Few people anticipated, as they packed up their laptops in March to work from home, that they’d still be video-conferencing from their kitchen table several months later. Yet, these are the strange new realities of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses and marketers are now preparing to navigate a period of prolonged uncertainty for their brand, the global economy, and the consumers they serve.
As lockdowns start to ease and the scale of the economic challenge becomes clear, businesses are adjusting to a future that is looking decidedly different from the one they had planned for at the start of 2020. Here are four marketing trends that apply during the COVID-19 era:
#1 – More Focus on Service and Trust
Due to the pandemic, many brands can no longer be aggressive with their messaging and marketing strategy. The last thing that consumers want is to come across a brand that is focused on capitalizing from the global crisis and making a profit. People are just not interested in any kind of pushiness from brands. They are expecting positive advertising, security, and community service from businesses.
To meet these expectations, brands are moving back to the basics of marketing i.e.
- Working towards a core purpose
- Putting customer needs first and prioritizing serving them in any way possible
- Simply trying to be helpful
#2 – Consumers Want Transparency
For consumers to trust your brand, transparency must be a priority. With the growing IoT around us, businesses need to share information and make an effort to connect with their audience or consumers will find it from somewhere else. It’s best to overproduce content for customers than underproduce.
Transparency comes into play in many areas, but let’s look at a couple here.
First, customer reviews. People want to see what others think of your products. So give it to them. Invest the time in case studies and testimonials from your customers. After a purchase, reach out with a friendly, no-pressure note inviting a customer to write you a review. Or if you’ve worked with a customer on a complex brand issue, broach the subject of creating a case study together.
#3 – Mobile Needs to Be a Priority
While quarantined, more and more people are turning to home delivery, video games, online shopping, and social media. Despite the economic downturn, retail jumped 34%, and large companies like Amazon are hiring more employees in order to keep up. The coronavirus is having a huge impact on e-commerce.
There are more mobile browsers than ever before, yet desktop conversion rates are almost double what they are on mobile platforms. Current events and Google’s 2018 decision to make site speed a factor in page rank underscore the urgency of a lightning-fast browsing experience. A site that takes just one second longer to load can reduce conversions by 7%, while sub-second load times boost conversion by 15% to 30%.
Now is the time to invest in a new mobile website built with user-friendly formats. Progressive web apps, for example, can give your brand’s website app-like speed, instant logins, and seamless page transitions. Not only will your customers have a better mobile experience, but they’ll also have a more pleasant time shopping.
#4 – People are Preferring Voice Search
With smart speakers like Alexa and smartphone tools like Google Assistant, people are preferring to use short phrases instead of typing. This is because a voice-enabled search is simply more convenient and fasters. 40% of people use voice search at least once a day and this number is expected to grow. Moreover, experts apredict that 50% of all online searches will be carried out through voice search.
The bottom line is, if your messaging and marketing materials are not written conversationally, you could possibly miss out on quite a large portion of your target audience.