The world is changing. There is no doubt about that. Needs are changing. Wants are changing. Jobs are changing. All around the world habits, behaviors, and priorities are being rethought and rearranged. Your business is changing too, whether you want it to or not. The pandemic may have thrown a wrench into all your plans. You may need to make tough decisions.
The world will be now and forevermore divided into the Before COVID and After COVID eras. So if your business isn’t willing to adapt to the new normal and rethink your BC stratagems, you will fall behind.
People are learning to adjust to a routine of social distancing and working from home. They are scared, stressed, and frustrated. Their days are spent missing loved ones and craving human connection. So what can you do to make them feel more connected? How can you make them hear you all the way from their homes?
There are many things you may need to do for your business to adapt to this new world. Among those, investing in more of video marketing could a step in the right direction. We are here to tell you how, and why, you need to take that step.
How Has Marketing Changed With COVID-19?
Consumer behavior underwent drastic and unpredictable changes when the pandemic hit us in full force. According to a recent study, 65% of businesses reported a decrease in revenue. Chances are that a lot of the remaining are essential goods and services. So if you're not offering things that people absolutely cannot live without, you are most likely struggling in some way, a little or a lot.
Marketing is always about giving the customer what they want. So what do people want?
1. Needs over Wants
Financial uncertainty reigns across the globe and the job market is in a state of chaos. There has been a dip in the income levels of the average American. So that means that people are focusing more on essential purchases and cutting down things they don’t feel they need.
According to McKinsey, 40% of Americans are now more mindful of their spendings, 31% are switching to cheaper products to save money, and 21% are doing more research about their product and brand choices before purchase.
What does that mean for marketing? It means that you must make your customers feel like they need your services, or you will lose them.
2. Shift to Online
The McKinsey study also says that a 10% growth in online customer bases has been reported by businesses during the pandemic, and a lot of consumers say they plan to stay on the online shopping track even when physical stores reopen.
That means that in the current scenario, whatever your business may be, you will not survive without an online presence. And even in the Post-COVID world, there will most likely be very few businesses that don’t offer the option of doing business online.
3. Healthy Practices
If your business is one offering a physical product and not a service, then ensuring that you have a healthy and hygienic product lifecycle is now a top priority for your customers.
According to McKinsey, 21% of Americans consider if a company follows healthy and hygienic packing practices before buying. But there’s another factor that people care about even more. 26% of consumers report that how companies take care of the safety of their employees is a deciding factor for them.
So what can marketing do with this information? Make sure that your customers know that you are doing everything as mentioned above. Let them see that your business is being responsible and is all in all, squeaky clean.
How To Adapt Your Marketing Strategies For The New Normal
In response to all the changes that the pandemic brought with it, most businesses reacted in either of two ways. Some decided to tone down their efforts and wait out the storm. They cut down on investments on marketing, believing the ROI would not prove worth the effort. Other businesses are choosing to ramp up their marketing strategies, adjust, adapt, and overcome. And maybe even capitalize on the opportunities this unfortunate situation has created.
If you found yourself here, chances are you belong to the second category. You want to figure out how you can craft a marketing strategy that would do wonders in the pandemic stricken world. And that is in most cases, the right choice to make.
Panicking and pulling the plug on marketing is not the answer. And waiting out the storm is not exactly practical either. We are at a point where everybody needs to come to terms with the fact that this just might really be the new normal.
But whatever you put out there, you need to make sure you are being responsible about it. A lot of companies, in their hurry to salvage their brand in the pandemic, forget that at times. Be aware that the world is going through a tough enough time as it is, without you adding to the heap.
So how can you adapt your existing marketing strategy to suit the current landscape?
1) Examine your Content
People are scared, insecure, their entire thought process is in turmoil. Content that once appealed to them may hold no value now. Empathy is key. Think like your customers and show them what they want to see. Be reassuring and supportive.
2) Paid Ads
According to a study, 69% of brands expect they will decrease Ad spend in 2020. That means that paid ads are significantly cheaper now. You can capitalize on this opportunity if you can afford to.
3) Free Trials and Offers
Consumer spending is down, so you need to make yourself cheaper and more attractive. If you are not offering an essential product or service, you cannot expect to have as much of a customer base as before. So by offering discounts and free trials, you can attract potential customers who just might not want to spend money at the moment. This is about building loyalty and credibility for the future. You can also put out offers where you donate part of the money from every sale to any organization working for relief activities.
4) Think Global
This particular point may not be applicable to all types of services. But depending on what you offer you might consider the option of opening up your services and marketing to an international audience. Why? Because not all parts of the world are equally affected by the pandemic and you just might find willing customers elsewhere.
5) Build Commitments
Instead of focusing too much on making a sale right there and then, focus on building relationships for the future. Build a loyal customer base for the future.
This pandemic and everything that comes with it is uncharted territory. The timeframes and goals that you had for your business before are all going out the window. The new timeframe that you can build has an uncertain validity. What works this week might not work the next. So flexibility in your marketing strategy is of great importance.
7) Focus your Efforts Online
Whatever your business may be, you need to establish your online presence. Because right now that is all you have. Even if you're not able to make sales now, you have to keep contributing something to your customer base so you don’t lose them. If you can make sales online, then put all your efforts into promoting that.
Video Marketing - The Best Marketing Solution During COVID-19 And Beyond
In the present environment where human interactions are in short supply, video is the simplest answer for maintaining a good connection with your customers. Making a video sales funnel, that is, integrating videos into every step of your marketing strategy, is just what you need in these times.
According to a report, 72% of customers prefer learning about a product or service by watching videos. Also, 46% of viewers end up taking action after watching a compelling video advertisement.
It is also estimated that by 2022, 82% of all consumer internet traffic will come from videos. It is obvious that with everybody holed up at their homes with only their laptops and smartphones for company, video is a good choice of media to turn their attention to.
Studies show 80% of consumers have shown an increase in video consumption since the pandemic began. The increase in video consumption is such that many major video content providers have been forced to reduce their streaming quality in recent times.
Video wins out over plain textual content in several ways. Videos grab and hold viewer attention better as compared to text. Users feel more encouraged to interact after a video message. Videos can be fun, inspiring, emotional, anything you want them to be. They show significantly better ROI and conversion rates, especially recently.
A study by Gartner concludes that “online video content creation will be a differentiator for Western brands during a crisis.” So yes, video might be the difference between your business sinking or floating in this pandemic.
Where & How To Use Video In Your Marketing Strategy
Everywhere from your website description to email marketing and customer assistance, videos can replace, or add to, your existing marketing tools. They can work their magic throughout the stages of your sales funnel, from awareness to conversion and loyalty.
There are several ways you can use videos to enrich your marketing campaign.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. You use videos to tell a story. It can be inspirational. It can be emotional. It can be funny. You can put out a documentary. A short film even.
Especially now, when pushing your products on your customers can do more harm than good, this strategy can keep your brand alive. You can talk about the impact of COVID-19 on some particular part of society, you can talk about some daily routine that has now changed. Relevance to your brand can even become a secondary priority in these times. What matters is giving people content that they want to see.
2) Educational content
These work on almost the same principle as stories do. It’s about giving to the community to build a rapport. That rapport will work in your favor in the future.
People are staying indoors with a lot more free time in their hands than usual. A lot of them are looking to learn new things, expand their knowledge. Be the source of that knowledge through educational films, how-to videos, explainer videos, and the like. There is also another option worth exploring. With nationwide layoffs and high unemployment rates, offering training programs with the possibility of employment can enrich your workforce. This will also be a way of helping out the community in this time of crisis.
3) Reassure your Customers
Are you following health and hygiene standards in every aspect of your products? Are you treating your employees well and providing them with a safe and comfortable work environment? And more importantly, do your customers know you're doing all that?
As made clear before, these things are important to your customers. You need to let them know that they have no cause to worry. How do you do that? You can do testimonials or behind-the-curtain videos.
Interviews with employees and satisfied customers, a look into your production process, such things show your customers that your business is transparent and trustworthy. And trust is an important thing to have in these times.
Videos advertisements perform much better than images and text. Regardless of the platform, a well-tailored video ad can be worth the investment.
But the message that you put out using your Advertisements needs to be different from what you used to do in the Before Corona world. It needs to be more on the “We can do this” side rather than the “BUY OUR STUFF NOW” vibe. Some consider it a waste to do paid ads if you aren’t aggressively pushing your product, but that is not necessarily true.
5) Customer Experience
There are many ways you can improve customer experience using videos. Videos can be integrated into different places on your website, right from your homepage, to your about us section, and more. The use of interactive videos using tools like VideoForm can greatly improve your lead generation and conversion rates.
6) Stay Connected
Keep in mind to consistently keep up communication with your customers and prospects, regardless of whether or not you expect them to make a purchase soon. Keep them up-to-date on what’s happening with your brand. Short videos in your emails can keep customers from immediately skipping your mails as spam. Reports show that emails are 7% more likely to be opened with the word “video” in the subject line. Personal videos help your customers feel like they have your support through these hard times.
7) Social Media
74% of brands are posting less on their company social accounts at the moment. You can see this as a discouraging statistic, or you can see it as an opportunity. The brands posting less are either those temporarily slowing down or closing services, or those that decided to cut back on marketing and personnel. But staying active on your social media accounts is the best way in these times to keep your presence alive.
Videos perform excellently on social media. You can even do live interactions with your customers through tools like Instagram live streams. Be sure to be attuned to the feelings of your audience- insensitivity and ignorance in your posts can leave you worse off than you started.
VideoForm - Bring Leads To Your Business With Ease
If you're looking for something new and refreshing to boost your lead generation, increase customer interaction and conversion rates, VideoForm is what you need.
VideoForm is a tool that provides an alternative to conventional robotic chatbots, giving your customers a human experience. It is important in these times to provide support to your customers, and if you can’t be there yourself, consider this the next best thing.
Using authentic conversational videos, VideoForm guides your prospects down the marketing funnel. It lets visitors respond in any way they choose- text, audio or video. This encourages interactions and builds customer relationships. Necessity is what drives innovation, and so VideoForm could be a tool that continues to help your marketing efforts even long after this crisis is over.
Looking To The Future
Video marketing might just be the saving grace that helps you renew your connection with your customers in this time of turmoil.
We can always hope that the pandemic will subside soon and the world will be set to rights again, but in the meantime, we must do what we can to keep ourselves afloat. The entire world is in an unprecedented and difficult situation, but as the saying claims, you can look for a silver lining in this. Work on your business in these tough times and you may come out stronger than ever before.