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.
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. The only place people are guaranteed to be found at scale in 2020 is online.
Why SMEs Need a Strategy 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 Media Marketing
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 Engine Marketing
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.
Fig. 1 – Online Activity Statistics during Lockdown
Fig. 2 – Estimated Lifetime Social Media Usage For Under 30s
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.
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