How can businesses stay relevant in a time when everybody has something to sell online?

It’s impossible to ignore the boom social media has gone through in the last decade. Online platforms have become an essential part of everyone’s daily routines, providing users with instant access to information, opportunities to share ideas through unique mediums, different ways to get products and services, and, most importantly, the best ways to stay connected with one another.

Brands have adapted and taken advantage of these new trends, using social media as an opportunity for them to reach targeted audiences in a faster and more valuable way. Businesses can now connect with their existing and potential customers right in their primetime, and they’re gradually adapting to trends and creating strategies to better understand consumer behavior and boost user engagement.

What nobody expected was that, due to a global lockdown, the world would now have to depend on online routines in order to keep functioning. With people stuck at home and adapting to a social distancing lifestyle, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced virtually everyone to revisit their ways of living and get their everyday activities to fit into a reality driven by digital resources.

Everyone is buzzing on social media about daily news, personal life changes, new hobbies, and habits they’ve discovered and shared their worries, successes, and new-found interests with the digital world; people have no choice but to stay connected in midst of this global phenomenon.

But let’s not forget about brands. 

Just like everyone else, businesses are adapting their operations to fit the new online-driven market caused by the pandemic. Now, more than ever, consumer behavior is defined by spiking trends, volatile interests, and needs that have shifted the way businesses market their products and services online. So, with every business doing their best to stay relevant, social media and online content platforms are being bombarded with brands trying to boost ads and make use of digital marketing tools more than ever before.

Back in March, Facebook reported an unexpected increase in the consumption of news articles as people constantly looked for updates and insights. This makes absolute sense, since users are ramping up the use of social media because they want to be informed, heard and entertained.

Brands, on the other hand, took this usage lift as an opportunity to market more broadly to their audiences due to two reasons: 

  1. People would surely engage with their ads more. 
  2. It’s the only way they can currently survive as a business.

An immense influx of online courses, product placement, and special COVID-19 discounts have taken over every platform due to this new business need. But, how can businesses stay relevant in a time when everybody has something to sell online?

Social Media Oversaturation

Brands are everywhere. Over a decade ago, the famous Yankelovich study estimated that the average person saw around 5,000 ads a day. This year, with a lack of official figures, it is estimated that the average person is now encountering between 6,000 to 10,000 ads daily. Even if the numbers might take us back, the way social media marketing has evolved let these estimates make sense.

Every Google search comes with a handful of ads on top of the results, Instagram ads make an appearance after every two to three posts or stories, YouTube videos can range from having a single ad to even 10+ ads (though that would be considered overkill, depending on the video duration)… It’s clear that users are being bombarded with ads and promoted posts every time they log onto their devices, no matter if they’re searching the web or browsing their emails.

Now, considering the alleged amount of ads we all see per day and the current state of the world, it would be safe to assume that people are getting overwhelmed. Whether consumers are tired of seeing the same irrelevant ad everyday or they’re just simply sick of getting their browsing interrupted by a consistent sequence of promoted posts, it’s important to keep in mind that your business ads can become just another one of the bunch.

Preventing User Indifference

Even if the numbers might shock us, the estimates are probably not that far off. The problem we should focus on, however, is that people aren’t even realizing that they’re encountering and engaging with that amount of ads on the daily. So, what does this mean for online marketing?

Pandemic-influenced consumer behavior is changing the strategies online marketers use. The reality of it all is that users are becoming increasingly indifferent to digital marketing, making it harder for brands to obtain valuable connections with their intended audience. So, in order to avoid being ignored by users, marketers should build their strategies focusing on the following criteria:

  • Reevaluate your value proposition: Change might seem scary, but the only way to keep your business going is to adapt to the evolving environment. Make sure your business’ value proposition is relevant to current consumer needs. If not, pivot it in such a way that it can fill a gap you can identify in the market.
  • Analyze evolving consumer behavior: Trends have always been brands’ best friend. Even though past insights aren’t as meaningful right now, current spikes in consumer behavior will tell you everything you need to know so you can quickly and efficiently ride those waves, or predict short-term hurricanes.
  • Focus, not broaden, your reach: Target your audiences intelligently. These are challenging times for businesses and understandably most of them are trying to get as many people to click to their sites as possible, but it’s always best to obtain high-quality leads rather than an overwhelming (and costly!) amount of meaningless interactions that won’t make users convert. Quality over quantity!
  • Keep relevancy as a priority: Cater towards your target audience’s specific needs. The more relevant you are to a user’s unique experience, the more likely they are to engage with your content. You know your customers best, so take your time to fully analyze their current behaviors and create opportunities for them to convert.

We are all living in confusing times, but rather than panicking we should act smart. Challenging times call for intelligent tactics, and what’s a better way to boost your online marketing strategies than to get the experts to guide you through the journey? Mrkt360 offers the best solutions to stay relevant in times of crisis. We offer the best catered services, with the right tools and right people, so you’re guaranteed to meet your new, renovated business goals. 

Get in contact with us to ensure business safety and success today!


Regina is currently a Communications and Digital Media student at the Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey. From online design and communication strategies to film production, she’s passionate about producing creative content and learning new digital media skills.