The coronavirus impacts our lives on many different levels. Besides the obvious health-related problems, we need to understand that such a pandemic also has an economic impact. It is very hard to predict what will happen and how the economy will be affected but we have to think about the potential ripple effect that is more and more probable right now.
Search marketing is already impacted and although it is close to impossible to predict what will happen in the following months, what every single professional in the industry needs to keep a close tab on includes the following.
Shopping from home increases
The huge focus of search marketing in the past months was put on local search optimization, with extra attention on mobile shopping. Because of the fact that people stay more indoors, you can expect desktop computers to be used more to shop. This is simply because of the convenience that is offered through the larger screen.
More and more purchases are moving online right now. This includes shopping for groceries and much more. 22% of retailers on Amazon now make changes to the marketplace strategy used because of the coronavirus impact, based on a report by Digital Commerce 360.
Possible product shortages
Harvard Business Review predicted that the peak of the covid-19 outbreak will be felt by the global supply chains during mid-March. This happened as many companies had to temporarily shut down some manufacturing and assembly plants in Europe and the US.
Merchants that rely on Chinese products, together with their affiliates, are affected the most. This includes those that sell through Amazon and other marketplaces.
Advertising methods change
Video is vital for online branding but because of the fact that people have to stay indoors, it becomes very difficult to create new videos to promote products and services. Companies will rely on the promotional material that was already created or will need to adapt and change how they handle new material creation. This can lead to more expenses so budgets available for search marketing might be reduced.
A higher demand for SEO specialists
Search marketing professionals often make the mistake of thinking SEO is all about being number one in search engines. This is incorrect. In reality, SEO is all about generating sales. We saw during the recession of 2008 that sales collapsed in almost all industries. Search marketing was then affected because clients were no longer able to pay. This can happen again because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marketing agencies have to lower their fees in order to keep working with the valuable long-term clients that had earnings affected.
At the same time, due to a reduced budget for other ads, more money will be available for SEO, which can bring in results over the long-term. Companies that did use it will most likely want to use it more because they will be less affected when compared to those that relied on PPC advertising.
While it is close to impossible to predict exactly what will happen, the coronavirus pandemic did already hit countless industries. It is very important as a marketing specialist to keep your eyes on the market and adapt.