Ever since the pandemic hit, the repercussions on the market have been multi-faceted. From a few industries cutting down their production to some completely shutting down operations, it has been nothing short of a flurry of news bytes for marketers to absorb, understand, and prepare for. According to the experts, a recession may have already hit. Even as businesses juggled between various strategies, one of the first budgets to get slashed was for advertising. And while some sectors were undeterred, uncertainty consumed everyone, and prudence demanded that everyone pull back.
With people less interested in buying, jobs crumbling, and the economy hit hard, advertising didn’t make enough sense, well for a while at least. Marketing has been inevitably put on hold, and the Facebook and YouTube search ad rates dropped by around 20%.
But there may be a silver lining. In the stay at home era, although purchases might have become constrained, users are spending more time than ever online. They are on video streaming platforms as well as on platforms offering skill upgrades and hobbies. Consumer behavior is changing, and marketers have taken note.
As the world slowly reopens, and so does new services and products that help adapt to the new normal, completely ghosting advertising does not make business sense. And while diving back into full-fledged advertising and digital marketing might seem overwhelming at this point in time, it must happen sooner rather than later.
If you are a marketer willing to take the plunge but unsure, let us discuss what you should make of the digital ad trends that have emerged from these unprecedented times.
Ads are available at a lower budget
The overall reduction in spending on marketing and advertising has resulted in ads being available at a lower rate. This means that marketers can perhaps score ads on a smaller budget than usual. Ad inventory is available at a discounted price on several auction platforms, and marketers who want to make the most of this opportunity can do so. Using a smart ad-trade platform that can identify such opportunities for optimizing spending is an excellent idea at this time. An opportunity exists for marketers that want to make the most of it.
Creative ads will garner more interest
The era of social distancing has led to more time being spent by consumers on social media. According to a report, most social media platforms saw a significant rise in visitors and engagement.
While Facebook and Instagram saw a rise in their users/usage by 62%, LinkedIn & Twitter reported a user uptick of 27% & 34%, respectively.
With so much time spent on social media and consumers being overwhelmed with the information overload, brands or marketers that come up with unique advertisements are sure to be remembered. While not everyone will make a purchase instantly, marketers can create a long-lasting impression with the consumer using creative ads to ensure that their offering is well remembered once they return to purchasing.
Focusing on content that resonates can help
This has been a difficult time for everyone, and people are looking to find solace online. Instead of going the usual way where they bombard the consumer with product advertisements, marketers should focus on content that resonates with the current consumer by reassuring them of the future.
Marketing products and service offerings from your portfolio that have greater relevance during the pandemic- from sanitation, healthcare, well-being, and nutrition, for example, can also be a good move.
Use of AI for consumer behavior and search patterns gain more importance than ever
Artificial intelligence has always been seen as instrumental in crafting the consumer persona as well as mapping the buying journey for the marketers. The role of AI in ad analytics has enormous potential. Marketers can actively engage and seek help from AI-based tools for predicting, customizing, and personalizing as per consumer behavior, search patterns, and spending habits.
Good time for brand building
As suggested earlier, people might not be buying now. Or not all products are relevant for purchase during the pandemic. The travel and hospitality industry, for instance, is not likely to see the tide turn in their favor anytime soon. But the marketers should not let go of this opportunity and instead leverage the lower ad rates for brand building. Marketers can invest in a brand revamp or restructure and attract new consumers based on a focus on their purpose and brand values. These consumers will eventually convert into potential buyers.
The times are hard- for marketers, businesses, and consumers alike. But it is important to note that while buying and advertising are on an all-time low, marketing hasn’t come to a halt. Marketers willing to experiment and make the most of these digital ad rate trends can create a positive impact now and in the future.