Wed | Aug 12, 2020

Using digital marketing to survive COVID-19

Published:Sunday | July 12, 2020 | 12:21 AMLashawn Mills - Contributor

For many Jamaican small businesses, the implementation of social distance to avoid the spread of COVID-19 has put their businesses on life support. Entrepreneurship already has its many obstacles, and coupled with this pandemic, businesses will have to utilise innovative marketing tactics to reach new clients and entice existing ones.

A not-so-new tactic, but one that has been taken for granted, is that of digital marketing. It is during this pandemic that we have seen many businesses move online to facilitate deliveries and inform customers. Of note, also, are the many e-commerce payment gateways being introduced by local banks. With more persons moving online, it has become necessary to utilise digital-marketing strategies to maximise conversions and reach.

This pandemic has highlighted the need for entrepreneurs to get certified or, at least, be exposed to the world of social and digital-media marketing. On the upside, it is an additional skill set.

WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?

Digital marketing is the promotion of brands, product, ideas, services, and experiences online through other digital channels. This is achieved with the use of the Internet, mobile devices, email marketing, social media, and search engines. Digital marketing allows companies to widen their customer base, usually at a cheaper rate compared to traditional media. For example, Payless has closed most of its stores and has moved online. This offers a wider reach outside of a physical location. One of the greatest tools offered by digital marketing is geo-targeting, or behavioural targeting, based on keyword searches and website visits.

Another aspect of value for entrepreneurs using digital marketing is the plethora of data to which they will have access. Knowing what customers like, dislike, age group, and location are key contributors to content development and inventory control.

As we continue to navigate this unprecedented pandemic, entrepreneurs should definitely explore the realm of social and digital-media marketing as a way to add value and recover operational cost.

- Lashawn Mills is a certified digital marketing specialist, entrepreneur, and Youth Parliamentarian 2019-2020.