Since the coronavirus pandemic began, businesses based in the West Midlands have seen an unprecedented shift to digital marketing channels – including online marketing.
Here, we examine the unprecedented shift to digital marketing and how businesses in the region are using online marketing channels to build their brands.
Why are brands shifting to online marketing in the first place?
The first half of 2020 was a grim time for traditional advertisers. Clients stopped buying ads, and the ones who did continue to buy them were hesitant to do so.
The impact of this was felt heavily in the West Midlands, with a 25% drop in overall consumer spending – a mammoth £16.9bn was wiped off gross domestic product (GDP) in the region.
But this was also a golden opportunity for those who were able to successfully utilise online marketing channels.
Now, as the economy slowly tries to rebuild, brands are looking to get back to business as usual, and 82% of businesses in the West Midlands are planning on increasing their digital spend in the next six months.
How are brands increasing their digital presence in the West Midlands?
As we’ve established, the market in the region is shifting to online marketing, and this has opened up a whole new world of digital marketing opportunities for businesses.
With a population of around 5.7 million people, the West Midlands is one of the largest regions in Europe. This presents brands with a massive market to tap into – and the good news is that there are numerous tactics available to businesses here.
The most effective digital marketing strategies can be successfully implemented online, and with just a few tweaks, brands can find the right mix of content and offers that suit their target audience.
The Content Experiment
As the UK government encouraged people to continue going outside and interacting with others to reduce the spread of the virus, marketing experts got to work creating content that would engage audiences while also educating them about the importance of staying home.
Wondering how you can promote your business online without spending a fortune? One option is to create content that is both useful and interesting to your target audience – and perhaps most importantly – relevant to their needs.
The West Midlands has a lot to offer in terms of business opportunities – from its world-class universities to the fact that there are now more online shoppers in the region than ever before. This presents brands with a golden opportunity to target consumers who are already engaged with relevant content online.
To test this, we set up a Google Sheet with a list of 12 businesses, all based in Birmingham. Our job was to find content that would engage our target audience – people who live and breathe Walmart.
We started by simply entering “Walmart” into our search bar and hitting enter. BOOM. We landed on the Walmart homepage.
The next step was to look at all of the content that was generated around the world’s largest retailer.
We quickly identified a goldmine of content that was incredibly relevant to our target audience – and most importantly, highly engaging.
We saw lots of digital marketing tactics that were successfully implemented online – like video content and influencer marketing.
But perhaps the most effective tactic we saw was content experimentation. The pandemic presented marketing executives with a golden opportunity to try new things – and what could be more new things than a whole different media delivery platform?
And so, we saw businesses like Vodafone, Orange and IBM experiment with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) marketing – and the results were incredibly successful.
So, if you’re looking to increase your digital presence in the West Midlands or want to try a new digital marketing tactic – be sure to check out how businesses around the world are changing the game through content experimentation. You might just find that the best tactics to promote your business are online.