Covid Search Marketing Strategy

COVID-19 has altered the landscape of e-commerce in the last year. Search Ad spending is on a steady ride as consumers primarily resort to online shopping and retailers shift focus to driving online sales. Retail sales are moving to digital channels. Companies are pulling up their socks and revamping their digital ad campaign game plans to reach the most number consumers.

Search Ad Spending Post COVID

According to a forecast from eMarketer, there is an estimated 5.9% increase in search ad spending in 2020. Search Ad spends increased in all markets, especially in the area of consumer e-commerce. As retail sales are shifting to digital mediums, retailers are increasing their search advertising budgets. 
If this trend persists, the amount spent on search advertising will exceed the pre-pandemic estimates in a couple of years. Short-term forecast- Marketers are estimated to spend $59.2 billion on search ads in 2020, which is more than the previous estimates of $54.37 billion.

This growth is primarily due to mobile search ads with minimal contribution from desktop search ad spending. 

It is anticipated that advitisers will spend $99 billion on search ads, which is again a boost from the earlier prediction of $91 billion.

Impact of the Pandemic on Online Shopping

The isolation and uncertain period of COVID-19 has affected the shopping behaviours of people around the world. From online shopping to bulk buying, people are not holding back from taking risks. With major cities going into total lockdowns, non-essential businesses got shut, and customers got bounded to online shopping for all items other than essential commodities. 
Businesses and brands are also learning to adapt and thrive in the new normal. When the news of COVID-19 began to come in, people responded with panic buying and stocking up on essential and home-entertainment categories. A few months into the pandemic, online shopping significantly increased across all categories. Consumer reports say that the intent of shopping online is going to remain even after the COVID crisis.

Sectors with a spurt in online shopping were medicinal supplies, household essentials, groceries, and personal care supplies. Makeup, apparel, skincare and jewellery showed growth in demand up to 15%.
The high-income group and millennials have been leading the way for online spend for both essential and luxury items. Gen X and Gen Z have concentrated more on clothing, footwear, entertainment and food take-outs.
The crisis also prompted consumers to switch brands at an alarming rate. With over 75% of consumers adopted to new shopping behaviours. All this in response to the economic pressure, fluctuating priorities and store closings.

How Businesses must Redesign their Post-Pandemic Digital Campaign Strategy

Post-COVID, digital marketing demands have escalated, driving brands and companies to take aggressive measures to keep up. They must redesign their marketing strategy and game plan to align with the changing customer demands. Marketing teams must modify their digital ad campaign proposal, re-activate their approach and re-engage the customers. Businesses must aim to add values to their campaigns and enhance their customer experience to become a strong & meaningful brand.
The pandemic has accelerated the speed of companies going digital and has given new power to online marketers. Consumers are dependent on digital mediums now more than ever to get through the day. Marketers must use this digital technology to their advantage and make judicial decisions.

Focus on Existing Customers

If new customers are hard to acquire, focus on the existing ones and loyal customers who stick by you through the economic downturn.
Apart from digital ad campaigns and services to attract new customers, you must also focus on the old ones by offering them deals and refunds if they had an existing membership or scheduled auto-pay. Which may hurt your cash-flow, but can be gained-back tenfolds, once the economy gains momentum. Loyal customers will then be ready to begin buying again. Look out for your customers during tough times and reach out to them to earn their trust and loyalty.

Shift Everything Online

If your business has only a 50% online presence, it is time to take it to 100%. With travel restrictions and lockdowns, it is more than essential for companies to update websites, create social media campaigns, and shift focus to current e-commerce trends.
Companies must enhance their online presence by letting consumers buy, communicate, track merchandise, create invoices and manage all their businesses online through digital tools and technology.
One can achieve this by employing a CRM tool, hosting webinars, and assisting the work from home for its employees.

Invest in PPC Ads

As more people spend time on Facebook and other social media platforms, investment in PPC ads is likely to generate good revenue. This way, customers know that you are existing and are striving to be a part of the new normal.
Facebook digital Ad campaigns are affordable and effective in targeting a niche audience. It can inform any changes in the business, advertise promotions, seasonal offers, and discounts. PPC ads can be made engaging, interesting, and targeted. Helping you grow your business to greater heights.

Run more deals and offers

Another popular way of retaining the customer interest is by offering deals, exclusive promotional discounts & freebies. Ads displayed on social media platforms or via email campaigns are also used. 
This approach will not only bring new customers but also retain the existing ones. Promotional ideas work for all sectors but particularly more for those who have reached unexpected lows due to the pandemic. You could offer discounts for long-term memberships and loyal investors to help your business earn some money as well.

Rethink Communication Strategy

Let your communication strategy get an overhaul to adapt to fluctuating schedules and priorities. It can be the time to revamp your content, the emails you are sending out, or how you interact with your audience. Can be achieved byunderstanding your buyer personas profoundly, and their expectations in the post-COVID scenario. Surveys can also help you grasp their current interests and priorities.

The Final Word

Intelligently devised Post-COVID digital marketing strategies can help businesses leverage this digital boom. They can help a small business to get back on its feet quicker and gain a significant edge over its competitors.

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