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Key things to know about the Coronavirus impact on digital marketing.

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak has started impacting the global economy as the countries are forced to declare lockdown to save people from the pandemic.

The world’s leading economies are going down as the businesses are shut for almost six weeks. There are many industries such as manufacturing, retail, pharmaceuticals, and more where the daily operations that take place with the physical presence of the employees. These industries are not able to operate effectively in this situation.

Impact of coronavirus on digital marketing

Compared to such industries, however, online businesses such as digital marketing agencies, e-commerce businesses, technology service providers, etc. do not need to shut down their operations completely. They allow employees to work virtually from remote locations as they have to perform most of the operations through internet connectivity. Though they too face many challenges.

The world of digital marketing has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Digital marketing is a way to reach customers, consumers and potential audience by utilizing various methods such as the internet, social media, gadgets and devices such as tablets, smartphones, laptops; and search engines, among many others.

Digital marketing includes content writing, social media marketing, SEO and PPC.

marketing during coronavirus lockdown

Brand marketers and business owners have to make some very important decisions in these times. Which are:

  1. How to respond to this crisis?

  2. How to bring changes to the current strategies by noticing consumer behaviour?

  3. Whether to respond at all or to stop business for a while?

While there is no correct answer to these questions, we can, however, advise you on how to move forward and that is, to fine-tune and refine your digital marketing efforts during this outbreak.

Why, you ask? Here are a few reasons why!

Whenever you check the news, all you see is the news of coronavirus spreading and a desperate situation throughout the world. However, this is not the time to panic for marketers.

The opportunity to build brand equity through communication that is based around empathy, support and education is very strong.

Build your communication around these important aspects:

  1. How can I build a steady stream of customers with brand loyalty advertising? Showing that your brand is making an impact in the community or demonstrating new ways to use your products (recipes, DIY sanitation, crafts to keep the kids preoccupied) could increase your customer adoption in the long term.

  2. How can my brand connect with how people are feeling and experiencing COVID-19? It’s essential to quickly adapt content to changing times and demonstrate ways to meet new customer needs. This is best done using a digital platform in these times.

By looking at content and ads through a different lens, marketers can adapt their brand strategies as per these unprecedented times.

Consumers are ever more exposed to a digital platform during this lockdown. Nielsen said social media volume saw a whopping 50X surge between January and March in India in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. Social media buzz picked up from 0.4 million in January and 1.6 million in February to a staggering 20.3 million till March 24.

When we look at smartphone behaviour the time spent on smartphones per user has gone up by 6.2%. The need for continuous updates has led to a huge increase in news consumption on Television (57% increase in Impressions).

News and Gaming are showing huge increases. News apps saw 8% more users per week with an increase of 17% in time spent/user/week. This growth was led by non-English News apps (+87%). Gaming apps saw an increase of 2% in users/week and with an 11% increase in time spent/user/week.

People have increased their time spent on Chatting (+23%) and Social Networking (+25%) apps. Almost all social networking apps - Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have seen significant increases not only in time spent /user/week, but also in the sessions/ user/ week.

With the increase in user engagement on digital platforms, there exists an opportunity to reach out and impact a greater volume of consumers. Especially for brands that were traditionally into Print and OOH advertisements, this is the right time to focus on Digital.


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