The stock market crash in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic will surely change society and the way companies work. Therefore, brands need to completely rethink their communication. Previous digital marketing strategies will be a thing of the past. Before moving on to new lead generation strategies, most companies will need to overcome the period of adaptation and try to survive the crisis. After all, the purchasing power of their potential customers has decreased significantly.
How can companies deal with the crisis and maintain trusting relationships with existing and potential customers? Is brand awareness now possible without sacrificing the budget? What research and technology business owners should invest in to fully re-enter the competition? The Depositphotos team shares nine ideas on how to maintain business stability in 2020.
1. Invest in AR and make products searchable to reduce dependence on traditional retailers. Study terms: shoppable posts, visual search, shopping lens.
Because of COVID-19, restaurants, hotels and shops closed their doors, giving way to companies that offer essential goods or provide basic services. The best thing business owners can do in this situation is to make their product more accessible to a wide audience with the help of new technologies. Consider integrating an API (Application Programming Interface) for visual searches and taking advantage of shoppable posts.
In 2020, online shopping is becoming more and more like offline. The shoppable posts function, which allows you to mark goods in posts with a link to go to the online store, is already used by brands in the USA, Great Britain, Brazil and other countries. Given this, we believe that the future lies with AR and the shopping lens option, which makes virtual fitting possible using a smartphone camera (example: Shop the Look Pins on Pinterest).
Visual search also offers many benefits to customers. The technology, originally introduced on Pinterest (Pinterest Lens) and Google (Google lens), is in image recognition, and this is one of the main digital trends today.
In 2020, visual search continues to expand multichannel marketing. It makes it possible to buy almost any item from the offline environment of users, and also allows you to scan a picture from the Internet and in one click buy what is shown on it. Our advice to companies: work on image search engine optimization and upload more product photos to the site.
Examples: Amazon Cards, created in partnership with Snapchat; Shopify and Pinterest partnerships, Boohoo.com and PrettyLittleThings visual search tools, Google image search and Google Shopping.
2. Use the new communication channels along with traditional terms for learning: omnichannel marketing, niche networking.
What unites everyone who is forced to stay home due to quarantine? They spend more time on the Internet and compensate for the lack of communication through social networks.
In 2020, Facebook with an audience of 2.23 billion active users and YouTube with 19 billion users dominate social networks. Therefore, most global brands invest in advertising and content marketing on these platforms. Because of this, Facebook and YouTube are flooded with ads. To reach your audience here, you will have to compete with the best marketers and creators.
An alternative could be omnichannel marketing. Its essence is to establish communication with potential customers on all possible platforms, including niche ones. This approach is often confused with multi-channel, so let's find out what the difference between them is.
According to the omnichannel marketing concept, companies use several marketing channels and combine them into a user-oriented structure. In this case, channels, including social networks, live broadcasts, email, customer support and offline communication, reinforce each other.
To optimize your budget costs and increase your conversion rates, we advise you not to blindly spend on unique content for Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram. Instead, think about how you can coordinate all communication channels and create the perfect sales funnel with them. Learn about the possibilities of alternative social networks (Pinterest, TikTok or Twitch) and evaluate whether they will help to establish a dialogue with your customers, and if so, at what stage. You can also use niche social networks dedicated to a specific business area.
Examples of niche social networks: TikTok, Reddit, Pinterest, Flixster, imeem and others.
3. Motivate people to share the content of your brand in any way convenient for them. Terms for learning: user-generated content, micro-influencers.
In 2020, user-generated content (UGC) will dominate the social media market and will change some of the forecasts for digital marketing trends. Obviously, for brands, it will become one of the main ways to deliver messages about their values, new product lines or sales. User-generated content based on company content can take many forms: simple publications mentioning the brand, interactive broadcasts, stories with brand masks, and many others. The more opportunities for interacting with company content you create, the more engagement you get from users.
