Impact of COVID-19 on Online Advertising

Unless you live under a rock, you know how much of an impact COVID-19 has had on all our lives over the last half of the year. Your business was likely impacted, you personally probably were impacted, and your customers were also impacted. So, what impact has COVID-19 had on online advertising? One major shift in the marketing industry has been in the digital marketing realm, due to the change in the behavior of Web users.

Search Engine Watch conducted a study with more than 4,500 respondents about the impact of COVID-19 on digital marketing. The aim of their study was to use a data-driven approach to identify the true impact of the pandemic on the online advertising industry. Below are some highlights of Search Engine Watch’s findings.

  • 63% of participants focused on short-term results and reallocated budgets to activities that bring results immediately
  • Most participants believe that it is necessary to adapt as much as possible to new conditions not to lose current customers as the value of a customer has grown much higher for them
  • 18% of respondents noted an increase in sales driven by Internet marketing
  • 27% reported an increase in web traffic
  • 12% gained new customers

Let’s break this down a little bit. The study shows that most respondents have shifted from long-term online advertising goals and budgets to the short-term. This isn’t surprising, as we don’t know how online advertising will be impacted following the COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns. We cannot predict what the outcome of this virus will have on the world, let alone the marketing industry, so focusing on the here and now, makes sense. Have you reallocated your marketing budget to focus on immediate and short-term results?

As shown, the value of current customer relationships is higher now than ever and heavy focus has moved to keeping and making loyal customers. While the value of a customer has always been important, due to COVID-19, it may be the difference between your business succeeding or not. At Water Bear Marketing, our customers have taken different approaches to continue to develop relationships with loyal followers. Some have offered pandemic sales, discounted rates, additional online assistance, and have reached out to their customer database on a more frequent basis, just to check in and let them know that they were there.

It should come as no surprise that sales and web traffic have increased during the COVID-19 era. People are home for much of the time, so they are on the Internet more frequently and shopping online. E-commerce has seen a major uptick during these times, because customers feel most comfortable making purchases from their homes. Ensuring your website is optimized and represents your business in the best possible way, is extremely important all the time, but now more than ever.

As we have touched on before, not all customers are the same, so it is important to find the right approach to communicate with each individual. Water Bear Marketing has solutions for you. Contact us today to learn more about the options we have available and to talk through how you can effectively reach your customers through online advertising in this crazy time in our lives.