The Global Impact Of The Coronavirus On Digital Advertising

Digital Advertising: Global Impact of Coronavirus

The economic impact of the coronavirus is felt by digital businesses across the board. There is no company that is not to some degree affected by this disaster. Whether it’s a matter of having to temporarily close doors, adapting to an at-home workforce, managing supply chain issues or otherwise.

Some of the ways that businesses are being challenge by the COVID-19 crisis because of shifts in digital advertising world. There are a lot of ways that both consumers and advertisers are operating differently during this time. These impacts need to be recognize and adapted to by all digital advertisers.

Voice Searches Spike

With many people spending more quality time at home and a lot of companies adapting to the mobile, stay-at-home workforce model, there are more people sitting in close proximity to their Amazon Alexa, Google Home or other voice-enabled device. This means that there will almost certain spike in the number of voice search being made.

Voice searches were already on the rise prior to the pandemic. But, the pace of that rise has almost certainly sped up in the last few months. If you haven’t optimized content for voice search, you definitely want to put this towards top of your to-do list.

Here are few tips to get you start:

  • Recognize the differences between voice searches and searches that are type.
  • Delve into your search term reports and see what questions customers are asking.
  • Think about advertising content or pages that answer the most popular questions.
  • Invest in more long-tail keyword targets.

YouTube Ads Also Gain Traction

Another result of people spending more time at home, even while they are working, is an increase in YouTube content being watch. While people working from home are still productive, that doesn’t mean that they also aren’t a little more prone to getting distract. YouTube is a popular distraction that is definitely seeing more visitors during the coronavirus.

If you’ve been on the fence about video ads in past, now may be the time to take the leap. Or, if you are already taking advantage of YouTube ads, maybe it is a good period to increase your ad spend in this area. And, capitalize on the hotbed of digital activity.

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Product Ads Are All The Rage

We are reaching a point in the COVID-19 pandemic where stores have begun to open up. Life is very slowly starting to get back to normal. However, there are still a lot of inconveniences associate with shopping in stores. Which means the majority of consumers are still preferring to shop online at home.

Thus, product ads are really powerful right now. There are a lot of people making product-related searches with the intent to convert and make a purchase. If you can align your business product and service as results for these search, there is some strong revenue to be found.

Product Ads Get Crowded

The drawback to product advertising lately is that Google has made it free for any business to post product listings. This move was design to help struggling businesses muster up some new sales online, without having to pay for ads that take them further into the red. It was a nice way for Google to help out during a time when many businesses had to close doors because of the lockdown.

Naturally, when you say the word “free,” people come running. The result is a rise in the number of product listings hitting the Google Shopping Network. This is not a good thing for advertisers because Google Ads was already feeling crowded and now they’ve opened up the doors to even more advertisers.

There is, however, a silver lining. Free product listing ads appear after any paid ads for the shopping search result. So, if you are managing paid shopping ad campaigns, then you at least don’t have to worry about free ads knocking your products off the higher ranks and hurting your visibility.

Free Ad Credits

Some advertisers have received free ad credits as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This was another program design by Google to provide much-needed relief to the businesses affect by lockdown. 

A lot of companies had to completely shut their doors, which created extreme financial pressure. By offering free advertising credits, Google’s program alleviates the severe dip in business, without it costing these struggling companies anything more.

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In total, Google committed $340 million to these small businesses that were fighting to remain solvent. This program affected advertisers all over the world, which reflects the global impact of this trend.

A New Normal

As the world continues to grapple with coronavirus, one thing has become clear: it isn’t going anywhere. Even when we do develop a vaccine and the number of active cases dissipates, there will still be obvious change and impact that continue to be felt.

In other words, it will be a very long time before things truly feel “back to the way they were.” As a result, the world, including digital advertisers, needs to get use to the new norm. What you’ve come to know or expect from your ad campaigns will be different, sometimes dramatically so, from what you’re experiencing now and in the future.

This creates a really troublesome problem when it comes to analyzing your advertising data. One of the common ways that we decide whether or not a trend or shift in performance is significant or not is by looking at past data. This is difficult now because pre-COVID-19 data can’t easily be compare to your metric in the midst of the pandemic.

Similarly, the benchmarks that you’ve long used to gauge performance are also less valid during this period. This is particularly true in industries heavily impact by coronavirus, whether for good or for worse. Some of these industries include healthcare, travel, hospitality, restaurants and employment services.

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The biggest impact that coronavirus has on digital advertising, and the world as a whole, is just general uncertainty. No one has any clear idea when the normal way of life will return, if it will return at all. This makes it not only difficult to measure strategies during this period, but also makes it very difficult to plan strategies for the future.

The best way to try and manage your digital advertising campaigns during this period is through simple persistence. Pay close attention to what’s happening in the moment and try to adapt your advertising efforts accordingly.

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About the Author: Alex John

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