The Covid-19 pandemic caused a massive shift in how we live and work, not least of all on digital marketers. Businesses like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash shifted to become digital enterprises, delivering essential services to the public during the lockdown. Google and Facebook, the 2nd and 3rd most used websites globally, saw their audiences increase by 300% and 400% respectively.
And now, as the world slowly opens up once again, these digital marketers are trying to figure out how to shift their tactics to be more effective at converting customers during this new era.
Here, we’ll examine what worked and what didn’t in the first phase of digital marketing in Kentucky.
The surge in website traffic during the lockdown was a clear indication that digital marketing was a useful tool during these challenging times. Search traffic increased by 132% in 2020, and social sites saw an increase of 31%.
This increase in digital activity is being attributed to the rise in digital marketing effectiveness, particularly SEO (search engine optimisation) and content marketing.
SEO is all about getting your website ranked highly in organic search results for relevant keywords. If someone enters a query like “florist near me” into a search bar, you want your website to come up as one of the first results, since you know precisely what they’re looking for.
Similarly, content marketing is all about creating and distributing content (typically online) that is valuable, entertaining, or both, to your target audience. This content might be a blog post, a graphic, a video, or something else entirely.
The message here is that if you’re in Kentucky and you want to grow your business, now is the time to push your digital marketing to the next level.
What didn’t work
While search engine optimisation and content marketing certainly worked, it wasn’t all good news.
One major problem that several industries are currently facing, including media and marketing, is that a lot of the content that was valuable, entertaining, or both, to prior audiences is now deemed as “unsuitable” for these audiences, due to the pandemic.
With content blocked by government guidelines and restrictions, such as in Italy and Spain where I live, I see a huge shift towards traditional methods of marketing.
Radio and TV advertisements, newspaper and magazine articles, and even hoardings are being seen as valuable marketing tools during the pandemic. After all, if someone is driving past a shopping centre and sees an advertisement for a store they like, they’ll most likely stop in and check out what’s on offer.
The fact that these are “traditional” forms of marketing means that they’ve been around for a lot longer than most people deem necessary. And, despite the best efforts of digital marketers to find alternative, innovative ways to market, these are still seen as “traditional” options.
If you’re in Kentucky and you want to grow your business, now is the time to rethink your approach to marketing, particularly when it comes to attracting new customers or retaining current ones.
What do I tell my clients?
Based on what I saw during the pandemic and what I’ve observed since coming back to work, I’d advise my clients to double down on what they know and focus on the basics.
To start with, they ought to focus on what’s working for them now, which is search engine optimisation and content marketing. These were the 2 pillars that supported media and marketing in the face of the pandemic, and they’re still seen as effective forms of marketing in the present day.
Media planners ought to consider these tactics when designing campaigns, and digital marketers ought to consider these tactics when analysing and optimising their campaigns for SEO and content creation.
What’s more, I’d advise my clients to keep things simple. While SEO and content marketing have greatly increased in complexity, there’s still a lot of room for someone who isn’t familiar with the terminology to get up and running quickly.
What tools do I use?
Based on my own experience and the experience of other industries, I’d advise any business in media and marketing to look at HubSpot as a primary tool.
Why HubSpot? First off, it’s open source, which means that it’s free to use or modify. In addition, the software is relatively easy to use, even for those who aren’t super tech-savvy.
It also integrates easily with other tools and platforms, such as Google Ads and Mailchimp, which you’ll need to have in order to do your digital marketing.
So, if you’re in Kentucky and you want to grow your business, now is the time to put your digital marketing to the test and see how effective these tools are at driving traffic to and retaining customers on your behalf. If you’re looking for an easy way to get started, try HubSpot, the software that helped businesses of all sizes and shapes during the pandemic.