Blog:

Marketing Trends in a Post-Covid World

Over the past year, we’ve sadly witnessed the closure of many bricks and mortar shops UKwide. However, countering this decline, innovation has certainly been taking off online. So how does the rise in virtual media consumption stack up against the very real demand for tangible experiences, and what behaviour can we expect from people as normality returns? 

Our Relationship With Social Media

Facebook is still top among social media sites for daily visits, according to a study by the Pew Research Centre. 49% of adults who use the site indicated they visit it several times daily, second only to Snapchat, which also enjoys high engagement among its users (predominantly 18-29-year-olds), 45% of whom check in regularly.  

Third in the lineup was Instagram, with 38% of its users visiting several times per day.  

The study also found that the two platforms which have enjoyed the most significant growth since 2019 are YouTube, which has seen an 8% growth in users, and Reddit at 7%. In contrast, all other social media channels have remained mostly level since 2019, with a few (LinkedIn, Instagram and WhatsApp) seeing marginal increases.  

Another particularly interesting trend to note, based on an Analysis commissioned by Visa that explored the shopping habits of people online over six months, is that one in four online purchases is now made via an interaction with a social media channel, with a staggering 17% of users actively turning to social media for shopping purposes.  

What does this mean for business?

With people spending more and more time on social media and the significant increase in purchases made via social platforms, businesses would benefit from offering their products and services online where possible, and leveraging social media advertisements, particularly on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit.

Our Increasing Screen Time

Time spent on social media is not the only channel that has seen an increase, however. Based on data from Hootsuite, Internet usage has increased by an extra day per week on average, so far this year. Instead of last year’s 5 hours 28 minutes, people are now online for 6 hours and 26 minutes daily.  

There is no question that the lockdown has accelerated these averages, as many people turn to the Internet to stay in touch with loved ones. At the end of last year, it was Google that saw the highest share of web traffic, followed by Wikipedia, BBC and Amazon. Other platforms that have enjoyed a significant increase in usage were YouTube and Facebook, who ranked 5th and 6th respectively and are the only platforms that appear in the top 10. 

In terms of how people are accessing the digital platforms they are spending more and more time on, the whopping majority (89.35%) are using their mobile phones, up from 85% in 2020.  

What does this mean for business?

There is no doubt people are spending more time online, about an hour a day more. In addition, nearly everyone is using their mobile phone to access the Internet, highlighting to business owners everywhere the very real need for a presence online and, in particular, an engaging online mobile experience.

Our Favourite Content

In terms of content consumption, one key type of media has seen a significant rise. According to research from Sortlist, since the beginning of the pandemic 76.2% of people spend more time listening to audio content, predominantly radio, but with podcasts hot on its tail – the gap between the two in terms of popularity being only 5.2%.  

In 2020 alone, 900,000 new podcasts took flight (a 300% year-on-year increase), hinting that podcasts could increase even further in popularity and even overtake radio eventually, as more people plug into audio series about their favourite hobbies and interests. Other popular forms of audio content include audiobooks and news.  

This study also revealed that 78% of people said they had bought, or were open to buying, products promoted alongside their favourite radio station, podcast or audiobook, which means good news for advertisers.  

What does this mean for business?

With the recent rise in uptake of audio content and listener willingness to purchase products promoted alongside their favourite shows, now is a good time for advertisers to consider hitting the sound waves as well.  

Our Changing Footsteps

Another interesting point is how the pandemic is affecting in-person traffic on the high street. After non-essential shops re-opened following the November lockdown, a study by The Retail Gazette reported a 29% decrease in footfall, year-on-year.  

Even more concerning were some statistics from Springboard which indicated footfall across all retail destinations was down 41.3% when compared with the same week in November 2019, climbing to a 51% drop on high streets and 45.6% in shopping centres.  

What does this mean for business?

With people spending more time online and less time in shops, it is vital that businesses develop their presence and offerings online; not just for survival, but also to leverage the multiple opportunities for growth available virtually. 

In Conclusion

As we’ve learned over the past year, the global and domestic marketplace can be very volatile, and unforeseen events can wreak havoc on the market. The silver lining? New online ad opportunities are cropping up all the time and, when leveraged effectively, can result not just in a business surviving, but actually thriving in times of economic uncertainty. You should therefore already be planning/implementing an engaging mobile experience, targeting social media users with audio, visual and webbased channels to reach those potential customers who are now spending much more time (and money) online. 

The team of experts at teclan are always on hand to offer advice and help you grow your business online. Whether the goal is brand awareness, increased revenue, a website that converts or an engaging social media campaign, we have the team with the tools to help.

Elements of this Blog content first appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Executive magazine.