The Coronavirus Effect on Digital Advertising

In a recent blog, we mentioned that it’s often a mistake to cut your marketing budget during a recession or economic downturn. One important reason for that is that the cost of marketing is cheaper because there is less competition…

In a recent blog, we mentioned that it’s often a mistake to cut your marketing budget during a recession or economic downturn. One important reason for that is that the cost of marketing is cheaper because there is less competition for those dollars. During the coronavirus pandemic, the market for some types of advertising, such as billboards, has bottomed out. The populace is stuck at home and can’t see them. For digital advertising, though, there’s opportunity for businesses with certain types of customers. It’s complicated, but the bottom line is, now may be a great time to advertise and focus on creating brand awareness of your business.

Demand for Digital Advertising

At least temporarily the coronavirus has disrupted the way people live their lives. Right now a large number of people are confined to their homes and living their work and social lives via the internet. Because so many businesses are closed or have lost customers due to the lockdown, they cut their marketing budgets to cope with harsh new budget realities. Less demand for advertising dollars means that the price of advertising goes down – and that is what has happened. CPC rates across all digital platforms have fallen since March and continue to fall. April advertising prices will likely be the lowest they’ve been in years. 

Because the prices are lower, that means for the same or less advertising budget a company can widen its geographic reach and target a larger audience. That company’s average position will also be higher than before. Because far fewer companies are advertising, more eyes will see their ads. This makes it a good time for companies to focus on their branding and creating marketing campaigns that express who they are and why they are different from the rest. The stage has emptied out, so now is their time to shine.

A Captive Audience

The stage may be emptier, but the audience may be larger. People are online consuming digital media where once they might have been working or studying or socializing. They are checking news sites regularly for current developments. They are the definition of a “captive audience.” For companies willing to invest their marketing dollars, this could be a rare opportunity to reach not only more people but different kinds of people. Professional people from all sectors of the economy are now in the same situation, sitting at home on their laptops or phones, potentially open to hear why certain products and companies are better suited to meet their needs. 

Additionally, it’s important to remember that this epidemic won’t last forever. Already some states are moving to open their economies in stages. During the past 6 weeks, plenty of pent up demand has been generated for products and services. When that captive audience can go out and shop again, they will be taking advantage of the opportunity. Some of them saved money by not going anywhere and not doing anything, and they are ready to spend it. Be ready for that resurgence in demand. Plan your digital advertising campaigns now. You’ll save money and be able to connect with a larger, more diverse audience. This can be a win-win situation during a tough economic time. 

Rachel Potter

Rachel Potter has been writing her whole life, moving from academic writing to blogging to fiction and now marketing. She's been dabbling in social media since its inception and is still fascinated by it. She has a background in librarianship and loves to research, gather, and organize information. When she's not at work, she enjoys writing fiction, studying herbalism, gardening, singing in her church choir, and walking her happy, silly dog around the neighborhood.