Digital Marketing in the time of Coronavirus

Published by Coralie Pilte  on 28th May 2020

Over the last 12 weeks, the marketing landscape has been turned upside down. Budgets have been slashed and priorities have been rethought; campaigns scratched, and new ones launched to adapt to the new normal. But consumer behaviours have also changed drastically at the same time. Brands have had to review and adapt their comms overnight to ensure they keep their communities and customers engaged. 

Team PB’s digital services lead, Coralie, looks at how behaviours have changed, and how brands can learn from the pandemic to refine their digital marketing strategies moving forward.

Connect with your local com

1. Create content for your community.

During lockdown, people have spent a lot more time on their phones, and on social media. They have engaged with more content, but the posts they havactually liked, shared and commented on reflect their evolving priorities. Aspirational content from bigger brands, focusing on dreamed vacations or luxury items, hasn’t performed as well. On the contrary, content around “consumer goods, health care and media and entertainment” have seen clear increases in engagement, as they inspired people in their new lockdown lives. 

The question is, if your brand doesn’t offer any products or services linked to these categories, how can you make the most of the increased audiences on social media?  

One strategy that worked for our clients has been community-focused posts, as well as COVID-19 updates. This means sharing how our clients have responded and adapted to the crisis: 

  • Have they supported their local communities in any way?  
  • What have they put in place to ensure the safety of their teams AND customers? 
  • Have they been clapping for carers every Thursday?
  • Have they collaborated with other local businesses? 

The list goes onbut the best part is: these examples apply whether you are a B2C or B2B company. 

  • If you are you a small local shop or local service provider, talk about your e-commerce or virtual services. Share how you are adapted to offer a safe shopping environment or how you plan to maintain social distancing moving forward.  
  • If you’re a B2B business, share how you’ve adapted: how can clients get in touch with your teams if you are working from home. Have you worked with other local businesses? Have you supported any local charities or efforts? 

Don’t focus on the hard sales, instead think about the content you have engaged with and that has made you feel good in the last few weeks. Think about what your customers will want to know right now and what will generate trust between them and your brand. This is the type of content that will grab people’s attention. 

Social Media Apps

2. Consider a small advertising budget

Social media has come into its own during lockdown, providing the only means foa large number of companies in Kent – affected by lockdown restrictions – to reach their customers. 

The increased focus on Facebook, Twitter and other channels will mean businesses need to be smart in order to get noticed.  If you haven’t got a strategy in place then it will be difficult to break through the noise. 

One thing you need to remember is that nothing in life is free – and while great content will get you so far – having a advertising budget is a must  to maximise the chances of your business getting seen by the right people and generating relevant leads. 

 To make the most of your budget, take the time to define your audience: what is your catchment area? What are their interests? By using detailed targeting, you’ll be able to pinpoint the right leads. 

And remember, you don’t have to have a big budget. Facebook and Instagram offer great social media advertising options from £1 a day. For more information on how to use Facebook and Instagram advertising, read these five tips.

3. Mobile experience is central. 

Mobile traffic has been a growing trend over the last few years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has only fast-tracked it and businesses must adapt if they do not want to miss out on new leads. In fact, in a recent report, We Are Social identified that 52% all web pages are served on mobile. 

This means that over half of all web traffic now comes from mobile. So, having a fast, secure and fully responsive website is essential. And, the best thing is, mobile traffic won’t stop after lockdown, so investing in a fully responsive website will mean you are futureproofing your business.  

So, take the time to visit your website from your smartphone and analyse what you see: 

  • Are your pages slow to load? People won’t wait for your content to appear; they’ll leave and find another website that can answer their question or provide certain services or products. 
  • Can people navigate it easily? Can they find what they are looking for quickly? Is your content displaying correctly? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then get in touch with us. We will be able to audit your website and find the right solution for your business.  

Our digital services include our off-the-shelf PB Lite framework for SMEs and start-ups that are quick, easy to use and come with a built-in SEO support tool, offering heavyweight design at a lightweight cost – all hosted, if needed, at a secure data centre in Maidstone. The perfect solution to future-proof your business.