This is one tough year! How this will continue in 2021 remains to be seen. The World Bank recorded a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP. This is one of the deepest recessions in decades. Governments have tried to mitigate the economic effect of COVID19 but this will still leave deep, lasting economic scars through lower investment, global trade fragmentation and erosion of human capital. But what can a business owner do in response? One of the most potent and ripe areas for intentional action is in digital marketing. Here are some online marketing insights that might help you in the coming weeks.

Now is the time to re-position your business

This pandemic forced many businesses to close down, shift target markets, and make other moves dictated by the economic downturn. How can you take advantage? Re-position your business where you think you can survive, thrive and get the most out of the whole situation when the economy bounces back. Re-assess your competition, dig deeper into market research, and get a better feel of what your customers want (and need) now and in the coming months.

If you think you have to shift towards a full e-commerce strategy, do it. If you think you can do more volume of business through food delivery for your restaurant, pursue it. If you think you have to change your offers, make price changes, or explore other services, go ahead.

2021 will provide ample opportunities for businesses that have learned to go deep into online solutions for their daily operations. One of the most powerful “repositioning” you can do is to make sure your business is poised to get stronger online. The time to transition towards digital is now. This positioning will get you ready to take on more business at a time when public health is a top priority.

If you can reach, provide services and goods while building long-term relationships with your customers, your odds of “winning” in 2021 will be higher.

Enhance your brand messaging

Part of the re-positioning process is communicating better with your market. How to do this best? Over online platforms! This means you need to go back to the drawing board and have a very close look at your business now and how you want to roll it out for next year.

If you have decided to re-position your business, how can you best communicate that new “position” to your market? A good place to start is revisiting your current brand presentation. Does it still accurately represent who you are? Is your brand voice still applicable, for example, now that you want to serve a market with a higher annual income? Is your online content still relatable to the audience you want to reach and consume it?

Make the necessary adjustments and be very consistent with it. If you have not given enough attention to your branding in 2020 and the year before that, now is the time to get really serious with it – simply because social media and the web are becoming key deciding factors in consumer behaviour. With more businesses pouring more resources into their digital presence (your competitors included), you also need to up your game in this area.

The good news is that while many are beginning to adopt a more digital-centric approach for market build-up and communication, many are still slow on the uptake. You need to outwork and outpace your competitors in this area. Doing so will get you ahead next year.
Get your online presence sorted

The time to go “omnichannel” is now. What does this mean? Now is the time to redesign your website, rethink its UI design, even user experience based on how you are reimagining your business in the coming months. With a new positioning in mind and an updated messaging, you can also revamp your webpage to be more aligned with your new direction.

It is not just about your website though. Since you want to take a different position, therefore a different approach for your business, you might as well rethink your social media strategy. Are your content pillars the same? Are you overhauling your graphics? Are you keen on changing up the tone of your posts? Are you changing your audience demographics when it comes to ad targeting?

While you are at it, you might also want to refine your content marketing. Perhaps you are writing new blogs directed at a new market segment. Perhaps you start exploring making videos for IGTV and TikTok as you want to reach a younger demographic for your brand.

The idea here is that everything must tie up so that your brand experience is seamless. It does not matter where people saw you first, they can have the same run-through of your brand, what you do, with your value proposition communicated clearly. In the end, prospective customers would not have a hard time buying into what you do simply because your online presence is superb and coherent.

Build long term relationship

You need to start building a good, lasting relationship with your customers. You have positioned your business better, you have clearly honed your messaging for your audience, you have primed up your online outlets – the last thing that you need to tie it all up is to strengthen customer relations.

You can start using a CRM tool for this so that you can better track your customers. With enough information around your customer’s buying behaviour, you can now invest and push for customer loyalty programs, targeted and customised email marketing strategies, even better social media and web ad roll-out.

The goal here is simple. As competition gets tougher and with you dealing with the changes you have applied for your business, building a loyal customer base is paramount. You need to have a very compelling reason for your captured market to keep buying from you while you continue to rally in winning new ones. If there is one thing COVID-19 taught businesses today, it would be to never take your business and the value you provide for your customers for granted.