We can’t deny that COVID-19 spent a huge part of the year negatively impacting the global economy. It’s also undeniable that it was widely felt online; hence, the digital branding shifts during COVID-19. A lot of industries already made great comebacks from the paralyzing effects of the global pandemic. Yet there have been longer-lasting, conceivably permanent shifts on how to market different brands. That also includes interacting with the customers and regulating businesses.
Looking from a digital perspective, a couple of brands have already shifted to different social media platforms. They offer free lessons/tutorials, have free trials, or give entertaining, fun, and engaging content to draw people’s attention. This is most essential since a lot of people continue remaining indoors.
COVID-19 Altered Consumer Behavior, and so Did Advertising!!
Digital branding shifts during COVID-19 have become evident since the pandemic began. That’s because whenever the behavior of consumers shifts, advertising adjusts in response.
It’s quite illogical for advertisers to shell out money on media without an audience if you think about it. And since confinement and protective measures were introduced globally, advertising for cinema and out-of-home dropped immediately. As for print advertising, it shrank as well.
Boost of In-home Media
Now, when we look at in-home media use, these definitely sky-rocketed. TV viewing has increased, yet digital consumption grew even more. When it comes to the use of streaming services and social platforms, these rose almost everywhere. And when it comes to gaming, there’s a dramatic growth in it as well.
At least 75% of online users spend more of their time on their smartphones than in the pre-lockdown period. These individuals range from 16 to 64-years-old, and about 4 of 5 females admit an increase in mobile use. Because of this user increase, digital branding shifts during COVID-19 have become necessary. Especially since a lot of brands need to follow suit in their advertising methods. With that, influential brands, companies, and even technology enterprises need to create more content for consumers.
Advertisers adapt by following and adjusting to their consumers. That means, prioritizing and focusing on digital advertising. The environment online is excellent for direct and fast response campaigns that encourage customers to do quick and convenient purchases. It’s an excellent proposition for companies/brands that spend smartly and are aiming to drive sales.
Using the internet has been steadily growing for years. Yet with the pandemic, almost everyone found themselves suddenly spending more time at home. Of course, it only means everyone spends more time online. When we go online, we don’t always turn to the web for entertainment. Sometimes, we seek virtual solutions, information, or even tools for skill enhancements needed for times of uncertainty.
So basically, digital branding shifts are important, and it’s changing because consumers are changing too. The “new normal” is coming about, and even new behaviors like online classes, etc. are being established. With that, let’s take a look at a few digital branding shifts during COVID-19. Let’s see if these trends can stick around for some time.
From Attention-Economy to Trust-Economy
One of the biggest paradoxes of today is the increase in those focused on digital platforms. This is coupled with brands in digital advertising that lack investments. The hype and enthusiasm surrounding Attention-Economy fell due to COVID-19. But despite this, it has given rise to an economy that’s been circulating behind-the-scenes for the last couple of years. That’s the Trust-Economy.
Now, the trust started playing a more critical role in attracting consumers than fancy, eye-catching advertisements and mere product capacities. Technically, we live in an environment with continuous information. So, the awareness surrounding data brokerage and ownership by huge corporations surfaced and grew extremely vital for consumer decisions. Yet with the sudden eruption of the pandemic, the use of trust-based communication approaches has accelerated. Basically, trust enhanced the perception value acquired by consumers, hence, bringing more retention rates within the brand.
Although digital branding shifts during COVID-19 have already occurred, different companies and brands have been successful at establishing trust. They were able to do this via transparency, attentiveness, and simple communication.
Digitized Experiential Marketing
Since the pandemic prevents physical events or engaging in face-to-face customer assistance, experiential marketing appeared in the spotlight. It’s necessary during COVID-19 as a way to look into the needs for consumer-curated experiences. Brands/companies revolving around digital events changed their approach to keep a hold on their consumer’s attention. It’s something necessary since we know how challenging it is when you’re divided and separated by a screen.
With experiential marketing, it can be efficient for almost every brand/industry. And whether it’s via webinar, website, or landing page, it’s an entirely complete focus on improving customer experience. For it to be truly effective, the experiences related to experiential marketing should be extremely personalized. Of course, it must be controllable by the consumer, as well as multi-faceted.
Here are some of the most innovative means that brands/companies offer to give customers a more personalized experience.
Most Android and Apple devices already support augmented and virtual reality. With AR & VR, companies can establish ways for their customers to explore their space or products. And the good thing here? You can do this right in the comfort of your home.
With gamification, companies/brands are putting their consumers in the driver’s seat. It allows them to interact freely with the community or products.
By utilizing technology, the ways to engage in products/communities are endless. Brands/companies today use a mix of experiential marketing & branding tools. It’s to interact and communicate with their consumers on multiple platforms and levels.
The most common shift on a daily basis comes from sales-focused conversions to conversations. The sentiment of analysis, social listening, and fully understanding the customers has become vital. The pandemic has significantly disrupted all previous trends in customer journeys and consumption. Hence, has urged brands and companies to sit down and listen to everyone’s needs.
Numerous brands have followed this communicative means and made necessary digital branding shifts during COVID-19. These have resulted in platforms creating free online courses for everyone, restaurants sharing their most famous recipes, and more. These have proven to help everyone through the stay-at-home phase. Plus, it has further boosted user acquisition via generosity during such times.
Everyone is indeed dealing with the COVID-19 issue in their own way. Yet for digital branding and marketing, played a crucial role in helping businesses endure the crisis’s impact. And while 2021 remains uncertain, we know that trends and other digital branding developments will continue to emerge. With that, many brands and companies will be able to maintain a strong and positive connection with their customers.