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What 2021 has taught us as a digital media agency?

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

You assume the worst, yet nothing makes it any easier when it happens. The coronavirus pandemic is one unforeseen event that has left us with great lessons to ponder for the rest of our lives. As a digital media advertising agency we faced some challenges too.

Although operations are complex, this does not stop businesses from adapting, learning, and pushing their resources into the digital arena. Here are some of the digital marketing lessons that the pandemic taught us, as ever-resilient as we are.

three early twenties walk with covid masks on
What 2021 taught us

It takes time to build a profitable customer base.

Businesses that use creative thinking for digital marketing are getting a lot of bang for their buck. It took years for them to establish their growing consumer base into what it is now. As a result, even in a pandemic, these firms continue to grow due to the steady income flow.

Brands nowadays are rushing their way through minor campaigns to stay afloat. They accomplish this while learning how to navigate the digital world. In the end, these initiatives accomplish nothing in terms of creating and nurturing a brand community—they do not increase brand knowledge or loyalty.

No brand should take digital marketing for granted after the pandemic, especially now that they understand its lengthy process. While you are at it, it will help you maintain the relationships you have established with your current consumers. Getting clients during a pandemic is more expensive than getting them before it happens. So devote the majority of your efforts to providing the best possible service to your current customers.

Reconsider your content strategies.

As states began issuing stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of COVID-19, many brands took advantage of the opportunity to rethink their content marketing strategy. They began to consider the importance of quality above quantity and how to get more done with less. Some just tweaked their content strategies and methods. Others took a more comprehensive approach, reconsidering their end-to-end strategy and collaborating with authorities to identify a new path forward.

The Benefits of Loss

The loss that many of us felt in 2020 was almost unbearable. It was not any different in our line of work. Client funds tightened—or vanished entirely—while mass layoffs or hiring freezes halted business projects that had been in the works for months or even years, as we saw at other marketing companies.

Due to COVID, we lost two significant accounts almost overnight, one after 11 years and global recognition. It is difficult to mourn a large-scale professional loss when you do not have time to do so; it is even more difficult when distant teams are already trying to make sense of a quickly changing world.

It is not necessary to be on every digital channel.

Businesses are looking for results now more than ever. It would be difficult to justify a channel presence and the associated expense if the results were not what the C-suite expected.

When a pandemic strikes, brands' first response is usually pay-per-click advertising or social media marketing. Some businesses prioritise organic social media, while others prioritise bought social media. When the epidemic hit, any other digital marketing methods and approaches became "soft" marketing. Digital media advertising agencies had an interesting time working through this period.

somebody ready a book in the park titled 'digital marketing'
You don't need to be on every digital channel

Produce with Meaning

Throughout a tumultuous year, the importance of connection was repeatedly emphasised. It's important to tell stories. Vulnerability is important. Authenticity is important. It's critical to meet clients where they are psychologically and emotionally.

Consumer attitudes are front and centre in the strongest content marketing, and without that layer of humanity in 2020, our content would have gone flat—or worse, been deceptive. This shared experience will eternally transform us, which I see as a silver lining.

Limits promote creativity.

Telling a creative team what they cannot do is a good way to get outstanding ideas. Isn't that what most of last year seemed like—a never-ending series of cant's, don'ts, and "must avoid that"?

Inventive workarounds were developed in content development and programming for (almost) every limitation imposed by the virus. Can't fit a full team inside a photo studio safely? Move the session outside and communicated with art direction and approvals over FaceTime. You do not have the resources to provide samples in your store. Hello, virtual happy hours with specialists who can now be present in all markets simultaneously.

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