Hiten Dudhatra
Hiten Dudhatra 30 April 2020
Categories Advertising

Coronavirus Impact on Digital Marketing Trends in 2020

Coronavirus has impacted quite a few spheres of business. Most businesses, except for those engaged in essentials, are at a standstill and enterprises are cutting back on costs. The axe falls on marketing. The virus has brought most scheduled digital marketing plans to a grinding halt or slowed them down. The impact is felt in digital marketing, with predicted patterns now appearing skewed.

Some statistics

  • 90% of businesses are reviewing budgets for marketing.
  • Email open rates are up and website visits are down.
  • Retail sales are expected fall in the post Covid19 era. This means sellers will have to fight fiercely for a shrunken market share.
  • CPM rates are plummeting, standing at $ 0.81, down from the $1.88 rate that prevailed in November 2019.

Still, digital marketing is going strong. Over 2 million coronavirus related pages came into existence between 25th March and 6th April and 100, 000 pages are added each day.

Brands encourage social distancing in their ads by emphasising hygienic practices. If you are a digital marketer, now is the time to switch lanes. If you are a business, do not cut down on digital marketing activities; accelerate them and keep in mind shifting trends.

B2B – digital marketing

The B2B sector largely relies on exhibitions, conferences and trade shows as well as personal interactions for business promotions. Now that these are no longer practical or desirable due to the apprehensions of infection, the best bet forward is to accentuate digital marketing activities.

For larger B2B enterprises that had traditionally kept away from a significant online presence, now is the time to engage experts in digital marketing to create social pages, promote websites, engage in email marketing and plan programmatic advertising and PPC campaigns.

Your social presence is important. Create pages, express concern, offer assistance and, importantly, invite all your B2B customers and vendors to create your community. The money you would have spent on live trade shows can go towards digital marketing. Use AR/VR, 360 degree videos and polls. It's crucial to interact digitally.

More users on the internet: more chance of success for PPC/programmatic

Those who have nothing to do during lockdown will browse the internet anyway. Those who can and do work from home will be using the internet.

Now is the time for digital marketers and enterprises to intensity PPC and programmatic campaigns. More people are likely to view ads and respond. Actual store visits have fallen and people are now searching online for products of every kind. Even if they do not, you gain visibility, exposure and a certain brand value.

Hesitating about spending money on ads? There is good news. Facebook has launched a Small Business Grants Program that will offer $ 100 million in ad credits to 30, 000 businesses.

Not to be left behind, Google has announced $800 million in funding and grants for businesses. It has on offer $ 340 million in credits for active advertisers. Grant funds may go to those involved in community work but still, there is an opportunity for digital marketers to grab a slice.

Digital marketers must be paid but there now is a trend in which they are offering temporary social media management (Advantix Digital) that B2B can take advantage of. Google and Facebook both offer smarter AI and ML infused ad bidding technology.

While on the topic it is worth mentioning that templated automated marketing is gaining traction and is likely to exceed $ 25 billion by 2023 according to Forrester Data.

Instead of following the routine involved in PPC you simply grab a templated marketing automation campaign. Marketers can deploy more campaign at less cost and pass on savings to customers who may appreciate that little gesture.

There is an opportunity here for businesses to renegotiate their digital marketing contract to get some freebies.

The shift

No one is buying so, as a business, there is little point in engaging in digital marketing activities with the intent to persuade targets to buy. Instead, as a business, now is the time to establish goodwill and create a positive aura through SEO and social media. Tomorrow, when the world recovers, you will be the first choice of buyers. Make that shift now to more concentrated SEO and social media activities with a humane and social accent.

It is easy to spew out advice about corona or any health related issue on your social media pages but you will find that interaction is better. Get your targets to contribute with stories, offers of assistance and interesting tips. Singular reports a 22% increase in social media marketing activity since March 2020. While Facebook predominates, do not ignore Whatsapp as a powerful social marketing tool.

The shift will likely indicate a need for revised analytics for digital marketers to redesign their digital marketing strategy for 2021.

Tailoring for rich snippets

If you continue to plod away at traditional SEO, you are likely to see fewer visitors to your client’s sites through organic SEO. What the current generation needs is information so Google is focusing more on structured data and visual search snippets. This change is expected to improve click throughs.


Google AMP for Gmail is a prime example of how email is involving into an interactive experience. Since email marketing is not quite as expensive as programmatic or PPC you would find it in your interest as a digital marketer, and in the interest of your customer, to design and deliver more email with dynamic polls, quizzes, offers, surveys and call to action to keep the relationship cauldron merrily bubbling all the time.

Voice searches

One can expect that the current crisis will trigger an uptick in voice searches for 2020. If you are a digital marketer now is a good time to incorporate voice search technologies for the benefit of customers and for customers who are opting for voice searches in 2020.

The takeaway is that companies, if they do not increase budgets for digital marketing, must at least maintain the status quo or continue with reduced budgets. Digital marketers have a great opportunity to render services that will earn them gratitude.

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