Author: Mr. Zuber Sheikh, Managing Director, Rank My Business
The world is in the grips of a never before seen crisis, triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic. We are not only referring to the spread of the disease, frequent lockdowns, and social isolation, but also the many repercussions on life and business during this period. The economic impact of this across the globe has been beyond overwhelming, to say the least. With many businesses and organizations shutting down or downsizing, massive job losses on one hand, and remote working on the other, bustling market districts becoming ghost towns and the lingering uncertainty about everything given the likelihood of a second wave, there is no clarity on when all this will end.
But just as life finds a way to thrive even in the most trying circumstances, we can see that people everywhere are finding newer alternatives to maintain a semblance of normalcy, with new social distancing and safety norms. The digital marketing has made a significant contribution to the co-creation of the new normal.
It wouldn’t be far off the mark to say that digital dependency is the new normal.
Whether it is a day-to-day interaction and engagement with others, learning, shopping, providing, or availing services, we have found a digital, social-distancing friendly way of doing almost everything. People are spending more time on the internet to compensate for the limitations in one to one interactions as well, so not all increase in internet traffic can be attributed to business websites. Traditional social gatherings are now going virtual, as have classrooms and doctor consultations. Most non-essential businesses that have been able to better weather the pandemic storm are the ones that have had an online presence. It is no surprise to see the stocks of e-tailers like Amazon soar higher as more people are turning towards digital even for their basic needs. But e-commerce aside, even local businesses that have visibility on digital have been comparatively better off than those which haven’t invested much in digital. These days, being visible on digital is akin to being trustworthy. In such a time, having a digital presence is no more an option for businesses, as that is where all the action is going to be. This will be the case not only in the near foreseeable future but is slated to become the new norm.
But, merely having a digital presence in itself is not good enough.
If you are a business owner, you will need to ask questions to gauge the effectiveness of your company’s digital presence, in light of the current scenario.
- Does it help you improve your visibility?
- Does it allow you to interact and engage with your key stakeholders like business partners, staff, and customers?
- Does it help your brand be found for the right reasons, at the right time?
Given that all businesses are going online, the focus will be to create an enriching and pleasant user experience across all the different facets of your digital presence – your website, mobile app as well as your social media channels. Seek to provide value in as many ways possible, instead of only directing your energies on completing a sale. This will also entail you to relook at your digital strategy, and what you intend to achieve with that.
And for those businesses which are thinking of cutting back on their marketing investments to cut back on expenses, there would be more to lose than gain in the long term. Instead of going the whole hog on marketing on traditional platforms, diverting your focus towards digital will be more effective, both from a cost as well as impact perspective, giving you the much-needed visibility and more leads at a fraction of your earlier costs.
Some helpful digital strategies for pandemic times and beyond
While the basic principles of effective digital marketing won’t change, there are some tried and tested ways you can rise above your digital competition in these challenging times. Creating and sharing engaging and relevant content is one way. Implementing SEO best practices can play a vital role in achieving higher organic visibility for all your digital efforts. Complementing this with a paid push can bolster your short term visibility. Running contextual social media campaigns can help keep the buzz around your business alive.
On a parting note, it is up to us to make the most of the current situation and what best can be done in the now, instead of waiting in despair for the earlier normalcy to return. And while staying afloat is important right now, a good digital presence can be instrumental in maintaining visibility and engagement online, building a solid foundation for future growth.
About the Author
Zuber Sheikh is the Managing Director at Rank My Business. Mr. Sheikh is specialized in Project Management, SEO, Web Analytics & Digital Marketing, Mr. Zuber has over 10 years of experience spanning across B2B Marketing, Direct Marketing, Client Servicing,
Project Management and have delivered at both strategic and tactic levels.