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    How brands can navigate the cost of living crisis with digital marketing

    Rawnet’s Freddy D’Uva surveys the economic landscape in 2022, emphasizing the need for a digital strategy. 

    The Bank of England recently forecasted the most severe drops in take-home income since similar records began in 1990.

    Price increases, fueled by high consumer demand and supply chain bottlenecks, have been one factor driving growing inflation, alongside residential energy tariffs and fuel prices rising. Domestic gas prices soared by 96% from August 2021 to 2022, while domestic electricity costs increased by 54%. 

    Amid the rising cost of living, digital marketing will become a must for firms to thrive. Companies must understand evolving purchasing habits and adjust strategies accordingly. During a recession, many businesses benefit from digital marketing activities like SEO and PPC, particularly when compared to conventional marketing approaches. With recession looming, brands should focus on it sooner rather than later.  

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    Increase online visibility  

    A strong digital presence has become an essential component of any marketing plan. With the pandemic, millions of consumers changed their purchasing patterns, and practically everything has moved to the digital realm. 

    High-quality content distinguishes successful companies from their competition across industries. If a brand can develop a powerful content strategy (like providing its target audience with articles, videos, and tutorials) and find a way to reach the desired market, it will soon have a loyal following, which will increase the business’s visibility and boost revenue. 

    Social media is one of the most effective strategies for increasing online visibility. Consumers increasingly expect to see a content-rich and interesting account when they use these platforms to investigate businesses, products, and services. Posting educational, inspiring and high-quality visual content, showing behind-the-scenes videos and testimonials from employees and customers, jumping on trends, interacting with the audience, and utilizing paid ads: these are some of the most effective tactics. 

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    Demonstrate brand value  

    Another way to improve the overall customer experience is with personalization, which will assist in retaining and attracting new customers. Tailored customer service means treating clients as individuals. This has become increasingly challenging in an age when clients may buy your products from practically anywhere in the world. 

    This starts with taking the time to learn about clients. Marketers should be able to provide demographic data and consumer information. One consideration is the limitations of cookies; user consent is needed before capturing and storing any personal data. Companies need to flesh out a series of profiles based on customers’ needs and expectations.  

    A customer-centric strategy is critical for brands to stand out. Client service must be more than just quick and polite; it must also be relevant and sensitive to the specific preferences of each customer. One method is to provide omnichannel assistance, which engages consumers through their preferred channels. Customers want a company to be available when they need it, whether it’s in person, by phone, email, social media, or live chat. 

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    Transparent communication 

    A more transparent approach to digital marketing is key to balancing effective strategies and respect for a customer’s privacy. Transparent digital marketing eliminates secrecy and the danger of deception in favor of honesty, providing customers with a peek behind the curtain when appropriate. When consumers believe they fully understand what information a brand has and how it’s handled, they’re more likely to trust it. 

    It is no longer sufficient for a brand to offer outstanding products and services that deliver on its promises. Individuals prefer to purchase from companies that value integrity and sustainability, which means they operate honestly and consistently even when no one is actively holding them accountable. Being honest with critical information and allowing customers to ask any questions they may have contributes to a strong brand reputation. 

    Adjust your digital strategy 

    Search terms and keywords are changing, so brands need to make sure to optimize their website accordingly. Google considers over 200 factors when determining the rank of a particular website.

    The relationship between keywords and website optimization is simple. Google (and other search engines) send bots to visit a website, read and index the content, score its relevancy in relation to user queries, and rank it in search engine results pages (SERPs) accordingly. 

    Keywords are very significant in SEO, helping marketers rank for given topics. This allows users to discover their content when searching online for those terms. Marketers must ensure that their content reflects the search intent of the demographic that lands on it.  

    We’ve seen PPC and paid social campaigns mature in recent years. In this period of economic downturn, brands must emphasize the return given by media spend. They must look to create strategies that focuses on cost per action (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS). Being increasingly efficient with budgets, given the risk-averse nature of consumers, is vital in times of economic uncertainty. 

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    Looking to the future 

    With more households on strict budgets and unwilling to spend, achieving results from marketing will be difficult. Marketers find themselves in uncharted territory throughout every recession, since no two downturns are alike.

    However, in researching the marketing triumphs and failures of hundreds of companies as they negotiated recessions, marketers have discovered patterns in consumer behavior and corporate strategy that accelerate performance. Here, digital marketing is key. 

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