COVID-19 has wreaked havoc for UK media in multiple forms, from outdoor advertising to entertainment. While it’s not necessarily been bad for all – take, for example, over-the-top (OTT) video services, whose profits surged by 18.6% cumulatively – the pandemic has impacted growth strategies for all media, whether through a change of pace, course or essentially obliterating existing plans. With this in mind, long-term growth strategies must be invested in ensuring a swift recovery from COVID-19 and navigating any media consumption changes.
Consider accessibility and convenience
As COVID-19 has made some media areas largely inaccessible in their traditional form, adapting to a convenient and accessible solution has been vital. Think of the film industry, whose box office releases, rather than being delayed until the public can safely visit the cinema again, are commonly being released as paid-for home viewings. By following this approach and incorporating it into your growth strategy, you can ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality, irrespective of lockdowns and helping profit resume.
If consumers can trust your brand, then it’s more likely that they’ll continue to engage with it over time. You can measure trust through engagement – if you have a high bounce rate, why is this? Is your paywall obstructing visitors from viewing essential information, such as updates on the pandemic?
Consider the image your media business projects: if you look as though you’re trying to make money from this era, you can’t be confident you’ll be popular when life is back to “normal”.
An additional point to trust concerning monetising the pandemic lies in your pricing. It’s important that, as part of your long-term growth strategy, you prepare for flux in demand for various services, rather than relying on pre-COVID-19 pricing or assertions of how the market might look in six months; one year; two years. Have a pricing structure for every service that helps retain your resilience and focuses on engaging a broader consumer base, rather than maximising profits through premium products or services.
Know your numbers
An accurate assessment of available data – from click-throughs to view lengths and all levels of consumer engagement – mean you’ll be all the more prepared. Managing your data effectively is like predicting the weather: you might not know precisely when it’s going to rain, but at least you can bring an umbrella. It’s the same with media: without some level of statistical insight and management, it’s not yet worth considering your business’s growth strategy. Focus, too, on the data silos across your business, and think about how you can bring them together.
Focus on digital propositions
Digital entertainment and media have surfed the pandemic waves, which is why it’s such an important market to tap into now. Is there a way you can invest in digital socialising or with gaming via alternative realities?
Hobbies, too, are an important market to consider here, as people have much more time on their hands to step away from work while the need to stay indoors remains. Consider your business model: how can you capitalise on this digital focus to create valuable content?
This is especially pertinent for advertisers, who have already seen a gradual shift towards digital over Out of Home. How can your agency harness available platforms to create personalised advertising content, while navigating subscription content or ad blockers?
Engage in growth
Whatever growth avenue you choose to incorporate in your long-term strategy, the world will eventually recover from COVID-19. The better prepared you are, the quicker the media industry collectively will be able to recover.