Content marketing is viewed by UK SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) as a vital tool for communicating with customers about new products and service changes amid the global pandemic, according to a new study by the Advertising Association.
COVID-19 has disrupted day-to-day life and made it increasingly difficult for SMEs to maintain the scale of operations they were managing prior to the outbreak.
Many challenges still persist in the short term, not least the threat of a major decline in revenue and the potential impact it could have on operations.
Almost two-thirds of SMEs are concerned about the future and where their businesses could be in 12 months if the pandemic continues.
However, the ‘Ad Pays 7’ report found that by and large, smaller companies have been able to adapt for now and that marketing and advertising have been at the forefront of their contingency plans.
Rather than marketing taking a back seat, seven in ten respondents said that it has actually taken greater precedence during the crisis.
This is because it is the best tool for getting in touch with consumers and updating them about the measures they have put in place and the services they are still offering.
The need to communicate has also prompted 58% to consider embracing new marketing strategies.
Diversifying marketing and ad campaigns could allow companies to reach more people across different platforms at a time when consumers want up-to-date, relevant content.
More than half of the 800 businesses surveyed admitted that the digital ad industry is likely to be negatively affected by the pandemic in the short term.
There is positivity about the long-term picture though and a sense of resolve as 64% say that they are confident that their business will be able to bounce later in the year pending the developments of COVID-19.