As we all know Coronavirus (Covid-19) which started spreading from Wuhan, China from December 2019 has become a pandemic and spreading across the globe. This virus has spread to more than 203 countries causing massive damage to human life and economy. Coronavirus spread has impacted many industries across the world.
In India Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has announced a 21 days lockdown on 24th March. Most of the technology related professionals have already begun work from home. It’s highly recommended to follow the guidelines of government agencies and stay at home. In these difficult times, it’s Safe to Stay at Home and follow social distancing if required to go out for essential services.
As a digital marketing agency owner and trainer, I have noticed significant changes in client accounts due to this virus. In this article I will discuss about the impact of coronavirus in digital marketing industry.
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What is the Impact of CoronaVirus on general Industries?
As of today April 2nd 2020, many countries have been ordered to lock down and self quarantine for 2 weeks to 4 weeks. This has massively affected many industries, the worst hit industries.
Situation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) as of April 2nd 2020 (Source: Wikipedia)
Some of the worst hit industries are
- Hotels & Restaurants
- Consumer Electronics
- Poultry & Seafood
- Offline Entertainments
- Banking & Finance
- Oil & Gas
Some industries has seen demand:
- Healthcare Industry
- News Media
- Online Streaming Services
- DIY Websites
- Online Gaming
How CoronaVirus Impact Digital Marketing ?
Digital Marketing is one industry which will have severe impact due to effects of coronavirus on other industries. As most of the digital marketers are offering services to third parties, the industries which have been affected with coronavirus will have loss of business. This will result in lower advertising budget and low service requirements.
The Digital Marketing Industry will be affected in the following ways in short to medium term.
Change in consumer interests
Low search volumes
New search patterns
Change in social media usage
Lack of spending from consumers
Let’s understand each of these factors in detail.
1. Change in Consumer Interests
As Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the global, consumers are showing more interests towards the products/services which help in preventing this virus. In Fact the interest in masks, sanitizers, toilet papers etc has increased rapidly over the last 2 weeks. Consumer interests has increased in other essential products/services.
Apart from essential services, there has been a steady decline in interest in other industries. We can expect the consumer interests to grow in the next 3-6 months based on the Covid-19 situation across the globe.
Source: Google Trends USA
2. Low Search volume in General Industries
Since the outbreak of CoronaVirus in Dec 2019, many industries across the globe noticed a steady decline in search volumes for many keywords. As we can expect most of users today are searching for keywords related to CoronaVirus, health services, essential services etc. There has been a very high increase in search volume for above industries.
The advice for SEO Professionals is to not let the lower volume discourage you, because once life comes to normalcy, we can expect the volume to grow higher as usual. In fact it’s a right time to try to add new articles and optimize the website with new strategies.
3. New search patterns on search networks
In Google search engines, CoronaVirus, Covid-19 related searches have spiked significantly. In fact these terms may be the most searched terms in such a short period in the history of Google. We will be seeing a new pattern of queries with combinations of queries which may include words like Quarantine, Lockdown, Coronavirus, Covid-19 etc.
(Source: Google Trends)
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4. Huge increase in Social Media usage.
As per recent Nielsen report, Social media activity in the country grew 50X in early March (Report). As a digital marketing professional this is one of the biggest mediums to utilize for marketing purposes.
In fact telecom operators have requested online streaming platforms to decrease resolution to 480P on mobile networks to avoid network congestion. YouTube, Hotstar has already decreased the resolution on mobile devices. WhatsApp have recently decreased the Status Video length to 15 secs to avoid network congestion.
“Overall, Facebook -owned WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage that grew from an initial 27% bump in the earlier days of the pandemic to 41% in the mid-phase. For countries already in the later phase of the pandemic, WhatsApp usage has jumped by 51%.”
It’s highly recommended to stay active across all social networks, share videos, content, blog articles, infographics on all social networks to get the user’s attention. This will also help in educating your client about new changes.
Note: It’s recommended to share any information after verification of the source. Sharing Fake/False information in these times will lead to a negative effect on the brand.
5. Lack of spending from consumers
As per many employment study reports across the globe, it’s most likely that millions of users will lose their jobs.
As per CNBC Report
“Coronavirus job losses could total 47 million, unemployment rate may hit 32%, Fed estimates”
When unemployment rises there will be a huge decline in consumer spending in general industries. This will impact our digital marketing industry indirectly because many clients will be spending less on advertising due to market conditions.
Advice to Digital Marketing Professionals and Agency Owners
- Monitor all your client accounts closely and find which mediums are being impacted due to present conditions.
- If your search traffic is declining, focus on creating new blogs, pages, informational pages to cater to your users during these times.
- Increase your efforts in developing quality links from reputed sources.
- Focus more on creating videos, images and infographics for social media. Use both organic and paid promotions to reach maximum audiences.
- Use content marketing keeping in mind the industry and possible user queries which your buyer persona may search.
- Be active on all social media accounts and respond to all queries from your users.
- If possible dd Live Chat Support on your website.
- Providing a discount on service cost, if the client industry has heavily impacted due to Coronavirus(Covid-19). This will ensure a lasting relationship with your client in future.
- If a client wants to halt services due to lack of business/revenue. Make sure to follow your initial agreement and if possible create an agreement with the client that services will be restarted at later date after this issue is resolved.
- Stay positive and focus on improving your skills in these tough times.
Advice to Digital Marketing Students
If you are presently pursuing digital marketing or have already completed a digital marketing course. I would personally recommend you to follow the below suggestions during the lockdown/Quarantine time.
- If your academy is offering sessions online, attend the live online sessions. Also take the backup of video recording to revise later. (Web Trainings Academy has shifting all classroom sessions to online mode to avoid lose of time due to lockdown)
- Revise all the previous notes and study each topic in detail.
- Prepare your resumes as per the skills you have acquired
- Watch videos on YouTube to improve your interview skills
- Research about various interview questions and prepare in advance
- Read books in digital/physical books to gain more knowledge
- Study certification guides and attempting all the exams. This is the best time to write these exams.
- Apply for Jobs via online portals and attend Video Interviews/ Telephonic interviews.
- If you have a budget, It’s recommended to register your own domain/hosting and start your own blog. In this way you can practice all the digital marketing strategies in your own website.
- Read blogs, e-books, research reports related to the digital marketing industry to stay updated with new changes.
As we can see from above reports, digital marketing may have a slight negative impact due to CoronaVirus (Covid-19). But good news is we can use certain mediums to bridge the gap and reach our target audience. This surely helps in increasing traffic & leads which can close once the situation gets to normal.
“Every adversity brings with it a seed of equivalent or greater opportunity” – Napoleon Hill.
I would suggest you to stay positive and focus on what positive outcome can bring to you in future once these issues are resolved across the globe. Being negative can bring more stress and decrease your productivity level.
Stay at Home, Stay Positive and Stay Safe
As you are spending most of time in quarantine or lockdown. You can utilize this time to join our Online Digital Marketing Course, learn from comfort of your home. Learn advanced digital marketing strategies along with faculty support to start your career in digital marketing. Call 9052425444 to know further details of our course. Presently we are offering discounts for students joining before April 15th 2020.