This past year has forced many brands and organisations to pivot how they promote and run their businesses. Marketing during COVID-19 has forced brands to change their marketing strategies. As internet shopping increases and the demand for home delivery grows. The economy has shifted and now we need to rethink how we sell our products and services and how we communicate with our customers.  

How to build a strong marketing strategy during COVID-19 

As the vaccine continues to roll out across the nation and beyond, we can finally look forward to the world reopening. Over the coming months, we can expect commercial industries to gradually re-emerge. But what will digital marketing after Coronavirus look like? It will be essential that your business is following the latest trends and flexible to changing online world. We've put together our top tips for adapting to digital marketing after COVID-19 

Adapt to a new style of working 

Our methods of working have transformed over the past year. We’ve moved from more traditional ways of working including long commutes The business world has adapted from crowded boardrooms to daily zoom calls to more flexible approaches that suit a better work-life balance. With speculation that businesses will move away from the conventional 9-5 even post-pandemic, for the foreseeable future managing your digital marketing remotely is part of the plan.  It's nothing new for companies who already hire a digital marketing company or brand strategy agency where their marketing isn't in-house all the time anyway. 

This means streamlining the way that your workforce communicates as they work from home. Marketing is a collaborative field and only a team who is collaborating efficiently in-house can market your services cohesively.  

Our new working from home lifestyle applies to your clients and customers as well as your own team. Bear in mind how your digital marketing strategy will be received by your target market who are also potentially running their business from the kitchen table. Consider how your product might aid parents who are juggling their own careers and homeschooling. Come up with creative solutions that will inspire your target market to pipe up about your service above your competitors in their next Zoom meeting. 

Show empathy and compassion  

After this turbulent year, everyone has felt the strain. People are worried about their health, their finances, and their loved ones. The last thing you should do now is to promote your products with pushy tactics. Transition your mindset and make it a priority that all your marketing during COVID-19 offers authentic support that shows you genuinely care about and their needs.

When the pandemic broke out, thousands of businesses emailed their subscribers with emotive messages to reassure them that they were there for them. But now, as we move through the recovery period, it’s time to show your customers exactly how you are there for them. Consider the demographics of your target market and reflect on what their personal circumstances might be. Market research in the new world may give you a clearer mindset of who they are and what their vulnerabilities might be. Remind your clients that you are human through your digital marketing communications. Having a human approach is an effective way of building trust with your audience and strengthening brand loyalty. 

In terms of costs, businesses and consumers still need to make necessary purchases and invest in services. Yet company budgets and disposable income alike are tighter during these uncertain times. If you are able to communicate that you are sensitive to this and offer flexible payment terms, then this will go a long way in showing that you care.  Companies may want to invest in a digital marketing strategy consultant to deal with this in a sensitive way. Back when Covid-19 first came about in the UK online marketing companies and internal marketing teams had to adapt their communications, ensuring they were adhering to the needs of customers during uncertain times. 

Schedule market research  

Market research is an effective way of gathering information to understand your target audience in more detail. You'll be able to understand their requirements, expectations and how you can improve as a business, to better suit their needs. After a year of upheaval, there is no better time to re-evaluate your audiences’ behaviours and preferences. The likelihood is the behaviour of your consumers will have changed and how they make purchase decisions will have shifted.  

If you do decide to schedule in some market research pursuits, don’t forget about your employees. Now that your company is handling everything from payroll to campaign management to digital marketing remotely, it is a convenient moment to check in on everyone’s wellbeing. Market research is a handy tool that can ensure the satisfaction of all your stakeholders.  

You can organise market research using a platform such as Google Forms and Survey Monkey. Alternatively, you can schedule an online focus group or conduct one to ones.  

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Develop a consistent voice 

Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing because we integrate techniques that are more personal. Content marketing, social media and email marketing enable you to reveal the personality of your brand. Now is a good time to reflect on your corporate voice and assess if it’s delivering the message you want it to.  

Ensure that you have a clear and consistent voice across your channels. As you edge into a new chapter of digital marketing after Coronavirus, customers will respond to brands that are consistent and understand how they like to be spoken to. 

This consistency needs to come across in your web design too. It may be due to changes within the business or how your customers are interacting with your site that you need to review your website. Web development agencies or a UK based web design company may be able to help you understand your UX in line with customers requirements that also fit within your brand. 

Allow for agility 

If there’s one vital component to marketing during COVID-19 that is agility. Last year, you will have swiftly adapted your business to operate digitally. Perhaps that meant moving events online or offering a home delivery service. Over the coming months, it is hard to predict exactly what will happen to the economy and the situation with national and regional lockdowns.  

In pre-pandemic days, you would likely plan your marketing strategy months in advance. Whilst planning ahead is still important, you need to factor in some fluidity. Create a marketing strategy that gives you the ability to account for whatever direction the economy moves in. As consumers have migrated to digital platforms, they might prefer to continue doing so (or at least have the option) even as the world reopens. 

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Take the opportunity to 'do good'

Businesses made headlines by offering discounts and free trials to those most affected by the pandemic and front-line workers. Following recent research, IAB UK reported that 79% of those surveyed said that they are likely to favour brands that have behaved well during the outbreak.  

In the UK alone, numerous banks temporarily waived interest rates or offered interest-free overdrafts. Uber provided free rides and meals to NHS workers over the Christmas period. Down Dog made their yoga and home-workout app free for healthcare workers, teachers and students.  

Acts of generosity do not go unnoticed so consider how your service could benefit our national heroes and those in need. Applying some corporate social responsibility will add a special touch to your post-pandemic digital marketing legacy. 

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