparency with customers in the future. This will establish and enhance their level of trust in your business and sets you apart from your competitors. This will go a long way in building strong relationships with your customers.
Creating a supportive community through the content you produce and share on social media will create a feeling that we are all in this together and can support each other and grow together long after the pandemic has gone away.
Validating some of your business struggles and challenges post pandemic and acknowledging your customers own struggles will help to humanise your business. Ways of doing this can include personalisation and emotional images within email copy, and openly discussing and producing content that helps to solve your customers current issues will help. On social media, replying promptly and without an automated response to customers will also enhance the human side of your business. Remember people like dealing with people, and ultimately people are behind the success of your business.
The pandemic has meant that everyone’s schedules and priorities have changed. So, when it comes to your business’s current communication strategy it is likely to need adapting. The content you are creating such as the newsletters you are sending out, and your general approach to your communications would need to be reviewed. This could include revisiting your content calendar altogether and adapting your plan, as well as delaying or moving blog posts. You can then focus your content on doubts, fears, and questions related to the current situation and your future approach. This would involve ensuring that you identify and understand your post pandemic target audience so you can tailor your content to their tastes.
Looking to the post pandemic communication strategy ideas for your content could include:
Another way of determining what your target audience wants to engage with is to send out an email survey. You can even create a survey on your social media channels. The answers can then help you to rethink your communication strategy so you can better serve your customers with content they are likely to engage with.
Following on from the above point on looking at overhauling your communication strategy; it is also important to re-visit what you are posting on your business’s social media channels. One of the big things is to educate your audience about your products or services. As more of us spend time working at home, many consumers will be looking at their social media feeds as a source of information about what is going on in their local community and world around them. The content you create should therefore be designed for sharing through your social media channels and aimed at your target audience and their preferences.
The types of content to share could include explainer videos and short clips about your products or services. You can then link your posts back to your website, so people are able to investigate further. By creating new content and sharing it on social media regularly it will allow you to keep your brand, products, or services fresh in the mind of consumers. But remember to review where your target audience is mostly hanging out these days! Is Instagram and Facebook your prime audience, or should you be focussing mainly on LinkedIn?
As we move out of the pandemic, a good way to get people interested in your business is by offering exclusive sales promotions and deals via your social media channels and website. Social media can be used to effectively promote these offers. This can help bring in new customers as well as motivating existing ones to repeat purchase. You can share discount codes, give away freebies and offer other savings to incentivise your target audience.
It’s important to re-iterate that if you are doing something right its madness to stop doing it altogether. It maybe that if you adapt it slightly it would produce even greater results. But without properly recording your ROI how do you know if what you are doing is in fact effective? Marketing after the pandemic may require you to adapt you approach and become more agile.
What does this all mean for your business? It’s important to religiously monitor your marketing ROI. With the accelerated pace of change the pandemic has created, data metrics are volatile. If you were recording your ROI once a month it may not be enough, you may need to keep tabs on it weekly. You can then make the right tweaks and amendments to your strategy. As we exit the pandemic times are likely to be tough and money to invest maybe held back initially. This means that finding marketing activities with the highest ROI and shortest payback are important to find and use. To maximise your chances of winning it becomes even more important to closely monitor your marketing campaigns and change direction promptly when needed.
Not only that, but channels are also changing because of a change in consumer preferences. Therefore, understanding your customers and treating them like individuals has never been more important. The way to do this is through understanding and leveraging your data.
During the pandemic, those businesses who have learnt to adapt and evolve look set to be the ones who will survive. Times have been tough and even after the pandemic goes away the pace of change is ever accelerating. Those who have embraced digital transformation and moved solely online or now provide a hybrid solution are set to excel in a post pandemic world.
Humanising your business, adapting your communications strategy, educating, and promoting through social media and adapting your approach based upon effectively monitoring your ROI will all play a big role. Businesses that are mindful of their tone and pay attention to changing consumer behaviour look set to lead the way.
And finally, we are not just saying this because we are a marketing agency looking for your business; but don’t stop marketing! Marketing investment will pay for itself in the long term. Think about all the businesses that have cut this from their budgets. By being present and in the forefront of your target customers minds you give your business every chance of success in a post pandemic world.
Find out more on how our outsourced marketing services can help your business through the pandemic and beyond.