Covid-19: How Small Businesses Can Move from Offline Activity to Digital Marketing Experiences

Right now, we’re shifting our focus to how small business brands can leverage digital marketing opportunities in Australia instead of their regular offline activities in the wake of the current global pandemic.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak across the globe has changed the way we live and do business.

Realistically, small businesses will continue to suffer from the effects of COVID-19 for the next 12 months, at least. As a result, lots of brands are looking to cut costs and reduce their advertising and marketing budgets. Should we spend less on marketing or put our online activities on overdrive? Should we settle for short-term gains, or leverage the gap left by the crisis to strengthen our businesses and brands for the long-term?

Research shows that aggressive marketing during a recession can deliver a massive advantage to a brand. During the infamous 2008 global recession, the brands that recovered quickly and came out the strongest were ones that kept spending on advertising during the financial crisis.

Consumers are now faced with the reality of forced lockdowns, which means they spend less time socialising with friends and family and have more time to browse the internet. During trying times like these, people want to hear a message of hope and positivity. People need something cheerful to cushion the effects of grief, and this is achievable through great and fun digital content experiences.

Did you know that home internet usage has gone up during the lockdown? Surprise surprise! And this is right across the world too. Marketing agencies and brands should see COVID-19 as an opportunity to strengthen their online marketing strategies.

During tough times, small business brands may be tempted to focus on performance-based marketing rather than concentrate on building their brands for the long-term. While this approach might bring in some sales initially, it doesn’t guarantee success after the crisis. By the time COVID-19 is far behind us, the way we do business and live our lives may have changed forever.

Focusing on lasting impressions that keep your brand name etched in the hearts of your consumers is critical to seeing long term effects. Importantly, these lasting impressions might not lead to immediate sales; they can be experience-driven. Brands that can position themselves correctly and plan for the long-term will have more advantage to weather the storm and come out stronger than ever.

So how do we leverage interactive digital marketing content during a global recession?

We are working hard 24/7 to help small businesses make a smooth transition from their offline tasks, develop solid digital marketing plans and experiences in some of the worst affected industries such as travel, experiential, and retail. We are on a mission to bring businesses and brands to the living rooms of potential customers, making it possible for them to engage with products, brands, travel, and everything in a world of possibilities where there are no barriers.

Experiential: digital marketing alternatives have replaced large exhibitions, major conferences, and physical meetings. Aside from the obvious conferences or streaming conducted in virtual reality, the aim is to deploy a range of real-time technologies to deliver remarkable experiences that allow consumers to participate from their living room. Interactive content (whether single or multi-user collaborative content) provides a viable alternative to large physical meetings.

Retail: instead of the regular Chapel Street shopping in Melbourne, augmented reality makes it possible to deliver exciting online experiences, now that physical retail shops have been forced to shut down. Web-based AR allows a small business to create virtual changing rooms where customers can try on cosmetics, accessories, and even clothes. For products that require design, scale, and size considerations such as white goods, cars, and furniture, a brand can utilise product visualisation applications that make it possible for consumers to see true to life versions of the products.

Social: during lockdowns, being active on our social media is critical. Thankfully, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Tiktok make things easy. Users are already posting interesting UG content using these platforms. Brands can jump in too, and create stunning augmented reality effects for their campaigns.

Sport: sport is one of the worst-hit by this pandemic, which is a disaster for clubs, fans and players alike. Brands that have invested heavily in sponsorships can seize the current opportunity and serve as the gateway for supporters to interact with their favourite teams and players. In England, premier league clubs have chosen to continue their season on Championship Manager, and fans can connect with their clubs via branded gamification during these trying times. Even coaches now deliver their pre-match speeches from their homes on social media.

Fans are thrilled by those moments – an inside look into the lives of their sporting idols. Fans have a better chance of bonding with their sporting heroes when they get the feeling that they are getting some sorts of “exclusive access.” Our belief is that sponsors could be looking for avenues to build a connection between players, clubs, and fans while they’re unable to play.

Travel: although traveling to anywhere at this time is practically impossible, augmented reality makes it possible for users to step into a different world in full 360. The Colosseum in Rome, the awesome Victoria Falls in Africa, the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco; users get to explore the best places on earth right from their homes, where they can build stunning itineraries that could become useful after COVID-19.

Real Estate: now that prospective buyers can’t view property in person, real estate agents can leverage the power of virtual walkthrough to showcase their properties to interested persons. We use interactive 360 videos to create virtual models of commercial or residential buildings, allowing potential customers to get a real-time experience of the layout, size, and scale.

We are in no way dismissing the devastating effects of this global health crisis, but we’ll all have to move on at some point when everything is over. Currently, we see small business brands that are proactive in finding new ways to do their marketing and build and maintain customer relationships. There’s always a silver lining in every cloud, and there will still be lots of paradigm shifts resulting from this outbreak.

At this time, all brands need to understand that new consumer habits and trends are being established. Identify your customers’ needs and use digital experiences to form valuable, timely, and long-term connections.

Do you need more exposure for your brand?

Digital marketing, when combined with successful branding, will make customers more receptive to your products and services. You will be well-positioned to get maximum returns from your marketing efforts when potential customers trust your brand.

Get In Touch With Us Today

Bright Owl Marketing is full service traditional and digital marketing agency that is committed to creating cutting edge lead generation activities and multi-dimensional marketing experiences that deliver results. Our senior marketing consultants have 20+ years’ experience under their belt, and we can say without any doubt that we have a marketing plan or a brand development package that can take your business to the next level regardless of your current situation.

Our marketing consultants are ready and willing to provide assistance in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and beyond. They are well positioned to offer marketing consulting, strategic marketing workshops, or marketing mentoring over Facetime, Skype, or zoom.

Should you require expert assistance fine-tuning your strategy during the COVID-19 period, then we will be more than happy to schedule an obligation-free consultation at a convenient time for you.

Get in touch with us now to learn how our marketing consulting services can be of benefit to your business. You can book with peace of mind because we keep our promise and exceed expectations.

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