3 Ways COVID-19 Will Affect Digital Marketing Agencies

If your company partners with a digital marketing agency, then you may be wondering how COVID-19 will impact their business model, as well as your ability to work with them effectively. Let’s take a look at three ways that the global pandemic is likely to affect agencies.

Strategy

Every move a digital marketing agency makes is informed by their strategy.

How will it change?

The far-reaching effects of COVID-19 have impacted supply and demand online in nearly every industry. Agencies will be re-examining their strategy based on the following questions:

  • How have customers’ needs changed?
  • How have customers’ budgets changed?
  • Are we still providing the same value to our customers?

In turn, agencies need to ensure that their offerings still meet customer needs. This will be a major priority through the remainder of 2020.

How to respond:

Start by taking a close look at your customer profile, identifying their new pain points, and modifying your strategy accordingly. For example, as people stay home more, there has been a drop in “near me” searches and an increase in “delivery” searches. We have seen YouTube traffic rise by 15%, while ad revenue has declined.

Action steps:

  • Create a page on your company website sharing your COVID-19 response. It should be accessible from every website page, and should address all relevant changes to the business and what steps you are taking to continue serving your customers.  
  • Update your content marketing, email campaigns, and any other advertising mediums with your new messaging.
  • Create a campaign that clearly shows how you are helping your customers during this time. Track the results so you can run a follow-up campaign later on showing how successful you were in this endeavor.

Operations

It is clear that all organizations, including digital marketing agencies, will be forced to adjust the way they operate during these times.

How will it change?

People are going to continue working from home, even when it is no longer mandatory. Office rents are high, and agency net profitability is relatively low by comparison. In fact, rent is traditionally one of the largest overhead costs for agencies. But if customers stop wanting to meet in the office and staff continue wanting to work from home, agencies can use those savings to invest back into their business.

However, not having an office has drawbacks as well. Without common spaces, company culture, and team collaboration can suffer. Agency owners may face management challenges, and will need processes for accountability, time-tracking, and daily check-ins.

How to respond:

Ultimately, the decision is up to the agency’s owner, and time will tell how office norms change. But for now, video calls can be your team’s saving grace. Schedule calls for non-work related itemsreasons, like happy hours,  team building exercises, andweekly department check-ins.

Client Communication

The way that digital marketing agencies communicate with their clients will change, especially if they are accustomed to in-person meetings.

How will it change?

Traditionally, some clients prefer in-person meetings – especially for lunch, coffee, or happy hour. Unfortunately, that is out of the question for at least a while longer, so agencies will have to do their best to recreate those meetings through video calls.

How to respond:

Dress up a bit for video calls, and make sure your lighting and background are presentable. Consider creating a custom video background for your company’s employees. Fostering a professional environment goes a long way with clients, and video calls are no exception.

Conclusion

The impact of COVID-19 is wide and far-reaching. As we push through this crisis together, we will have to adapt in order to stay competitive. Digital marketing agencies should be focused on their customers’ needs, employee needs, and communication strategies. For businesses that continue to partner with agencies, know that we are grateful – and that your needs are our highest priority.

If you have any questions about how to keep your company’s marketing efforts fresh during this pandemic, reach out to Geraci Media here.