30 second summary:
- A recent survey by UNCTAD shows that customer behavior will not change after the pandemic.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitization of companies by several years.
- AI writers can enable companies to curate high quality content in a short amount of time.
- Innovative virtual conferences will continue to attract the attention of millions even after the pandemic.
- Businesses should benefit from the increase in social media usage in recent months
- Small businesses need to focus on ultra-niche keywords to survive the tough competition.
If there is one lesson we can learn from 2020, then life is indeed unpredictable. This was not an easy year for companies. The pandemic brought extreme changes in customer behavior, unprecedented government restrictions, and an overall hostile economic environment.
When you are through this crisis, pat yourself on the back. You managed to defy an unprecedented crisis.
According to Mckinsey, the rate at which companies have adopted new technology has accelerated by years due to the pandemic. More people are now shopping in e-commerce stores and communicating with their friends via video conferencing than ever before.
And surprisingly, once the virus is defeated, that won’t change. The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the behavior of some customers, according to a recent UNCTAD survey. However, there will still be those who return to their previous paths without wasting a second.
Here’s how you can manage marketing in such a complex environment:
1. Use artificially intelligent writers
Among all the big stories this year, news of an algorithm that unlocks the ability to use and understand human language was almost lost. Even so, it’s a massive breakthrough that can be important in managing the content marketing needs of 2021.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the GPT-3 machine learning model, like human writers, can write memos, articles, and even short stories.
In the future, AI writing tools would be much more effective than those currently available. Content marketers could streamline content and create high quality blog posts in a short amount of time.
This development may seem a little frightening to writers like me. But there is nothing to be concerned about. Previous AI trends show that algorithms don’t necessarily replace people, but change the way they work to a great extent. The content generated by the AI needs editing, and this is where we come in.
2. Organize VR-ready seminars
Life went online because of the pandemic. Millions work from home, shop online and entire conferences are organized virtually.
Most of the virtual conferencing takes place on Zoom, with attendees speaking out of tiny boxes and their bookshelves standing out in the background. However, some organizers have gone a step further. HTC, the company behind VIVE headsets, streamed its ecosystem conference in virtual reality earlier this year.
Custom avatars dawned on the guest speakers to share their thoughts. A purpose-built virtual venue was created just for this conference, and over a million watched the program to catch the extravaganza.
VIVE’s virtual conference was an amazing success and should inspire marketers to take VR much more seriously. There will be thousands of conventional conferences after the pandemic. Virtual reality is the perfect tool to stand out.
3. Reinvest in social media
Social media use increased significantly during the pandemic. Not only consumers but also companies have become more active on social media. This means that there are not only business-to-customer opportunities on these platforms, but also business-to-business opportunities.
Brands must also include social media influencers who have survived the bans despite all the adversities. These influencers have proven to be extremely resilient. Now, with the rise of online shopping, they are even more important to business.
Companies that belong to different niches can work with these people to have their word. In a recent survey, 40% of consumers said they bought an item after an influencer recommended it to them. If you haven’t invested in skilled social media strategists yet, this is a time to reconsider.
4. Gamification in abundance
On the way into a new year, the cookie cutter user experience may no longer be enough. Customer expectations have increased tremendously and it’s time for you to deliver.
Gamification could be the perfect answer for those who demand more than just a seamless website experience. It takes advantage of the inherent human love to engage in a fun activity and be rewarded for it.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of gamification is that your visitors subscribe to the company’s newsletter. One way to do this is to put a fun and engaging quiz on your most visited page and ask respondents to sign up before showing the results.
Some brands are taking their gamification to a whole new level by developing entire apps in their niches. For example, fitness brands create smartphone applications to motivate their customers through a range of challenges.
5. Targeting long-tail and ultra-niche keywords
No matter how many technologies you integrate, you always need SEO. There is simply no digital marketing without it. High quality content coupled with some old school search engine optimizations would also be vital for the year ahead.
In the past few months, large companies have invested heavily in their digital channels as customers increasingly shop online. This means that small businesses in particular would need to step up their SEO game and target ultra-niche and long-tail keywords. The content here needs to be more engaging and creative than your usual lists and guides.
So, if you’re a big-shot startup, think beyond the “7 Effective Ways To Fix Your Fridge” and The “Ultimate Guide To Online Shopping”. It’s time to really dig into your niche and find exactly what customers are looking for, bearing in mind that to sell, you will also need copywriting.
6. Give something back to the community
It’s been a tough year for almost everyone. A number of people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, including your customers. Help your customers in any way you can to build strong customer-company relationships.
You can take part in programs to help people get back on their feet after the pandemic, or take an initiative yourself to fund small businesses that have suffered in the past few months.
Gestures like these not only help those in need of a hand, but they also show your commitment to the community.
With an effective post-pandemic strategy, you not only get back on track, but also have a clear advantage over the competition. Build on the lessons you’ve learned over the past few months and be open to changes that may occur.
It’s hard to predict how customers will behave in 2021. However, if past trends are an indication, digitization will remain key in the future. AI and VR will play a bigger role in marketing, but conventional methods will also have their value.
Focus on how customer priorities will be shaped after the pandemic is over. At the end of the day, it’s all about them and what they want from your brand.