The Covid world has changed the way we interact and do business, and it will be fascinating to see how brands and retailers transform their methods as a result of the pandemic, as well as how the digital landscape will look post-pandemic.
What Will The Post-Pandemic Digital Landscape Look Like?
To begin with, we need to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. In 2021, the world will look very different from the one we know today. With regards to marketing and digital marketing, here are some of the major changes to expect:
1. Location-based Marketing
Based on your location, you will most likely see different marketing content than if you were browsing from a different location. For example, if you’re currently in New York City, you will see a different set of promoted products than if you were in London. That’s because marketers typically tailor their approach and tactics to fit the local market. So, marketers will likely use different methods to attract customers in London than they do in New York City.
This strategy makes sense, given mobile search and smartphone usage is much higher in other countries, particularly in emerging markets. In fact, according to Google, only 62% of searches take place on fixed-feature phones, compared to 38% on smartphones. As a result, marketers will need to shift their focus to mobile.
2. Content is King (or Queen)
This maxim rings true during a pandemic, and it will be fascinating to see how content continues to reign as the main strategy for attracting customers to a business.
In the past, content would typically be used to attract visitors to a website or app and then convert those visitors into paying customers or supporters. However, in the post-pandemic world, content will be used to attract customers and then nurture them into becoming brand ambassadors or advocates.
The goal is to create content that is valuable and interesting enough so that consumers want to share it with their social circles. During a time when almost all content is considered “top-notch,” brands that can successfully develop and harness this type of content will enjoy a distinct marketing advantage.
3. More Video Content Is On The Way
In the past, video content was typically restricted to product demos, advertising spots, and YouTube montages. These were valuable tools in the marketing arsenal, but relatively few brands and businesses knew how to effectively use video content to promote their brands.
However, the Covid world has changed all that. In the last six months, we’ve seen an explosion of video content, both on and off the internet, as individuals try to entertain themselves and each other during their stay at home.
This shift to more video content has many advantages for businesses that want to promote their brands. For one, consumers now have the ability to research and learn about products and services without having to encounter adverts or overly promotional content.
4. Personal Branding Is On The Rise
In a world where customers can research and learn about products and services without having to encounter adverts or overly promotional content, customers have the ability to form an opinion about products and services based on the content that they encounter. That being said, customers typically form an opinion about a brand more quickly if they associate that brand with positive content they encounter.
In the past, companies would typically try to build as large a database of customers as possible through retail relationships and brand loyalty. These days, with digital marketing helping businesses learn about their customers’ behaviors, companies can put a greater focus on personal branding. The idea is that by understanding and engaging with a customer on a personal level, companies can create a bond and gain that customer’s trust.
5. Authentic Long-Form Content
In the past, consumers would routinely visit websites or apps and consume short-form content, typically limited to a handful of text-based or image-based adverts.
However, during the pandemic, customers are seeking out long-form content as an escape from the daily struggle of life in lockdown. So, businesses that can provide this content, whether that’s an app, a website, or a newsletter, can gain an audience that is more engaged and likely to buy their products or services.
6. Native Advertising
Speaking of buying, the pandemic has highlighted the value of advertising in terms of bringing in revenue. However, as discussed, customers now have the ability to research and learn about products and services without having to encounter adverts. As a result, native advertising, which is content that appears to be organic or editorial in nature, will grow in popularity.
This form of advertising stands out from traditional advertising formats, such as paid advertising or display ads, because it allows businesses to connect with customers on a more personal level while avoiding the need to sell a product or service directly.
7. Virtual Shopping
The convenience of online shopping has not been disputed, and many will undoubtedly benefit from the increased digital marketing as a direct result of the pandemic. However, despite the popularity of online shopping, there is still a significant amount of retail that takes place in-store. In fact, according to PwC, as of 2021 in the United States, retail sales were valued at 2.9 trillion U.S. dollars and were expected to grow by 23% in the next six months.
This presents a major opportunity for businesses that want to promote their products or services in-store. The idea is to gain the trust of customers long enough for them to consider buying a product or service while in the store. Once they’ve made that purchase, the goal is to continue providing value and building brand loyalty through face-to-face interactions in-store and on social media.
To be successful, businesses will need to develop a robust in-house marketing strategy to guide their efforts and establish key benchmarks for measuring and assessing their progress. That way, they can continue to evolve and adjust their approach and tactics as needed to grow and prosper.