COVID-19’s Effect on Digital Marketing
COVID-19 has presented unique challenges across the board, not excluding marketing. Here’s our take on the international virus’ effect on digital marketing:
Americans are consuming more digital media than ever
We may all be stuck at home (except for the essential workers keeping everyone safe, for whom we’re all so thankful), but we’re still connected and, in a lot of cases, bored. We’re all looking for ways to entertain ourselves while we stay home, largely depending on streaming, social media, and mobile apps.
According to Verizon, there was a 22% increase in mobile web traffic in the week of 3/12/20-3/19/20. The top 25 TV markets in the US saw an 11% increase in viewing the week of 3/19/20, as Americans remain loyal to broadcast news as their preferred way to get breaking news.
Web traffic to trusted digital publishers continues to increase, especially as many publications remove paywalls and article limits to allow all users access to the latest COVID-19 news.
Brands CAN come out stronger on the other side of a recession
Americans may be spending less across various industries, but advertisers can still increase sales and market share by how they handle a down economy. 86% of consumers say companies who advertise during a recession are top of mind when it comes to purchasing decisions. It can also build strong trust with consumers; 86% say they feel better about a company’s commitment to products and services when they advertise during a recession.
In the 1980s, for instance, brands that sustained or increased advertising budgets during a recession saw sales grow significantly that year and for the next 3 years, placing themselves 275% ahead of brands that did not advertise aggressively.
So how can advertisers come out of this stronger?
Stay Connected, but Consider Your Messaging
While many users’ spending habits will change due to social distancing, it’s still important to connect to your customers. Instead of a standard CTA, advertiser objectives can use awareness messaging to stay top of mind and highlight their corporate social responsibility.
On the other hand, Americans are doing more online shopping than ever, and online grocery sales went up over 200% in a single week. Ecommerce, healthcare, and pharma have a huge opportunity to gain market share as users begin to rely more and more on online resources.
As users stay home, advertisers can rely heavily on digital instead of print as users stay home and are less likely to pick-up print publications while out or commuting.
Lights, Camera, STAY HOME!
There is a huge demand for ad-based streaming services as users stay at home during social distancing. Netflix saw 250k new subscribers in a single weekend in March, and there’s been a 12% uptick in video streams, according to Google. Nielsen reports suggest that Connected TV streams (and ad inventory) are expected to soar 61% over the 2019 average of 4 hours and 28 minutes a day.
If you’ve been considering adding CTV to your media plan, now is the time! LEAD has partnerships with the top CTV exchanges to connect advertisers to their customers during social distancing TV binges.
Get Social While Social Distancing
People are using social media more than ever to stay connected to friends and family during social distancing. In-person interaction needs are being partially replaced by social media, along with video chatting platforms like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. Advertisers can use their social channels to connect with users, explain what steps they’re taking to keep customers (and employees) safe during COVID-19 and build brand awareness.
When it comes to your owned social platforms, do not go dark. Switch your messaging so it aligns with the current climate, keep a schedule, and stay consistent.