If you have not experimented with social flash mobs, polls, and tests, start with them. If your brand has already passed this stage, choose more technologically advanced and comprehensive strategies for promoting user-generated content. For example, the use of QR codes for Instagram masks in offline retail.
Remember that your information campaign should target a specific audience and convey an important idea. This is the only way to get the attention of microinfluencers (most of your audience) and motivate them to tell friends about your product. Take advantage of this great opportunity in a situation where you do not have a budget for attracting macroinfluencers.
Examples: Depositphotos Digital Marketing Strategies (blog and Facebook profile), Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Apple Instagram accounts.
4. Create sales funnels based on customer emotions. Terms for learning: machine learning, recognition of customer emotions, monitoring social media, neuromarketing.
Emotions control human behavior. They influence the decision to purchase, determine the customer’s willingness to buy similar products, and even lead to a loyalty to a particular brand. And if in previous decades companies used emotional triggers almost intuitively, now we have a real opportunity to identify and analyze the emotions of customers.
As a result, web platforms and applications can show different content to people with different emotions and make it possible to buy a product or subscribe to a brand’s Facebook page using a personal (and more effective) approach.
The essence of neuromarketing is to find the relationship between a person’s emotions and his purchasing behavior. His earliest tools are built-in IT trackers (eye tracking tools) and beacon technologies that are already used in offline stores in the USA. The most popular way to study client emotions is to integrate anchors into the site or use social media monitoring platforms such as Hootsuite, SumAll or HubSpot. With their help, you can track reactions to your content on social networks and comments mentioning your brand. Understanding the emotions that the company evokes in the audience will allow you to rebuild the sales funnel.
Remember that customer emotions are highly dependent on the situation. People experience pleasant excitement when unpacking goods, stress when trying to understand incomprehensible instructions and confusion when an online store consultant explains how to fill out a delivery form. Remember that any emotion is your chance to sell a product. You can use it if you make contact with the audience.
Example: PayPal motivated people to shop more often due to the speed and ease of payments; The Visa social media monitoring campaign on Twitter.
5. Review your SEO strategy and get involved in VSEO integration. Terms for learning: multilingual SEO promotion, VSEO, local SEO promotion, zero position snippet.
Search engine optimization is one of the defining elements of your online commercial success. Social networks remain a channel for interacting with potential customers, and Google allows any user to find you, that is, learn about you. In addition, there are many more people using Google than social network users.
While offline stores do not work, try to make your online platforms (and the products presented on them) easy to find.
First, update your keywords, rewrite page titles and descriptions to reflect changes in the list of popular words. The potential audience may already be using other keywords to find the products you offer. Do not miss them!
Secondly, improve your position with local search engine optimization. It’s possible that your target region uses unusual words to search for products or services. Another possibility: add your company on Google Maps and tell about it in the description.
You can also discover the potential of VSEO (voice search optimization – optimization for voice search). Artificial intelligence based voice assistants are one of the digital trends of the decade. Many people use them in their homes or smartphones, avoiding direct contact with devices. IoT infrastructure is evolving. The bad news is that the voice assistant only gives the user a snippet of zero position (a block with a Google response). To get your page there, you need to convince Google that you can help users.
Free tools for selecting keywords: Google AdWords (section "Keyword Planner"), Soovle, Also Asked, Jaaxy.
6. Develop an interactive sales strategy. Terms for learning: interactive marketing, user path, online chat support and chat bots.
Interactive marketing is a relatively new approach in digital marketing. With the introduction of quarantine, this method of customer service has become more relevant than ever. It allows companies to save on consultants who respond to clients in online chats. Online chats are a safe way to communicate with customers.
Why is interactive marketing considered so effective? To answer this question, we need to recall the usual user path in 2020. Today, more and more information about products customers receive on the Internet. They try to find out about the product and the manufacturer through social networks, as well as find reviews of real people. Moreover, 79% of users are ready to receive customer service in instant messengers.
