COVID-19 has obviously made some enormous changes to the world at large. Everything from the way we live our day to day lives to the way we do business has undergone enormous changes in a matter of months. But how has digital marketing changed as a result of the current global pandemic? Here are a few of the ways in which COVID-19 has changed the landscape of digital marketing.
Marketing Budgets Have Been Forced to Adapt
We all know that money drives commerce. Without the right budgets, any industry will fail to keep pace with the demands of their own industry and the world at large. This is true of everything from client retention to reaching out to new customers. But in the wake of the current global pandemic, digital marketers have adapted their budgets to meet the needs of both their current clients and their new ones.
There are a few ways to look at the changes coronavirus has made on digital marketing budgets. But first, it’s important to recognize the shift that was already happening before the global pandemic. Businesses across all industries were already leading the charge to shift a great deal of their marketing and advertising efforts towards digital mediums. It’s not just enough to focus on client retention or social media marketing, either. In fact, the data showcases just how much of a shift toward digital marketing the world was making even before COVID-19 hit. For example, were you aware of the fact that ninety-two percent of marketers say that content creation is either “somewhat” or “very” effective when it comes to SEO?
So, how have changing budgets impacted digital marketing in light of the global pandemic? Well, in the past, lots of marketing budgets placed some percentage of their funds into physical events and in-person marketing pushes. Now that in-person events have largely been eradicated or radically transformed, digital marketers must take a new approach to everything from client retention to brand reputation. Their budgets now make much more room to play around on the digital front. This means there’s a greater demand and focus being placed on forms of digital advertising that may have otherwise taken a back seat to live, in-person events and campaigns.
Marketers Have More Time to Dedicate to Ad Campaigns
As we all know, the pandemic means that most people are working from home. As a result, employees who work in the world of digital advertising find their day to day schedules less cluttered. Sure, online meetings and emails are still an omnipresent force in their lives, but without their commute and other daily distractions that are present in the workplace, digital marketers have more time to commit to the sole purpose of creating excellent ad campaigns.
We’ve already seen some great examples of the superior ad campaigns that can be made from a surplus of time. Companies of all kinds are increasing their digital advertising efforts to enhance their client retention and their new customer acquisition alike. Of course, these kinds of things vary across industries and cultures. But one thing remains true: when advertisers have more time to invest in their ad campaigns, they can create even greater work for their customers.
Clients Are Having Fewer Face to Face Meetings
Looking at employees serves to showcase some of the major swings in the landscape of digital advertising. But you also have to look at the other side of things. How much has client behavior impacted digital marketing? Well, as it turns out, it’s quite a bit in most cases.
Clients are having fewer live, in-person meetings because of the coronavirus pandemic. This means that they may be more easily swayed to make a purchasing decision based on the web presence of a business. Not only does this lead to greater client retention in many cases, but it also means that businesses who have already invested heavily in their digital marketing efforts can now reap some of the benefits of “the new normal.” Similarly, professional digital marketers are able to provide website audits from anywhere in the world.
That isn’t to say that clients aren’t concerned about the lack of an in-person meeting. In fact, many clients are still eager to connect with a company in a virtual video conference to iron out details and establish needs. This kind of collaboration proves to be fruitful in most cases. But it will be interesting to see how digital marketing adapts once again when in-person meetings become standard once again.
People Are Spending More Time Online
Finally, you cannot have an honest discussion about the changing world of digital marketing without first addressing the foundational elements at play. The fact stands that people are simply spending more time online these days. As mentioned earlier, many quarantine and shelter in place orders demand that people work from their homes. This means that they are spending less time traveling to and from the office. This also means that they engage in more activities online.
Increased online activity is a boon for any product or service that plans to use digital marketing strategies to reach new customers, or as part of their client retention plan. With more and more eyeballs on websites and social media as the days pass, digital marketers get the chance to test and retest their ideas on a willing audience. Marketers may roll out one ad campaign in a week, only to see how people are receiving it and make adjustments in the coming days. This kind of real-time ability to tweak ad campaigns is something that has never existed before in human history. And it’s only possible because people are spending more of their time in front of their computer or smartphone screen.
