Traditional marketing has been on the decline for years. However, the COVID-19 may have put the final nail in the coffin for the field.
Digital marketing has been steadily growing in popularity ever since the first email was sent in 1971, and the field has adapted incredibly well to the new global conditions set by the pandemic.
But why did traditional marketing become obsolete in the first place?
Traditional marketing techniques were the go-to marketing strategies for businesses prior to the invention of the internet. While some traditional marketing techniques such as radio and television advertisements are still popular today, other traditional marketing techniques are seeing less use in the Coronavirus age.
The massive outdoor billboards that drew the eyes of passersby at one point are being seen by very few individuals that dare to venture outside during the pandemic. Newspaper advertisements are also becoming less popular due to the prevalence of digital news sites, and the fact that people aren’t willing to risk their health to purchase newspapers outdoors.
Reduced demand for marketing in the Coronavirus age
Both traditional and digital marketing took a massive hit during the onset of the virus, but some digital marketing strategies have become more popular ever since social distancing and quarantining became mainstream.
Many businesses that shut due to the pandemic are unable to earn revenue at this time. These businesses are using the savings or funds they have left to pay their employees and/or prevent their business from going under. Such businesses may not have spare funds available for marketing activities.
Due to this, there has been a net reduction in marketing activities since the virus became a pandemic.
Digital marketing shifts
Several businesses have switched up their digital marketing strategies to target platforms that have become popular with users who are self-isolating or are under quarantine. People who are spending more time indoors are more likely to browse online marketplaces and e-commerce sites.
Let’s explore these digital spaces a little more in detail.
Many online marketplaces have been seeing an uptick in activity from consumers who are interested in stocking up on essential products during the crisis. These buyers find it safer to order products online and have them delivered directly to their homes, rather than risking their health by stepping outside and potentially exposing themselves to the virus.
These online marketplaces and ecommerce sites have increased their spending on marketing activities since the virus hit. These sites are likely to continue growing in popularity, especially if they sell essential products that people need to survive.
People are also spending more time than usual watching TV shows and movies on streaming services. Streaming services are seeing such a high demand that Netflix have tripled their ad spending since March.
Social media sites
Social media sites are also seeing record-breaking activity from users during the quarantine. This should come as no surprise as people are more likely to reach out to their family and friends through these digital platforms during physical isolation.
Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have been targeting social media sites like Facebook and Twitter during the pandemic due to their increased popularity. This method should be adopted by other businesses that are interested in marketing during the pandemic.
While spending on marketing may have decreased, marketing content is being viewed by more people than ever. Marketing emails are also being opened by recipients at higher rates than before.
This suggests that email marketing could be an effective marketing tool during the pandemic, and one that could benefit businesses that are reluctant to spend on social media ads and search engines ads.
Pay per click advertising
The reduced demand for marketing has made pay per click (PPC) advertising significantly cheaper. PPC advertising is carried out using ads that are hosted by search engines. Businesses that pay for PPC ads can have their websites featured at the top of search engine result pages so that they are more visible to consumers.
Businesses that are interested in finding affordable ad spaces during the Coronavirus should take advantage of this situation and use PPC ads hosted on Google and Bing.
Changes to promotional content:
The COVID-19 crisis has also changed the kind of content that marketers are putting out. When the pandemic initially started, many companies reached out to consumers with messages showing concern for their well-being.
However, these messages often included promotional slogans that appeared to be taking advantage of the situation.
As a result, many users were put off by this promotional content, which may have damaged the reputation of several companies. However, the more recent content put out by large companies has been using a different approach.
Instead of promoting their products, many companies have been using marketing campaigns to spread the word about the COVID-19 relief activities they are involved with. This form of promotion can leave consumers with a more positive impression of the company, and this could in-turn increase sales for them in the future.
Best marketing strategies for businesses during COVID-19:
Given all the marketing trends we have observed during this worldwide crisis, business owners may be wondering what the best strategies are for marketing their businesses at this point in time.
If they have money to spend, business owners should focus on putting out ads on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and by also using pay per click advertising.
Email marketing could also be a good strategy for small businesses that don’t have the resources to spend on paid advertising. Email marketing is cheap, and is most effective when storytelling is used to draw-in and maintain the attention of readers.
This could be a great opportunity for the business to highlight the social work and relief efforts they are involved with during the pandemic.
The future of digital marketing:
No one knows when the Coronavirus crisis will be resolved. However, businesses that wish to survive during the current conditions will have to learn to adapt to these digital marketing shifts.
May we all step stronger and wiser on the other side of this incredibly tough time.