DIGITAL BRANDING; POST- PANDEMIC SCENARIO As the world continues to fight the challenges posed by the pandemic for the third year in a row, innumerable lives have changed drastically. The business environment has undergone complete transformation while the society has hit a new normal.

Since the onset of Covid-19, the industries were required to adapt faster while keeping up with the consumer needs under uncertain situations. Even the well-established companies are finding it tough to push through the pandemic, and the various digital marketing agencies are not exempted from this.

However, with the imposition of lockdown during the first and second waves, consumers have started spending more time on the Internet than ever before. Shopping, gaming, watching web-series and other forms of entertainment have become consumer’s go-to activities.

What does this imply for businesses and start-ups? Even with the challenges and uncertainty that the pandemic has introduced, it is no less than a golden opportunity for them to maximize their profits through digital marketing. They have to come up with innovative solutions to the old problems. Currently, these solutions are in highest demand.
The EY Future Consumer Index, which has conducted five waves of research with 14,500 individuals in 20 countries since the start of the pandemic, has identified five different cohorts of consumers:

Affordability first (32% of consumers): Living within their means and budget, focusing less on brands and more on product functionality.

Health first (25%): Protecting their health and that of their family, choosing products they trust to be safe and minimizing risks in the way that they shop.

Planet first (16%): Trying to minimize their impact on environment and buying brands that reflect their beliefs.
Society first (15%): Working together for the greater good, buying from organizations they find to be honest and transparent.

Experience first (12%): Living in the moment to make the most of life, often making them open to new products, brands, and experiences.

Utilizing customer segmentation and personas can bring deeper insights to media strategies and creative marketing approaches.Let us take a closer look at the emerging marketing trends and how you can take advantage of them in the post-pandemic business realm.

Personalization: Just like offering a highly personalized customer service that directly impacts the buying experience of a customer, creating customized ads has it’s perks too. It allows you to target a specific buyer persona and make that individual an offer which would be really hard for him/her to resist.

To take it one step further, and to demonstrate that you’re the right company to do business with, incorporate a remarketing strategy. With 25% of customers reporting that they like seeing retargeted ads that act as a reminder about what they’re already interested in, it makes sense to cater to them the type of content that would result in high engagement rates.

Facebook is a great playground for remarketing purposes. You can play around with a variety of messages in your retargeting campaigns to see what sticks and keep track of them all in your Facebook Ads Manager. They can range from the simple “we have missed you” to the more elaborate “here’s what we think you’ll enjoy” based on the customer’s latest search.

Search Engine Optimization: Website optimization is the main differentiating factor between you and your competitors. Investing in SEO tools like Google AdWords, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest that could help your website rank higher on Google and get at least a 3.75% PPC conversion rate when people click on your ad.
Social Media Marketing: Being the easiest and the most efficient way to reach a wide audience, social media has quickly become the preferred outlet for advertisers during the pandemic. Nothing shocking here either — the 3.78 billion social media users completely justify companies allocating separate budgets for social media ad spend. Apart from Instagram and Facebook ads, companies are looking to establish long-term partnerships with digital influencers. And it’s not the big names in the industry they’re interested in — micro-influencers with an audience of 10k-100k people seem a lot more appealing. Not only do they charge less, but they’re also more relatable and trustworthy than those with millions of followers.

The best practice is to combine Instagram and Facebook advertising with influencer collaborations and measure the performance of both to adjust ad spend accordingly. You might find out that social media ads work best for raising brand awareness and getting quick results from campaigns while digital creators come more in handy if your goal is to build strong relationships with your loyal followers.

The good news for marketers is that times of flux bring great oppurtunities. Consumers are ready and even excited to try new ways of shopping online. Brands must realize that they are not competing with their competitors now, but with the last best experience their customers had. The spoils of this new era will go to the brands that not only manage to maximize their virtual presence but also become more human at the same time.

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