• Scott Roberts

Marketing Trends Emerging During The Coronavirus Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the normal lives of people around the world. It has put pressure on brands across all industries and created conditions for changing the way we work. I believe we are starting to see this in how brands communicate with customers during lockdown. There are some trends emerging from these unique conditions that could have interesting consequences for future digital marketing and sales.

User-Generated Content Is Becoming Key

With everyone living under lockdown people are spending large amounts of time online. People are finding new ways to entertain themselves via social media. There is both a bigger, more constant audience for social content as well as a bigger pool of people to create that content. Apps like TikTok have seen a huge surge in activity and Zoom is also seeing a massive spike in usage as families and friends require new ways to connect and keep in touch. This has become the new normal for how we communicate

As brands start to respond to the crisis they are faced with a clear problem when it comes to filming new campaigns. In these lockdown conditions, UGC has become a valuable commodity. We’ve already seen brands like Microsoft, Halifax, Nike and Tesco employ UGC in their latest campaigns. This is our new social language so it will come as no surprise when it becomes the new language of marketing. This content is relatable and current and it will be interesting to see how this trend continues when lockdown restrictions ease.

Apps Are Becoming Sales Channels

Throughout lockdown, we have seen people flock online. One of the best actions a small brand could take during this time will be to cultivate meaningful relationships with consumers via social media. This is a unique time when the vast majority of consumers are collected in one single location; online. There is no better time when most business-as-usual adverts have been put on hold to gain a better understanding and connection with the consumer. This investment of time will make a good return in the future when social apps start becoming sales channels in their own right. This is a trend that has been developing for a few years and may speed up with the effects of lockdown.

Instagram is increasingly being used to present a brands digital catalogue. The technology allowing a seamless checkout experience is ever-evolving. A technology that permits two things: 1. immediate check out without having to go to a traditional “store” and 2. recommend products based on consumer likes and prior engagement. For small businesses, this is a very useful tool. When Amazon can offer customisation down to the level of the individual, the tools of social media can offer a similar experience for customers of small brands. Similar to the benefits of UGC, utilising social apps for sales creates a platform that is immediately relatable and more likely to form an emotional connection. It’s much easier for a brand to sell something to a customer when it already appears on a platform they have curated for themselves based on likes and follows. This trend will only transform in more unexpected ways now that apps like TikTok and Zoom are becoming part of the everyday.

Life in lockdown has forced limitations on brands big and small. Within these limitations, creativity is beginning to emerge and it will be interesting to see the trends that emerge and stick as we go through this unique time.