The menace named Novel Coronavirus is on an absolute tear with no signs of slowing down. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) adopting a new name COVID-19 for the nightmarish disease, a total of 58,440 confirmed cases have been reported, including 1,113 deaths. As of this writing, India has 3 confirmed cases out of around 1700 “suspects” checked. Frightening as the stats are, most of us are well acquainted with these by now. So today, we are going to take a look at another aspect of this mayhem. That is the Web Marketing Trends – with special emphasis on customer search queries, digital advertising trends and lastly web marketing blueprints for relevant businesses and digital marketing companies.
Customer Search Query Trends
Sharp surges in search interests have been witnessed across markets and geographies when it comes to search terms (or keywords, for the nerds) like ‘coronavirus’, ‘coronavirus symptoms’, ‘coronavirus cure’, ‘coronavirus masks’, ‘china virus’ etc. Search activity, as per Google Trends, increased steadily since the third week of January 2020 and peaked near the end of that month and even continued beyond that. Search figures hovered in the 90-99 region and often touched the 100 figure (on a scale of 0-100, 0 signifying the lack of search data and 100 meaning ceiling search figures). Let’s take a graphical look at it.
Search trend for keyword ‘coronavirus’
Search trend for keyword ‘coronavirus symptoms’
Search trend for keyword ‘coronavirus cure’
Search trend for keyword ‘coronavirus masks’
Search trend for keyword ‘china virus’
Web Marketing Trends, Digital Advertising and Business Opportunities
As soon as the epidemic started spreading in and out of China people ran into a fit of frenzy, kick starting a mad rush across the world to contain the situation. Meanwhile, digital marketing agencies and some businesses saw a grand opportunity and tweaked their digital marketing strategy at once. They started targeted digital advertisements and doodles to boost consumer reach and visibility and also some good old sales. For example, consider this cool, albeit controversial digital advertisement by the desi dairy giant Amul. The pun usage is off the charts here! For the uninitiated, Wuhan is the very city in China where the first outbreak of this virus was detected and Amul dedicated its latest cartoon to the homecoming of Indians from the city courtesy of the Indian Government. Creativity or insensitivity? You decide! Whatever the case, we believe they really had some more consumers than usual munching on their snacks after coming across this ? Another company to have milked the situation appears to be Amazon. Sellers of medical and personal protective equipment on the platform have cashed in like anything, evident from the following highlights courtesy of Jungle Scout :
- Medical masks were sold out on January 21 and Hazmat (Hazardous material) suits on Feb 5 on Amazon.
- While daily medical mask sale stood at 8,510, around 20k units of Hazmat were sold in total!
- Product searches related to “Doomsday prep” (yes the Western Obsession!) spiked by 325%.
As the numbers clearly signify, revenue had skyrocketed for Amazon and its sellers owing to this epidemic and smart digital marketing was the driving force behind this. Just take a look at the recommendations which pop up on Google when we type “coronavirus masks” – and this is only the Amazon India domain we are looking at. Of course, not all who look up Google for “coronavirus” are interested in purchasing protective equipment or other related products. Majority of the users just want to know more about Coronavirus itself. In this case, businesses need to optimize keyword match types and negative keywords accordingly to gain the highest ROI on advertising spend.
Options for Digital Marketing Agencies and other business firms
- Firms that want to utilize the prevailing web marketing trend should fine tune their digital marketing strategy. They need to regularly review particular search query reports so that they know exactly which search keywords are bringing in revenue and which are not whether to use negative keywords to filter off a certain section of the target audience (for example the section that wants only information and is not interested in purchasing anything) and how to further optimize performing keywords in order to boost reach and subsequently sales.
- Firms not interested in cashing in on this opportunity should definitely add related trending keywords as negatives and modify their running campaigns to make sure it covers broader topics and not ‘coronavirus’. This is because they would want to target generic and not specific audiences related to this phenomenon. This way unwanted traffic will not be generated and the businesses can better focus on the preferred target audience not having to do anything with ‘coronavirus’.
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