The coronavirus pandemic has created changes in the world that will be felt for many years to come. Whether you look at client retention, new customer acquisition, or social media marketing, the changes are evident. For anyone who is looking at the world of digital marketing, it’s clear that the current situation has also impacted this field. By changing with the times and making the best out of the worst, digital marketers continue to adapt to the changing tides of the world.
4 Top Digital Marketing Strategies and How to Use Them
People have seen massive growth in digital marketing as compared to how it was many years ago. It has helpedmany businesses reach the target audience that will most likely buy the products.Therefore it is not only a budget-friendly advertisement, but it is also beneficial for your new or ongoing business.
Fortunately for you, we have gathered up a few types of digital marketing strategies to help you better understand where to invest if you want to enhance your product marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing:
SEO marketing is the most important one because it can help your business rise by appearing at one of the top results when someone is searching for your brand, your products, or other words and phraseson Google
When your brand shows up in the search results, it appears as your brand is an authentic one and creates a good customer objective.
How to Use It:
You need good valuable content to start with for SEO marketing. If you are just starting up, the plugins are a good option, but if you are a company with a large budget, you can hire an expert to do the job for you in a more efficient way.
Pay per Click is a paid advertisement that stays up in the search engine as long as you pay them to do the job. It is quite similar to SEO, like the way to increase search engine traffic for your business. PPC is the ads you see at the top side of the page when browsing the internet, like the ads before YouTube videos or other ads in mobile games and apps.
How to Use It:
For example, You can work with a London based digital marketing agency to have them create a couple of great keyword searches to target the right audience towards what your business is selling. Also, if someone clicks on your ad, you pay for the click as per the name.
Social Media Marketing Strategy:
Compared to other marketing tactics, social media advertising has become one of the biggest and more reliable sources for connecting to your customers on different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can say that every business needs to be on one of these social media networks.
How to Use It:
All you have to do is post about your products in a comprehensive way so the people will see it and buy from you, and if they are satisfied with your marketing, they will further share it with their family and friends, thus creating more customers.
One of the oldest techniques to sell your brand is by email, but it is still one of the most effective ways to help you in digital marketing. Create eye-catchy subject headings, so no one misses out on your email in their inboxes.
How to Use It:
Your company can create email newsletters on your website, so the customers are the first ones to know about your new product.
These were the top 4 types of digital marketing that you can ponder on for your business. Think about which strategy suits you and what you are looking to achieve, then pick a few of the marketing media to get you started.
5 ways Big Data can add to Digital Marketing
Long gone are the days when marketing success would be heavily dependent on subjectivity, intuition and huge promotion budgets pushing out marketing messages in your face at all possible touch points. It is a completely different ball game today, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that marketing as a whole has evolved towards being a completely customer-centric and data-driven activity today; and the most effective strategies, irrespective of industry verticals, aim to deliver personalized customer experiences. This has been possible only due to the advent of big data, to gain valuable insights into customer preferences.
So, what really is big data?
Most organizations today have systems in place to capture and store massive data points from their all their customer interactions from research, sales and marketing. This data can be structured, semi structured or unstructured and will likely continue to increase in size. It can get overwhelming to make sense of this increasingly dynamic information. Big data is a means to analyze and extract valuable information from these complex and interlinked sets of data, and observe patterns that can help guide decision making.
Put simply, big data is a means of processing large volumes of complex data sets to derive actionable insights. Given that the world is going digital, there is already much rich data available from earlier marketing activities, consumer behavior tracking, other databases and research, and it is now possible to paint an accurate picture for almost each consumer and create predictive models for future interactions. This could be used throughout the sales funnel, right from identifying the right consumer, to product design, marketing communication, demand forecasting as well as customer retention.
How can integrating big data into your digital marketing efforts help?
