Digital Marketing Trends amidst COVID-19

Digital Marketing Trends amidst COVID-19
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During the ongoing pandemic outbreak, almost every business is moving to digital channels to carry out their operations and interactions with their customers. Virtual experiences have become the primary source to gain new customers and clients due to social distancing and remote work. Almost 80% of the United States is working online. Despite the unexpected situation going on, all the businesses are still open and surviving at their best. Marketing must understand the rapidly shifting marketplace and changing needs of customers and then examine their approach to the right audience with their right products and services. These necessary considerations can help marketers to build strategies for the online world. 

Smart companies are focusing more on digital marketing and commerce as massive usage of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It is like “Adopt, take advantage, or be left behind”. Here are some of the changes that happened during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

1- Increase in customer’s online usage 

A massive increase in online usage has been reported in the second half of the March in comparison to last year. According to a Comscore report, in-home data usage has increased by 38%, and by more than 50% for mobile phones. You must understand how each digital channel has been affected and then reach to the customers where they are – online & at home. 

2- Large traffic gains on social media platforms and a decrease in ad costs

Facebook and Instagram reported 70% increased users on their platforms. This shows that there are a number of available ad inventory. Facebook decreased the cost per click by 19% as compared to January. The cost per impression may also be down by 50% as compared to November 2019. Hence, marketers should leverage the low social media ad costs to reach a larger audience that might be present there as potential customers. Be creative and empathetic to unique challenges your audience is facing. 

3- Consumers are searching more and investing less

One popular volume index showed that Google search volume increases by 14% by each year. Some businesses consider that directly affecting the conversion rates but this is not the case for every business. For this, Google has advised marketers to focus more on lifetime ad value than direct sales. Be more vigilant than using unnecessary keywords to avoid irrelevant searches and focus on delivering relevant data on ads. 

4- Increase in streaming consumption

During the lockdown and ongoing trend of social distancing, people are spending more time on streaming services platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Hulu. According to a report from Braze, In March the streaming usage has increased by 31% and over 100 million sessions per day. This also decreased the ad cost, preferring streaming videos, display, and social campaigns over traditional media budgets. 

5- Consumers are buying less

As the pandemic has drastically affected the economy all over the world. Every business and even people are feeling the economic pinch of a coming recession. The BCG consumer sentiment snapshot reported that 20% of the consumers are saving more and spending less on luxury items. If you belong to the business falling into the discretionary category, then you must focus on channels that deliver measurable ROI and invest in advertisements consistently. 

6- Media platforms are stepping up to help advertisers

Recently, Google has announced $810MM and Facebook has announced $100 MM in COVID-19 relief grants, including ad credits to affected marketers and advertisers. 

Marketers should adopt the following practices to find the best opportunities through virtual engagements. 

  • Invest in social media paid advertisements. 
  • Manage search budgets actively and regularly.
  • Plan and practice digital marketing as the new normal.
  • Avoid investing in unproductive traditional media.
  • Actively look for industry-specific POVs.
  • Learn about grants provided by Google and Facebook.

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