COVID-19 Has Changed the World. And It May Have Also Changed Marketing Forever

Article Summary:

The global coronavirus pandemic will change many things about our world, and that includes the way we think about marketing. Already there is evidence to suggest that marketing and business leaders are abandoning traditional marketing platforms and doubling down their investment in digital marketing and SEO.

There will be a number of changes to the post-COVID marketing landscape. Specifically the 4 changes below

  1. A huge focus on SEO
  2. A boost in search marketing
  3. Greater investment in social media marketing, including both paid and organic
  4. More competition within digital and native advertising

To learn more about what you can expect from post-pandemic marketing, read our latest post below.

How COVID-19 Will Change Marketing Forever

By now there’s one thing that’s clear about COVID-19: This pandemic will fundamentally alter all aspects of our lives, from the way we communicate to the way we work to the way we think about our economy. To assume that things will soon revert to “normal” is wishful thinking; even once we start to put coronavirus in the rearview, we may find that our world looks quite a bit different than it did before.

The marketing industry won’t be impervious to these changes. We’re seeing some examples of this already. For example, marketing leaders are pouring their money into SEO and other digital marketing channels, leaving direct mailers and other traditional marketing avenues behind them. The rationale is pretty self-explanatory: People don’t necessarily want to touch things that show up in their mailboxes, and a billboard isn’t going to be nearly as impactful in an era where so many of us are quarantined.

SEO on Mind and Mind on SEO

Recent Conductor research confirms that marketing dollars are increasingly being channeled into SEO. In fact, 63 percent of marketers say they will be spending more money on SEO post-COVID-19.

Credit: Conductor. (click on image to learn more).

Our Predictions About the Future of Marketing

At Sefati & Co, our perspective is that this simply expedites the ascent of SEO and digital media, and pushes traditional marketing channels further into the periphery. It’s not hyperbole to say that, sooner rather than later, when people talk about marketing, they’ll be referring to digital channels mainly. There will be no distinguishment between marketing and digital marketing and world marketing will simply imply digital marketing for most cases, and the digital marketing transformation will continue even more assertively.

We also expect that, in a post-COVID world, SEO will indeed be the central focus of most marketing budgets. Resources will get tighter as goals become even loftier, leaving marketing professionals to focus on the channels that offer the highest impact. SEO more than fits the bill: It’s essentially free traffic, minus the upfront investment in creating and optimizing solid content. (This is assuming you don’t pay for ads, which may still be helpful but aren’t strictly necessary.)

Another crucial point: Local SEO, and local marketing in general, will become increasingly important. Many businesses, unfortunately, won’t be around after COVID-19. New ones will pop up. Users will research online or via mobile devices before heading to a restaurant or a bar, or before they go shopping because they will need to see which of their favorite local businesses are still around or which new ones are worth trying.

Search marketing (aka paid search advertising) will be important, too. That’s because consumers will prefer to do online research and have a clear sense of where they’re going, rather than venturing out to “explore” new businesses and risk exposure to coronavirus or some other germ.

And we expect that social media marketing will get a boost. In the age of social distancing, more and more consumers are using social channels to stay connected, developing a more intimate relationship than ever before with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We’ll also note that, during the quarantine, the TikTok platform has seen a huge uptick in usage. We think that both paid and organic social media advertising are going to be bigger deals than ever before.

One more thing: As marketers make a full shift to the digital realm, there’s going to be an increased emphasis on targeted and retargeted advertising, as well as native and programmatic advertising.

A Whole New World (of Marketing)

A post-COVID world will be a lot like the post 9/11 world: Slowly but surely, we’ll all realize that things have changed forever.

Think about the ways in which airports and general travel were permanently altered after 9/11. Similarly, marketing as we know it is undergoing a major shift. On the whole, this is a huge advantage for the digital marketing industry.

Author: Al Sefati

Al Sefati is an enterprise SEO and search marketing expert and the founder of Sefati & Company. Al works with marketing agencies and enterprise level clients and he is in charge of forming and monitoring their SEO and SEM strategies. Al blogs often about latest SEO, SEM and digital marketing trends and tactics.