Nikith Deo

How COVID-19 has changed Digital Marketing


COVID-19 hasn't gone away. I don't know whether it will go away anytime soon, but in the meantime, we have to learn how to live during these trying times. This includes learning how to market effectively. The pandemic has affected the way we market. It has negatively impacted many businesses, however, some have experienced huge profits. Continuously adapting your digital marketing strategy to the changing times is integral. Here are a few changes that have occurred in the realm of digital marketing as a result of the pandemic along with some ways to continue to be successful.

1. The Prevalence of Misinformation (Fake News)

Misinformation has been rampant these days, whether it's about politics or the pandemic itself. In a time when people don't know who to trust, they'll have little patience for liars. In advertising, it's normal to exaggerate. At this time though, maybe exaggerate less. Spreading fake news about the pandemic is a bad look at your business. It's important to build and maintain a reputation as a trustworthy advertiser.

2. Empathy is Important

In a time when people tend to feel like everyone/everything is against them, being empathetic is especially important. Listen attentively to your customers' wants and needs. If they have a complaint address it promptly. Timeliness is very important. It shows that you care. Also, try using real-time data to better understand your clients' current situations. The more you show that you care about your customers, the more likely they are to remember you (and make room in their budgets to continue buying your product(s)/service(s).

3. Ad Spaces are limited

Many ad spaces are being allocated to spreading information about the pandemic. This also means that there is a higher likelihood of you seeing health-related ads for hospitals, sanitizers, masks, etc. It may be tougher for you to compete and you may end up having to pay more for your ad spaces. As a result, you may have to consider spending less on paid advertising. Instead advertise organically by posting on social media. Inversely, if you have the budget to spend on paid advertising, then you absolutely should do so, because many of your competitors may be dealing with tighter budgets.

4. High Volatility/Uncertainty

During this time, conditions are highly volatile/uncertain. There seems to be something new to worry about every day. As a result, there is a good chance the digital marketing methods you've been using successfully, may no longer yield positive results. This is why it is especially important to continue to test your content by developing short-term strategies and seeing how the market behaves. Unfortunately, there is no one way to guarantee success. You will have to be patient and keep iterating. Don't get complacent! If your product is not in demand at this time, there may not be too much you can do to change that. Nonetheless, be sure to monitor whatever traffic you get to your website and its source, as well as how users behave on your website. You will have to keep tinkering with things.

5. Livestreams can bring success

Webinars and webcasts are the most engaging content type today. Stats show that more than 80% of users prefer watching brand videos rather than reading their blogs or scanning through their social network text updates. If your company has any in-person events that you have had to cancel, you can go virtual with them. At this point, I'm sure you've all become Zoom experts due to the sheer frequency with which we've had to use it. Before you get started with webinars or live streams, especially if you haven't done any before, do a test run beforehand. Make sure to post about these events on your social channels in advance to maximize attendance. It can also be helpful to schedule these events outside of normal work hours so people don't have to choose between work and your event. You are bound to get asked questions in your live streams/webinars. The questions you get asked can be good blog content or can be made part of FAQ's.


All in all, the digital marketing landscape has undergone some change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone has been impacted differently, but there are still ways to be successful and make money in a period when many are struggling. Hopefully, these tips help you with your digital marketing efforts at this time. Stay safe!

About the Author

Nikith Deo is the Digital Marketing intern for Sparrow Marketing. He is a senior marketing student at San Jose State University.

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