Daily Updates Covid-19: The Impact on Digital Marketing
Daily Updates Covid-19: The Impact on Digital Marketing

We are tracking the ways to ensure your digital marketing works during this crisis.

We are working with global organizations, local businesses, non-profits and individuals – developing and executing strategy through various marketing channels.

Why Facebook Ads are Critical for your business during COVID-19


  1. Digital attention is at an all-time high.
    • More online traffic to Facebook and Instagram = an increase in impressions, larger target audience reach, and lower overall campaign operating costs.
    • Do not test any new campaign initiatives, however if you can afford to keep campaigns active you will be reaching a more captive audience.
  2. Multiple competitors are pausing their campaigns.
    • Many companies have quickly paused their paid ad campaigns – meaning it is now easier to reach and take any shared customers you may have.
    • Less ad competition = Lower cost per click (CPC) and lower cost per impression (CPM).
  3. Brand Awareness is a low-cost strategy
    • Overall conversions during this time are likely to slow down. Try Shifting your campaigns to Brand Awareness, a lower-cost objective.
    • Brand Awareness campaigns generate as many impressions as possible and typically cost only a few cents per result.
    • These campaigns can help your business stay top of mind during these times.
  4. Reach people now, win business later.
    • Update messaging or offers in order build trust, instead of just selling.
    • Be sensitive on how you market to your customers. Offer helpful, thoughtful service, and/or increased value in a time of need.

Scooter Note:We have all heard during this time “business is not normal”, and the same goes for digital marketing. Now is the time to take a strategic look at your campaigns and objectives. Be mindful of your customers feelings. Sometimes adjusting your campaign message or strategy will help you long term.

Google Pledges $340 Million in Google Ads credits for small and midsize businesses


  1. Google provides support for businesses, health workers & organizations as well as governments during the pandemic with an overall commitment of more than $800 million.
    • Google states, “We hope to alleviate some of the costs for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to stay in touch with their customers.”
  2. Small Business Ad credits.
    • Eligible advertisers will see notifications about available ad credits in their Google Ads accounts over the next few months
    • Credits can be used throughout 2020 on all campaign types and Google Ad platforms including:
      • Google Search
      • Google Display
      • YouTube
  3. Extra Google Grants Allotment.
    • Google is pledging $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions and Non-profit organizations to run PSAs on relief funds and resources for Small and Medium Businesses
    • According to Google “We are increasing ad grants available to the World Health Organization and other government agencies to provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from an initial $25 million to $250 million.”

Scooter Note:There are many unknowns in regard to the Google Ads credits – how much will a typical business receive, how far will the ad credits go, and will they come in time to make a difference? We suggest signing up for Google Ad alerts so you can stay up to date on the latest news and updates.

Google Recommends advertisers to evaluate ads during Coronavirus pandemic


  1. Advertisers should consider the context and tone of their messaging.
    • Be sensitive on how certain words may come across
    • Consider if the message is helpful
    • Think about the images and videos shown – is it appropriate to show large gathering of people or human interaction?
  2. Update Business Profiles on Google My Business, to reflect changes during the pandemic.
    • Adjust business hours or say closed if your retail space is not currently open to the public
    • Direct customers to your website if applicable
  3. Review performance metrics of online ads and pause if needed.
    • Significant shifts in conversions rates could require bid adjustments
  4. Google implemented new policies on ad approvals, where the reference to COVID-19 can lead to an ad disapproval.

Scooter Note:Be mindful of the state of the country and the world. Depending on the context of your ad it could be more beneficial in the long run to pause your campaign or adjust the messaging and/or photo. Reviewing your analytics will give you an indication if people are paying attention and engaging with your business.

