- The COVID-19 Pandemic has expanded the “stay at home” audience for B2C businesses.
- The consumer sector has seen changes in how audiences are reacting to content and consuming media.
- Capturing these audiences will require businesses to adapt content and tactics to the current climate.
Over the past few months, we have all adjusted to new living and working environments. This means varying working hours, virtual gatherings and different web surfing, streaming and social networking habits. These changes have shifted the traditional marketing audience profile.
If your business is B2C, you should be aware of these audience changes and adapt your marketing tactics to keep up with the current trends. Here are a few ways that you can make sure your message doesn’t fall flat with the new “stay at home” audience.
The concept of a “stay at home” audience is not new. The number of remote workers in the U.S. economy has grown steadily over the past several years. Online graduate and undergraduate programs have grown more popular, and the number of parents staying home with new children was rising even before the pandemic hit. Not to mention the number of companies adopting a digital-first approach and offering remote positions. However, this pandemic has rapidly expanded the “stay at home” audience beyond traditional groups.
It is crucial that all businesses hit the right tone with messaging during the pandemic. This is a different, uncertain and potentially difficult time for everyone, so brands should adjust their tone to one of encouragement and solidarity. No one wants to see pure sales messages at this time. Potential customers need to feel supported and confident that every purchase is essential for them.
There are a few ways that businesses can cater to new stay at home audiences, one of which is content. One way to show solidarity with customers that may be struggling is by providing giveaways or special promotions that you normally wouldn’t – so that customers think of you again when more normal times return. Another way to build a loyal customer base could be to utilize user-generated content. Social proof is powerful, and often someone else’s high opinion of your product or service can make the difference between a static audience and gaining new customers.
It’s a myth that content management can be intensive or even a time burden. Updating your content could be as simple as shifting your product or service message slightly to be more specific to the audience’s changing needs. Some common threads throughout this pandemic are self-care, virtual everything (happy hours, games, workouts, entertainment), home cooking and other hobbies, home design, athleisure, online learning, DIY, gaming and financial services. Even if one of these threads doesn’t match up to your business or services, try to find a way for your business to make home life easier. Stuck on how to adapt your content to resonate with consumers? Consult a content marketing agency, such as Bluetext, to identify trending but relevant topics to focus on.
Shifting Media Channels
Another way you can make sure you’re capturing your audience is shifting the channels you’re using. While traditional channels (including out of home, print and radio) have decreased significantly, digital channels have seen a large boom. According to Nielsen, media consumption rises by as much as 61% when consumers stay at home. This media consumption includes display media, social media, and all forms of TV, including traditional, CTV and OTT.
Recently digital media (and TV) channel inventories have been higher due to increased numbers of people streaming. Like a simple supply and demand equation, this leads to lower-cost opportunities to get in front of your audience. Paid search impressions are decreasing, but digital marketing analysts are seeing higher CTRs and lower CPCs, leading to more efficient media campaigns.
Target Audience Hours
The current pandemic has altered the where and when work takes place. With children home from school and most people working remotely, we’re seeing more employees working outside of 9 to 5 business hours. For consumer-focused businesses, this might mean shifting typical 9-5 workday restrictions so that your campaigns run all day instead of just non-work hours.
While no one is positive how long the effects of this pandemic will last, it is clear that the stay at home orders are changing how both consumer and business audiences are consuming media. Businesses must adapt to these changing audience behaviors and characteristics, not only to survive now but to better understand and cater to their target customers in the future. Need help capturing your changing audience? Call Bluetext.
If you are a CMO or executive at a DC-area organization seeking to hire a digital marketing firm, do you Google search for “Top DC digital marketing firms” or “Top digital marketing firms?” Maybe you don’t use a search engine at all, but that’s a conversation for another day.
The point is that for many organizations, there is significant perceived value in having a marketing agency that is “local” – whether it’s a b2b marketing agency, b2g marketing agency or b2c marketing agency. The true value of engaging with the best “local” marketing firm as opposed to just the best marketing firm period is a more nuanced consideration that depends on the specific needs of your organization. To help with that decision, I’ve assembled five key questions to ask yourself before deciding if your marketing partner should be local:
How much value do you place on face time?
CMOs must be honest with themselves upfront about how important it is to have your marketing agency team available for in-person meetings. This should be a factor in the pre-hire evaluation phase – how big a factor is up to the CMO. It can be practically and economically unreasonable to expect a non-local marketing agency to show up on short notice, but it is also true that getting together in-person can foster improved team chemistry and allow for easier oversight.
How specialized are your marketing requirements?
As is the case with any product or service, the laws of supply and demand apply. If your organization is based in Cleveland, there will certainly be sufficient marketing agencies to choose from. But how niche is your product/service or vertical market you serve? Perhaps you need an agency with experience marketing consumer-facing ride-sharing startups, or software for the healthcare industry. All of the sudden, the list of credible b2b marketing agencies or b2c marketing agencies with this type of experience in Cleveland shrinks. It is a tradeoff for CMOs, and based on your specialized your needs are, a non-local marketing agency may be necessary to provide the expertise your organization requires.
Does your marketing agency need knowledge of the local market?
Your local market, for various reasons, may be critical to initial or long-term growth. One of the reasons that leading technology brands turn to Bluetext for b2g marketing and b2g public relations is that we’ve developed unique expertise understanding what makes this market tic and the messages required to reach and influence decision makers.
That’s just one example though; it could be that your local market is a critical early engine for customer growth, or that you need an agency that has strong relationships with local broadcast, print and online media. Even the most skilled national marketing and pr agencies will require time to ramp up in better understanding some local markets.
Do you have the right technology to manage virtual teams?
If you already work with other vendors that are virtual, then you may have the necessary technologies, tools and processes in place to effectively communicate and mange a virtual marketing agency. These tools range from conferencing and collaboration to messaging, presence, video and project management, and it is important to lock in on a set of tools that can be used across all vendors – rather than continuing to add a patchwork of standalone apps that end up complicating rather than aiding vendor communication.
There is evidence that technology vendors recognize the need for more integration. Our own client BroadSoft delivers truly integrated business communications in response to the avalanche of apps and tools that marketing departments can now choose from.
Consider these factors when deciding if a local digital marketing and public relations agency is the best move for your organization. And to learn more about Bluetext, click here: