With the government lifting the limits of lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, a few of the businesses have resumed activities. Retail stores in safe zones have reopened partially due to the government sanctioning the sale of non-essential products as well. This has presented an opportunity for the brands to showcase and market their products/services to the customers.
TV Advertising Resuming after Lifting of Lockdown Limit
Multiple entities such as: e-commerce brands, health and wellness brands, digital payment gateways, delivery aggregators; as well as video-streaming services are returning to the mode of TV advertising. A few of the brands have resumed advertising for their existing products but with new ad campaigns, while a few other brands have launched altogether new products.
The brands which have become relevant and gained popularity amid the COVID-19 crisis are still prevalent on TV. Edu-tech companies, food and beverage brands, gaming platforms, along with mobile handset manufacturers have become prominent users of TV advertising now; while the existing categories such as: fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), two-wheelers, automobiles, real estate, as well as educational institutions are yet to make a comeback into the world of TV advertising. Market researchers are predicting this comeback in a few more months.
General entertainment channels are facing a dearth of original content, while news channels are raking in advertising revenue since people are curious and interested in learning about the latest updates on the crisis.
Google Image search results now have ‘fact check’ labels in the thumbnails. This is to help users verify the authenticity of the images they view or search for. It also helps them in making conscious decisions regarding the content that they consume.
‘Fact Check’ label added to Google Image Search Results
Google will add ‘fact check’ labels in the thumbnails of its images to either confirm or dispute what these images are conveying. Users can then tap these fact-checked results for viewing a larger preview of the images; which will be followed by brief synopsis of the information provided in the web pages where the images are featured. The ‘fact check’ labels will appear underneath only those images which are taken from trusted, authoritative and independent sources from the web.
Google relies on an algorithm to decide which publishers are trusted sources. Publishers need to use the ClaimReview structured data markup for specifying the fact check content to search engines. Google then uses this data markup as reference while adding the fact check labels. The labels can be added to the fact check articles containing images in them as well as to the fact check articles which are about specific images.
These ‘fact check’ labels are also used in Google regular search results as well as in Google News.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive economic impact on businesses of all sizes across the world. Service-based industries such as travel and tourism, hotels, restaurants, cafeterias are the worst hit since they depend on activities like socializing and travelling (which have been put on hold because of the ongoing crisis).
Using Google Reviews to Bolster Business amid COVID-19
However, it is imperative for businesses to keep in touch with their customers by updating them about the latest changes and maintaining communication. Businesses need to be forthcoming about the measures which they are taking to keep the employees as well as the customers safe. Using Google Reviews is one such method of maintaining communication. People are currently looking for information such as the modified hours of operation of a business along with updated delivery and pickup options.this is the reason why it is highly essential for businesses to monitor their Google reviews and optimize their services accordingly.
In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, several customers are turning to Google to gather information and express their opinion about the changes wrought by this pandemic. Most people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It is an excellent practice for businesses to respond to Google reviews in a well-timed and fitting manner. This also helps in their local search ranking. Businesses can set automated welcome messages in case they are not able to respond to the reviews immediately.
Businesses and brands are constantly striving to generate leads. This process has gained more momentum in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Video calls along with live discussions are gaining traction in the current circumstances in which marketers and consumers alike are seeking advice online.
Lead Generation Strategy amid COVID-19
Concentrating on consumer experience (by providing accurate information, inspiring confidence in customers and rewarding the engaging prospects with incentives), building and maintaining trust (proving that the customers are still relevant, by delivering quality and consistency), as well as shifting the budget to focus on digital strategies (allocating the marketing budget to the digital strategies since a majority of the customers and prospects are currently working from home and are in front of their screens most of the time).
Listed below are a few ways to create a solid lead generation strategy amid these trying times:
- Optimizing the website: Conducting an audit of the website for assessing where most of the online traffic and outreach come from help in gaining leads. It is a good practice to add lead generation forms on to the high-traffic pages.
- Leveraging the marketing automation platform: Lead scoring for nurturing existing customers along with re-engaging the inactive customers are surefire ways of boosting the lead generation.
- Revising and improving the content marketing: Conducting a content audit helps in devising new ways for content marketing. Adding informative and compelling content is useful for the customers.
- Generating digital content: Lead generation efforts can be enhanced by adding digital content in the form of video, podcasts, webinars, virtual events, as well as chatbots.
Presently, the education and training industry in India is facing various challenges in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis; some of which include delivery, marketing and upskilling. It is very imperative to try to meet these challenges head-on and take measures in order to mitigate them.
Education Industry Challenges and Measures amid COVID-19
Shifting the focus from offline to online delivery mechanism is a daunting task. It involves taking appropriate measures to ensure a seamless transition from the previous methods to the current ones. Students and teachers alike need to attune themselves with the changing scenario. There has been a significant rise in e-learning in recent times; with the teaching and learning taking place on digital platforms and remotely. Studies have verified that online learning can boost the retention of information in a less time-consuming manner. Several online learning platforms are now offering free access to their services, thereby gaining more users.
Students need to be convinced that online learning modules are just as effective, if not more, as offline modules. Also, people working from home are looking for upskilling options. Exchange of ideas and live discussions are taking place within the professional communities on the online learning platforms. With the well-structured programs and far-reaching initiatives offered by the online learning community, this trend of learning and upskilling online is expected to continue long after the crisis has passed.
India is primarily an agriculture-based economy. Agriculture provides a livelihood for the majority of the population in India. The agro-based industries related to dairy farming, animal husbandry, and forestry are experiencing a consistent growth rate. Digital marketing has significantly helped in this endeavour.
