Almost overnight, the coronavirus pandemic forced us into our homes – and onto our laptops to conduct nearly every element of our lives. Even as our country is starting to emerge from ‘lockdown,’ this new digital lifestyle is having major implications for integrated marketers.
Some of these trends, such as the current volatility of paid search, may right themselves as more businesses come back online, and consumer confidence increases. Still, there may be long-lasting, if not permanent changes, to how we market. With all of these changes, there are real opportunities for integrated marketers and their brands that know how to navigate this brave new digital landscape.
Even as the economy starts to open back up again, that doesn’t necessarily translate to confident, enthusiastic consumers. More than ever, consumers want assurance. Even as most retailers reported a downturn in Web traffic, there was a relative increase in traffic to ‘help’ or customer service pages. Take this opportunity to fortify those pages. Consider adding content about how your company is offering support right now, and make it easy for customers to connect with you.
Because the pandemic has financially impacted so many consumers, retailers who offer flexible payment solutions may be able to capture sales that would have been otherwise lost. Merchants who use Affirm, the pay-over-time service, report an average order value that’s 85% higher compared to sites that only use traditional payment options.
Sharpen Your Social Selling
Social has also seen some ups and downs related to COVID-19. Even though overall usage is up, engagement is down in many industries. However, there’s been an increase in people shopping socially. In a recent study, 40% of consumers reported purchasing from social media ads – compared to 29% for both TV ads and emails, and just 24% from text message ads. If you aren’t already, consider:
- Shoppable stories and posts
- Ads on social media with live links to e-commerce sites
- Adding social plugins to your e-commerce site so shoppers can share their favorite items on their favorite social platform
An Increased Call for Interactive Content
Because we’re still a long way off from business as usual, marketers still need to be sensitive about their messages coming off as ‘salesy.’ Truly interactive content blurs the lines between marketing, entertainment, and education and keeps users on your site for longer.
- Short, interactive quizzes break through the clutter, giving you a low-profile, fun way to create engagement.
- 360-degree/immersive videos help fight ‘cabin-fever’ – and even though many major brands are doing them, consumers are still hungry for these novel virtual experiences.
- Polls and surveys can help you stay in touch with your audience and their changing needs and attitudes.
Don’t Forget Your Email Marketing
From February through the end of March of this year, email open rates jumped by 16%. Now, that doesn’t guarantee a conversion, but given how cost-effective the medium is, you can’t afford to neglect your email marketing efforts.
Campaign Monitor published a rigorous study of post-COVID-19 email marketing which provided some surprising averages and insights:
- Emails sent on Mondays and Fridays got the highest open rates
- Wednesday emails had the highest click-through rate
- Sunday emails had the best click-to-open rates
Count on Change, and Count on Us
In this period, when every day feels different from the last, it helps to have a partner in your corner. We are still here for your everyday business needs, and we can also help you navigate these rapidly changing times. We’d love to hear from you!