Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing industry trends through the pandemic and what brands are doing to leverage it 

Scenario :
We don’t need to mention what’s been happening world-over in the past several weeks. The Covid-19 pandemic spread has been plastered all over the internet has turned our worlds upside down & affecting millions of people, businesses and livelihoods. Corona Virus has shattered even some of the most stable economies – the brunt of which is being felt by every industry sector. It’s estimated that in total COVID-19 will cost the global economy $2.7 trillion.

Business-hit
Impact of Covid19 on digital marketing is unprecedented. Businesses have come to a standstill – massively impacting their services & forcing them to re-think their marketing strategies & practices. This, in turn, has affected the digital marketing industry as brands (primarily in the travel, hospitality & retail sectors) are massively scaling down their advertising & marketing campaign budgets, while many are unsure if they should even be marketing themselves at this point.

Digital Scene
To shed more light on this current scenario  – let us look at some statistics over the past couple of months. Digital platforms in general are witnessing a huge spike in the number of users through this quarantine period. Social media consumption has increased a whooping 50x with an 84% increase in users. The average time spent by an individual online each day is about 6 hours. With this unprecedented increase of audience on social platforms, and with traditional marketing avenues taking a backseat – Digital is the only & the best way forward!

Here’s what brands are/should be doing :
Though there is a significant decline in traffic & conversion numbers for brands, as audiences are not interested in purchasing anything but essential services right now, there are multiple strategies brands should leverage right now to stay relevant, connect with their audience & reap the sales benefits post the lockdown period.
Content-driven marketing is booming, with the aforementioned numbers of people online. Organic content is being consumed like never before (with users being home & online through the day)!. Be it tips to work from home, or cooking videos, to music playlists to memes & news from the world-over, users are reading, they are listening, they are watching, and they want fresh & quirky content every day to keep them occupied.
Several brands are trying to gain trust & love from their customers by putting out useful information related to the pandemic every day and leveraging hashtag marketing to keep their users engaged. Some brands have even gone the extra mile and tweaked their logos for this period, urging people to maintain social distancing. While there are some other brands who are spreading positivity, establishing a sense of togetherness between communities & reassuring everyone that we are in this together, and this too shall pass. Companies are also using this time to establish a well-rounded digital presence, that include having a website in place, and a robust SEO strategy to enable customers to find them.

Way forward :
Needless to say, while each of us are awaiting the end to this period and life to resume back to normal – what changes can we expect to see in the post-Covid era? Everyone has their own takeaways from this entire experience – with predictions about online services being the new way of convenience, work-from-home being the new way of life, e-commerce with virtual reality being the new way of purchase behavior by users.
With all this focus on using the digital platforms to deliver the best of user experiences, the digital marketing industry is all set to boom. The Education, Finance, E-commerce, Healthcare & Travel sectors are all set to massively scale up their marketing budgets to offer users the best of services & experiences while trying to recover all their losses & flourish.


Written by : Tanmayi Mohan

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