No one could’ve predicted how the pandemic would turn things upside down and lead to a change in customer behavior. This shift is hardly surprising — people have started spending more time on the internet than ever before. Shopping, gaming, and other forms of entertainment have become consumers’ go-to activities and businesses have had to adapt to the new normal. 

What did this mean for marketers? They have to come up with innovative solutions to the old problems. And now, a year into the pandemic, these solutions are in the highest demand.

To leverage your existing business operations and add to them, as opposed to tearing them apart, let’s take a look at the emerging marketing trends and how you can use them in the post-pandemic business realm.

#1 Personalization is a must-have, not a nice-to-have

Just like offering a highly personalized customer service that directly impacts the buying experience of a customer, creating customized ads has its perks too. It allows you to target a specific buyer persona and make him an offer that would be hard 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.    

E-commerce stores are notorious for using retargeting campaigns the most — the Birkenstock ad above is the proof.  

#2 Website optimization is the main differentiating factor between you and your competitors 

Getting organic website traffic sounds good on paper but isn’t sufficient in reality. It is easy for anyone to create a website in the space of an evening, so everyone has jumped on this bandwagon during the pandemic. 

But you have the opportunity to beat the odds and gain some new high-quality leads along the way if you take a more intricate approach to website optimization. We’re talking about 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.

You can also dabble in banner ads that can still be effective if strategically placed. Designed to help build brand awareness, generate leads, click-throughs, and purchases, they can work wonders if you use animated media to engage and optimize them for mobile users. 

Image: Audible Ad

Audible knows it best when it comes to advertising display ads that bring in new customers. The above example appeals to the category of users who enjoy listening to audiobooks on their commute to work but aren’t willing to make the investment just yet. They are thus offered a deal — and shown an illustration of a popular book — that allows them to spend less on the subscription if they sign up by clicking on the said ad.  

#3 Social media marketing is taking on new forms

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. 

But 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.

In a nutshell

There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with digital marketing strategies until something sticks. In fact, experimenting is the way to go! If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that pivoting and adapting are the key ingredients to remaining the brand that’s thriving even in the face of crisis. 

But before jumping headlong on the latest and hottest trends, make sure they align with your big-picture objectives. This way you’ll be able to maintain the brand integrity and come out on the other side stronger than before (i.e. satisfy the demands of internet-savvy customers and reach those KPI goals, too).