Digital Marketing consumption has seen a consistent, rapid expansion for the past 20 years. COVID-19 is causing increased budgetary restrictions in almost all industries across the world. The marketing industry is under extreme pressure, with print and outdoor media seeing the biggest decline and newspapers and signage companies on the brink across the world. 

Despite these market trends and reduced marketing budgets, COVID-19 is leading to a digital marketing boom, with social and search channels set to dominate the future of the industry. 

Here’s why… 

Most physical occasions like fairs, swap meets, gatherings, workshops and exchange shows planned for 2020/2021 have been postponed, dropped or made virtual. With that, marketers are looking to different scenes to spend their advertising dollars. They have to keep building their brands and create the necessary client leads and deals. 

Why Small Businesses Need a Digital Marketing Strategy (Especially During the Pandemic)

In the oldest days of marketing, footfall was the metric that all marketers dreamed of. Letting customers see your sign in a heavily populated area would guarantee your message was being seen by the masses.

Several hundred years later, advertising moved to print. Now, a single newspaper advertisement could reach a national audience. Far more than even the best placed store. 

Since the turn of the millennium, we have seen a more sophisticated system of advertising, facilitated by the world wide web. 

Social

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter dominate the social media domain, each allowing advertisers to target users with increasing accuracy. Targeting tea lovers with mugs, cyclists with new equipment and parents with toys. 

Search

Google dominates the internet search domain, connecting people who need a service, to people who offer it. Instead of targeting people based on what they like, target them based on what they’re searching for and where they’re located. 

Both the Social and Search platforms are undergoing a sharp increase in usage and screentime due to the Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing measures put in place. There has never been a better time in history to reach your target market, with your business message. This is targeted advertising. 

What Is Unique About Digital Marketing? 

Digital Marketing differentiates itself from traditional marketing. 

1 – Digital gives companies the freedom to choose how their message is displayed. Through text, video, imagery and website. 

2 – Digital allows companies to target their spending on very specific terms and demographics. 

3 – Digital allows for instant changes to be made and for wide, varied testing to occur. This provides the tools companies need to optimise their marketing using data. 

What Are the Main Sources Of Traffic Available to Companies? 

In the event that you have not wandered into digital marketing yet, here is an outline of the digital channels accessible as ordered by Google. Their essential capacity is to direct people to your site or online items: 

Organic Search 

When a user goes to Google (or any search engine) and starts searching for something, the results that appear under the ads are organic search listings. The higher your position in organic search for a query, the more visitors you will receive. This is known as organic traffic. 

The process of improving your position in search results, and as a result your organic traffic is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). 

Direct 

When a user types bequick.ie directly into their search bar, this is known as a direct visitor. They are coming to your site directly as they know your business and brand. 

For example, when I need to purchase a new laptop or phone, I go straight to apple.com. I don’t go on the hunt, because I know exactly which website I need. Typically, direct users rely on bookmarks or auto suggestions in their browser. 

Social 

The world’s leading social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. At the moment, we are seeing record setting screen times , with some social networks reporting over 30m per day of average use.

Social can be a good place to keep customers up to date about products and services you offer. People see posts about your organization, opening times, or products/services and can visit your website for more. 

Once a user moves from social media to your website, this is called social traffic. 

Email 

This is the traffic produced by your outbound email battles and email communications. Somebody, for example, observes a link inserted in your email or in your signature, click on it, and it takes them to your site. That is known as email traffic. 

Referral 

This is alluded traffic starting with one site then onto the next. When a site links to yours it is known as an “inbound link”. Inbound links are also known as backlinks, which are a major factor in search rankings. When people follow this link, they reach your site and this is recorded as “referral traffic”.

A backlink is a hyperlink on an external website, that references content on your website. It is useful in the domain of search engine marketing and search engine optimization. 

Paid Search 

This incorporates all forms of paid digital advertising. Paid ads are commonly referred to as “Pay Per Click” advertising and form the main source of revenue for all search engines and social media platforms. 

In contrast to natural traffic, they expect you to pay for every click, impression and visitor. It is the most reliable and quantifiable form of advertising in the world. 

Conclusion

Coronavirus will effect the world in thousands of ways, and advertising and marketing is not immune by any stretch of the imagination. However, with people on their devices more than ever, and social contact being drastically restricted, there is more digital marketing opportunity for SMEs than ever.