Advertisers Shifting Marketing Dollars into Digital Media Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing advertisers to shift marketing dollars into digital media that, under normal circumstances, would have been spent elsewhere. This is according to a survey of nearly 100 advertising and marketing professionals recently conducted by Northbrook digital marketing agency, atCommunications, LLC.

67% of those surveyed said that as a result of the pandemic, they had shifted into digital media marketing dollars that would have been spent elsewhere under normal circumstances. In addition, 74% said that relative to the last 12 months, their digital marketing budgets for the next 12 months will increase.

"As many forms of live sales interactions have slowed (or ground to a halt), meeting customers online - where they're spending vast amounts of time right now - is critical," said Terry Kasdan, atCommunications' founder. "Businesses' brick-and-mortar stores may be closed, but their eCommerce stores remain open for business. Their trade shows and industry events may be canceled, but they can still network with prospective customers online."

Respondents said they plan to spend additional digital marketing dollars on boosting search engine visibility (both organic search engine optimization and paid search ads) and social media. A study cited by Forbes says social media consumption has increased by 61% since March. Business-to-business marketers also plan to spend more on virtual events like webinars.

atCommunications offers three tips for customer acquisition and continued growth in the Coronavirus-impacted environment:

1. Most Internet traffic begins with search engine queries, and-with a global market share north of 87%-Google performs the vast majority of them. But getting listed in search engines like Google is a marathon not a sprint. It can take three to six months (or more) to earn meaningful organic visibility. Businesses that are not already doing SEO (search engine optimization) need to start immediately to get their sites listed by winter. And those that are already benefitting from good search engine visibility should double-down to maintain their standings.

2. In the meantime, while businesses are waiting to appear in organic search results - or to supplement the organic visibility they've already earned - Google Ads can boost them to the top of relevant search results instantly. Businesses select keywords and phrases, and then for a price Google displays the businesses' ads on the first page of its search results for those words and phrases.

3. Social media allows businesses to bypass all other media and communicate directly with customers. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the top three channels for communicating with consumers, and LinkedIn is the preferred channel for communicating business-to-business. Social media marketing is an investment any business can start making today. As a business' followings grow, it'll continue paying dividends with (unlike other media) little or no recurring cost other than time and effort.

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