Facebook & Google Could Lose Over $44 Billion in Ad Revenue Because of Coronavirus


  1. Overall ad spending is declining rapidly, and the two largest players Google and Facebook are seeing the largest impact.
    • Cowen & Co. analysts estimate that Google’s total net revenue is now projected to be about $127.5 billion, down $28.6 billion (-18%)
    • Cowen & Co. analysts estimate that Facebook’s ad revenue is around $67.8 billion, a drop of $15.7 billion (-19%)
  2. Facebook execs disclosed that the company has “seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
  3. Digital Advertising is feeling the impact before other media outlets.
    • “Digital platforms are feeling the pain soonest, given the relative ease of pulling ad spend versus mediums such as television,” says LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield
  4. Twitter, Snapchat & Amazon expected to see an ad decline from original year-over-year projections
    • Snapchat | -30% over original forecast
    • Twitter | -18% over original forecast
    • Snapchat | -11% over original forecast

Scooter Note:As shifts & declines in ad spend seem apparent for the near future, you will want to stay current on the latest news. Adjust your campaign strategy weekly depending on Cost Per Click (CPC) & Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), website traffic and conversions.

Facebook Ads have seen a decline in business despite an increase in usage


  1. Many of Facebook’s products, including Messenger and WhatsApp, have seen a spike in traffic as more people stay home.
    • “Messaging has jumped more than 50 percent in many of the countries hit hardest by the virus,” Facebook said, adding that voice calls in those regions have more than doubled.
  2. Services that are booming in popularity currently are not apps or products where Facebook has robust ad businesses.
    • According to Facebook “We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
  3. Usage has been so high that simply keeping the services up and running has been more challenging than usual.
    • “The usage growth from Covid-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day,” says Facebook.

Scooter Note:With recording breaking traffic on Facebook and delays in ad approval & ad appeals – it is crucial to strategically plan, analyze and execute your paid ads. Schedule your campaigns in advance, adjust live ads only in necessity and review your ad manager analytics on a daily basis.

New Search Trends During a Pandemic


  1. Store visits drop by 90% in one month.
    • Many advertisers use Google Ads to track the impact of their online presence to their brick & mortar traffic
    • As more retail stores shut down, business owners have seen dramatic declines week over week and are adjusting their strategy to have more of an online presence by:
      • Designing a simple website
      • Adding a retail location(s) on Google My Business
      • Engaging customers through email and social media
      • Advertising on Google Ads, Microsoft Ads and/or Facebook
  2. COVID-19 dominates search terms.
    • Searches related to COVID-19 or Coronavirus have skyrocketed over 100%
      • “Tax Preparation and COVID-19”
      • “Travel Booking and COVID-19”
    • Behavioral and economic changes are causing people to search differently
      • “California lockdown rules” (+4,600%)
      • “When are taxes due 2020 USA?” (+2,050%)
      • “Will grocery stores be open tomorrow” (+3,550%)
  3. Mobile search traffic has declined nearly 25% in March.
    • With people staying indoors and not commuting to work there has been a sudden decline in mobile search traffic
      • Since March, 16 mobile traffic has consistently been down nearly 25%
    • Traffic for mobile is typically cheaper for PPC advertisers, causing a shift in strategy
      • Adjust your device bidding, to focus more on desktop
      • Consider Smart Bidding to adjust CPC bids in real time

Scooter Note:As shifts in search continue to happen weekly, its crucial to be flexible with your digital and business strategy. Stay up to date on current search and paid social trends, review & adjust your key words based on volume & conversions, add negative keywords to avoid capturing unrelated searches. Click for More Information on Search Trends

COVID-19 Paid Search Strategies


  1. Don’t be too quick to pause your search campaigns.
    • Evaluate your data before making any decisions. Even though you may see a decrease in orders, you may also see a decline in clicks & ad spend – meaning your Return on Ad Spend (ROA) may be the same or even better.
  2. Shift your sales strategy to promote different items.
    • Certain business areas are seeing an increase in business during this time – such as, vitamins, fitness products, DIY home products e-books, kids craft kits and toys, batteries, and ink and toner cartridges.
  3. Adjust your digital strategy and ad platforms.
    • Google Video and Google Display ads can be an inexpensive way to increase brand awareness. You might not get the immediate business; however, the investment and brand recognition can pay off later.
  4. Offer virtual services
    • Use technology to your advantage. Set-up online meetings & consultations with clients, create an online forum where people can ask questions, highlight new products or services through YouTube and adapt your ad copy to promote these new incentives.

Scooter Note:Now is the time to clean up your ad accounts and adjust your digital strategies. Test new keywords & ad copy, create & update targeted landing pages, modify ad & site-link extensions to be more focused, review data & analytics to create new and exciting campaigns.

