The Shift from Physical to Online Advertising Amid the Pandemic

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One of the most noticeable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the drastic increase in screen time. For iOS users, the horrifying day comes at the end of the week–like what happened to Dr. Eric K. Singhi, MD. In his tweet, he expressed his disbelief when he discovered the 185% increase in his screen time.

He is not alone in this, though. There is an apparent increase in media consumption around the world since quarantine and lockdowns started. One aspect of this is the use of social media. According to Statista, 44% of internet users have been spending more time on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Pair the increase in screen time with the inability to go out, online shopping and selling behaviors have changed as well. Because WHO and countries encouraged stores to hold operations in the meantime, businesses utilized the power of social media.

Online shopping trends amid the COVID-19 pandemic

woman using laptop

Data from Bazaar Network recorded “a 21% increase in online orders in March 2020” compared to the same month the previous year. Additionally, 41% would rather buy online instead of going to the physical store, according to Marketing Week.

Their preferences in advertisements also changed. People look for availability, price, and quality during this pandemic, whereas they focused on quality, price, and brand before.

With availability, price, and quality in mind, how can online businesses create effective ads on social media?

Advertising on social media

Social media is a low-cost and effective avenue for advertisements because they have a lot of users, and posting ads is free–unless it is sponsored. These platforms also offer a wide range of formats: photo, video, stories, slideshow, carousel, links, etc. Here are general marketing tips:

  • Add a call-to-action button. This adds a straightforward and convenient way for your audience to contact your store, whether it is “Message Now” or “Shop Now”.
  • Coherence. When the ad converts to traffic on your website, the audience shouldn’t feel disoriented. For example, pictures of bars and drinks would fit in for an ad for bottle glorifiers, instead of flowers and gardens.

Creating Facebook ads

With 70% of Americans logging into Facebook every day, there’s no doubt that this social media platform works well with ad reach. They offer several options to specify a business’ demographic: custom targeting, location, gender, age, and connections via current followers.

Once you’ve sealed your target, think of the contents of the ad. A catchy and conversational headline would be interesting since it sounds more personal.

It should also be straight-to-the-point. What are your products and services? Where can they shop and order? What do you want them to do?

Creating Instagram ads

The majority of Instagram’s followers are people aged 18-44. Additionally, the thing with Instagram is that it focuses on the media content rather than the copy. This means that an appealing picture or video would be more noticeable. For carousel ads, the style and content of each picture should be coherent.

Instagram stories are also effective ways to place ads. According to Embed Social, “One third (1/3) of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.” For the audience to avoid skipping, businesses can add interactive elements such as polls or the “Swipe up” feature to bring traffic to their site.

Online shopping is not just a thing for leisure in this pandemic. It has become the lifeline for individuals and businesses alike, and this is something businesses can improve on.

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