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Digital Media in the Times of a Pandemic




Introduction


Digital Marketing seemed to be an ever-growing field. However, what we were unaware about was that there would come a pandemic when we would resort to digital media to distract ourselves. In these unprecedented outbreaks, the public craves timely and trusted news. In addition to this, they also wanted some entertainment sources. Thank God for Digital Media as it helped in maintaining our sanity and gave us so much of what we wanted!


Benefits


These days we also see an instant rise in the influencers career. Brands are heavily relying upon and moving towards this technique of advertising. The content that these influencers who have thousands and lakhs of followers on social media sites make is entertaining, fun and informative as well. Therefore, this makes these high-end and top-notch brands to trust these social media savvy people to promote their product or service effectively. The concept, promotion, creativity, shooting and more is majorly done by influencers themselves with some assistance in approval and promotions by the brands. When there was a complete lockdown across the country, social media users had increased their activity time on these sites. Thereby, boosting career opportunities for these influencers by giving thousands of views on their posts.


Moving forward to movies and shows, earlier with movies, we only thought of cinema halls and theatres. However, before the pandemic hit the globe hard, we were watching a gradual rise in the OTT platforms and their success. When the coronavirus became a full-blown pandemic, and we all had to resort to social distancing methods, these OTT platforms came to our rescue. This also enhanced many big-budget movies releasing not in theatres but on digital platforms. The streaming platforms are soon gonna become giants in this sector. Yes, it is accurate to think that digital media has helped the human race in an unimaginable way. Even these OTT sites also promote their platform using digital media and yes that does make sense. It helps in reaching their target audience. They also take the help of influencers to attract visitors to their apps and websites. Also, did you know about virtual stand up comedy shows? If not, then you are surely missing out on something really fun. Imagine sitting in your comfortable bed with a bowl of chips with your partner, sibling or friend while laughing like a maniac listening live to a famous comedian’s jokes. Sounds like a dream! Pandemic made this possible too as some comedians hosted Zoom call paid meets to offer these services.


International organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), regional societies such as the Intensive Care Society (ICS) in the UK, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and the UK Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCOA) update constant information on their websites, blogs and social media accounts. This favours the citizen in retrieving news from legitimate and trusted sources. As during these times, there were sources of fake news erupting and gaining public confidence, official pages of these accounts helped in segregating the truth from the pool of falseness. They kept sharing accurate information of the number of cases, guidelines and protocols to follow, educational links and more. Not only this, but the government of many countries chose social media platforms to reveal and update citizens of the latest news.


The reach of many truthful journalists and activists hiked instantly online as they were constantly on their toes to share the reality of the situation. Even now, they are sharing instant updates about the loopholes of government, shortage of resources and nightmare that many people are living in the country.


During these unexpected times, colleges and schools were shut to curb the spread of the deadly virus. But how long could the studies have been halted? Therefore, to fight the knowledge gap that was occurring, the educational institutions picked digital media to continue teaching. Zoom meeting became the new normal and that’s how digital media proved to be a blessing during the pandemic. From the physical classroom to Google Classroom, the method of uploading assignments changed swiftly.


With millions of people shifting to digital means and methods and using them for prolonged hours, companies got more space to advertise on these platforms and reach a bigger audience. Also, the research done by The International Telecommunication Union gives the result that out of over 560 million Internet users, India became the world's second-largest online market globally, ranking next to China.


This pandemic made us realise that we have almost all the things at our fingertips and we humans can be self-sufficient among ourselves while sitting at home. Food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy were already having a boost in their reach but the pandemic made them stronger as the restaurants were shut for dining in facilities. These digital platforms made sure that the food that is delivered is safe and hygienic and it was made mandatory for the delivery people to wear the mask and sanitise their hands. And now, what to talk about the marketing techniques of food delivery giant Zomato. The company has some of the best digital marketers hired. Their unique posts on social media sites, their messages sent as notifications and their emails are hilarious and attractive. Zomato has recreated and rediscovered the marketing trends and has also redefined the use of digital media we did not know existed.


Not only this but there was silence in markets due to the scare of the pandemic. This made shop owners pick up e-commerce to sell their products. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart witnessed a huge footfall on their website.


It is not an unknown fact that recent years have witnessed a surge in mental illnesses. The coronavirus-triggered lockdown made people stay confined to the four walls of their house. There was also a lack of face-to-face communication between peers resulting in people being more prone to mental diseases. This prompted counsellors and therapists to offer online or virtual services to such people. That is how online counselling and therapy came into picture. It was easy for the people to seek professional help and it was also easy for the psychologists and psychiatrists to keep working amidst the worldwide spread of disease from the comfort of their homes.


The use of digital media also gave rise to people hiring interns or employees from across the globe. When the new normal became video conference meeting, people did not hesitate in hiring someone from another nation as they were just a Zoom call away. This helped in companies upholding their transformation, expansion and dignity in higher esteem than before.


Undoubtedly, a coin has two sides, and therefore there are shortcomings of digital media as well. But isn’t the bad and negative news everywhere? Let’s look at something with a positive mindset and expect it to give similar returns in the future!


Would anyone have ever thought before that a scary pandemic would hit the Earth and yet people would have been able to manage to survive amidst this? Kudos to Digital Media! The field expanded exponentially in the past years but was benefitted immensely from a pandemic. How ironic! With this, many influencers got to live their dream job, people got entertainment and information, charities took place, exchange of knowledge happened and all of this through just a few taps on the screen. From giving direction to the marketing sector and stepping up the advertising game to boosting means and sources of entertainment and fun, digital media has truly amazed us!

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