What We’re Seeing in Marketing | Social Joey

A few weeks ago, we took a deep dive into the state of franchise marketing. But what about marketing more generally? Where do things stand there?

Each day at Social Joey, we talk with dozens of clients about their work—and how to best market their services and products. That means we keep a pretty constant eye on how things are going.

There’s great news on that front! While there’s truly no such thing as “normal,” increased vaccinations and decreased cases of COVID-19 mean we’re returning to a level of equilibrium. And that’s a place we can build from!

What’s Happening in Marketing These Days

When you first got your business or franchise up and running, you established some basics in your marketing strategy. As we move toward a more normal existence again, many businesses are going back to the basics.

“A lot of what I am hearing, discussing and planning with many brands is how to ‘relaunch’ their brands back into the market now that things are opening back up,” says Mike McDowell, Director of Operations at Social Joey. “Many brands made significant business model changes in the last 15 months, which included a lot of trimming down of their services and offerings. A lot of brands are working through how they start those other things back up and what it looks like to re-educate their consumers about those things.”

If that describes what your brand is going through right now, how can you navigate the path forward? Be thoughtful about what you’re offering to your customers and why.

“I think the biggest advice I have given people is to really evaluate what you are bringing back and why,” McDowell says. “Don’t just relaunch something because you did it before. Learn from what happened during the pandemic and make strategic decisions based on what kept you profitable. Focus your marketing efforts on pumping up those services.”

Thoughtfully considering what’s actually worth pursuing also allows you to hit the reset button on your marketing strategy, if needed.

“This is a great opportunity to really focus your marketing dollars on the places that you do the most business and have the highest margins, so build a plan that caters to those things when you make your post-pandemic push,” McDowell adds.

How Marketing Messages Are Changing

Let’s be real: Even marketers got tired of seeing the same messages over and over again during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a while there, it seemed like every single business and brand was sharing the same content or at least talking about the same themes.

Thankfully, we’re probably at the point where fast-food restaurants will no longer be telling us “we are in this together.” That means a return to more meaningful and brand-specific marketing content.

“The general trend is to start thinking in terms of people being back in the workplace and back in the marketplace,” McDowell says. “You are starting to see brands partner with sports teams again and big pushes around getting people back out into the world. While we still have a long way to go, from a marketing perspective, things are beginning to normalize a bit.”

What We’re Seeing in Social Media

The saying that “the only thing constant is change” is absolutely true when it comes to social media. Whether you have your hands in social media marketing daily or only see it from the outside, odds are you have a hard time keeping up as things evolve.

The biggest recent change impacting social media marketing is the new iOS update.

“Customers wonder how the iOS update is going to affect their Facebook ad delivery, optimization, and measurement,” McDowell says. “There are some steps you need to take. If you are actively measuring form fills, purchase events, or some other type of conversion event on your website, you need to make sure that you have verified your domain with Facebook and that you have installed the conversion API. Facebook has added a tab in ads manager called ‘Resource Center’ that will walk people through exactly what they need to do to make sure they can still track and measure their ads.”

Beyond that step, there are one other thing businesses can do to optimize their Facebook ads.

“The other thing to do is to adjust the reporting on your old campaigns to match the parameters of your new ones and compare current performance with past performance,” McDowell says. “That will help you get a feel for how things are optimizing and delivering even when Facebook can’t show you all the data they used to.”

Finding Your Way Forward

While we’re finally on the flip side of the chaos we’ve been experiencing for the last year and a half, there’s still a good bit of uncertainty. There are things businesses can do to position themselves for success as we move forward.

Start here:

  • Don’t forget what you learned from the pandemic. Supply chains are fragile, consumers can survive not physically coming to your store, and people love convenience and technology. Ultimately, the more convenience you can offer and the easier it is for people to do business with you on a streamlined product/service, the better off you are.

  • Continue to give back. Some of the best marketing from the pandemic came from restaurants feeding people who were laid off or frontline workers for free. Find ways to help meet needs in your community through your product or service and give a little back. These businesses saw massive returns from simply being good citizens of their community—and that is something we would all do well to remember.

  • Keep your focus hyperlocal. When it comes to social, local is everything. Remember to engage your community. Congratulate local sports teams. Participate in your local schools. And post every bit of it on your Facebook and Instagram. That is the content that always performs best and no one knows it better than you, the local business owner who is there every day.

Need an extra hand with your social media marketing strategy as we navigate the post-pandemic world? Get in touch today to learn how we can help!