Categories: Marketing

What COVID-19 Means for Digital Advertising in the Short Term

Posted: April 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing up how marketers and consumers engage with brands. Digital advertising has taken a big hit as many companies immediately pulled or paused their campaigns in an effort to gauge what would happen next. A few weeks into the new norm of social distancing in the U.S., data is beginning to show the impacts of COVID-19 on digital advertising and rising out of this are some important opportunities for digital marketers.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Digital Advertising:

1. Based on paid and organic data, it appears that search volume is decreasing across the board at varying rates. Some businesses are impacted less during this time, while others see more drastic changes. Regardless, in some industries conversion rate is increasing. What this indicates is that the most engaged, bottom-of-funnel prospects are still in the market, but those earlier in their decision-making process (top-of-funnel) may be sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how things continue to play out.

If your business is selling something that is still in demand during this time, consider decreasing spend but not turning your campaigns off all together. This will ensure you are not over-allocating when demand is down, while still reaching those sales ready customers who are searching.

2. In the paid realm, cost-per-click seems to be dropping for many businesses, likely because of reduced competition in some industries as advertisers pause campaigns and push off major launches. With an increase in conversion rate and a lower cost-per-click, the two combine for an opportunity for digital marketers to spend less, while getting more out of their campaigns.

3. With more people required to stay inside, many are turning to their favorite broadcast, cable or streaming services to pass the time or stay informed. The increase in eyeballs due to time at home is likely to increase media consumption by 60% according to a Nielsen study of audiences in Asia. Social media is likely to see similar increases with more users scrolling through this channel for information and staying connected with friends and family. For marketers, this poses a big opportunity to increase your reach substantially with an engaged and captive audience.

Ultimately, what these three factors add up to is that some campaigns have an opportunity for higher efficiency right now. With lower cost-per-conversion and cost-per-impression metrics, and an engaged audience to consume your message, those in the market are more qualified today. You may see lower volume for some campaigns, but efficiency (cost-per metrics) should remain strong or even improve.

As you evaluate whether to run or pause your own paid and owned campaigns, keep in mind:

1. Your customers come first. We are all going through this together, and it’s tough for everyone. With the shift to working from home, increase in unemployment, and the swirling uncertainty around what’s next, your customers are facing the same concerns. Think about what they need and, more importantly, want during this time. Messaging is critical during this time to make sure your brand reflects how you want to be seen by your audience, and what they want out of you.

2. Your short- and long-term goals. This too shall pass, so make sure you are not only planning for the here and now, but also preparing for the future. Will pausing that content project push back your launch when things resolve? Are you leaving critical sales on the table by not reaching bottom-of-funnel prospects right now? Always put your customers first, and don’t lose sight of the future. Planning now will position you for better times ahead.

3. This is a new world. Your analytics metrics may be skewed due to employees working remote. Your emails may get less engagement as you strive to earn a spot in the increasingly cluttered inbox. Keep a close eye on all of your digital marketing campaigns at this time and strive for daily management where it makes sense, so you can react to changes quickly.

We are all navigating this together, and as the data shows, big opportunities exist for increased efficiency for digital marketers, but the bigger opportunity is to do what’s right. Leverage this increased ad space to share a message that is in tune with your customers’ emotional needs.

About VONT Performance Digital Marketing

At VONT we believe that change is the only constant in the digital world – and that excites us. When tools and environments are constantly changing, new opportunities to help our clients achieve success are constantly arising. Each new advertising technology, social platform, or design approach allows us to improve on the results we achieve for our clients.

We believe in this idea of continual fine-tuning so much that we named our company VONT, which means to achieve exponential improvement in incremental steps. It is our core belief, and the reason why we are not simply a web design company or simply a digital advertising agency, but rather a long-term, single source partner providing a comprehensive array of web development and digital marketing capabilities.

In short, we’re here so that our clients achieve success in the ever-changing digital world. If you’d like to learn more about VONT and the work we’ve done with our client partners, visit our Work page. Or, if you have a question, contact us. We’ll get right back to you!