How is the Coronavirus Affecting Digital Marketing

On 23 Mar., 2020

Every aspect of marketing has been affected, and this could have some long-lasting consequences.

How is the Coronavirus Affecting Digital Marketing

The spread of the Coronavirus has taken the world by storm, and this has shaken many industries. In the digital marketing sphere, trends are rapidly changing and businesses are unsure of how to proceed in these uncertain times. Every aspect of marketing has been affected, and this could have some long-lasting consequences. 

Changes in search trends

Online sales trends have been significantly impacted by Coronavirus pandemic. People aren’t looking for regular leisurely products and services right now, as there are more important matters to attend to. Things like food, toilet paper, and medical supplies are taking priority over any sort of commercial products. 

Search trends are following suit and reflecting the changing needs of the population. The popularity of fun and interesting products is being dwarfed by everyday essentials. Searches for certain foodstuffs and sanitary products have risen dramatically and are showing no signs of stopping. This change will have a significant effect on online retail for years to come. 

Uncertainty in ad effectiveness

The current market isn’t reacting very well to news of epidemics. Many Australian businesses are shutting down, and this is creating a reduction in the availability of goods. With fewer products available, it’s pretty much guaranteed that businesses will see less return from ads than usual.

Coupled with the fact that people aren’t making non-essential products a priority in their shopping, you have a recipe for problems in the online retail world. The ads aren’t going to attract as many people, and those that do see them aren’t likely to rush into buying anything that won’t help them weather the storm. 

Analysts are projecting that the current issue is going to last all throughout the first half of 2020. As these trends continue, businesses will invest fewer funds in advertising to cut their losses.

Cancelled events

There are normally countless marketing events throughout the year. As the crisis unfolds, more and more of them are being cancelled. Companies are avoiding large-scale gatherings like the plague. Advertising Week Europe, Adobe Summit, SXSW, and other events are already cancelled, and more are following in their footsteps.

This will prove to be a big hit in the marketing industry, both inside and outside of Australia. Fewer opportunities for networking and cooperation in person will prompt businesses to move online. Many of the aforementioned events are being hosted as webinars and live online events instead.

This is shifting the advertising focus to the syndication of content online and web lead generation.  Messages still need to be put out, which is why advertisers and vendors will continue to try and maintain their sales pipeline.

Intensified SEO efforts

With the dramatic shift in search queries the past month, many Australian marketing agencies are putting extra focus on their SEO efforts. The numbers are changing and it has become hard to predict what consumers want from their queries. However, the goal remains getting one’s website to the top of search result pages, which means there’s no time to loiter.

Due to the uncertainty of current marketing strategies, businesses are turning to experts in SEO Brisbane to help optimize their websites. Search trends might be changing, but the algorithms used by search engines remain as predictable as ever. With the right kind of assistance, businesses are still able to maintain a certain level of popularity for their products, but it’s still slowly dropping. Even with intensified SEO efforts and expert help, the current crisis is impacting consumers and their willingness to purchase products, whether it’s off or online. 

PPC marketing efforts

The data is not yet completely clear on the effectiveness of marketing strategies during this crisis, but there’s a general consensus that a drop is expected. Of course, this entirely depends on the methods that you use to draw in consumers online. While the data for SEO is pretty clear, things like PPC are still a relative mystery.

Data suggests that pay-per-clip strategies have not seen a significant dip in terms of effectiveness, but there’s not enough of a sample size to prove this conclusively. While there might not have been a change in cost per click, cost per acquisition is steadily on the rise. Conversions are getting more expensive in just about every industry, with the exception of toilet paper. 

E-commerce shifts

The past half a decade has seen an explosive rise in the popularity of e-commerce. It has slowly become a staple of everyday life instead of just being a gimmick that is only seldom utilized. While e-commerce has been on the upswing for a while now, nothing could have prepared online retailers for the massive shift towards e-commerce that is now occurring. 

Due to the ever-present danger of the virus looming in public spaces, people are very hesitant to leave their homes and go to the store. This means that most physical retail locations are sitting empty, in more ways than one. Those who are willing to visit the store will find that many of them have been cleaned out in terms of essentials. Tons of people are panic buying things like canned goods and toilet paper, which is leaving these stores empty and useless to the average customer.

These customers will turn to e-commerce retail, where they can find all the products that they need. Even shoppers that normally wouldn’t look to online retail are now shifting towards it. Brands are doing their best to accommodate this new influx of consumers, but it’s hard to keep an eye on their behaviour in a chaotic time like this.


It’s clear that the current Coronavirus situation is heavily impacting the digital marketing world. In most cases, it has led to a drop in traffic, sales, conversions, and marketing efforts in general. It’s a pretty bleak picture out there, but that doesn’t mean businesses are giving up. With extra effort and the help of industry experts, it’s possible for businesses to weather the storm and come out the other side just fine.