2020 has set the whole world back. But with vaccines available, we can start rebuilding our lives and businesses in 2021—slowly, but surely. We need to be updated on the latest consumer trends in the digital world, and keep ourselves educated on this rapidly evolving market. According to research firms Hootsuite and We Are Social’s Digital 2021 Global Overview Report, the Philippines has retained its top position as the country whose citizens have the longest internet usage in the world, at an average of 10 hours and 56 minutes per day, versus the global daily average of 6 hours and 54 minutes. Filipinos also spend an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes on social media, based on the same report.
With these numbers in mind, there is much more potential to revitalize your business from the damage it has taken back in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. We asked Millie Morales, our resource person on branding and marketing, for some practical tips this year, on ways how we could improve our digital marketing strategy to reach more customers:
Improve your brand messaging and customer service
Since a lot of businesses have been suffering cash flow and closing down stores, it is more crucial than ever to take care of not just your loyal customers, but also your new and potential ones.
Due to the rampant spread of misinformation and insecurity caused by the pandemic, people desire comfort and stability. One of the important jobs of brands is to promote security and trust. A reassuring, and hopeful brand message for 2021 should be echoed in your social media platforms. Start by being transparent about your business situation, and how your company has been affected by the pandemic, along with the steps it has taken to recovery. Engage with your customers by speaking from a place of authenticity, and spread positivity. Regain trust by fulfilling any commitments to your customers, both offline and online.
For example, one of the hardest hit businesses around the world was Airbnb due to all the travel restrictions which caused its bookings to drop by 70 percent back in 2020. The Philippines’ Airbnbs have suffered as well, but some places, with the blessing of their local government, have survived and have started taking bookings with minimum health protocols. A lot of the Airbnbs in Tagaytay and Pico de Loro, for example, are fully booked this Feb. 2021 alone.
Upon further inspection of these Airbnb profiles, you would see how these hosts took special care of their customers pre and during the pandemic. You would be able to read how these hosts reiterated the steps they took to ensure that their places were properly sanitized, how they were in constant communication with their guests, and how they guided the guests through every step of the new travel requirements.
Consider different forms of videos
The pandemic of 2020 has forced mostly everyone to avoid any physical interaction, which caused people to work from home, interact using video calls, up-skill through self-paced video training and be entertained through video streaming. The Philippines, for instance, has seen the steady rise of short video content on Instagram stories, Facebook stories, and of course, TikTok.
Amazon, for example, leveraged on TikTok’s #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt movement with its 346.4 million views as of the last quarter of 2020. According to the US-based marketing company Statusphere, influencers hopped on the trend which resulted in Amazon’s own #AmazonFinds campaign where people showcased the items they bought from the website, which resulted in a whopping 1.5 billion views on TikTok.
Note though that not all brands may maximize Tiktok due to its target market. Study first which platforms your customers go to. What is notable for small businesses now is that there are easier ways to create videos, and various ways to share them online.
Increase easy-to-consume content
In line with video streaming, short video content like Stories can also be increased, as well as podcasts. Newsletters are on the rise as well. Reevaluate your campaign creatives and ask these questions:
- Can I capture my audience’s attention within the first three seconds with this photo or this video?
- Does this provide value or entertainment?
- Is my content relevant?
There is so much content available online, TV and print. Ensure that you are able to capture your audience’s attention immediately, and ensure that you will not take too much of their time and that your content has value to them.