Fear of contamination, confinement, partial unemployment, risk of bankruptcy and an unstable financial future… The pandemic we are currently experiencing has plunged companies into a new, brutal reality.
So what is the impact of Covid-19 on web marketing? Why is digital marketing becoming more important than ever before?
Read all about this in our new article!
Covid-19: Implications for business
The beginning of the Covid-19 crisis raised many significant questions and underlined key uncertainties amongst professionals. Even if a lot of information circulated in the media, it was particularly difficult for the companies to have a clear vision of the future, especially in this unprecedented situation which evolves on a daily basis.
Following a study carried out among 4800 consumers in France and Belgium, only 900 consumers believe that they have not encountered difficulties in their web marketing strategies. Whilst more than 3900 claim to have difficulties with their web marketing, especially in terms of SEO. Another school of thought is that companies believe that they do not have the necessary skills and appropriate training to manage this crisis situation.
Many managers have had to reassess, update and change their strategies. They have had to adapt to teleworking as well as the new behaviour of consumers. Some have also had change their strategy because of budget constraints.
Marketers are apprehensive about adopting the right tone of voice to communicate with their customers, which channels to use and share relevant content effectively. It is difficult to have the perfect response in such a particular crisis situation.
The impact of Covid-19 on marketing and sales
- Google Trends Data
In France, the term Coronavirus started to be typed on search engines already in January 25, 2020 according to Google Trends. The peak of searches occurred on March 15, 2020.
The scientific term “Covid-19” began to be used from the end of February and its search peaked on March 17, 2020.
- The evolution of traffic on French websites
In France, the traffic of the companies’ websites suffered a significant decrease linked directly to the official declaration of the national confinement. Companies saw a drop in web traffic of nearly -22% compared to the average traffic recorded between January 13 and March 9, 2020. A trend that was quickly reversed. Reaching +50% of traffic by the end of April 2020.
- The evolution of marketing performance: e-mail marketing and communication
Since the start of confinement, French companies have been sending a lot more marketing emails than usual. Indeed, a clear increase can be observed from March 9, with a peak of +108% of mailings sent during the week of March 23, in comparison to the pre-COVID period. Indeed support e-mails and communications related to the Covid-19 situation are most certainly responsible for this sharp increase.The Chatbot: a platform that has strongly developed
This is a great example why marketers should not pause all their marketing activities. Showcasing how they must instead adapt their marketing strategy because consumers are not looking for the same type of content as before the crisis. They are more interested in educational resources and information about the virus. It is therefore essential for marketers and sales people to adapt their approach and avoid hammering away at the promotion of their products or services – which can be misperceived by their customers – and instead focus on building customer relationships based on trust.
Deconfinement: the best practices for dealing with the crisis
Now more than ever, companies must prepare themselves for the “post Covid-19” situation by taking an inventory of their structure in order start off on the right foot and adapt to new trends. So, what are the best practices to adopt?
Here are a few key tips to help your company to be directly operational:
- Clean up your database:
Maintaining and cleaning up your database is a task often postponed but which has a great importance in the management of customer relationships, especially during the Covid-19 period. If you do not have a customer database, then now is the time to create one!
Indeed, you should take into consideration which prospects to relaunch and prioritise. Giving precedence to prospects with whom you already have an advanced relationship or with whom a contract was about to be concluded before the arrival of COVID-19. What is more, you can set reminders if your CRM allows you to do so. This is a very effective method to avoid missing out on a contract.
Now is the time to prepare your upcoming prospection. A key element to success in commercial development lies in the targeting of prospects by field and by sector. This can be very time-consuming and is often put off until later, but it will allow you to work efficiently and on a sound basis.
- Set up a CRM
Depending on the size of your company, the time may have come to implement a CRM tool. It will allow you to organise and optimise your information in order to redevelop your business as quickly as possible.
- Don’t let your customers forget you
Quarantine has certainly caused a slowdown or even a total shutdown of your activity but you must not let your customers forget about you! Keeping in touch with your customers is crucial to help you restart your business. Be sure to keep up the communication on your social networks. Sharing appropriate and key information on your activity. Take advantage of this opportunity to create content, relaying thematic articles and news related to your domain.
You can also send newsletters to your customers. Acting as a gentle reminder in their inboxes and highlighting you as a service provider. Building the customer relationship that has already been established for some time. Furthermore, your customers will generally be curious.
- Get ready for the post COVID-19 period by optimising your internal SEO
Quarantine has led to a significant drop in activity for some companies, so it is essential to optimise your SEO so as to restructure and clean up your website.
In order to do so, it is essential to improve the following aspects of your SEO:
- The HN hierarchy of each page
- The networking of internal links
- Error pages
- Insufficient page content
- The keywords used
- Page loading time
- The depth of the pages
Indeed, having a good HN hierarchy allows an efficient structuring of your pages whilst internal links and the depth of the pages allows a stronger inter-linking of pages. Also, choosing the right keywords and providing sufficient content on your pages is essential. We also recommend that you focus on the long tail of keywords on your site. Last but not least, ensure to correct error pages as well as improving the loading time of the pages so as to optimise the technical section of your site.
What is the Future of Sales & Marketing?
It is obvious that this crisis has shaken the digital strategies of many companies. But what can we expect in the upcoming months?
1 – The reign of “e-life” will accelerate
From e-commerce to e-conferences, via e-apéros – dematerialization is making spectacular progress. Other practices that are going to develop in the current context include: remote meetings, medical teleconsultations, teleworking, distance education, digital media, distance selling, home delivery, etc.
2 – Rationalized consumption will continue to grow
Consumption is another area that has seen serious changes. Consumers are now more mindful, they are paying more attention, thinking more, looking for the best prices and taking more time to make up their minds.
- The work environment will continue to change
Teleworking is likely to grow and become a new “norm” of the 21st century. Today, one out of every two employees considers it desirable that in the future, they will be able to work more often outside of their company premises, in dedicated areas or at home.
The impact of the crisis on paid media, local businesses and e-commerce
Online, the world is changing just as fast as offline. In early March 2020, the marketing media, The Drum, reported a study showing that while China’s annual advertising growth rates are expected to decline from 7% to 3.9% in 2020, e-commerce advertising spending is expected to increase by 17.7% and social media spending by 22.2%.
This seems to reflect changes in consumer behaviour from offline to online shopping. COVID-19 has changed the way we operate, we spend more time at home and brands are responding by shifting their budgets to online media.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed user behavior and companies are encouraged to maintain or adapt their online marketing and content to remain competitive and meet the new needs of buyers.
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