Insights weve taken from marketing during a pandemic

Jennifer Hepburn
12th Oct 21 . Jennifer Hepburn . Hospitality

From how you should be engaging with your customers to where you should be targeting them, we share the insights we have gleaned from managing our clients’ digital marketing campaigns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out our three top tips and how you can get in touch below.

1. Search engine optimisation is key to a strong comeback

When the pandemic first hit, many businesses made the decision to pull back on marketing spend ‘until things got back to normal’. Well, we are 18 months into the ‘New Normal’ and there is a clear distinction in Google SERPs between those who invested in a long term strategic approach, and those who simply pulled budget.

Here at Click2Convert, we recommended that where possible, our clients should continue to invest in search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is the one marketing channel that you should never neglect, because if you do, your competitors are lurking in the background, ready and waiting to take your rankings. While the performance of other marketing channels very much depends on market demand, a focussed SEO campaign will deliver the ranking improvements needed for a strong comeback when the market returns.

On average, our hospitality and leisure clients who continued to invest in SEO during the pandemic have observed significant ranking improvements YoY, with most clients seeing 60% - 70% uplift in organic search visits compared to the same period 2 years prior (accounting for the influence of COVID), outperforming the uplift in consumer demand over this period. This has led to significant improvements in both bookings and revenue.

Find out more about how we’ve helped our clients win at SEO during the pandemic on our Case Studies page.

2. Reassess what channels your customers are using to make best use of budget  

With little else to do, people have turned to technology to help them through the pandemic. From face-to-face-meetings being replaced by Zoom calls, using a podcast to relax after a day of working from home, to using TikTok to experience the latest fitness craze, technology has become an even more important part of your customers’ lives. Being present on the digital channels that your customers are now using is of paramount importance in a post-pandemic marketing strategy.

And it’s important to reassess what these channels are. Don’t simply make assumptions based on demographic stereotypes such as age. The number of social media users in the United Kingdom increased by 2.3 million (+4.4%) between 2020 and 2021, with social media users in the United Kingdom now equivalent to 77.9% of the total population. The influx of baby boomers to Facebook highlights why social media can be a prime place to run ads, particularly among older demographics with more money to spend.

Pre-pandemic, TikTok was primarily used by 18 - 24 year olds, and while the network is still primarily focussed on video challenges, it presents an advertising opportunity for marketers looking to attract the 24 - 44 age bracket, with this demographic now making up almost 20% of all UK users.

With post-pandemic budgets being tighter than they may have been previously, and the number of channels available within your marketing toolkit constantly increasing, minimising wasted budget on ineffective channels is a must.

The move away from traditional office working to a more flexible working schedule means that you also need to think about when your target audience is actually online. The pre-9am and post 6pm commute may no longer be the best time to reach potential customers.

Use analytics and insights tools to find out what devices your users are on and when they are online in order to better educate your marketing strategy including making better use of PPC spend by adjusting your bid strategy to account for any change in user behaviour.

3. Humanise your brand for long-term benefits

Post-pandemic, people want to feel more connected and are focussed on being kinder and investing their hard-earned money on brands that have a purpose. Brands that are giving back to their local communities have been reaping the rewards.

Before hospitality venues were able to open their doors again last year, our client Crerar Hotels launched ‘Scottish Hospitality for Heroes’ - an initiative to thank NHS and care workers with free nights away at the group's seven hotels across Scotland. In total, more than 380 health workers and their families from across Scotland enjoyed a complimentary weekend away in August 2020, which cost the company around £250,000.

Crerar Hotels CEO, Chris Wayne-Wills said prior to the event, “We are determined to make this as big a thank you as we can. Already we have been really encouraged by the reaction of the loyal Crerar guests we have contacted to ask that their bookings get moved to free up the availability we need. Every single one has said yes and more – many turning their deposit into a donation to help the big thank you.”

The sentiment around the brand in the lead up to, and following, the NHS weekend could not have been more positive and Crerar Hotels have continued to put people at the heart of it's business.

These are just 3 takeaways from marketing during a pandemic. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can propel your brand forward in the digital space. 

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