The uncertain times we are living in are causing panic, and no one knows how everything is going to play out, how long the situation is going to take to resolve, and what impacts the COVID-19 pandemic will leave on us.
The impact on the human race is becoming too terrible to contemplate, and the result is causing the economy to spiral. Regardless of everything going on, the majority of businesses are hanging in and operating, and still finding a way to maintain revenue in one way or another, in order to survive the largest global shutdown in history.
Keep Brand Awareness Alive
Ethically we should not take the opportunistic approach, however, there are significant opportunities within the current markets as a result of the worldwide shutdown which has the potential to build a brand image and increase engagement. Of course, there are additional considerations to keep in mind with the message you are trying to send and to make sure you are treating the situation with respect. As of now, for those that are fortunate enough to operate, there are some big potential gaps that could facilitate greater reach and, even growth, but only depending on your approach.
The first component to consider is that a lot of competitors are pausing advertisements. Media buyers and brands have paused all advertising while brands that are running Facebook ads have taken action with their budgets in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. With the majority of businesses being impacted by the pandemic, the concept of putting your budget to work makes sense. Many are either unable to operate or are working to simply maintain their operation, as opposed to spending on outreach. This also means that there’s a lot less competition in the market, which includes fewer ads in the various digital ad auctions.
Now more than ever it costs less to reach larger audiences- and reach them you can because, at the same time, digital media usage is at an all-time high.
Social Usage is at an All Time High
According to Facebook, users are spending more time on the platform amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, while Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn have all also reported significant usage increases. Overall YouTube channel traffic is also up 15% on average – and while the majority of that interest is focused on COVID-19 news and updates, people are spending more time online as a way to stay connected with the outside world, as they currently have no other outlet.
Social usage is up, advertiser competition is down. For those that are able, now could be the best time to push branding campaigns and increase brand awareness.
Of course, there is a need to maintain awareness of the societal impacts of the shutdowns, and how that then influences online consumer behavior. Millions of people are out of work and struggling, so it may not feel like the best time to be promoting your products. But increased connectivity has enabled many people to continue working from home despite the lockdowns, and most are supportive and understanding of the need for businesses to continue to advertise.
Advertise Now, Be Ready for the Future
Businesses that continue to advertise during the COVID-19 outbreak and maintain their ad budgets during economic downturns tend to come out better off on the other side.
Remember, this is relative to your individual situation, and there are many that have been significantly impacted by the crisis, in many ways. But the indicators show that there are opportunities present, and studies suggest that businesses who can take advantage of such, should do so.
It’s impossible to differentiate which approach is the best – no one has ever operated in this situation before, but it is worth considering where your business is placed and what potential opportunities may exist for your consideration in order to minimize the broader impacts of COVID-19, both for your own business and the economy at large.
No one wants to be operating in this situation, but the more we can collectively do to support each other, and the businesses in our communities, the better off we’ll be in the longer term.
Maybe, there are ways you can utilize these trends to help.