As the pandemic winds down, it’s not “business as usual,” and that means it’s also not “marketing as usual.”
In this guide, we explain 10 marketing trends that will prove critical for the future success of your business. Ignore these changes at your peril.
On the other hand, be one of the early adopters and you’ll find yourself enjoying success as never before.
Traditionally, businesses have spent about a tenth of their budget on marketing. But in our post-pandemic world, there’s nothing traditional about the way that money is being allocated.
If you own a business, it’s critical to understand how post-pandemic marketing trends will affect your upcoming marketing campaigns.
- Take Your Business Online
Although many businesses conducted some aspects of their operations online even before the pandemic, when the health restrictions hit our communities, the role of online exploded overnight. Resourceful companies had to get creative to continue operations and they employed a variety of solutions including using zoom meetings, allowing work from home, and investing in selling their products and services online.
If the pandemic taught businesses and consumers anything, it is that you can accomplish almost anything online. To be successful post-pandemic, most companies will need to increase their online presence.
Even if you conducted business online pre-pandemic, now is the time to take it to the next level.
Consumers will expect to get almost all of the products and services online that they were previously used to acquiring in person, even with the easing restrictions and the option to shop in person becoming more available.
Small changes or upgrades to your online presence can make a big difference in success. For example, if you continue to allow remote workers and make virtual interactions more user-friendly, your customers and employees will benefit.
- Prioritize Your Current Customers
While acquiring new customers and increasing conversion rates are high on many marketing strategies, post-pandemic trends suggest that these should not be your only goals. You should focus on maintaining the customers you have to keep your business moving forward.
If you lose existing customers while adding new ones, you’re missing profits because an existing customer costs nothing to acquire and they already trust you.
How do you retain your current customers? Start by staying in touch periodically. Find creative ways to reward existing customers such as by offering those customers who signed up during the pandemic special “thank you” discounts on services. Give them a reward that lets them know you appreciate them while encouraging them to buy something! A win-win. How about a referral bonus? You’d happily pay an advertiser to bring people in, why not reward your customers for doing the same?
You could also offer refunds to customers who had a membership that required in-person services. Or you can offer lapsed customers a “welcome back” discount as an inducement to return. Better yet, go beyond discounts and offer a free service or product that the customer hasn’t used or tried before. You’ll be encouraging them to try and buy more products or services going forward, and you’ll make a valuable positive impression.
Don’t overlook the importance of consistency. Like a restaurant that’s only as good as its last “meal,” make sure your service and promises are rock solid and can be relied upon.
No excuses. People are disappointed by service and products all the time: by being rock solid you’ll stand out. This leads to excellent word-of-mouth advertising and it’s a great way to grow a profitable business.
While it’s important to think about ways to attract new customers, take care of those who have stuck around you through difficult times. If you have happy customers, new ones will follow after hearing about your impressive customer loyalty.
- Facebook Ads Campaign
During the lockdown, Americans spent at least 82 minutes a day on social media, an increase of seven minutes compared to before the pandemic.
In an enforced virtual world, people spent more time on social media to stay connected to their loved ones. In a life post-pandemic, investing in Facebook ads will be part of many marketing strategies.
Using Facebook ads as part of your marketing campaign will remind customers what you have to offer and keep your business on their radar. With a Facebook ad campaign, you will make it easier for customers to find the products they’re looking for in the place where they spend a significant amount of time.
Aside from making it more convenient for customers to find products, Facebook ads help you target the right customers.
You can control which customers you target by focusing on specific metrics, such as location, age, gender, profession, etc. With these ads, you can track results in real-time to determine how many clients you convert and use that information to shape your future ad spend and uncover the best groups to target.
- Offer Exclusive Offers and Deals
As businesses continue to open and recover after the pandemic, one of the best ways to announce your return is to have extensive sales and promotions waiting for your customers.
For example, rather than only offering discounts for new customers who sign-up or subscribe to a newsletter, you should show appreciation to the ones who remained loyal.
Create and offer new customer discounts and giveaways that you haven’t provided before so that your customers feel they’re your number one priority. For example, if you offer subscription services, you can give them an extra month free if they pay in advance for the whole year.