Agriculture Sector in India- An Overview
The agriculture industry in India has tremendous potential for growth and value addition, mostly in terms of food processing. The Indian food and grocery market is the sixth largest in the world. India is the largest producer of pulses, spices, milk, tea, jute and cashew; the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables, cotton, sugarcane, and oilseeds. Dupont India, Rallis India Limited, Advanta Limited, Nuziveedu Seeds Limited, Monsanto India, Lemken India Agro Equipments Private Limited, Poabs Organic Estates, National Agro Industry, Britannia Industries Limited, Rasi Seeds and Godrej Agrovet Limited are a few of the leading agricultural companies in India. The demand for agricultural products is driven by the growing population as well as rising urban and rural incomes; while the increase in agricultural exports from India is driven by the external demand. The availability of huge acres of agricultural land along with diverse climatic conditions enable the cultivation of various types of crops.
Government initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Long Term Irrigation Fund and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana are contributing to the steady growth of agriculture industry in India.
Healthcare has become one of the largest sectors in India over the years; both in terms of employment and revenue. All the hospitals, clinics, clinical trials, medical devices, telemedicine, health insurance, medical equipment, outsourcing along with the medical tourism make up the healthcare sector.
Overview of the Healthcare Industry in India
One of the challenges faced by the healthcare sector is that the services provided by private healthcare professionals are generally inaccessible by the rural section of the population. Lack of awareness is another challenge. There is a disparity in terms of accessibility to services and medicines between the urban sector and the rural sector. There is also the matter of affordability by the rural population for the healthcare services provided. Overcoming these challenges is an uphill task. Measures are constantly being taken to alleviate some of these problems. The public healthcare system focuses on providing basic healthcare services through the use of primary healthcare centres (PHCs) that are set up in rural areas; whereas the private healthcare system focuses on the metros, tier I and tier II cities with the use of secondary, tertiary and quaternary care institutions (clinics and hospitals).
Institutions such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, Fortis Healthcare Limited, Thyrocare Technologies Limited and such others provide the services including telemedicine, clinical trials, diagnostic services, healthcare delivery, medicare, pharmaceuticals and so on.
Online shopping is becoming more and more popular day by day. It has changed the outlook of shopping all over. Mr K. Vaitheeswaran established the first eCommerce company in India in the year 1999: Fabmart. Presently, leading eCommerce stores such as Amazon India, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm Mall, Infibeam Corporation Limited and such others are gaining customers gradually.
Ecommerce Industry in India- An Overview
The rising smartphone and internet penetration have contributed to the steady growth of the ecommerce sector in India. A young demographic and the increase in consumer wealth are also some of the contributing factors. Smartphone shipments have increased tremendously. This has in turn given rise to more internet subscriptions. Certain government initiatives like StartUp India, Digital Udaan and Digital India along with regulatory frameworks such as 100% FDI (foreign direct investment) in B2B (business-to-business) ecommerce are also giving rise to more ecommerce stores. However, this industry also faces challenges such as payment and tax related issues, returns and cancellations of products as well as computer virus problems. These issues are addressed and most likely resolved with the use of digital marketing. It is predicted that by the year 2034, India is going to surpass the United States to become the second largest ecommerce market in the world.
In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, eCommerce is being used more than ever. The trend may continue long after the crisis has passed.
The FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry in India is growing at a steady pace. It is the fourth largest industry in the Indian economy so far. The industry is segregated into the food and beverages (19%), healthcare (31%) along with household and personal care (50%) sectors.
Overview of Fast Moving Consumer Goods Industry in India
Factors such as rising awareness, evolving lifestyle and easier access have contributed to the growth of the FMCG industry. This market has become more widespread in rural India over the last few years owing to the rise in rural consumption of fast moving consumer goods. Certain government initiatives such as the allowance of 100% FDI (foreign direct investment) in food processing and single-brand retail as well as 51% FDI in multi-brand retail can account for high visibility of FMCG brands in well-organized retail markets. This will result in increasing supply chains, more employment opportunities; along with encouraging more product launches and in boosting consumer spending.
Indian companies such as Emami Limited (healthcare and personal care products), ITC ((Indian Tobacco Company) food and beverages and healthcare products), Dabur India Limited (food and beverages, healthcare and personal care products) and such meet the rising demand of fast moving consumer goods and contribute to the overall growth of the FMCG industry in India.
Direct response advertising is no longer feasible in the present times. Marketers need to take the time to understand the customers and take measures to meet their requirements. They need to keep the customers first and foremost online.
Listed below is a multi-step social media strategy that marketers can use for engaging with the audience and obtaining positive results on a modest budget:
Obtaining Positive Social Media Results on Modest Budget
- Mapping and planning where they want the customers to go
- Creating content pieces
- Building a custom audience
- Motivating this audience to turn into customers by making a purchase
Marketers need to map and plan where they want the ideal customer to go. Then they should personalize this aspect in their social media advertising process so that the customer can have a smooth buying process. The marketers can then study the actions and buying patterns of their customers in order to serve them better.
Marketers need to create compelling and worthwhile content on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram for their ideal customers. This content should be in keeping with the ongoing situation during the present time. The content should pique the interest of the audience and make them curious and eager to know about the brand being advertised.
Marketers need to build a custom audience made up of the people who had previously engaged with their first post (content piece) or their first video on social media. This is the stage from which the marketers should propel their customers forward in the buyers’ journey or to the next conversion point.
Marketers should then motivate the people belonging to their custom audience to take the next step of making a purchase. They need to create specific content corresponding to every step in the buyer journey and study the pattern followed by their target audience. This makes it easier for marketers to understand when the audience will turn into customers and make a purchase with them.