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The impact of COVID-19 on Digital Marketing

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) English

We discuss why those companies investing in digital marketing will be more successful in the course and after the COVID-19 crisis.

There are sectors which benefit and others which will lose from the current pandemic. As with any kind of crisis, companies will need to adapt their current marketing strategy to the new environment and trends in order to be successful. Many enterprises, especially B2B companies, rely heavily on marketing at events, fairs, word-of-mouth and face-to-face meetings. Some companies may have hardly invested in digital marketing strategies previously however, these times have shown us that it is vital to have an online presence in order to survive.

How has Digital Marketing changed with COVID-19?

Consumer buying trends online have increased by 60% in Spain compared to the previous year, and we can only predict an even higher increase in the coming weeks.

Industries which have been hit hardest in Spain in terms of search demand include Tourism (-47%), Construction (-18%), Manufacturing (-16%), Real Estate (-15%) and Transport (-15%). Whilst we have seen an uplift in search demand for Food (22%), Healthcare (15%), Finance (30%) and Media and News (35%). However, demand will continue to constantly change while companies adapt to consumer needs. At the beginning of the crisis the Retail Industry had a loss in search demand however it has now tripled after the first couple of weeks in quarantine as consumers turn to online shopping. As companies start to prove they are accessible and trustworthy online through their digital channels, consumers are rapidly changing the way they shop.

Unsurprisingly, Social media platforms have also seen a significant uplift in use with Facebook and YouTube with the highest increase followed by Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. With most people confined to their homes and many unable to work, consumers are spending more time on their phones and computers looking and news and talking to friends on social media.

Companies adapting to digital marketing trends

Many companies have already adapted to the situation with new innovative marketing techniques, products or campaigns. TripAdvisor’s Spanish sub company ‘El Tenedor’ recently launched the campaign ‘Save our restaurants’ where consumers can buy vouchers for their favourite restaurants to use once they’re back open. Not only does this encourage consumers to use El Tenedor but it could mean make or break for those small restaurants who rely on that money. A similar initiative has been created by a new company in Madrid Adopta Un Bar where you can also buy vouchers for restaurants, bars and even clubs. In the first few days of quarantine, Movistar announced they were offering one-month free streaming. This was a great way to show trust and empathy from the brand but also a way to acquire new customers after the free period ends.

Many events and fairs which were planned to go ahead this year are being done virtually online via video streaming services, this is much more versatile than simply cancelling the event all together.

We’ve seen an influx in webinars and online learning platforms. Many companies are even offering these webinars and courses without cost to help those who are stuck at home or students who are unable to study.

Zink top tips: digital marketing during COVID-19

Be transparent: Create a dedicated COVID-19 page on your website where users can clearly read your policies and conditions. If possible, make it clear you are available to chat/email if they have any questions, send a newsletter and regularly post on social media to update them on your situation. This will help your brand to be more trustworthy and to answer any questions consumers may have.

Focus on brand image: Many companies are simply unable to offer their services or products with the current situation. But that doesn’t mean you need to keep quiet. Use this time wisely to create trust around your brand. Are you a restaurant unable to open during quarantine? Share some recipes for readers to try at home. Are you an interior design company? Share top tips for creating a comfortable working from home space for your followers.

Up your social media game: Whether your company already has social media or not, consider your strategy. We’re all spending more time at home and more time on social media, be where your consumers are! Consider creating social media pages if you don’t have yet, and if you do look at posting more than usual and adapting your content around the situation. We recommend sharing the latest information, useful tips or simply some positivity to make us smile during these difficult times!

SEO and content: With the changes in search demand and consumer trends, we should all consider our content and SEO strategy. The keywords ranking earlier this year could be completely different to the current demand. Do some new keyword research and look for new opportunities. If you’re a travel company you may not be selling summer 2020 holidays but up for your content game for summer 2021 and create content while others may be putting it on hold.

Consider changes with paid advertising: If paid advertising is something your company normally invests in, consider if now is the best time. Consumers are much more sensitive with the current situation and if your product is not essential it could be throwing money down the drain. However, if your product is essential, CPC bids are lower than ever, so it could be a good time to invest. We recommend using manual bidding and checking bids daily as things could take an unexpected turn.

Be innovative: The most important thing to do during the situation is to be innovative and adaptable. Try to really think outside of the box and put yourself in your client’s shoes. What could be useful to them during the situation which you may not have considered before?

How are you investing in your online marketing during the crisis? Is there something your company has changed to adapt to the situation? We’d love to hear your ideas and feedback.

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