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June 19, 2021

What’s Sticking Around In Digital Marketing After COVID?

There is no denying the unpredictability of 2020 – not only were businesses forced to adjust to the new normal but consumers and the ideologies that run the commercial world were altered forever.  While some of the trends predicted pre-pandemic ended up coming to light, others didn’t emerge at all, leaving many companies struggling to adapt. As marketers focus on building brands this year and beyond, what should we take away from the pandemic? What trends are here to stay, and which are the first to go? 

What’s Shifted

Lockdowns and social distancing during the height of the pandemic caused consumers to shift rapidly to digital platforms to fulfill their needs. Suddenly, it seemed as though every option was now available online. From shopping to entertainment to work, the challenges of widespread closures and fears of contracting the virus were mitigated by the way in which people sought digital solutions. 

Now that the dust has settled and dreams of pre-pandemic life turn into realities, it’s time to re-evaluate how consumers seek to engage with businesses today.

Podcasts

Podcasts are growing in popularity. In fact, they may be the best way to reach certain audiences and raise brand awareness. Nearly a $1 billion industry, podcasts are known and enjoyed for their entertainment and educational value. Despite having been around for nearly two decades, recent growth has shown a 10.4% increase in ad spending this year alone. With more people staying home to work and quarantine, podcasts have seen a 26% increase in listeners from 2019 to 2020 alone. With more people tuning in, advertisers are capitalizing on the fact that Americans are 41% more likely to buy a product or service if it’s advertised to them in a podcast.

When developing new content marketing strategies in 2021 and beyond, consider employing a multimedia approach as more and more people seek to digest audio content than ever before. Beyond traditional written content, the use of podcasts and podcast advertising may be just the right way to reach your audiences, given that they align with your brand. 

E-mail Marketing and Newsletters

The pandemic has shaped the way people interact with businesses, leading many to seek easy-to-consume content like podcasts as well as newsletters that deliver straight to subscriber inboxes. The goal of any email or newsletter should be to: 

In an overly saturated inbox, emails must stand out to make an impact. Routinely optimizing your content, taking in feedback, A/B testing, and utilizing analytics can all help you tailor your marketing strategies to better reach your customers. Marketers must constantly realign themselves with their subscribers for maximum engagement. 

Google My Business 

Google My Business (GMB) is often the first place customers turn to for up-to-date information — from address and phone number to website and hours of operation, businesses came to rely heavily on these features to communicate effectively with customers during the heights of the pandemic. With continuously changing restrictions and mask policies came the need for easily accessible information. 

Utilizing and updating a business’s GMB profile can: 

In 2021, Google is likely the first place your customers will search to find important information about your business, and a GMB profile is a necessity when communicating changes in hours, and any other relevant announcements you’d like your customers to know.

Social Media 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn – oh my! It seems as though everyone has a social media profile of some sort these days. So how exactly did COVID-19 impact social media marketing? And what does that look like now? 

Unsurprisingly, when stay-at-home orders were given and people started spending more time in their houses, overall mobile internet usage increased by one hour or more every day. About half of all Americans have reported using social media more since the outbreak began. Because more people are spending time on social media, they are also engaging 15% more with online ads, on average.

LinkedIn sessions also increased by 30% in the last three months of 2020 according to Microsoft. Data indicates record levels of engagement across the platform, while its advertising business continues to grow. LinkedIn, when used in the right ways for industries, is a relevant way for digital marketers to reach professionals ready to do business in 2021, especially considering that 4 out of every 5 people on LinkedIn are in a position to drive business decisions.

A Changed Approach in Digital Marketing

The ever-changing nature of digital marketing requires marketers to stay constantly up-to-date and informed to make guided decisions. The pandemic caused businesses that excelled in anticipating and adapting to changes to thrive. Consumers today expect experiences with a brand to be frictionless, anticipatory, relevant, and connected – pandemic or not.

It’s never too late to harness the power of digital marketing through an omnichannel approach where messages are delivered in a consistent, personalized way for consumers across all channels and devices. Digital spending is here to stay, and we are here to help guide you in the process of creating or pivoting your digital marketing post-COVID.  

Let PHOS Be Your Guide

Knowing where (or to whom) to turn to for direction when developing a marketing strategy can be difficult. Without a team of digital marketers to stay abreast of the latest trends and most effective ways to reach your audiences, it can be difficult to know where to begin. At PHOS, we’re constantly analyzing the ever-changing data and trends in times of unpredictability such as these. By highlighting the right strategies, operations, and technologies for your business, we can help drive growth for your businesses in a post-COVID world.

Lisa Roberts

With a love for learning and a heart to serve, Lisa partners with clients to reach their fullest potential by providing quality work and proven results. As a proud Gator grad, she has come to call Gainesville home and nothing brings her greater joy than pouring back into the community she loves.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Lisa relishing time with family, having a good laugh with friends, or blasting her favorites on Spotify. She loves a good docu-series, and will never turn down a good cup ‘o joe.