Advertising In The COVID Era — Keep Spending On It?
When the pandemic upended the economy last year, businesses of all sizes took a serious look at their marketing plans. And in the final analysis most redeployed their money into digital advertising.
Why? People were spending more time on the computer.
Our agency as well as others saw a huge jump in website redesign requests, digital ads spending, e-commerce adoption, and social media engagement with customers. Nevertheless, after almost 2 years of this COVID era, businesses are starting to wonder: should we keep spending on digital advertising this much when life returns to normal?
The answer is, it depends.
Don’t Put Your Digital Marketing Eggs In One Basket
It’s undeniable that the pandemic has been providing an opportunity like no other for direct-to-consumer businesses who have capitalized on the more home bound consumer lifestyle. And the hybrid way of life is here to stay, but things won’t be exactly as they were once the pandemic ends. Therefore marketing is actually at a crossroads we think.
So we advise not to put all your marketing efforts into one basket when once the pandemic ends. Instead, spend as much as you are comfortable for digital ads and when it makes sense. If you need help figuring out a good schedule for advertising, bid strategies, or managing your campaigns, we're happy to help—internet marketing one of the services we offer.
Consumer Decisions Are Becoming Less Easily Influenced By Ads
People are becoming less and less influenced by ads because they’re online so much more, so they're getting tired of them quicker. Everyone knows that the more you hit people in the face with the same ads, the less impactful each one becomes. This is especially true with digital ads right now—and people are getting better at blocking them and ignoring them down.
The big problem with people ad blocking and not clicking on ads is the lessening of data about consumers. The less data you have, the less effective your ads because you don’t know what people respond to as easily. You can spend on focus groups, which is the traditional way advertising went about understanding wants and needs of consumers. But focus groups and audience research agencies cost even more than what the search engines and social media platforms cost.
So how do businesses combat this?
You really have to get to know your audiences yourself.
What To Start Doing To Market Your Business
For years we've been hearing about the inevitable "death of advertising" in digital and traditional advertising mediums: television, newspapers, mailers, and billboards. Nevertheless, advertising won’t be totally useless in the future—it’s still the best way to reach people unfamiliar with you. However businesses must go beyond advertising to connect in a post-COVID world.
Futuristic, personalized, and engaging means of marketing have emerged and are rapidly evolving. So it’s important to start studying them so your business can compete with competitors. Big Picture? Brands that effectively leverage the new mediums and methods will be poised to create generations of loyal and engaged audiences for years to come.
Our 3 Predictions For How Marketing Will Evolve In The Post-COVID-19 World
We’ve always anticipated this societal shift, which is why we’ve always advised a less is more approach in ad spending to our clients. And the marketing methods we think you should consider are:
- Experiences: This is an interesting area to experiment with. Depending on your budget, dabble and dive into the video games, music streaming, and other ways to reach enthusiastic audiences in their metaverse. In particular, we saw much success with virtual races and runs. If there’s a relevant activity for your business to present to online users, try using it to create a communal experience with it—commerce + community is the key to this strategy’s success.
- Inclusion: Brands will need to directly involve consumers and build a community by allowing them to share videos, audio messages, personalized images and more. Some businesses have seen success in creating a connected Facebook group to their main Facebook page for customers to get updates and give feedback more quickly and directly. Any wonder why apps like Clubhouse are so popular? Another way of creating inclusion is user generated content contests where they get to create something they can take away for themselves (i.e. a cool Facebook frame, an Instagram and/or Snapchat filer, etc.) Run some giveaways and ask followers to tag your business to show off the merchandise you give them. Encourage your followers and potential customers to participate with you how you see fit. Most importantly experiment and measure everything to see what works, because we’ve seen that when the consumer becomes the creator, they feel connected and more loyal to the brand. And through this process of experimentation you'll also discover things about your brand identity that you never thought about before.
- Apps: We wouldn’t suggest rushing into creating an app for your business, especially if it isn’t necessary or your budget is limited. What’s more important is meeting your audience and potential customers on the apps they spend the most time on. And when you’re there, create more enthralling messages, more engaging words, and videos that you yourself would find useful and fun. The tried and true social apps are Instagram and Facebook, but look into TikTok and Clubhouse—devote a little time every month on exploring what’s fresh and new, where you can introduce yourself to those unfamiliar with your business.