With the world under lockdown, people are mostly living online. Most of the shopping and entertainment have shifted online as well. Also, with the closure of all non-essentials businesses, people have taken to online shopping which is boosting the already growing consumer shift towards eCommerce.
Here are a few statistics that reveal the scale of changes brands are facing now;
Facebook usage is up 27%, TikTok is up 15% and YouTube is up 15%
eCommerce shopping is up 108%
In fact, 42% of customers believe that their shopping habits will change completely.
If you want to succeed post-COVID-19 phase, you will have to change the way to you do things.
Though the changes will come with challenges, shifts in market dynamism will also create opportunities for growth.
It is about time to replace your old approaches with new ones that are centered on real human stories.
What should you do?
With reduced promotion budgets and less number of customers who are consistently reducing their spending, as a brand, you will have to change your priorities and re-evaluate how you can reach and connect with your consumers.
Given the shift to the online connection, you will have to consider ways to boost online engagement and conversion.
Compelling and unique visuals have always been crucial to success in any digital marketing strategy. However, with reduced budgets and less capacity to even create fresh visuals are a humungous task today.
Today, people are creating and sharing videos and photos across various social networks in huge numbers. This type of content known as user-generated content (UGC) is what customers trust and search for.
So, post the COVID pandemic buyer’s journey, genuine user-generated content will be a great source of sustainable and cost-effective content marketing that you can use to build trust, improve sales and strengthen your bond with your customers.
Tips to attract your customers in a post-COVID world
As the world is slowly resuming businesses, you will also have to convince your customers that you are returning too. You will have to showcase your return of activity to foster confidence in your customers. User-generated-content (UGC) can help you provide your consumers with authentic social proof.
Around 87% of people say that social media posts influence their buying decisions while 56% of people say that reviews on social media help them make informed online purchase decisions.
Additionally, most people said that photos from real customers were the most preferred type of UGC.
During a crisis, consumers turn to people and to their most trusted brands.
Post the COVID-19 pandemic, a brand's communication strategy will have to include efforts to strengthen consumer trust to build long-term loyalty and customer value. One of the best ways to win back your customer trust is through authentic experiences.
According to Nielsen Research, around 92% of customers trust UGC more than any other form of content.
Add a human element
Despite reduced budgets, slashed resources, the demand for digital content on various platforms is higher than before.
You must make use of this opportunity and look to add a ‘human’ element to your content to showcase authenticity and engagement.
That said, it is noteworthy that the lockdown has brought humanity again. Where companies refused to set up video meetings and working remotely previously, today there’s no choice but to take the assistance from video call meetings, with kids pets and kids wrestling in the background.
The lockdown has helped us discover that we are all real people, living real lives after all. This humane side should also extend to businesses and brands and encourage them to communicate more honestly, directly, and transparently with their consumers.
You can take advantage of the opportunity and embrace the content that your customers are generating (UGC) that will not only reduce content costs but also facilitate human connection and increase performance on social channels considerably.
Indeed, times have changed a lot in the past six months or so. As a marketer, you can either wait for what happens next or get your systems in place to be ready with open arms when the next wave hits.