Lead Generation in a Post-COVID Marketplace
While no one is saying the time to worry about the COVID-19 coronavirus is completely done with, businesses are seeing signs of a return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
Does that mean you should increase your marketing budget to get more sales? Are there really customers out there looking for you?
The truth of the matter is: the pandemic greatly accelerated some digital marketing trends. Our society might be ten years further ahead in ecommerce adoption and online searching for products and services because of the COVID pandemic.
Here is some evidence that backs that claim up:
— Online consumers now spend an average of 58 minutes per day more on their smartphones and computers than they did just two years ago.
— In the spring of 2021, credit and debit cards online usage jumped by 20 percent over the same period a year before.
— Social commerce, where people are buying based on what they see on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, rose by nearly 40% in 2021 over just one year earlier. That represents a gain of $189 billion dollars year-over-year.
— Almost half (48%) of Canadians actually logged on to the Internet and performed at least one online activity for the first time during the pandemic.
Social Proof & Online Purchasing is Still Increasing
Canada has an incredibly high percentage of people connected to the Internet, last reported to be 94% of our population. More people are taking online purchasing as simply something that they do everyday, if not multiple times throughout their day.
Ordering the week’s groceries online.
Using a food app for delivery of take-out.
Checking the Facebook page of a local business to see if others have left positive reviews before becoming that business’ latest customer.
Paying bills using online banking.
Second-screening an evening TV show by following along with others watching the same program.
Using Skype to talk to a family relative for free that lives thousand of kilometers away.
Listening to a podcast subscription before drifting off to sleep that night.
These are just common examples of our everyday lives now. While consumers have embraced digital purchases, there is an evolution still happening with all these digital consumer options.
Social proof is the action of building trust before committing to a purchase. If you’re looking for a roofing company to install a new roof for your home, you won’t just Google it and see what companies come up on the first page of results. It’s becoming more frequent for consumers to also look for positive reviews, recent posts on the company’s Facebook or Twitter pages, updated store hours, and other “signs of life” to show that someone cares about the company’s online appearance.
Social proof in 2022 is like maintaining one’s storefront: fixing up a broken latch, washing your display window, paying your electric bill. A storefront that looks neglected isn’t inviting people to walk in and spend their money. The same holds true now for a business’ digital storefront.
Digital Selling After COVID
So the sophistication of consumers has advanced since COVID arrived in our consciousness in early 2020. The businesses that adapted quickly to lockdown gained advantages by improving the visibility of their digital storefronts: social media presence, increasing content, updating their homepages, building awareness through email, launching a PPC strategy, finding new ways to get their brand in front of potential customers sailing through cyberspace.
Without COVID ever happening the digital commercial landscape of 2022 would still be a major player. After going through COVID, our culture is using the Internet in a yet more advanced fashion.
Our society will still be changing its culture and shopping habits in 2040, 2050 and beyond because of the Internet. It likely won’t settle down until we’re nearly 100 years of being online. The impact of electricity, of the automobile, and of airflight had the same long-term (and disruptive short-term) tumultuous impacts.
If your business depends on online visibility you need to think about how your message should change throughout the week, if not even daily. COVID rewrote digital marketing just as it did with a lot of how we life our lives. The sooner that you recognize this new refocus of consumer awareness, the better the opportunity is to capture the roving attention of your marketplace.