Our client director, Georgina Evenden sheds light on what Coronavirus really means for digital marketing during these strange and uncertain times

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I think it is fair to say that none of us have been immune to the impact of COVID-19; we are all feeling the uncertainty that these times bring. However, while some industries are clearly struggling in this climate, there are some marketeers out there wondering how to sensitively and smartly use their digital marketing efforts to keep their businesses afloat. Here at agenda21, we've read a great deal of blogs, articles and stats to bring you our top 5 tips on how to navigate this unknown territory, in context of our own experience with clients:

1) Don't jump the gun on price messaging 

We all know how price-sensitive consumers can be, but according to Global Web Index only 20% of people are currently concerned about the impact the virus will have on their personal finances, dropping to 10% among Gen Zs. So for the moment, hold off on those 'end of the world' sales, or turn that discount message into a positive one, as Pret have with their free hot drinks and 50% off all food for NHS workers. 

2) Fill your funnel with social media 

Many of our clients previously reliant on paid search have seen search volumes drop dramatically over the last week or so, reducing the opportunity to convert. As Campaign reports, there has been a huge jump in social media usage recently, as much as 30% by Millennials according to Global Web Index. Turning our marketing attention to social will enable us to capture and engage new audiences and re-invigorate search demand. Plus, we've seen CPMs significantly drop due to reduced advertising. 

3) Step out of your search comfort zone 

You may have lost your BAU search volume, but what else are people searching? Our search intent media partner Nano reports a significant shift in search queries as a direct reflection of our consumers changing behaviours. For example, ‘Entertain Me’ seekers are on the rise with increased searches for gaming, fitness and music, while we are also seeing more ‘Homemakers’ looking for family recipes, gardening or home improvement tools. We suggest reviewing your PPC campaigns and seeing where you can align your products or services with the query volumes in market today. 

4) Protect your brand (and your traffic) 

With less search demand in the market, it makes sense that marketeers turn to their competitors to source volume. If you are not already maintaining 100% impression share on position 1 for brand, then you should certainly consider it - protecting market share is as important now as ever, even if your industry is down. Those who do so may see themselves coming out of this in a stronger market position than before... 

5) Grow your brand awareness through display 

Take advantage of increased bid opportunities in the market, which has been driven by consumers spending more time online (up to 44% according to Global Web Index), while advertisers are spending less. This means significantly lower CPMs and greater opportunities to cut through the noise. Use audience and contextual targeting, combined with a savvy news-site white list to ensure your ads are landing to the right people, at the right moment. 

The advice provided in this article is based on statistics that are correct at the time of writing. To find out more or to get an up-to-date view on what the current state of the nation means for your digital marketing efforts, please contact Jordan Shuttlewood on jshuttlewood@agenda21digital.com.


We’re a modern media agency built for the constantly changing digital world. We exist to shorten the time between a client’s media investment and great stuff happening. Great stuff like driving sales, finding new customers, building market share, launching products....you get the gist. We build connected media for our clients. This means using media that is addressable, ad-servable or conditionally delivered with the purpose of liberating your creative messages and business. If we can’t validate, track and measure it, we don’t do it. When used properly this media and the data captured, creates stories that become the intelligence engine that drives what you do and means you can act now and act fast. We work best with people that don't want business as usual, who want to change how they do stuff and are trying to speed up what they do. That could mean you’re a new start-up or a business trying to secure second round funding. Or you might be a traditional business who recognises there is a need to change. And change now. If you sound like that sort of client, we'll probably work very well with you.

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