People are using their devices to consume content at unprecedented levels, which is not surprising. However, the way people are engaging and what platforms people are choosing is the interesting part. Overall, internet usage is up and not just for social media consumption. A Comcast report updated March 30th, showed internet usage in the United States increased by 32%. Even Youtube had to change the default video quality to 480p to help handle the demand on their servers. Canadian internet providers have seen similar surges, with Bell noting a 60% jump in home internet usage during the day and a 20% increase at night.

Stories are telling a lot more stories

Instagram story posts are up 15% and impressions on Instagram have increased by 21%. 

What is most interesting about the Instagram/Facebook network is the shift in how it’s being used. We’re seeing a significant increase in the number of live broadcasts and interactive content like challenges (10 pushups, anyone?). This might have implications in the long term for Instagram, where the platform may shift from “Living Your Best Life” content to more webinar-style live streams and interactive content. We can also see that longer videos are getting better interactions as people are taking the time to watch videos to completion. 

Tweets are keeping us informed

Twitter has been transitioning to an information platform for many years. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter is being used as a major source for up-to-date information for many users. While engagement hasn’t increased, the number of daily users has. 

No more commutes, less podcasts

In an interesting turn of events, podcast listening is down. The Infinite Dial Report in 2019 showed that more than 50% of people listen to podcasts while driving and now that people are working from home and the commute is gone, podcast listening is way down. 

So many slide videos

TikTok had an increase of 18% in downloads, almost 2 million downloads in just the last two weeks of March. This could explain why all of your friends are suddenly posting Toosie Slide videos. The streaming service Twitch has also seen a big uptick in users as more men between 14-30 are turning to video games and video game streaming. 

Buy it online

Ecommerce companies have also seen a shift in buying behaviours. Grocery stores, medical products, baby products and cleaning products are all seeing a huge increase in online purchases, while luxury jewellery and fashion online sales have decreased. All industries considered, online shopping has increased by 24% according to a Common Thread report. 

How do we as digital marketers leverage this shift?

Many companies are choosing to reduce or pause all advertising, including digital ads during this time of uncertainty. The effect has been dramatic for advertisers who take the risk and continue to spend. The average cost per click has decreased in most industries by 36% for Google Search Ads because of the decreased competition. We are also seeing an increase in impressions for display ads as inventory opens up. The opportunity to get your brand in front of more potential customers is there and it’s never been cheaper. 

The biggest challenge is what to say

It’s important to understand what your customers are going through at this time and develop a strategy that will offer value to them. For example, our real estate clients have made virtual tours accessible on their websites and social media platforms. We’ve been able to change our messaging and still get high-quality traffic and engagement on the website. This means that people who are in-market to purchase a home during self-isolation are shopping online. Our client can still be in the mix and have an opportunity to build trust and brand recognition with their customers. 

Video is an easy way to connect

Leveraging long-form video content is also going to be very effective right now. The traditional video sales letter is a great way to connect with your audience and provide a thorough walk-through of a specific product or service. It also gives you the opportunity to alleviate any concerns about health and safety by demonstrating any applicable safety and sanitization protocols your company has in place. 

Keep customers in the loop

Keeping your store hours and information up-to-date on your website, social media pages and business directory accounts, such as Google My Business, is vital. Leveraging email marketing to communicate changes in your services and processes will help keep your customers in the loop on how they can continue to do business with you. We have another article coming out this week to help you build your email marketing strategy.

We can help

There are many unique strategies that can be used to make sure your business stays relevant now or in the future as the pandemic subsides. Our team at Flipp can help you put together a digital marketing strategy that is timely and effective while being sensitive to the current implications of COVID-19. 

Give us a call or fill out our online form to request a free digital marketing report. 

About Flipp

We are a full-service advertising, branding and digital design agency that creates identities, products and online experiences that mean something. Get in touch with us! We'd love to help you reach new customers, strengthen the messaging behind your brand and tell your story across multiple channels in an engaging way.

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