In case you’ve been living in a cave this December, Santa is bringing more than a bag full of presents this season. The COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading and with it the possibility of sheltering in place, potential shutdowns, and possibly rebooting what we went through in March of 2020. This is our new normal.
Despite what Omicron may bring to our lives, or whatever new COVID variant arrives, as marketers we need to keep our marketing strategy and spend focused on digital as shoppers hunker down at home. We’re not sure what the future will hold but keeping a healthy part of your marketing budget on digital channels is a trend that continues. As you can see in the eMarketer graph, digital media was neck-and-neck with traditional media in 2017 but in 2021, digital media share has increased to 60.5%. People are not getting out to see billboards, we stream more than watch TV shows with ads, magazines and newspapers readerships is dropping. Obviously, that is not news to anyone reading this, but the digital shift is accelerating in the pandemic era.
Despite the continuing focus on digital, traditional media still offers great value if done right. And by done right, I’m referring to this great TV spot by Chevy.
Key Areas to Focus on as Omicron Approaches:
Email Marketing: Acquiring new customers costs 5x more than retaining an existing customer. Evaluating and optimizing your email channel will benefit you immediately. Often marketers look for the ‘next best thing’ but need to be reminded they already have a profitable marketing channel in email. Here are some key statistics about email marketing:
- For every $1 you spend, expect $44 in return
- 99% of consumers check their email every day
- 59% of shoppers say email influences purchases
- Including video in your email can increase CTR by up to 300%
SEO: Never the sexy choice for your digital marketing efforts but always the most overlooked. Instead of paying a fortune for paid keywords in your paid campaigns, have you optimized the organic content on your site for those expensive keywords? Conducting a SEO audit and optimizing your website’s content, code and credibility will get a long way to ensuring your website shows up when people are looking for it. Is your Google My Business up to date? Improve your SERP results by implanting standard SEO practices.
TikTok: Speaking of ‘next best thing’ TikTok falls into that category. Sure, your brand may not appeal to Gen Z but TikTok is on fire as a digital channel. As Facebook continues to change their algorithm so organic content has less and less visibility to those who ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your page, TikTok allows you to reach your audience organically. Cut your Facebook spend will continue to be a challenge, from never responding to customer service requests, to restricting access to accounts, to their recent blackout – Facebook is becoming unreliable and too expensive to help your business. Facebook should be included in your social media strategy but consider yourself warned.
Unlike the shackles of Facebook, TikTok allows you to grow your followers and engagement by using hashtags. You can find hashtags by going to the TikTok discovery page and scrolling through there to find trending hashtags you find relevant for your brand. This is the most cost-effective means to create engagement and increase followers. Larger brands with 6-figure budgets create hashtag challenges, most brands are not in that spending category. To get more information about advertising on TikTok you can click here.
eCommerce:– Companies that are making it the highs and lows of the pandemic have an ecommerce solution, are mobile-friendly, and are easy to find in search results. If your brand, business or client isn’t succeeding in eCommerce it’s not too late, yet. If you’re struggling to find an ecommerce solution I recommend a turn-key WordPress website with WooCommerce. If you want options for ecommerce, you can also use a Shopify solution. I would avoid the Wix, Weebly website world unless you sell one or two products. Is your website or ecommerce solution mobile friendly? Mobile online shopping (m-commerce) will account for 44% of US online sales by 2024, according to Business Insider.