Eugenia Okine’s thoughts … Business owners must leverage digital marketing to grow in COVID-19 pandemic

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Since the first case was recorded in Wuhan, China in December, 2019, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has greatly affected the economy of the entire global.

According to Deloitte, a research firm that provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services, about 65% of the global economy currently is on some form of lockdown. The impact of COVID-19 is being felt globally in the following ways:

  • Disruptions in global supply chains, with significant supply shortages and consequent price hikes.
  • Slowdown in investments and remittances and resulting job losses
  • Volatility and collapse of stock markets due to uncertainties
  • Decline in oil demand leading to decrease in oil prices and cut in revenue for oil exporting countries.
  • Decline in tourism and international travel and resulting job losses.
  • Unanticipated increase in health expenditure and resulting upsurge in public debt burden.
  • Tighter global financing conditions despite interventions through monetary policies to cut interest rates.

Ghana has had its fair of the economic impact as a result of this pandemic. Government’s response to the outbreak, key amongst which include closure of all borders and partial lockdown of selected areas, is already having a toll on the economy.

Sectors such as hospitality have been greatly impacted; there is decline in trade volumes and values and the agriculture value chain due to disruption in supply chain globally. Also, the mixed impact of COVID-19 on commodity prices, as well as contraction in trade volumes, are set to result in net loss of revenue to Government.

Considering all these economic impacts of COVID-19, the big question is – how effective can we utilize technology to its fully without physically moving products and services from one place to another?

The days of having face-to-face interactions as a way of buying and selling are gradually becoming a thing of the past especially in an era where technology has occupied almost the centre stage of our livelihoods. For this reason, it is important for many businesses, especially private businessmen whose businesses have greatly been affected by COVID-19 to consider digital marketing as the immediate alternative.

It is equally important for business owners understand how digital marketing works so that they can strategically use the right digital tools and campaign tactics to reach and engage audience (customers). to be breast of the technicalities involved in digital marketing to enable them be top of their game.

To begin with, digital marketing is a means of promoting products (brands) and services through digital media. That said, below are tactics business owners need to know before starting digital marketing.

Website marketing

In many ways, your business’s website is the cornerstone of digital marketing strategy. This is where many of your target customers first get an impression of your brand. As such, you should pay attention to the layout of your site as well as the graphics that you use in your site design. The appearance of your site is not the only thing that matters. Since your website is the centre of many of your digital marketing campaigns, it is important that it is designed and optimized for conversation.

This means creating a site that is easy to navigate and read with clear guidance for the next steps consumers need to take to move further down the funnel. It also means creating a site that optimized for mobile devices to enhance the mobile user’s site experience.

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization also plays a vital role in digital marketing. Search engine optimization is the process of optimization your site’s content so that it appeals to the search engines. If you want to reach and convert consumers in the digital age, you will need to start with the search engines. The end goal is to rank higher on the search engine results page in order to increase visibility in your target market. Consequently, the higher you rank on the search engine results page, the more organic traffic you can drive back to your website.

Content marketing

Content marketing is essentially when your business creates and promotes certain content assets that are aimed at attracting and engaging your target customers. These content assets can be created for a number of different purposes, including generating brand awareness, growing site traffic, boasting leads or retaining customers.

No matter which tactics that you use aa part of your digital marketing strategy, you will still need to create content to support these tactics as it is believed to be the fuel needed to keep your website going and alive. The key to creating great content assets that help support your marketing campaigns is strategically choosing topics that appeal to your audience.

Business owners will be a better position to absorb the accompanying shocks of COVID-19 if they take full advantage of the new revolution of the digital world by adopting these digital marketing tactics despite the severe impact of the pandemic.

>>>the author is a level 300 student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) reading Communication Studies with specialization in Journalism. Email: [email protected]. Contact number: 0207955607

 

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