In today’s fragmented marketing landscape, one of the biggest challenges that marketers face is to engage with the right consumers at the right time with the right message. Here is where big data comes in – big data can not only help us understand customers better, it can also help us develop better strategies that are sure to give your business a competitive edge.
Being able to understand and predict consumer behavior accurately using various data based insights can indeed open up a whole new world of opportunities. Here are some of the ways you could use big data to bolster your digital marketing efforts:
- Data Visualization
Big Data makes it possible to make sense of the data, helping marketers recognize patterns, trends and problems, using different types of visual representation. This provides an easier way to understand what the data wants to say, and the different ways in which the data can be interlinked to mine new insights. Think of your social media analytics charts, or even the charts that you can find in Google Analytics, both of which are great examples of big data visualization.
- Consumer Insights
One of the key ways organizations can stay ahead of competition is by mining accurate consumer insights, and leveraging them in their business and marketing strategy. Why settle for ambiguous demographic and psychographic segmentation when you can get richer data for each of your consumers? Data such as what your consumer likes and what products he prefers, what he thinks about your company and preferred distribution channels or modes of interaction, repurchase patterns and more, can help you paint an accurate picture about consumer sentiments, and tweak your marketing initiatives accordingly.
- Predictive Analytics
Historical consumer data and current data can be combined to make fairly accurate predictions about their future behavior. For instance, which product are they more likely to buy and when, how much will they spend, which payment mode they will most likely use and so on. This could help you with forecasting demand for a specific product model in advance. You could also predict beforehand how your campaign might perform given certain parameters, or even when the demand curve for your product could go up or down. It is almost like having a looking glass into the future, which can help you segment and target your consumer groups accordingly, and design marketing initiatives that would better resonate with each segment.
- Customize Consumer Interactions
Once you are able to access latent consumer insights, it will also be possible to create customized online interactions with almost any consumer, based on data from your past interactions with them. Not only will this increase relevance, it will also likely increase engagement and ROI as well. Product recommendations from ecommerce sites, video recommendations on YouTube and Netflix are a case in point. This doesn’t stop at product recommendations. You could even customize your marketing communication in real time, based on past consumer interactions. For instance, you could send personalized emails or text messages based on their past purchases, life cycle stage, demographics and their internet search history, how they have spent their time on your website or mobile app and for that matter, even their response to your past marketing campaigns.
- Budget optimization
A thorough knowledge about whom to target, when to interact, what to say and where to say will make it easier to allocate your marketing budgets more effectively, and focus them on initiatives or consumer segments which are more likely to give you the results you want. This, when combined with data from which of your digital marketing channels are giving you higher CTRs and conversions is a recipe for success. Needless to say, this will also help to prevent budget spillage into areas by casting your marketing net too wide, or in the wrong sea! As you continue to use big data along with AI & ML, you will only get better at optimizing your marketing spends to a point where you will even be able to predict the results you can expect.
- Campaign Evaluation
With specific metrics for each of your multiple campaigns, it will become much easier to measure campaign performance. Unlike the days of yore when it wasn’t possible to accurately attribute campaign results, big data visualization can help one see precisely the ROI on each campaign, including but not limited to increase in sales, how each channel has contributed and even changes in consumer sentiment. This can be used as a blueprint to plan your future marketing campaigns.
As we would all agree, big data is transforming how marketing is done today, as it takes the guesswork out of what digital marketing initiatives will work. I would go on to say that the contribution of big data can only be limited by our imagination, because from where we stand today, the possibilities are truly endless.
In this Interview, Jason Boyd Shares Valuable Insights into the Changing Landscape of the Digital Marketing World
Jason Boyd is the Founder & Director of Evolve Digital, a firm that specializes in SEO & Digital marketing services. We recently interviewed Jason to know more about his company and to understand the latest trends in the Digital Marketing world.
Jason, Thank you for talking with us. Kindly describe your journey as an Entrepreneur so far.
I started in the digital marketing industry way back in 1998 when I had a landscaping business, and I wanted to learn how to advertise on the internet. Back then, search engine marketing was mainly based around AltaVista and also some of the online directories. So, I did that as an addition to my landscaping business.
Then in the mid-2000s, I transitioned into purely doing SEO work for myself and for other clients. I gave up my landscaping business and worked for a combination of agencies and on some private projects.
In 2010, I started my own search engine marketing business and had all my own clients at that point. Then in 2018, I rebranded that business to Evolve Digital Agency and expanded my range of services to include paid advertising and Facebook advertising.
Covid 19 has taught us that if you are not online, you are literally out of business. As a leading SEO & Digital Marketing agency, what has been your experience during this ongoing pandemic?
COVID-19 has taught me that there has been a clear shift in the attitudes of many businesses towards their online presence. Businesses that traditionally relied upon non-digital marketing services have realized that to survive, they now need to have an online presence. Most businesses cannot get by without an online presence these days.
Having said that, there’s no doubt that this pandemic has reduced the income of many businesses, and so these businesses are now very cautious about where they spend their money and who they spend their money with. They’re now looking for genuine companies that give a positive return on investment and are much more cautious at choosing which supplier to use.
What are some of the leading SEO trends one should watch out for?
One of the SEO trends that we should watch out for, is that Google and other search engines are heading down a path of offering very localized results. And, that’s not just in the Maps listing, that’s also in the organic listings. So, if you are a business that’s based in a particular suburb and your services are primarily in that suburb, this will be beneficial to you. If you’re a business that services a large range of suburbs or a whole city, or even a larger area, it can be a harder task to get traction in this larger range of suburbs.
Another trend is that Google is investing heavily in identifying the owner of a business or the author of the website content. They want to give results that have some authority to them, and so they are now looking at the person or the business who has written that content to make sure that that person is qualified to give the advice they’re giving. This is a positive step from Google and will mean that we have results that you can rely upon. It means for a business owner, it’s important to show your skills and your authority and tie that to the information or the website your own.
If for a particular keyword, your business is not appearing on the first page of the search result, chances are, no one is visiting your website. What are some of the factors that affect search engine results?
To get to the first page of Google, there’s two main areas of SEO that will help you. These are onsite and offsite.
Onsite is the work you do on your website, and that’s about ensuring your website follows Google’s best practice. This includes things like correct page titles and URLs, and ensuring your content is structured in a way that fits what Google is looking for.
Offsite is about having other websites mention your business and link to your business website. This is an ongoing thing and something that a good SEO company will specialize in.
In your view, which works better, Facebook Marketing or Search Marketing or a combination of both. In your opinion, are these marketing strategies underutilized?
The better option ofFacebook marketing or search engine marketing largely depends on the current position of your business. To simplify things, I believe Facebook is best used for branding and remarketing, not direct traffic. I believe that search engine marketing is best if you don’t have a lot of traffic and you need to get that traffic.
So, if you currently have a small amount of website traffic, then your best approach is search marketing. If you already have traffic, or once you get that traffic, then you can look at Facebook for increasing that traffic, or increasing your conversion rate.
What suggestions would you give to small businesses who do not have big marketing budget but want to spend something in their marketing campaigns? What should they focus on?
If your business does not have a big marketing budget, they should focus on small gains in Google’s organic, non-paid results. This is often highly relevant traffic that you don’t need to be constantly paying for.
As a business, you should establish what are your non-competitive search terms. These are things that people will type into Google to find your product or service. Once you’ve established what those are, and you find some that you are not competing against other large businesses, then target your website efforts towards those search terms. This will give you an initial traffic boost that you can then use to fund further marketing efforts.
As an expert in this field, what is the future of SEO?
The future of SEO is about providing the search engines with useful, well-presented content. This will always be a winning strategy. Once you have written the content or provided the content on your website, then it’s about proving that you’re an authority in your field. This is so the search engine will trust you and present your website at the top of the results instead of your competitors.
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