The coronavirus pandemic has not been particularly friendly to the economy, and many businesses have felt its effects, in one way or another. However, there is a sense that we are leaving the pandemic behind and entering a post-lockdown world. Is your business ready for that?
As more and more of the population is getting vaccinated, and more restrictions are being lifted, it is time to get back in the game. Be ready to emerge as a strong player in the post-pandemic world by following the five digital marketing tips in this article.
Let us get into it.
1. Reassure Your Customers and Followers
Your first step should be to reassure your customers and followers that you are there for them and that you have a post-pandemic reopening plan that will keep them safe and satisfied.
Be sensitive with your tone. Remember that different customers will have differing pandemic experiences. Some may have been mostly unaffected, while others may have lost their jobs, been forced to relocate, or been forced to take on additional jobs due to wage or business losses. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here, but try to take everyone into account.
Make your customers feel like they are your priority. For example, highlight health and safety protocols that you have put in place to protect their health. Whether that is offering free contactless delivery or requiring all of your employees to wear masks, showing your customers that their safety is your top priority should be an essential aspect of your post-pandemic marketing strategy
Consider asking your customers what they want to see you doing to meet their new needs. What would cause existing customers to stick around, and what would help old customers return? It could be a discount, the ability to pay over time (offering a payment plan), an app to help them order online instead of in-person, or anything else. Listen to your customers.
2. Support Your Community
Community is going to be a big thing going forward. People have lost support systems by staying at home and avoiding meeting family or going out with friends. However, people still need a community, so make an effort to support your community.
You can make your products and services more accessible to help those who are staying at home or who can’t rely on the same transportation options as before (whether they had to sell their car or because specific public transportation options are still not back to normal).
Reach out to severely affected customers and followers via email or social media to let them know that you are there for them. Being socially responsible during this time isn’t just the right thing to do. It will also improve your brand image in the long run.
3. Revisit Your Old Marketing Strategies
Not all the marketing strategies that worked before the pandemic or even during the pandemic will work well in a post-pandemic market. It’s time to revisit your old marketing strategies and adjust them for the new reality.
There are many things that have likely changed since before the pandemic, regardless of the industry you are in. Some industries will have been more affected than others. For example, the travel industry was heavily impacted, and travel now is a mess of ever-changing regulations.
One thing to look at is the rise of digitization due to lockdown. The lockdown has caused the digital economy to skyrocket all around the world, from Latin America to Asia. However, people aren’t just buying things online; they are also spending more time online. More importantly, a lot of things previously done offline are now being done online.
For example, universities have moved to online classes. Business conferences, meetings, and webinars are taking place via Zoom. Telehealth has been on the rise. People are ordering via Curb, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and other apps, so they don’t have to drive or go into a store. Touchless payments have become more common.
Of course, people are also spending more time online. Social media usage has skyrocketed.
You’ll need to adapt and strengthen your online presence. Besides offering online options to make your services more accessible, you’ll need to grow your social media following, improve your blog, get to work on SEO, and focus on strengthening your online brand.
Some strategies that might not work in a “normal world” can work very well in our new reality. For example, in the past, you might have focused more on getting new customers. Now, it might be better to improve your relationship with existing customers. Keeping your customers engaged can help keep your sales stable.
4. Explore New Opportunities
You need to adapt to the new situation by exploring new opportunities. Have a research-driven approach; don’t go into it blindly. Figure out what the market looks like. Analyze your available data, including Google Analytics, sales data, lead generation data, and so on.
Study the marketplace. What is customer sentiment like? In addition to fundamental market research, you should pay attention to social signals, as they are often good indicators of what people are thinking and feeling. Are people excited about your industry? Are they worried? What are their concerns?
What are people talking about on platforms like Twitter and Facebook? Hop onto a Subreddit related to your niche to see what the top posts are about (sort by Top or Hot). You may discover that people are dealing with specific struggles or problems you did not think about or that they’re looking for particular solutions
You should also stay in touch with your existing leads and customers to see what they want. The best way to figure that out is by asking them directly. Send out quick polls with a few questions to see what their top priorities now are or what they want your top priorities to be. Also, ask them for direct feedback in their own words, and pay attention to what they are saying.
Conduct competitor analysis. What approaches are your competitors taking? That starts with looking at which competitors have been successful and which have not been. Then, figure out what the successful ones are doing. You may discover a pattern.
Take a look at their digital marketing strategy, including content creation and social media activity. Also, look at the services they are offering. Figure out if they are providing special discounts or promotions or if they have made their services more accessible in any way. They may even have cut corners on certain unimportant things to focus on more critical aspects, so look at that as well.
5. Prepare for the Post-Lockdown Market
Although we’re at a later stage in the pandemic, it’s not over yet. Many places still have restrictions, and some industries have not yet recovered at all. In addition, depending on your industry, customer sentiment or buying power may have changed or been reduced.
However, an end will come, and you need to be prepared by analyzing what the market will look like in a month from now, three months from now, six months from now, a year from now, and even two years from now.
Will there be an increase in demand due to months of limited access? That may indeed be a possibility. For example, many people have not gone out to bars or restaurants during the entire pandemic. Now that people are vaccinated, you may see more people taking the opportunity to go out as much as possible. Over the next few months, they may feel so liberated that they will go out much more often than they used to before the pandemic.
Not every industry is going to be like that, however. In some industries, you may see a decrease in demand due to persistent pandemic anxiety. For example, while some people will go out to restaurants, they may feel uncomfortable going to concerts or other events where there are massive crowds. Similarly, they may avoid travel.
You need to figure out how things will look for your industry and adjust accordingly. If you see an increase in demand, make sure you have the infrastructure in place to fulfill that demand. If you see a decrease in demand, figure out a way to keep your company on stable ground until people start becoming more comfortable with the post-pandemic reality, which will put you in a good position for when things do start going back to normal.
Again, embrace digitization. A lot of things have moved online. I talked about this already, but it’s worth stressing. Preparing for a post-pandemic reality is not possible without embracing the digitization that will come along with it.
Wrapping It Up
The journey towards normal is bound to be bumpy. For some companies, it will be rougher than others. That’s okay. We’re still in unprecedented times, and the way people interact with businesses in some industries will have changed forever.
However, by preparing a roadmap and following the tips in this article, you can prepare your business for what is coming and stay one step ahead of your competitors at all times.