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What a year 2020 has been so far…. With weeks of quarantine and non-essential businesses being shut down for months. everyone is probably wondering when Covid-19 pandemic will finally be over. These are unlike anything most of us have ever lived through.

We all are trying to get used to “the new normal”, if we even know what that is yet. The Great Recession changed our financial structure and spending habits,  Covid-19 is looking like it will have a much broader effect on many different aspects of our past behaviors and hurting the small and medium sized businesses that are struggling to get through it and stay afloat.

Because of this pandemic, digital consumption suddenly changed across the globe increasing dramatically and more than ever people are relying on the internet for purchasing, entertainment, socialization, and information. In March the local social app Nextdoor stated they had an 80% increase in the number of people using the app compared with the previous month, Netflix added over 15 million subscribers in Q1 alone, and Forbes published an article in March stating internet use has surged up to 70%. As a society, we are now more digitally engaged and this number is rapidly increasing. It is becoming “the new norm”.

This increase in digital consumption is not new, it has just been escalated, the migration of mobile and digital has been increasing year over year, but with the current situation, it has pushed this escalation much higher and faster. Although this has been a challenge for many companies, it has surely increased the acceptance of utilizing technology and will most likely play a big role in society as a whole for the years to come.

For small and medium sized businesses, right now is the opportune time to anticipate and implement digital strategies to capitalize on these behavioral shifts in society and embrace these changes and use them to your advantage. With the increase in digital exposure this will allow SMBs, using the right digital strategies, to gain more local and national attention and be competitive with “the big boys”.

Using social media tools you can choose exactly who you want to market to. Companies like Facebook make this so specific, you could just about target consumers according to what they ate last night. Well, I am not sure we are quite there yet, but almost.

This all starts with having a professional website that is highly optimized for search engines, it should be mobile friendly, easy to navigate, and it should be engaging and really help your company differentiate itself from the heard.

Utilizing other media, such as video is growing exponentially as well and can really boost your company’s exposure if it is professional and has all of the data needed to get indexed properly to draw your specific vertical’s prospects.

It looks like our economy is slowly but surely starting to move forward again, but unfortunately, I believe. it will be a bit different, at least for a while. The Covid-19 pandemic has instilled, in many consumers, a greater interest in buying local. So local companies will need to make their storefronts, products and services more relevant and easy to find online, and this is where these digital strategies come into play.

More people will now do research online than ever before, if your products and services are easily found, this could be a game changer.

Once the economy gets on its feet again, this will create opportunities for companies to get a leg up on their competition and build an email list for marketing to prospects for years to come. With over 85% of consumers relying on the internet to find a local business and almost one third are searching for a local business at least once per week this is a channel that just can’t be ignored.

Feel free to contact me for more info, I would be happy to help with these new strategies that could help take your company to the next level.

Mark Cameron

mc@mcnetwork.com

MC Network