Recovery Roadmap: Digital Marketing Success in the Age of COVID-19
July 29, 2020
As we continue to exist in a global marketplace forced to deal with COVID-19, with most businesses having to continually pivot as new data emerges, continuing to drive forward with digital marketing is only part of the solution. The strategy behind that roadmap, and how you learn and evolve while you drive, is what will ultimately separate those who survive with those who don’t. At Commit Agency, this has been our primary focus.
Since early this year, COVID-19 has proven to be a monumental stress test for companies of all sizes. Brands that have remained nimble and prepared in the face of ever-changing market dynamics are the ones who have not only weathered the crisis but in some key instances, thrived. In the digital marketing space in particular, navigating a global pandemic can bear invaluable insights that, if leveraged correctly, allow you to adapt and find meaningful results.
The Big Picture
Brands need to take the time to invest in themselves and their customers, and make those meaningful changes, before the clouds fully part. Preparation during a shutdown can lead to significant increases in YoY revenues once a shutdown is lifted. In fact, it’s something we’ve seen firsthand with our clients. Admittedly, it wasn’t easy for many businesses to find their footing in a social distancing world. But the right adaptation of the “we’re in this together” message was and still is, timely now several months into the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw dramatic shifts in messaging that reflected the reality of the situation we’re in. That shift made a difference.
As consumers continue to social distance, often quarantining at home, there are some surprising and not so surprising ways their behaviors are changing, particularly online. Here are some of the emerging trends that all brands should take notice of as we continue to plan in real-time for success in the age of COVID-19.
- Non-branded searches related to “near me” have plummeted more than 50% as people shop online in ever-increasing numbers. Consumers are looking for specific information to efficiently source information most valuable to them.
- If shopping locally, people are looking for key data like hours of operation, menus, or delivery information as many brick-and-mortar businesses have shifted their hours to accommodate for cleaning, stocking, local safety guidelines, etc.
- Online conversion rates, overall, have seen a 38% increase.
A Deeper Dive
Today, we’re recognizing that consumer’s mindsets are shifting, and they may never go back to their pre-pandemic ways. In a recent post by Google, we learned that people are relying on the internet to entertain, connect, simplify, laugh, and become more self-sufficient. By studying these trends, we’re able to create messaging for our clients to support these new habits. Below are just a few of Google’s most interesting YoY finds.
- 39% increase in streaming TV from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., March 9–23
- 100% increase in searches for “boredom”
- 50% increase in “study with me” video views
- 65% growth in watch time of “step-by-step” and “for beginners” how-to videos
- 80% more searches for all things “DIY”
- 45% increase in views of “recipes and cooking”
Here at Commit Agency, we consider ourselves our clients’ partners in all aspects of their marketing and business goals. From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve worked diligently to remain ahead of the curve on behalf of their best interests and to be a proactive resource during uncertain times. And, despite continuing to find ourselves in the center of the COVID-19 storm, we are already seeing the benefit of our collaborative partnership and strategic foresight. Here are just some of the key trends we’ve seen from our clients, based on industry, allowing us to continue to tailor everything we do, particularly as it relates to digital marketing.
- Thrift retail shopping saw a 44.4% increase YoY in overall website traffic. As part of this overall lift, we also saw an increase of 31.9% YoY in our client’s organic search traffic.
- The patio furniture industry saw a 39% increase in revenue and a 45% increase YoY in overall website traffic, resulting in an overall increase of 65.6% YoY in organic search traffic for one of our clients.
- Travel and hospitality even saw an increase in hotel occupancy by 2% YoY in their first full month since reopening, seeing a 4% YoY increase overall in website traffic.
Taking the right steps to recover from a crisis is critical to the survival of your business. Although tempting, now is not the time to shut down marketing efforts to “save money.” The time for investment is now. Going dark online could send the wrong message to customers, leading them to believe you’re no longer in business. Instead, now is the time to pivot and march on.
We recommend re-evaluating your current digital marketing plan and creating a new one that is relevant to what’s going on today. Focus on improving your brand’s online experience holistically, shifting your messaging, and listening to what your consumers have to say as things evolve. Under these times of increased stress and uncertainty, people are looking for (and expecting) effortless interaction, so keep that in mind when looking to improve your website’s performance or user experience.
We understand that businesses are continuing to face acute challenges in current times. If you’re looking to improve your current digital marketing strategy, from advertising to your website, Commit Agency is here to help. Let’s talk today so your business can see tomorrow.