Lockdown seems to be entering a new phase for most industries. Many now understand the immediate impact of COVID on their business - and as a result, ad spend has stabilized, furlough decisions have been made, strategies are up-to-date.
The times have been turbulent, yet some industries have been well-positioned to cope with the demands of a locked-down planet. These industries have performed strongly throughout the current crisis, and we’ve collected our insights and shared them below. We’ve also shared our thoughts on businesses that have quickly pivoted to digital services, a key tactic for finding new revenue streams in today’s world.
Gaming and Streaming Continue as Before
Gaming has weathered the storm remarkably well, with ad spend only slightly dropping in comparison with the beginning of the year. Historically low CPM prices have helped drop CPAs by as much as half in some cases, which, when combined with higher gaming ad engagement, makes this a great time to advertise.
Online streaming and entertainment pretty much mirror what we’ve seen in gaming, with ad spend similar to pre-crisis levels. CPAs are down by as much as 40%, with higher ad engagement and lower CPMs also factors here.
There are opportunities to capitalize on favorable social advertising conditions, yet we’ve not seen many changes to ad spend, creative, or otherwise from gaming and streaming companies. Most seem to be taking a “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” policy to social advertising - which is working for the moment, but we recommend monitoring a situation that is still full of unknowns. As brands do changes in the overall media mix, especially in the offline space, social might be a natural safe harbor for many gaming and streaming campaigns.
Online Education Can Give People Support - and Help Them Socialize
The vast majority of education now takes place through digital channels. As whole new groups of people go online for the first time, many adult online learning portals are responding by offering free training resources for first time users. As lockdown extends, online training may become attractive as a new, exciting activity.
Online education is also increasingly important for people with low job security. The current lockdown has put up to 50 million jobs at risk in the US alone. Therefore, providing people with ways to upskill and retrain through online education could potentially offer vital support in difficult times. No surprise that we saw a significant increase in advertising in this sector for the whole month of March.
One of the key components of education is the social element. Workshopping with students and interacting with educators is a particularly valuable piece of the educational experience. As it is challenging to produce high-quality online courses quickly, brands may start offering more live, interactive content to consumers in an effort to build community and increase retention.
The Key Role Influencers May Play in Digital Service Pivots
As inspiration for how to quickly pivot to a digital business model, look no further than health and wellness. We have seen many brands in this space complement their traditional offerings with online services delivering up to date content for people looking to train, eat well, and maintain mental balance. In many cases, an extensive influencer network has been key to performing this rapid pivot.
Wellness influencers have already adjusted their content to be useful under current conditions - and they can continue to create content safely at home. Thus, marketing departments have more relevant content to promote through social advertising. These influencer led ad campaigns have performed incredibly well and also resulted in impressive revenue growth drivers.
Importantly, many companies that have adapted well to current conditions are also choosing to support consumers and communities through philanthropy. We’ve seen customers ship free bottles of hand sanitizer with every online order, while others have made donations to local councils.
It’s true that many industries currently booming are those that offer delivery at home. We still advise some caution, however, as consumer behavior is likely to continue evolving in unpredictable ways throughout lockdown. A consumer in April 2020 may have very different purchasing motivations to one from January 2020 - brands should recognize this shift, keep testing new ways to interact with consumers and not only trust in past strategies to continue delivering results, even if they work in the short-term.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely and share everything relevant and useful we learn with you. You can visit our COVID-19 Insights Hub for more information and if you have any questions, contact your Customer Success Manager or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch!