Recently, I met with a friend who works for a large corporation. In light of this coronavirus outbreak, he was concerned that the sales figures plummeted and that his proven marketing strategy started failing him. He was stressing about coming out with a new marketing strategy which he needs to roll out really quickly to ensure the continuity of his business.
I believe many marketers might be facing similar concerns. As the world battles the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and is getting ready for The New Normal, the question — how do I change my marketing strategy is the biggest headache.
The current situation is having a tremendous impact on business and the global economy as a whole. Marketers, therefore, are the front liners in minimizing the damage for the business by adapting our marketing strategies to continuously bring in sales.
All of your customers are under lockdown at home . This means that they might be less exposed to certain types of advertising, such as radio, billboards, or outdoor advertising. They may even be thinking less about purchases. Thus, relying solely on Google Ads to bring you leads and sales might be counterproductive.
It’s time to review your marketing strategy
Your customers are spending most of their time at home. The big industry events and tradeshows are also being canceled. Big sports events are put on hold. This is resulting in billions of dollars lost. However, in order to mitigate these losses, alternative marketing channels are important.
The key question to answer now is — where are your customers? They are still somewhere, but marketing in the current situation should be well targeting the spaces that they are at. You want to make sure that you’re still reaching your prospects and reconnecting with the existing base.
In order to comply with the social distancing recommendations, your customers will be heavily present online. However, I doubt that all digital spaces will be equally successful, as the intent for certain purchases will decline. Therefore, brands will need to be more active in advertising and convincing to buy.
I’m sharing 3 alternatives for digital marketers during the current coronavirus outbreak.
1. Customers are playing mobile games
Did you know that the usage of mobile games has rocketed because people are staying indoors? Verizon has reported that gaming usage has grown by 75%. Video games have become a popular way to spend free time during the lockdown. If the situation doesn’t get better, we can be sure their popularity will grow even further.
Across the US, Europe, and Asia, the restrictions have limited in-person gatherings to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The games give a solution to those who are looking for ways to keep hanging out with friends and family while obeying the rules on social distancing.
Such growth in popularity is indeed huge! That's why your business must seriously look into ways to advertise in mobile games.
Even before the COVID-19, in-game ads have been increasingly becoming a way for mobile marketers to reach audiences who are active gamers and who are engaged in a gaming experience. Did you know that there are over 2.5 billion people who actively play mobile games?
That’s a huge number. Mobile games are no longer a niche. People stereotypically think that a gamer is a guy in the mid-20s, playing in his underwear in his dorm room. This stereotype is wrong and is no longer representative.
2. Customers are binge-watching YouTube videos
Another activity that helps pass free time is video watching and YouTube is a perfect platform for it. Did you know that on average there are around 5 billion videos watched on YouTube every single day?
During the COVID-19 outbreak, people turn to YouTube for many reasons. Some are looking for workout ideas, others are looking for cooking inspiration, while others enjoy watching music, gaming or any other kinds of videos.
YouTube has over 1.3 billion users — it’s roughly one-third of all Internet users worldwide. It gives a great opportunity for brands to connect with millions of people who have the potential of becoming consumers.
Video consumption is going to rise. YouTube is also launching trustworthy videos to educate the viewers on coronavirus, display real information and share authoritative news on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Targeting on YouTube is also pretty straightforward. Brands can address groups based on their interests, location, demographics, specific keywords, etc. This gives a great opportunity to connect with the desired audience.
However, there is a downside to YouTube advertising — brand safety. You aren’t able to control the content and context in which your ad will be displayed. It may, in certain cases, go against your brand values and beliefs which may impact customers’ perception about you.
3. Customers are more active on social media
Social media offers relatively cheap advertising options and it also has the capacity to make your content viral. With soon 3 billion people using social media networks, it is a huge space to grow your brand, educate and get customers.
Being unable to meet in-person with family and friends, people turn to social media to reconnect. Social media networks become a way to share tips on working from home, cooking inspiration and general thoughts about the whole situation.
It has also become a primary source of news. For many, social media groups are becoming a source of information about the virus spread, tips on how to minimize the danger of contracting it or simply to share experiences if you tested positive.
Thus an augmented usage over the lockdown period is inevitable. Brands should use this opportunity to introduce themselves to new customers and reconnect with the existing ones.
When investing in social media ads, be cautious that the click-through-rate (CTR) and overall ad performance may not be as high as is used to be, due to a very crowded space. This is especially true for those businesses that set brand lift as a goal. The performance might be worse than expected.
Having a well-defined advertising continuity plan is essential. Crisis as such bring a lot of uncertainties, but they can also bring some opportunities. Brands should look to discover and adapt them to the existing strategies.
Consider this as an opportunity to venture into new marketing venues. This may, in the end, result in better conversions and sales after all.
In light of the crisis, it is crucial to assess how customers’ behaviors may change. Are the channels to connect with them the same? Are the consuming patterns the same? Are we (as a brand) ready to look for alternative advertising venues?
I have shared three ways to look during this ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Ads in mobile games have been growing in popularity at a very fast pace. Even without the outbreak, the popularity has been gaining tremendous momentum. Now, it’s a great time to explore such an advertising option.
Social media channels, together with video streaming on YouTube, have been popular ways to advertise. However, these two platforms will experience a heavier user activity during the lockdown. This makes them a great avenue for brands to reach out to customers during this time.