By now, everyone might be knowing what COVID-19 is and how it is affecting the economy of every country. The virus has so far affected almost every country in the world, forcing every country to go on lockdown.
As the virus continues to spread, almost every industry is feeling the heat of it. The global stock market has crashed amid the pandemic, and the unemployment rate is increasing, causing great damage to the economy. Many business and sporting events have been canceled all over the world.
But even during the crisis, the internet and increased connectivity have helped many businesses to continue their operations. Even though all the industries are affected by the outbreak, the digital marketing industry when compared to others is one of the least affected.
So let’s go deep into discussing the impact of COVID-19 on different areas of digital marketing.
Impact of COVID-19 on SEO
COVID-19 has affected every industry quite differently. From the SEO perspective, we have witnessed a rising and falling interest. Some keywords have seen a huge increase in search volume, while a few keywords have seen a sharp drop in search volume.
Customers who used to buy groceries and other essentials from the retail store are now making use of e-commerce stores. E-commerce websites that are selling essential items such as groceries have seen a massive increase in their website traffic recently. The outbreak has resulted in people getting more health-conscious.
The health and wellness websites such as Biogetica has seen a considerable increase in their traffic as well. We have also witnessed a rise in the search volume for keywords relating to natural remedies to fight against COVID-19.
Other keywords such as those relating to handwashing techniques, antiviral foods, and herbs, etc. has also witnessed an increase in search volume.
But the situation is quite different for travel websites. They have seen a huge drop in their traffic due to the travel restrictions put forward by various countries. In short, the recent coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a decline in organic traffic for certain websites, while some businesses have witnessed their organic traffic getting doubled.
Impact of COVID-19 on social media marketing
According to The Economic Times, social media activity in the country increased 50X in early March. People are staying at home and have got plenty of time with them. People are spending more time online, and it is the perfect opportunity for many smart marketers to make engaging content for their customers.
Comparing all the social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram have been receiving more engagements than any other. A study conducted by Social Bakers found out that there has been a decrease in CPM for a broad range of industries they analyzed.
CPM is a measurement metric in advertising, and it denotes the amount a company or an advertiser pays for one thousand views or clicks. Even the Cost per Click has reduced considerably. It is much cheaper to advertise on Facebook right now as compared to a few months back.
Brands having a very small budget can make use of this opportunity to promote their product to a broader range of customers to let them know about it.
The online activity of people has indeed increased, but at the same time, there is a decline in campaign engagements. Facebook recently claimed that despite the increase in engagement in their platform, they are seeing a weakening ad business in those countries that have taken actions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
People right now are preferring to engage with organic content instead of those paid campaigns carried out by various brands or marketers. As mentioned in the introduction part, the pandemic has affected the economy of many countries. As the budget is getting tighter, companies are reducing the amount of money spent on online advertisements.
According to Social Bakers, there has been a decline in the ad spend by 23.5% for the last two months. It is not quite a good news to hear if you are a digital marketer. If you are a digital marketer who is looking for an idea to engage with your customers right now, it would be nice to choose organic content instead of paid promotions at this juncture of time.
The graph below shows the slowing up of Google search ad clicks.
Impact of COVID-19 on OTT digital marketing
Many experts believe that the OTT industry will change the entire landscape of digital marketing in the coming years. The video-on-demand service has been gaining popularity all over the world. Brands have started to make use of this, gaining popularity of video-on-demand services to advertise their products.
Marketers can advertise interactive content through these platforms, thereby offering an immense experience to the users. The restriction put in place by the Government of different countries has resulted in people staying at their home most of the time.
The social isolation activity in India has increased the OTT viewership by a considerable margin. As the OTT viewership is increasing, it is the right time for many brands or marketers to advertise their products through such digital mediums.
How to adapt your marketing during the pandemic?
Some businesses are flourishing, while some companies are struggling. We have been witnessing this trend for quite some time now since the virus started to spread. Even in this time of uncertainty, digital marketers can adopt a few strategies to maximize their results.
Tip #1 – Reduce spending on paid promotions
As discussed above, the search demand has been down amid this pandemic. If your product isn’t a top priority for your customers in this situation, it’s better to consider reducing your spending on paid promotions. It is expected that around 69% of the brands will decrease ad spend in 2020.
Instead, if your company is selling products that are in high demand during this crisis, it’s better to increase your ad spend.
Tip #2 – Don’t stop SEO activities
The majority of the websites are witnessing a decrease in their traffic, but that doesn’t mean you should stop your SEO and content marketing activities. Since SEO is a long term process, any activities done will benefit you in the long run.
The sudden drop in traffic is due to the reduction in overall search demand due to the COVID-19 crisis, and it will return to normal once everything settles. Even if there isn’t any gain at the moment, it’s better to continue the activities.
Tip #3 – Be supportive and responsible
Some businesses have been able to double their traffic amid this COVID-19 situation. There have been several reports of sudden price hikes for essential items during this COVID-19 outbreak. If your business is dealing with products that are a top priority for your customers right now, don’t try to sell the products at a high price.
Companies should make sure that they don’t lose their customers’ trust and loyalty due to exploitation of the situation. It isn’t about helping your business survive, you should also ensure that your customers also survive this tough situation.
There isn’t any doubt regarding the damage coronavirus has brought to the economy of all the nations. The global financial market has been witnessing massive turbulence and uncertainty recently due to the spread of the pandemic.
It has affected the normal operations of more than 50% of the companies with reduced cash flows due to the slowing down of the economy. The tight budgets of many businesses have forced them to cut down their marketing expenses, such as the amount spent for ads.
Many websites, especially those related to the travel industry have witnessed a huge drop in traffic. The situation has also affected the ad campaigns performance as well, with giants such as Facebook witnessing a decrease in their revenue.
If the situation continues like this, it will be more trouble for many businesses. As a responsible citizen, every one of us can do our part to stop the spread of this virus by practicing social distancing and strictly following the guidelines put forward by the Government.
Read this article published by WHO, which is an advice to the public on how to stay protected against the coronavirus. Hopefully, let’s believe that this too shall pass pretty soon.
About the Author!
Vinoth Kumar Balakrishnan has been the project lead at Webandcrafts since 2014. His Passion towards programming has helped him grow as one of the industry experts in WordPress development. In addition to programming, he is also interested in writing technical blogs that can make a difference in the field of programming.