The Importance of Advertising Online During COVID-19

By shifting the way we show value behind our products and services, we can reach our core demographics no matter how elusive they may seem.

Published On: January 28, 20226 min readCategories: Blog, SEM

COVID-19 has been around since 2019. In 2020, it plunged the world into a temporary stasis, freezing travel, trade, and human interaction. It’s been nearly 2 years since then, and now there are various permutations of the virus out and about in the wild. Despite what some may believe, COVID-19 has proven to be extremely lucrative during these unprecedented times. Companies like Amazon, Gamestop, and Samsung all reported record-smashing revenue figures in 2020, and early projections suggest 2021 full-year earnings reports will show a similar trend. As the COVID-19 virus continues to morph and evolve, so too must we as marketers and business owners. By shifting the way we show value behind our products and services, we can reach our core demographics no matter how elusive they may seem. Advertising during Covid is the first step to reaching those users.

Why is Advertising Important?

Suffice it to say, COVID-19 has been responsible for some interesting global trends; remember when everyone was stockpiling sanitizing chemicals and PPE? Remember how grocery stores’ shelves were empty? Remember how important toilet paper became, or how some individuals began panic buying gasoline? Even the price of lumber soared to all-time high prices because of the number of homeowners looking to get started on some long-delayed home renovations.

When you dissect these trends down to their base elements, they all boil down to two factors: 

1. these items’ perceived utility

2. Availability of these items. 

Advertising and marketing are tools we use to increase awareness of the above points. They have always gone hand in hand, and act like two sides of the same coin – the coin in this analogy is representative of real and sustainable revenue flowing into your business. The way they synergize together to drive demand and promote availability is a one-two knockout combination and is often regarded as the first step to expanding your business’ market share. While marketing pumps up your product’s perceived value proposition, advertising builds up awareness for where to get those products, how easy it is to get them, from which stores, and for what price. By driving efforts in these two pillars, it may be possible to position your business as the next toilet-paper gold rush! Though the fundamentals of advertising and marketing remain the same, the formats in which users can be effectively targeted have changed drastically.

Three young ladies wearing masks.

How The Game Has Changed

As we discussed, the times are changing. Most office workers, myself included, have had the luxury of working from home during recent months. As a result, the 8:00-9:00 AM rush hour parade has become less of an occurrence, and somewhat more of a vestigial limb of times long ago past. Fewer people commuting means fewer people observing their surroundings on the drive into the office, waiting at the bus stop, or tuning in to the radio to help drown out the humdrum of the quotidian grind. As a result, traditional billboard, print, and radio advertising have fallen out of favor, and are no longer the preferred method to target users in the 9-5 office worker demographic. Office workers, while working from home, can enjoy small wellness breaks throughout the day, and indulge in social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or the hate-it-or-love-it platform known as TikTok. All these social media platforms get millions of impressions (user views) every hour and have essentially become the new form of billboard advertising. 

Not only have people’s daily routines changed considerably but so have their consumer behaviors too. As capacity restrictions for indoor areas like malls, retail stores, and restaurants are constantly switched on and off and on again, the only truly consistent experience in today’s consumer environment is through online experiences. The internet has truly revolutionized how we shop, for anything and everything. Whether it be clothing, dish soap, furniture, or video games, everything can be purchased and returned online, with no muss, no fuss. The internet has proven to be one of the most important tools that have helped to keep businesses afloat during these ever-shifting times. Online shopping experiences like Amazon and Wayfair are consistent, every single time. These services provide verified user reviews, to ensure that shoppers can make their purchases confidently. Food ordering experiences like UberEats, Ritual, SkipTheDishes have done something similar, and have essentially transformed the foodservice industry into a consumer-packaged-goods shopping experience, not too dissimilar from what an online shopping experience may be from a grocery store. They’ve streamlined the complicated ordering processes, and in so doing, have also empowered introverted diners to enjoy takeout food with minimal direct human contact. As smartphones and internet browsing, in general, become more and more interactive and more of an integrated human experience, (recent times have shown gold-rush levels of hiring for User Experience Designers,) it becomes all that much more necessary to have a digital foothold to launch your business into new, stratospheric highs. 

How Businesses Can Leverage Online Experiences

  • Know your audience. Three simple words that have a depth of meaning behind it. Knowing who your product or service is best designed for will help you target those same audiences and demographics while they shop and browse online. Platforms like Google Ads, Meta (formerly Facebook/Instagram) Marketing, LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Stackadapt, and more, all have detailed demographic data that you can leverage to target not only the most relevant intended users, but also analyze other audience segments where your business trends higher! 
  • Catering to users and customers at any time of day or night. By opening an online experience, your business is no longer limited by geography or opening hours. Your e-commerce platform will be open to anyone and everyone but from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. That is not to say that opening an e-commerce business is effortless, but there are companies like Bookmark, Wix, or Shopify to help curate a guided process, and will help you every step of the way.
  • Curating customized experiences that are consistent every time. By anticipating seasonal shopping trends, and by leaving cookie crumbs for new product releases (particularly in the business of e-commerce), your business can effectively begin building demand for new products before they release. By anticipating how customers shop, you can show them products that are most likely to become impulse purchases on the home page. Just make sure they are products that will not cause buyer’s remorse in the long run! 

Final thoughts

With the unprecedented changes that the Covid Pandemic brought also came amazing opportunities. The best chance of success any marketer has is to be open to this change, act quickly, and make the most of the new way the world functions. Coming up with an effective marketing plan during these difficult times can be challenging when doing it alone. NAV43 is an SEO marketing agency that specializes in developing effective marketing strategies to capitalize on these new opportunities. Give us a call today to discuss the possibilities.