Marketing during Covid: How we adapted & delivered successful campaigns
A key part of successful marketing is changing with the times. You cannot stand still and watch as people’s buying habits and interests change, you’ve got to adapt in order to remain relevant and succeed.
2020 presented the whole world with unprecedented circumstances, from business, lifestyle and economic points of view. We were (and still are) faced with a new way of living almost overnight and all over the world businesses needed to think quickly to make sure they came out the other side.
One of the biggest shifts and notable changes was the huge increase in online sales and activity. Whilst buying online isn’t anything new, houses up and down the country were not holding back. There’s no doubt that we were spending… and one of the biggest things we were spending on was our home! From DIY jobs that had been put to the bottom of our to-do list for years to re-decorating, the interiors market was thriving during lockdown, in fact, B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher reported a 225% growth in online sales in June.
As specialists within the interiors market, it was really important for us to take a look at our clients, their routes to market and their campaigns and make sure we adapted our strategies to ensure we were staying on top of the ever-changing situation. From shifting PR focuses from print to digital, to increasing social media advertising budgets for online retailers, we were able to successfully adapt our marketing campaigns to continue to deliver positive and in some cases, improved results.
Changing a launch campaign: the story of Burlington Bespoke
Coming into 2020, we were excited to be working on one of Burlington’s biggest launches – the Burlington Bespoke collection. We had it all planned: a pop-up shop with the new products on display, intimate press briefings and meetings and a launch event. As soon as we were presented with the idea that we might all be in a lockdown by the time the collection was ready to launch, we had to have a rethink, quickly!
So what did we do? Well firstly we didn’t panic, and neither did the client! Having discussed it between us and with the client giving us the positive push to think of creative solutions, the decision was made to focus all the attention online and do a completely digital launch for the new collection.
From a captivating promo video to be used across newsletters, social media and the website, to a tailored influencer collaboration campaign, the collection was successfully launched and generated a fantastic reception with consumers, their retail customers and the media.
Featured in the likes of The Sunday Times Home and Elle Decoration and working with the likes of influencers like Sophie Robinson, it’s one of the most successful launches we’ve worked on.
Here are just a few highlights from the social media campaign:
-> Burlington’s Instagram followers grew by 35% in 8 weeks
-> Over 3.6 million impressions from Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest campaigns
-> Over 22k link clicks to the website attributed to the social media advertising campaign
To this date, it’s one of the most successful launches we’ve worked on. It just shows that as long as your clients are objective and positive, and you are creative as an agency, you can respond to the way people are working, living and thinking and deliver a successful marketing campaign.
PR: Shifting to online and a more consumer-led focus
With everyone working from home, there was a natural concern that press features may dry up or that journalists would stop working all together. And whilst some publications paused for a period of time, we made sure that we kept our clients’ brand awareness up. Where we could, we increased our focuses with influencers and increased our activity with online platforms.
National newspapers such as The Sunday Times certainly didn’t stop, in fact, they increased their digital content across their dedicated Instagram page and we made sure we secured media coverage for our clients wherever relevant.
Press release and blog topics were changed, focusing on home office design ideas (how many times do you think people searched for that during lockdown?!), working from home ideas and general home decorating content. Keeping the PR campaigns going just shows that if you make sure what you are putting out to press is relevant, that it will get picked up.
As a multi-service agency, we have the added benefit of being able to switch our client’s activity and budget dependent on the objectives and the situation. A client who wanted to make the most of the shift to increased Pinterest searches during the Covid-19 era swapped their monthly PR campaign for a dedicated Pinterest Growth campaign, which delivered fantastic results in the first month: an increase of monthly unique viewers by over 50% and monthly engaged viewers rising from 13k to 23.6k.
Online retailers & selling through social media
If there was ever a time to invest more money into digital marketing, it was during lockdown. With no holidays to spend money on and more time sitting around on our phones and laptops, online purchases skyrocketed and we needed to make sure that our clients were getting in on the action.
From changing tone of voice to monitoring retargeting adverts to make sure they’re optimised for best performance, not one of our social media clients saw a decline in activity or numbers throughout lockdown. In fact, children’s furniture online retailer Noa & Nani saw their monthly clicks to website double when comparing Q1 to Q2, whilst other clients reported 50% increases in online traffic and sales year-on-year.
It’s clear that these changes we’ve had to endure throughout the majority of 2020 aren’t going anywhere fast, and as a result, we need to make sure our marketing strategies for all our clients reflect the situation we are faced with.
We cannot sit still and we should be prepared to make changes quickly and adjust our approaches.
It has been reported that 27% of UK consumers are planning to start Christmas shopping and preparations early this year (revealed by Ebay’s Christmas Spend Trends – the path to profit during a pandemic report), we need to look into new buying habits and adapt our campaigns based on what we find. It’s important that we go into the winter and the next stage of 2020 with a continued attitude of needing to modify the way we’re doing things to ensure we achieve the best results possible for our clients.January 8, 2021 3:47 pm