COVID-19 has already hit every sector of the economy from production to markets. The pandemic has reached almost all countries, forcing most of them to remain in lockdown. The economic impact will significantly depend on how the public reacts to the current situation.
As the virus spread across the continents, the world is witnessing a standstill in all aspects of the business. There is a prominent dip in the stock market, and economic experts expect the same if the situation continues. Unemployment rates and salaries cut down is affecting the majority of the population, especially in the United States and the Gulf countries.
A piece of good news is that even in this challenging situation, the Internet and digital connectivity has helped some businesses to maintain its flow uninterrupted. Digital marketing is one of the least affected industries. Let us see in detail the impact of COVID 19 in different areas of digital marketing.
Influence of COVID-19 on SEO
The pandemic and the lockdown has affected every industry pretty differently. Talking about SEO, it’s all about keywords and related search volume. While some keywords witnessed a hike in search volume, others showed downward steeps. This rising and falling interest has a lot to do with the current situation of the public.
Customers mostly prefer contactless and currency-less purchases in this lockdown time. This trend has shown a surge in the number of users of e-commerce platforms. E-commerce websites selling daily life essential things like groceries, sanitization items have experienced high traffic flow. The viral infection has generated a health-conscious population, which is seen from the massive increase in traffic on health and wellness sites such as Biogetica. Keywords connected to natural remedies to fight the coronavirus, handwashing techniques, immunity-boosting food, and herbs, etc. have seen an expected rise in search volume.
However, the picture is different with travel and study abroad websites. Due to the current restrictions in all modes of travel, the traffic volume has touched the ever minimum level. Hotel booking sites are also going through a tough time with minimum active users on their websites. It can be concluded that the organic traffic of a specific category of websites has increased while other websites have decreased.
Influence of COVID-19 on Social Media Marketing
As reported by The Economic Times, social media activity in the country increased 50X in early March. Business income may tend to show decline amid the situation, and so exploit the scenario for branding your business and marketing your products and services. Social distancing has led the way to spend more time on online social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other websites. Keeping our customers engaged in our sites with quality and useful content should be the prime focus of a digital marketing professional. A study made by Social Bakers found that the CPM rate has decreased for most of the industrial categories. CPM is expanded as cost per mille; it is the amount that an advertiser should pay for showing the advertisement to a thousand online users. Even the Cost Per Click parameter for online advertisement has also reduced considerably. Now even a small business can advertise its products and services with a small amount of money and reach many potential audiences.
Even when the online activity graph of people keeps high, the campaign engagement activity graph is low. Engagement is any action towards the paid promotions like a click. Despite the Facebook engagement figures increase, they see a weakening ad business in those countries that have taken measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. From these reports, it’s pretty clear that people prefer to engage in organic content than with paid campaigns by brands. With businesses experiencing the worst economic crisis, they have introduced cut downs on spending money for online paid promotions. Referring to Social Bakers, there has been a drop in the ad spend by 23.5% for the last couple of months. It’s undoubtedly going to be a piece of unfortunate news if you are a digital marketing professional. Being a digital marketer, the best way to deal with the situation is to bring up good quality engaging and useful content to the audience, so that you remain in constant touch with potential customers. Take a look at the graph below, which shows the decline of search ad clicks.
Influence of COVID-19 on OTT Digital Marketing
Many specialists believe that the OTT advertising industry will change the whole story of digital marketing soon. OTT (Over The Top) is a targeted advertisement shown on a television connected to the Internet. The popularity of video on demand has increased all over the world, with brands making use of it to advertise their products and services to reach a group of audience. The user experience is improvised by introducing interactive content to these advertisements. In the present scenario, people are compelled to spend time indoors to prevent the community spread of the disease. This has led to an increase in the OTT viewership by a significant margin. Digital marketers can make use of this trend to do campaigns through these digital platforms.
How to adopt effective digital marketing techniques during the pandemic?
The business world is observing a mixed response from various industries on their business growth, while some flourish, others struggle. Let us now discuss some strategies that can be adopted in digital marketing to generate quality leads for your business.
Cut down paid promotions.
As we have discussed above, the audience response towards paid promotions has decreased. This shows a decline in the demand for your product. So, it is wise to spend less on paid advertisements, but rather concentrate on organic traffic. It is anticipated that around 69% of the brands will decrease ad spend in 2020. Conversely, if your product is of high demand, boost your paid promotions to catalyze the growth in business.
Continue the SEO Activities
A good number of traffics is facing a decrease in organic traffic. It is essential to understand that resuming the SEO works can no way help the business at this point, instead affect it severely. SEO activities once stopped can adversely affect the organic traffic you have built up so far, and its impact will be reflected in the future number of site visitors. Even when you don’t get immediate results through the SEO activities, understand that this momentary decrease in results is due to the pandemic and lockdown situation. The uncertainty in all in the air and so in the number of site visitors.
Be supportive and responsible
The brands that are selling essential items like groceries, masks, gloves, sanitization items, etc. have managed to maintain high traffic to their site. Several reports and news have come up on the price hike for these necessary items during the virus outbreak. If your business is dealing with these products or services, make sure that, in this uncertain situation, serving your customers should be the prime priority and not flourishing your business. This is the best time to build trust and loyalty in the relationship with customers, which can help the company in the long run. It is not only about the survival of your business, but also helps your customers overcome this challenging period.
The pandemic has made life tougher for the majority of the population. Regarding the market too, they have a huge impact, that time can only find a solution. The disturbing figures on the financial dip will take time to catch up on the pace again. The operations of the companies have been affected severely, that more than 50% of the companies had to deal with stock blockage and raw material shortage. In one of many ways to overcome the financial crisis, companies have cut down the money they spend on online advertisements. The reports from Facebook about the decrease in revenue from sponsored content supports this fact. Many travel, study abroad, hotel, and flight booking websites top the list of affected sectors.
If the situation remains so, it will bring more trouble for many industries that have managed to remain untouched so far. As a responsible individual, adhere to the norms put forward by the officials to fight against this virus. This article, published by WHO, is an information to the public on how to stay protected against the coronavirus. Positively, let’s believe that this time too, shall pass pretty quickly.
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.