COVID-19 Has Also Impacted Digital Marketing
The current global situation caused by COVID-19 has thrown many industries into a state of disarray. After all, the planet is facing a situation unlike any we have ever experienced before. Governments are turning to worldwide healthcare organizations for recommendations on how to protect their communities and how to slow the spread of this virus. On the back of these recommendations from organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the world has virtually shut down. Many government bodies have made difficult decisions to issue stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders that prohibit the gatherings of ten or more people and have closed many different businesses that are deemed nonessential.
As you can imagine, this has drastically impacted several businesses across a host of industries. It seems that nobody has been left unaffected by COVID-19’s impact. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, healthcare clinics, and more, are a few businesses still operating, but they aren’t operating at their full potential. Global healthcare experts have advised these businesses to adapt their operations to slow the spread of this virus. With so many industries’ operations slowing down and people losing their jobs, fewer consumers are making purchases. This change in consumer behavior, while temporary, has affected how digital marketing works.
Tech Critic has been closely monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on businesses across the globe. Digital marketing has also felt COVID-19’s impact. Today, we are here to discuss that impact on digital marketing.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was discovered in a food market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. Since its discovery, this virus has quickly spread across the world, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions. Even if you do not know someone who has been infected by the virus, your life has likely felt the impact of COVID-19 in some form or another. At the time of this writing, COVID-19 has:
- Over 2.8 million confirmed cases worldwide
- Over 190,000 confirmed deaths worldwide
The WHO has a COVID-19 dashboard that provides daily updates to keep everyone around the world informed on the ongoing spread.
We stated earlier that many government bodies have been forced to issue stay-at-home orders, which require all members of a city, country, or region to remain in their homes, only leaving for essential activities. They also advise businesses to allow employees to work from home if possible. Naturally, these restrictions have altered how businesses operate and how consumers interact with these businesses.
As you can imagine, businesses and brands are experiencing a downturn in business because of COVID-19. During this period, digital marketing strategies must adapt.
We will not know the full marketing effects of COVID-19 until this situation improves or concludes. No one knows how much longer this crisis will continue for, so no one knows the extent of its impact. However, as the current global pandemic has progressed, marketers have begun to make astute observations, which they can use to help direct their digital marketing decisions moving forward.
One of the most obvious changes over the last few weeks is how consumers engage with media and brands. As we have stated, stay-at-home orders have been issued across various parts of the world, only allowing people to leave their homes for essential work or activities. Whether they are out of work or able to work from home, consumers are spending more time than usual online.
We will likely see an increase in ad inventory across a multitude of platforms. However, many marketers and businesses will likely scale back on their ad spend during this time, so we may see the cost to purchase ad inventory decrease.
Additionally, these stay-at-home orders have left many without jobs and disposable incomes. Small businesses will make considerably less money and may go out of business. During this time, consumers and businesses will show a propensity to spend less. Advertisers should consider who their target audience is and how they normally spend while also keeping a close eye on their performance data so that they can adapt their campaigns to match the changing behaviors of their customers. As harsher restrictions on gatherings and travel are placed, brick and mortar establishments will struggle to generate profits, while delivery and online services may thrive.
What Should Marketers Do?
During trying times like the one we currently find ourselves in, digital marketers must do what they do best – adapt. Any good marketer will always analyze their data to make informed decisions, and the same should be done during this current pandemic. You should stay on top of any trends, and you should constantly be reviewing changing consumer behavior to inform your digital marketing strategies.
As more customers have to remain in their homes, they are consuming more online media than ever before. While consumers and businesses alike are spending less, there are some things marketers can do:
- Create a Dedicated Coronavirus Page. Regardless if your business is considered essential or its services have been impacted, consider creating a page dedicated to COVID-19, explaining what it is, how it’s affected the world, and what your company is doing to help.
- Create More Video Content. All kinds of streaming platforms, from Netflix and Hulu to YouTube, have seen an increase in usage during this pandemic. Now is the perfect time to create relevant video content to get in front of consumers. Use SEO insights to inform video topics and try to create top to mid-funnel topics to create videos.
- Keep Up with Any Changes to SERPS. During this time, many large companies are needing to alter their services to protect their employees and their community. Google did such a thing earlier in the year when they changed their Google My Business As the situation progresses, search engine results will likely change to favor reliable COVID-19 content, so you must stay aware of all these changes.
- Include Social Distancing, Isolation, and Good Hygiene in Content. When creating any content during this time, always be mindful of the ideas of social distancing, isolation, and good hygiene. You should be promoting these ideas, explaining how they can help us flatten the curve and save lives. Avoid language and content that may seem counterintuitive to COVID-19 guidelines.
The current global pandemic has impacted the world in various ways. From threatening the lives of millions to affecting several industries and the global economy, COVID-19 should be taken seriously. Every industry, including digital marketing, has been impacted by this virus. Tech Critic continues to monitor the ongoing pandemic, taking the necessary steps to keep our staff, customers, and community safe.