The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on nearly all industries. Some have faced sudden and obvious consequences, like the near-total shutdown of tourism, nightlife, and live sports. But the pandemic’s effect on digital marketing has been much more complex.
While the long-term impact is difficult to forecast, there are trends emerging in real-time that reveal how digital marketing is finding success, coming up short, or evolving to meet the moment. Here is a look at some of the top changes.
Personalization is a Priority
Businesses have long sought to reach consumers in a one-on-one way, but now such a relationship is especially vital. Brands that might have been buoyed by storefronts or a large event presence are now required to reach directly out to people who are at home, meaning that the digital marketing space is even more crowded.
The best way to form a connection right now is to use personalization marketing. This can be done with tracking data and using 1:1 personalization tools. Automating your emails, for example, so that you can greet recipients by name goes a long way. It can be difficult to reach a high level of trust between consumer and brand, but if you are able to succeed it will likely pay dividends because you have built a relationship during a particularly difficult time.
Strategies Require Agility
Whatever type of digital marketing you are engaged in, this year has shown that flexibility is an absolute necessity. Consumer concerns are likely to change from week to week, and now they can even change depending on where they are. While some parts of the United States have faced dire circumstances, others are dealing with substantial but less severe challenges.
As a result, something like geotargeting for digital ads or email marketing is a tremendously useful approach. You can adjust and tweak your messaging depending on who you are trying to reach. During these uncertain times, you need to have agility built into your digital marketing strategy, otherwise, you could end up looking out of touch.
You Need to Test Messages
Before COVID-19, consumers were already a finicky and unpredictable collective. Today they are faced with even more uncertainty, meaning it can be especially difficult to know how to best connect them to your brand.
In order to combat this, testing your messages is a must. A/B tests for your email marketing campaigns can help you gauge your target audience during these unpredictable times. Email marketers may also want to use tools to help throttle emails—deliverability is still as important as ever, so you want to make sure your messages are getting through.
Virtual Events Rise as Live Events are on Hold
The video chat and virtual event are the two growth areas in today’s world and for the near future. Brands and industries that have built their marketing around in-person events or conferences are playing serious catchup to those businesses who might have already staked out a claim in the virtual space.
Fortunately, there are a wide array of forums and platforms that can be utilized to create virtual events. The positive news is that because so many people are staying at home right now, giving those who are looking to reach potential customers a somewhat captive audience. It can be a struggle to break through the digital noise, but once you do, you’ll likely find an interested prospect.