The most natural way for a user to contact a manufacturer or a store is to write to them using improvised tools (instant messenger in social networks, less often – online chat on the website or in the application). The sooner you begin to personally communicate with the client, the higher the likelihood of a purchase.
An important point about online chats and chat bots in 2020: communication in instant messengers becomes more personal. Why? If the communication style in the messenger as a whole matches the style and emotional context of your brand, there are more chances that users will remember you.
Examples of WhatsApp chat bots: Pandora, WHO Health Alert chatbot, Andy the English Speaking bot, MakeMyTrip.
7. Create content in a long form to be remembered. Terms for study: content in a long form, podcasts.
Until 2020, many marketers preferred digital marketing content strategies, in which the main were expert materials of 700 words or less. But today, short articles are not so well received. The main reason is that Google gives top positions to pages with texts of more than two thousand words.
Of course, if your niche has few competitors, short materials can also be effective. But even in this case, you lose a lot. Receiving a large influx of traffic to your site, you simultaneously receive a high bounce rate, a low percentage of user returns and a low level of engagement. What is the reason? If the user reads materials on the site for less than three minutes, he is unlikely to remember even the name of the platform.
The current economic lull can be used to create content in a long form. Keep in mind that it means not only longreads, but also long videos (up to 15 minutes for YouTube) and podcasts.
Try experimenting with them, but remember that the bounce rate of your content in a long form will be huge if you optimize it, but do not fill the articles with useful information. To avoid this common mistake, do not create content for the sake of content, study your audience before creating a content plan.
8. Try to use thoughtful hype content marketing. Terms to learn: flexible editorial plan, super-hype, not enough hype.
Although there is no such thing as hype marketing, hype is useful for business (especially if the advertising budget is small), because it allows brands to get by with a small investment in promotion.
So what is hype? This is an extravagant, active advertising. A clear sign of hype is the spread of viral content. There are many examples of it. The TikTok social network has become popular precisely because of the hype around it. Coronavirus triggered a series of hype events: some street clothing brands were able to earn on the manufacture of individual respirators, others became popular thanks to thematic Instagram masks.
If you want to benefit from hype, choose one of the digital marketing strategies: use the existing hype or create it.
When using hype in your business interests, you need to be flexible in your content strategy. It's not just about content for social networks. If the content strategy is complex and includes all the channels that you use to communicate with customers, you are more likely to reach the attention of the audience and be able to use its emotions to sell products.
Daily monitor trends in social networks and learn to instantly adapt to them. But remember that you need to respond to hype before it loses relevance.
Creating hype is a whole science. Start your study with the Hype Cycle Concept, described by Gartner in 1995 and updated last year. To become hype, your product or message must be innovative and unexpected. Potential hype content should be supported by emotional images. With the help of social networks, it will spread by itself. Then custom content will appear, and your brand awareness will increase.
Examples: Apple creative campaigns, TikTok challenges, Instagram hashtag campaigns.
9. Think about the changes in the project. Although many companies may think that the best tactic is to remain flexible and save resources, we advise you to adapt your business now taking into account the changes that are taking place. Why? Remember that a crisis is a period of market renewal. Some of your competitors may disappear in the coming months, leaving you with some of the market. But can you meet the growing expectations of customers using old approaches?
Keep track of marketing trends, continue to connect with customers, combine communication channels into one strong system and make sure that your brand and product remain relevant.
Summary No matter how frightening this crisis seems, sooner or later it will be replaced by a period of economic thaw. Digital trends that you can follow right now will help you beat competitors in a few months.
Remember that you have a very important resource – time. Use it to learn about competitors, do SEO, update sales funnels and work on a content plan. Also pay attention to technical innovations that have already influenced marketing trends.
There is another reason to stay in a good mood: while you are changing your business and setting new marketing priorities, your employees are studying new technologies and developing professional skills. This means that your team will emerge from this period stronger and more adapted to unexpected and complex changes in the market.