The key is to think outside the box to have the best discounts, offers, and free merchandise available for your customers.
- Re-Think Customer Communications
It’s no secret the world is communicating in different ways than it was before the pandemic.
People were used to calling friends and meeting them for dinner; grabbing drinks at their favorite bar anytime they wanted or swinging by a local store to pick up an item or two.
The pandemic has changed communications between friends and family members along with how people communicate with businesses.
Because the pandemic changed how people received information, you need to re-think how your business communicates with customers.
Everyone gets bombarded with countless emails, messages, and zoom calls in our digital and remote world. This means if you plan on sending content to your customers, make sure it matters to them.
To learn what type of content your customers want to see in newsletters, for example, you could conduct a survey to learn more about what matters to them. You’d be surprised to see how much information you know about your customers when you ask them about what they want.
You might be surprised to learn that some customers prefer supportive content and resources above company updates and offers.
Once you learn more about your target customer, you can curate videos, email newsletters, ads, and even webinars, so they only get the content they want to see.
- Diversify Your Paid Ads
Although we mentioned the importance of Facebook ads previously, it’s also essential you take advantage of other relevant digital advertising channels. Do so carefully and only pay for ads on channels that make sense.
For example, if you own a beauty salon, your target audience will likely spend more time on Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok. You could be wasting your time and money and not impact your target audience if you were to advertise on say LinkedIn.
If you own a B2B company, using LinkedIn as your primary channel or even Google Ads will likely give you better results than advertising on Instagram. Medical practices or law offices also benefit from paid ads on more serious channels such as Google Ads.
The key to successful advertising is to track and measure everything so you are only spending money where the return is greater than the costs.
We’d be amiss to not point out that the only metric that matters is sales. You can’t eat “likes” or pay bills with smiley faces.
- Make it a Great User Experience
After the pandemic, companies should focus on creating a customer experience that leaves a lasting positive impression. Remember that you’re compared to the previous customer experience they had, whether it was positive or negative.
Think about your favorite brands and how they provide a customer experience. How do they immerse the customer? Do they make testing the product an interactive experience?
Just like the pandemic grew rapidly, so did the expectations customers have for the businesses they patronize. [
Customers want more than a transaction, they crave more human interaction.
Customers expect companies to know them and personalize communications to meet their specific needs and interests. Luckily, with technology, businesses have access to more information about their customers, such as demographics, age, preferences, and previous purchases. Using this information can help your business create a great customer experience.
- You Should Have What Your Customers Want
As demanding as it seems, customers expect you to have what they want when they want it. During the pandemic, customers learned they could order anything they wanted, from groceries to clothes, household products, etc., and “have it delivered tomorrow.”
Having access to virtually every product they want by simply clicking a button has given the younger generations especially high expectations. Now, millennials and Gen Z customers want to get their products and services delivered when and how they want them.
How will your business stack up in meeting those expectations?
Immediately begin shaping your business practices and thinking about how you can best meet your customers’ expectations. Don’t let your competition best you in the customer experience game. [quotesright]Once the pandemic is finally down to a mild roar, people are going to flock to stores and buy online. Be ready. [/quotesright]
- Show Your Customers Empathy
Because the entire world suffered during the pandemic, take heed of that and show empathy and understanding.
In a post-pandemic world, businesses need to show empathy in their marketing campaigns. It’s no longer about a mass marketing campaign to sell products. The purpose is to connect with the customer by bringing human emotion into the mix.
Some businesses have even implemented the phrase “we’re in this together” to show their support to customers.
- Create Engaging Content
In any world, including a post-pandemic world, creating engaging content is one of the most effective marketing strategies. Create educational, engaging, and entertaining content that helps your customer make better choices and be happier.
The right content will show your customers you care about educating and engaging them rather than just selling them products.
Are You Ready to Apply These Marketing Trends?
Now that you know more about post-pandemic marketing trends, you’re ready to take your business to the next level. Let us summarize.
You should take more parts of your business online, re-think customer communications, show empathy for your customer, and create engaging and valuable content for your customers.
Do you have any questions about how to renovate your business processes, increase your sales, improve customer interactions, or take your business to the next level? Get in touch and let's set up a time to talk.