No one really knew how a pandemic and a global lockdown would affect social media platforms. More specifically, how it would affect companies using social media to market their business.

Recent research has shown some interesting trends. Not only in how consumers are using social media but also in how marketers are adapting to the current global crisis.

In this article, we’re going to look at how companies, marketers, and consumers are changing their strategies in response to COVID-19. Plus how you can use this information better to adapt your social media and digital marketing strategies.


CPM & CPC Decline 

A recent report by research and marketing company, Socialbakers, found a big decline in the cost-per-mille (CPM — cost-per-one thousand impressions) and cost-per-click (CPC) ads.

Due to the lack of consumers visiting websites through paid advertisements, social media platforms have significantly dropped the cost of advertising. The average CPM cost across all industries has plummeted over 50% since its high in November 2019. With the average CPM being around $0.80 currently.

The cost-per-click has also dropped significantly. In December 2019, the average CPC was ~$0.18. As of March 2020, this figure has fallen to 9 cents per click. These numbers clearly show the change in demand for paid adverts on social networks. Marketers are tightening budgets. Spending less on paid ads. And consumers are less likely to interact with paid ads that are selling products due to financial uncertainty. 


How Consumer Behavior is Changing

As we highlighted previously, many consumers may be concerned about financial uncertainty. This will significantly reduce their appetite to purchase products or services online. Social media users are engaging with paid advertisements less. However, Socialbakers has found that users are engaging more with organic posts.

As the average click-thru rates also drop, markets are posting more organic content. The theory is that markets are trying to offset the drop in CTR by posting more organic material than usual. 

Question: How Should You Adapt?

There are many ways you can adapt your social media marketing strategy during the COVID-19 shutdown. But the two main things you need to focus on is your content strategy and marketing budget optimization.


Post more organic content

As the data above shows, organic content is the best way to increase engagement. In these uncertain times, people want to engage with real, authentic content and are less likely to want to engage with ads trying to sell them products.

Some ideas for content include charitable posts — stating what you and your business are doing to help people during the pandemic. This type of content is very popular at the moment, with everyone doing what they can to help support business, individuals in need, people working in the health sector, and other vital roles.


Optimize your marketing budget 

As Neil Patel states very bluntly, “the best time to double down is when others are not”. You need to be able to reorganize your marketing budget to ensure you can make the most of the opportunities that will arise from an economic slowdown or downturn. 

We’ve already created a brief guide on what you can do to optimize your marketing budget to navigate through uncertain times.

Analyze your budget for areas where you could cut spending on certain types of marketing and reinvest the savings in cheap CPC and CPM ads — capitalizing on the fall in the cost of marketing to boost your business awareness before economic activity picking back up.


Your Thoughts

How have you and your business changed since the virus outbreak? We’d love to know what changes you’ve made in your marketing strategy, your employees, and your plans on navigating your business through these uncertain times. 

It would be amazing to have you speak with us on the Intentionally Inspirational podcast about your current situation and outlook on the future. You can apply to be on our podcast here and chat with the Intentionally Inspirational CEO, Jason Wright.


Written by Lewis James