The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of our lives, from where we work to how we spend our money. As consumers have changed their priorities, businesses have been pushed to revamp their marketing priorities. Whether they’re B2B or B2C, every business needs to think about post-pandemic marketing.
According to a recent survey, 70% of B2B marketers revised their targeting and messaging strategies in response to the pandemic. Another 53% changed their promotions and content distribution strategies.
Post-pandemic marketing has seen a dramatic change in ad budgeting, too. In fact, 2021 was a record year for ad spending. In 2022, U.S. ad spending is projected to increase by 13%, surpassing $300 billion for the first time.
So, what should you do to make your brand’s presence felt in this new world? Here are some post-pandemic marketing tips to keep in mind.
1. Consider How Consumer Behavior Has Changed
As new social trends emerge, consumer behavior adapts and evolves. The pandemic and its related changes might have altered your customers’…
- emotional triggers
As a result, your post-pandemic marketing will need to tap into these changes – even the seemingly small ones.
For B2B, digital has become the new normal. Both B2B buyers and sellers are increasingly relying on digital self-serve and remote human engagement.
According to McKinsey, 70% to 80% of surveyed B2B buyers and sellers preferred digital interaction. They are looking for solutions that work in remote environments.
For B2C, consumers are reconnecting with their deeper values in the post-pandemic world. Recent events in our world have taught all of us to take a closer look at our lifestyle, priorities, and everyday spending.
As a result, 25% of consumers are now in the planet-first segment. They expect transparency and want to buy locally sourced, environmentally friendly products. On the other hand, 24% think of affordability when making purchases, while 20% want to buy products or services to enrich personal experiences.
Your post-pandemic marketing strategy needs to take these behavioral changes into account. Make sure to assess your consumer segments thoroughly before setting your marketing goals.
2. Adjust Your Social Media Marketing Approach
Social media behavior has certainly changed since the pandemic began. For starters, the number of social media users shot up from 3.51 billion in 2019 to 4.26 billion in 2021. By the year 2027, we’ll likely reach almost six billion users.
So, what are these increasing numbers of social media users consuming?
As it turns out, online video content continues to dominate social media. According to a recent survey, 41% of US consumers enjoy watching TV/video even more now than they did before COVID-19.
In other words, your post-pandemic marketing should focus on video-based, fast-growing social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram. TikTok has been especially explosive, witnessing 59.8% growth in 2020 followed by 40.8% growth in 2021. It is now the third-largest social media platform worldwide.
These social media channels offer a perfect opportunity to reach out to new customers and engage with existing ones. However, this also means the competition is going to get more intense. Your social media content needs to be spot-on.
That’s where user-generated content (UGC) comes into play. Authentic UGC is trustworthy, cost-effective, and super engaging. During uncertain times like the pandemic, and even today, consumers turn to people they can believe. Your post-pandemic marketing needs to recapture and strengthen consumer trust – and UGC can be a big help.
Another critical factor you need to consider is influencer marketing. Interest in social media influencers increased during the pandemic, and the trend is likely to continue. Collaborate with influencers (even micro-influencers) to make a human connection with your consumers.
3. Stand Your Ground on Certain Values
Today’s consumers know that their money is powerful and use it to support particular causes or send messages. They will look elsewhere if your business does not align with their political, social, or moral standards. Worse still, they may never come back.
Instead of skirting around controversial issues, speak up. This approach needs to be at the heart of your post-pandemic marketing strategy. During the pandemic, many leading brands focused on a bigger purpose than just making money, and it helped them connect with their customers.
Google’s “Get back to what you love” ad campaign is one of the best examples. Since its release, the advert has received more than 12 million views on YouTube. It was made in-house by Google Creative Lab.
The one-minute-long ad showcases the transition between the pandemic and pandemic-free world. It begins with pandemic-related search terms such as “quarantine” and “social distancing” and ends with “covid vaccine near me.”
Similarly, your post-pandemic marketing needs to focus on clarifying your values to your target audience. You do not necessarily need to speak up about national or global issues. Instead, you can touch on subjects related to:
- Supporting the local community
- Helping the underprivileged
- Running an environmentally friendly business
- Offering fair wages to your employees
The point is to talk about issues that are likely to resonate with your customers. They should see your brand caring for their community, environment, and causes as much as possible.
4. Customer Experience Outweighs Brand Loyalty
Customers used to be extremely brand loyal and would let a lot of mistakes or high prices slide. However, the pandemic really showed consumers how many options were available.
More consumers were willing to try new brands that saved them money or better aligned with their morals and beliefs. Since the beginning of COVID-19, more than 75% of shoppers have changed their buying habits, and 39% have switched brands or retailers entirely.
One of the worst-hit industries was airlines. Many airlines saw their brand loyalty shrink rapidly. Customers switched brands because of poor experiences such as canceled flights, mask policies, and delays.
Your post-pandemic marketing needs to show customers how you will prioritize them each and every time. Take advantage of hyper-personalized advertising or recommendations. Even more importantly, concentrate on building your relationships with your customers.
Try to emphasize your uniqueness to your potential customers. What sets your brand apart? Answer this question through every piece of content, promotional material, and marketing campaign you share.
To Wrap It Up
The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things in the last couple of years, including consumer behavior, social media trends, and so much more. That’s why you need to rethink your entire post-pandemic marketing approach.
In the end, good marketing comes down to two things – understanding your customers and communicating your brand effectively. If you can master those two concepts, you’ll be in a strong position to face the years ahead.
Want to take your marketing to a new level? Ayokay is here to help. Contact us to learn how our digital marketing services can transform your brand’s strategies.
Jack Shepler is a Marketing and Search Engine Optimization expert. He founded Ayokay, award-winning marketing, and web design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana that has built brands, increased sales for businesses, and helped nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions since 2011. He uses his decades of experience to educate through the Ayokay blog and through public speaking. You can follow him on LinkedIn.