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Coronavirus has transformed the current economic landscape, with many analysts saying this is the worst economic downturn since the 2008 recession. As the economy continues to dwindle, the marketing and advertising industries are suffering heavily. 

Many companies have been forced to furlough or lay off employees. Clients are pausing ad spend, SEO campaigns, and much more. Every aspect of marketing, from traditional marketing to digital, has been impacted greatly by this pandemic. 

But this crisis is forcing companies to adapt because if you don’t adapt, you will get left behind. OneIMS has experienced this economic downturn firsthand, and we’d like to discuss how the industry as a whole has been affected and how we are transforming our strategy to make it out of this crisis better than when we went in.

Coronavirus Economy News – The Numbers

There’s no denying that marketing is often the first thing cut when companies are trying to save on costs. When COVID-19 began to impact the everyday lives of Americans, many businesses had to cut out their marketing and advertising budgets as a result of the dwindling economy. 

 

Digital & Traditional Advertising 

According to a recent survey of 400 marketing decision-makers, conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 74% of media buyers expect COVID-19 to have a more significant impact on advertising than the 2008 crisis. To put this in perspective, the 2008 recession lost the global advertising industry $60.5 billion in ad spending, which took the sector eight years to recover from fully. 

The IAB report also states digital ad spending is down 33% in the near term. The New York Times reports that TV ad spending is down 41%, 45% for radio, 43% for print publications, and 51% for traditional outdoor advertisements such as billboards. 

 

SEO & Other Digital Media 

When it comes to digital marketing and SEO, certain industries are experiencing a massive loss of traffic while others are somewhat gaining traction. The travel industry has suffered a significant hit with a 46% decline in traffic. Construction, advertising, manufacturing, transportation, technology, and real estate were among some of the additional industries that are suffering a significant traffic loss in these times.   

On the other hand, food and recipe websites are benefiting from a 22% increase as more and more individuals cook at home.  Health and wellness are benefiting from a 17% increase, and news mediums are up 34% in search. 

In terms of conversions, almost every industry experienced a decline. According to Neil Patel, many industries are struggling to get people to convert as they usually would. Despite this,  there was an increase in conversions for news companies, as many individuals are purchasing subscriptions to get past paywalls and stay up to date on all COVID-19 matters. 

As for the affiliate marketing industry, things are a bit messy. Some offers in areas like health and medical supplements are thriving, whereas offers in the travel and entertainment industry are not doing well. 

 

How the Marketing Sector is Responding to the Coronavirus Economy

The marketing industry is adapting to the challenges posed by the current economic climate. Companies are changing the way they operate to meet the current needs of the coronavirus economy. 

Many advertising agencies are treading lightly with the ads they decide to go through with. We’ve seen an increase in advertisements that are sensitive to the situation as opposed to the conventional practices of advertising. Many ads are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting social distancing. For example, Audi and Volkswagen have encouraged social distancing by creating distance between the letters in their logos. 

Many ads have taken on the tone of PSAs. According to Pattern89, an artificial intelligence platform, images containing handwashing information on social media increased by 600% in March. Companies, if they are advertising, are shifting their messages to something that is beneficial to consumers. Some companies have even pulled ads as they may come off as insensitive during this time. KFC recently had to pull an ad for their “Finger Lickin’ Good” campaign that displayed people licking their fingers for a full minute. 

 

The Importance of SEO In the Current Economy 

SEO may be marketing’s saving grace in these times. A recent study from Conductor surveying 317 business professionals found that 63% of marketers have faith that SEO will be more crucial than ever during this crisis. Many marketers are planning to reduce overall costs and budget by investing in low-cost, high-return strategies like SEO. 

When asked about lowering budgets, 40% say their marketing goals are set to increase while 32% report their marketing goals will stay the same. 34% stated they plan to increase spending in low-cost areas like SEO.   

These numbers go to show just how vital SEO will be for companies looking to bounce back from this crisis as fast as possible. In the upcoming months, we expect more and more companies to dive into reliable, long-term strategies like SEO. 

OneIMS Adapting to COVID-19

For the moment, the digital marketing industry is at a bit of a stalemate. Our team is now dedicated more than ever to help our clients grow in a time where growth seems impossible. The OneIMS digital marketing experts are here to increase organic traffic, roll-out tested PPC ads, and deliver killer content strategies as usual.  

Our team continues to work remotely, communicate daily with fellow team members, and anxiously await the return to normal. If you’re looking for a low-cost strategy with proven ROI, reach out to the experts at OneIMS today!

Written By Grace Barry

Grace Barry is the Content Strategist at OneIMS. Day to day, she writes, edits, and oversees a variety of compelling content production and optimization projects for clients throughout various industries. Her hobbies include writing, not finishing Netflix shows, and seeing how many cheeseburgers she can eat on a weekly basis.

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