THE POWER OF DIGITAL MARKETING
November 9, 2022
E-Commerce, Email Marketing, Expert Advice, Google Ads, Social Media, Website Builds
We recently sat down with a student to answer some questions for her thesis study, themed around ‘The Impact of Covid-19 on Small Businesses’. It was a cathartic experience for Micayla and I, and a good opportunity to reflect on the hardships, the growth and the learnings we gained through this season.
As we unpacked her questions and really got into the detail of it all, the recurring theme of digital communication and the power of digital was so apparent. We took ourselves back to the very beginning of hard lockdown in March 2020, and amongst the chaos of everything that was going on at the time, there was clarity in our digital communication, strategy and service offerings.
While many businesses all over the world were severely impacted by the shift from office-based operations to virtual office set ups, this was no new concept to our team and gave us the capacity to stand in for our clients wherever we could.
Growth in Social Media
We work with several shopping malls around South Africa, and in the height of hard lockdown, these were some of the very few businesses still allowed to operate as essential services. As such, the shopping malls, and their respective social media profiles, became foundational pillars of communication for our local communities.
Rules and conditions legislated by government were changing and shifting at a rapid rate during this time, which created a lot of confusion and mass-hysteria.
As custodians of the shopping mall’s social profiles, it was our responsibility to provide calm, clear and up-to-date information on rules and regulations, as it was released – sometimes this meant updating and changing posts several times a day.
We got the opportunity to witness first-hand how very powerful these social communities really were. Within minutes of posting updates on the social pages, we would see the same information shared rapidly across personal profiles and community Whatsapp groups, as a form of real-time communication.
From March 2020, we saw a massive increase in the reach of our shopping mall profiles on social media, growing by more than 400%. It was incredible to see that up to 75% of this total reach was generated organically, as a result of personal profile shares.
Growth in Websites & E-Commerce
As the initial restrictions of hard lockdown slowly eased, there were still many businesses and sectors that were not permitted to operate physically. From May 2020, we saw a massive rise in queries for website builds and online shopping solutions. Business owners began to recognize the necessity of virtual operations, and the importance of building a digital space to house their products and services online.
For the remainder of 2020, we built 12 new websites, and 5 e-commerce platforms for new clients.
Of the 5 e-commerce stores built, 3 of these brands have opted to keep their operations completely virtual to date. This has meant closing their traditional brick and mortar storefronts, and converting their businesses to home-based solutions with reduced overheads.
After launching an e-commerce site for a professional beauty brand in 2020, we have seen this site grow exponentially each year. While they have maintained their physical store operations, it has been exciting to watch the growth of their online revenue, and we are pleased to see that in November 2022, with the help of Black Friday promotions, we broke their sales record, and superseded all in-store sales records too.
Growth in Google Ads & Email Marketing
As we saw social media and websites gain favour and preference in a time of such limited physical interaction, we watched as the requests for digital forms of marketing became more and more demanded too. It is no secret that digital is a really cost-effective and results-driven form of marketing. With major cuts to marketing budget across big and small businesses, many new and existing customers made the shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing during this time too.
Clients who were not previously familiar with digital solutions, were pleasantly surprised by the affordability of digital campaigns, and the access to readily-available data and accurate metrics to quantify their return on investment. Many of these businesses are still clients of ours today, and it has been great to see their brands grow online.
PREPARING FOR A DIGITAL FUTURE
If the last 3 years have proven anything to us, it is the surety and certainty that digital solutions will always have a place. I have no doubt that social media, websites and online tools will look entirely different in a few year’s time, and some existing channels may even fall away completely. However, we know that the very existence of digital communication is a space that will continue to evolve and offer essential tools for local and international connection, and we can’t wait to grow alongside it!
What We Do
We’re here to provide cost-effective, results-driven digital marketing solutions.
We meet your business goals for where you’re at right now, and help you grow to where you want to be.