We have already entered 2021 but the Covid-19 pandemic has yet to be resolved. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many challenges for small businesses, driving people to work from home becoming the new normal. Therefore, online marketing will become more prominent than ever.
Of course, many companies are trying to identify ways to reduce cost, especially in marketing advertising. Although this seems to be a natural decision, the truth is online marketing was never more important than it is today. Reducing your marketing expenses will cost you a great deal, both now and in the future.
We all hope that this pandemic will not last forever. Businesses shall aim to get back to normal after the outbreak. Your competitive edge needs to start developing now. Otherwise, when things get recovered, you will be a step behind your competition. In these tough times, online marketing will help you thrive, after having made a few changes and a recovery plan. Although the promotions or sales choices are minimal, a lot of other marketing strategies can be still applied.
Consumer Behaviours Have Changed Significantly and Unpredictably in 2020:
- In 2020, especially due to Covid-19, there has been a shift in consumer behaviour that 1 in 2 global consumers are actually now shopping online more. For the first time ever, people who have not used the internet to do daily action are now doing it. Basically, the pattern of consumer behaviour has now changed drastically.
- Customers are now more conveniently comfortable to shop online rather than going to shopping malls. According to WARC, 53% of pre-existing online shoppers in Asia Pacific (APAC) will continue to buy online frequently after the pandemic.
- 62% increase in Shopify store creation between March to April 2020 compared to the previous year. This means more and more people are trying to digitize their businesses because they notice the current consumers have shifted to buying online.
Here Are Some Reasons Why You Should Go Digital For Your Business During The COVID-19 Pandemic:
1) Business recovery will be difficult if you stop now
If you stop all marketing activities, your brand will fall behind on the line. Your viewers may still be checking your page from time to time now, but they’ll quickly forget about it if there aren’t regular updates. Long silence can also negatively affect your reach, engagement levels and most importantly, customer acquisition.
The current situation is difficult causing many businesses to close down. With everyone stuck at home spending more time online and on social media, this is your chance! Many companies will follow their first instinct to cut marketing budgets. What does this mean to you? Advertising will be cheaper and you will be one step ahead of your competitors. This is because digital advertising programs are always with an auction system, the more advertisers the higher the advertising costs, the less, the lower the advertising costs.
2) People spend majority of their time online
Covid-19 has forced us to minimize outdoor activities. As a result, more people are doing various activities online, from studying, working, shopping, and so on. As a business owner, you must be able to take advantage of these conditions. Use digital marketing strategies appropriately to reach your target audience online. According to The Edge Markets, 30% of Malaysians preferred to shop online while the rest 70% preferred to shop in person before the pandemic hit. However, the trend now has shifted to 51% where Malaysians preferred to make online payments during the pandemic therefore more customers are purchasing or shopping online.
3) Reaching more consumers
Digital Marketing can expand target consumers who have been unreachable during offline sales. With specific strategies and targets, you can now reach new potential buyers from various groups and locations according to your chosen target. There are many platforms that can be used to make online sales such as social media, online marketplaces, websites, and more. Of all the platforms used, there are many features that can help you define your advertising campaign appropriately.
Types of Digital Marketing That Can Help Boost Your Business:
1. Social Media Marketing
The use of social media has increased during the pandemic period as people engage in social distancing to prevent transmission of the virus. With the increased volume of usage of social media, business owners and marketers should be able to make it an opportunity to reach out to more new customers. One social media platform that is currently popular and is used by many people for digital marketing is Facebook or Facebook Ads. In addition, several other social media platforms that can be used are Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. During this pandemic, people are attracted to entertaining content, so provide marketing content with an attractive and creative appearance so that consumers are interested in using your product. In addition, take advantage of social media to interact with followers so that your business can stay connected with customers. You can combine this digital marketing strategy with an influencer marketing strategy to generate more sales.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO optimization is a strategy to increase website visibility on Google search engine pages. Currently most consumers will use Google to search for information, services, or products. By implementing SEO strategies, your website can rank high on Google, which opens up great opportunities to get more customers. Some of the SEO strategies that you can do on your website are such as link building, use of relevant keywords, making sure the web is mobile friendly, and many more. You can read more about SEO strategies in this article by Backlinko: How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy in 2021.
3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Apart from using an SEO strategy, a website can also be displayed in the top position of Google using PPC advertising. Pay Per Click or PPC marketing is a method where the advertisers have to pay every time one of their ads displayed is clicked or opened by a user. Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords) is an example of an advertising platform provided by Google that allows advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search results. Websites that use PPC advertising will usually appear at the top of the list with the word “Ad” in front of the website URL. With PPC, you can set target customers such as location, age, gender, interests, etc. so that your ads can be reached by the right target audiences. In addition, you can also list keywords that are relevant to your business so that ads can be displayed when users search using keywords that you have previously targeted.
As you can see, there are many benefits of going digital for your business now. The covid-19 pandemic has indeed affected our daily activities and the economy. Many small and medium-sized businesses out there are still trying to adapt to the current situation although it has been almost a year. Those who make a decision fast to go digital for their businesses can stay ahead and will not be left behind by competitors. Those who are not willing to go digital could lose a lot of opportunities in the future.
However, it is essential for all the business owners to closely evaluate whether new digital platforms are in line with their existing priorities and level of interaction before spending time and resources into digital marketing. Digital marketing may sound scary at first, but once you have learned and understood the concept behind it, it would definitely be helpful to grow your businesses to the next level.
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