Trends in Technology
COVID-19 is driving the consumer market online, placing a fresh emphasis on online business channels. Here’s everything you need to know about adapting your digital presence during the pandemic – and beyond.
Why Adapting Your Digital Presence is Important?
According to Statista, there are over 4.5 billion global internet users in 2020. Ever since the pandemic, online traffic duration has exceeded 1.25 billion years, going beyond the figure quoted in 2019 predictions. Since the last global lockdown, people who lived under quarantine have looked for digital alternatives to their outdoor activities and found new entertainment sources.
Just a month into 2020, Google’s global share of apps sales rose to $360 million, and Apple’s share of its apps sales grew 18% to $690 million. With predictions of a second wave and potential lockdown, social distancing norms are here to stay for a long time. And businesses have no choice but to adapt to a digital way of life.
Consumers’ demands are clear – they want brands to adapt, or they’ll look for alternatives. 75% say they want brands to continue advertising, according to MarketingWeek. However, to communicate effectively with your customers during the pandemic and beyond, adapting your digital presence is crucial.
Here’s are 4 things you need to consider:
For most brands, your website is now your most important online asset. Your target customers will use it to find out how you’re adjusting your business during COVID – while you must keep the engagement going with social media and email, don’t rely solely on them.
Within a few weeks following lockdown, many brands updated their service availability, deliveries, and policy updates. Some also have added e-commerce functionality on their websites to run online stores. To keep their customers updated, they also highlighted health precautions, encouraging customers to shop online.
If you feel that informing your customers is enough, guess what? They’re interested in the changes you’ve made in adjusting your digital presence and looking for what you have done to help during the pandemic, e.g., by supporting hospitals or volunteering.
Concerns vary by industry, too. For instance, American restaurants adapted to a delivery and takeout model, whereas the service industry adapted their supply chain. Brands are also using their websites to entertain and communicate with audiences using live chat support and subscription widgets. Nike created a new page on its website to support its Play Inside initiative.
The idea is to offer something additional, unique, and related to the ongoing solution, so customers continue to engage and remain loyal to your brand.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search engines play a crucial part in the overall customer journey. If your website ranks on the first Google results page, this will generate 33% of your total clicks. The second page of search results will generate just 1% of your clicks or less.
To deal with this, Google released new features and practices in its COVID-19 announcement that you should take advantage of. More importantly, it’s time to perform an SEO audit to boost organic rankings. Start with updating your title tags and meta descriptions to reflect the changes you’ve made to your business.
Fix technical issues like missing tags to make it easier for Google to index your site, so users can easily find your content. Secondly, users have changed the way they search what they’re looking for since lockdowns, so it’s important to optimize your keywords. For example, if a restaurant is operating on a delivery model, they should update their keywords accordingly.
3. PPC (Pay Per Click)
If you’re aiming to revive your business following the lockdown, PPC is one of the quickest and most effective ways of adapting your digital presence. With many companies pausing their PPC during COVID-19, the competition has dropped, and you can quickly bring in leads at a lower cost.
Optimizing your paid search ads during the pandemic is a great way of maintaining brand awareness as well, even if your business is on the down-low. However, you need to update your ads so they complement the changes you made to your business.
4. Social Media
It shouldn’t be a surprise that people are spending more time online during the pandemic, especially on social media. But things have changed, including consumer behavior. Here are some of the changes we’re seeing:
- The dominance of Video Content
For a long time, videos have dominated social media, and the coronavirus has further accelerated the trend. YouTube usage climbed the roof across several of the worst-affected countries like Italy, Germany, and China.
However, usage varies according to generation since millennials and Gen Z are most likely to turn to video than baby boomers. Plus, with apps like TikTok and Instagram, younger audiences upload their material.
- Everyone is Reading the News
Unsurprisingly, people of all ages are consuming more news during the pandemic – even kids. Moreover, there’s also a growing trend asking content produces to share relevant and authentic content only.
- Changes in Social Networks
There’s a significant drop in images on social media showing social interaction. Instead, you’ll find images related to COVID-19 precautions, such as washing hands. A good social media strategy builds your relationships with customers for the long-term, so it’s important to regularly update and interact with your audience. Now is the time for engagement, and if it results in sales, even better.
Adapting your digital presence following the evolving global picture is the key to survival. By improving your website, SEO, PPC, and social media strategy, you will gain short-term wins and prepare your business for long-term success.
And if you’re looking for more information on website design and optimization, we recommend you try the services of Percento Technologies.
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