Amazon Warehouses are Only Accepting the Essentials


  1. Due to rapid growth in demand, Amazon will only be accepting essential goods in all of their warehouses until April, 5 2020.
    • According to Amazon, “We are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers.”
  2. Amazon will continue delivering the products considered nonessential that are currently stocked in their warehouses, but they will not be allowing sellers and vendors to replenish those products for at least the next 3 weeks.
    • Expect greater availability of things like soap and dog food, and potential shipping delays when it comes to less pressing items like clothing and electronics.
  3. If Amazon is a major part of your eCommerce business and you’re not selling an “essential” product then be prepared for a potential decline in sales.

Scooter Note:If you rely heavily on Amazon Ads or sell non-essential products, now is the time to get creative. Setup a pick, pack & ship station out of your living room or dining room. Recruit your kids to package orders. Communicate regularly with your customers on business and order status.

Click to Read More on Amazon

Google Ads Makes it Easier to Appeal Disapproved or Limited Ads


  1. Google Ads is launching a feature that makes it easier for advertisers to appeal policy decisions and get ads approved.
    • According to Google Ads, “Our advertising policies exist in order to protect users, advertisers and publishers from bad actors and ensure only high-quality ads are served across our platforms. But we understand that sometimes well-intentioned advertisers make honest mistakes, and we want to empower every business to get their ads up as soon as possible.”
  2. You can now appeal policy decisions directly in Google Ads.
    • You can resubmit an ad immediately after fixing the policy issue.
    • You can now appeal decisions without contacted Google directly.
    • If ad is eligible for an appeal, you can hover over the ad and select “appeal link.”
  3. Google advises that processing appeals will take longer because of COVID-19.
    • A statement by Google Ads, “An important note: We’ve been taking action to protect the health of our team members during the evolving COVID-19 situation and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, we are currently experiencing longer than usual times to process appeals of ad disapprovals.”

Scooter Note:Google Ads may be disapproved or limited if the text does not comply with Google’s ad policy. In an ever-changing market, it is crucial to stay up to date on the current ad requirements set by Google.

Click to Review Google Ads Policy

WordStream Ranks How COVID-19 Is Affecting Ad Results for 21 Industries


  1. 7 Industries with higher volume & performance
    • Non-profits & Charities | +23% search ad conversions
    • Health & Medical | +47% pharmaceutical search ad conversions
    • Business Management | +41% office supplies search ad conversions
    • Finance | +23% accounting search ad conversions
    • Beauty & Personal Care | +41% overall search
    • On-Demand Media | +102% search ad conversions
    • Greetings, Gifts & Flowers | +43% floral arrangement conversion rate
  2. 7 Industries with a mixed performance
    • Real Estate | -25% real estate listing conversion rate, +11% moving & relocation services search volume
    • Home Improvement | average conversion rates are steady but vary widely
    • Home Furniture | +/- 2% search conversion rate
    • Automotive | -28% vehicle parts & accessories conversion rate, +44% vehicle repair & maintenance conversion rate
    • Retail | -14% search ad conversion rate and –9% Cost Per Click
    • Jobs & Education | +10% and +8% in paid search traffic
    • Legal Services | -5% in search volume and conversions
  3. 7 Industries who have taken the biggest hit
    • Travel & Tourism | -43% search ad conversion rate
    • Bars & Restaurants | -58% search ad conversion rate
    • Live Entertainment | -30% search ad conversion rate
    • Conferences | -33% search ad conversion rate
    • Sports & Fitness | -74% search ad conversion rate
    • Building & Construction | -2% search ad conversion rate
    • Industrial & Manufacturing | -13% search traffic

Scooter Note:Understanding your industry search trends is essential in making strategic decisions for your company or non-profit. Login to your accounts daily to see how your ads are performing. Pause any ads that are not converting and readjust your overall campaign strategy if necessary.

Click to Read the Full WordStream Report

Facebook UI on mobile and laptop

Facebook & Instagram Ad Reviews are Taking Longer Than Usual


  1. Ad reviews are taking longer than usual and may cause delayed ad delivery.
  2. Ad appeals may also be reduced or experience slower response times.
  3. Facebook is sending home all contract workers who perform content and ad review, until further notice.
  4. No indication how long the delays could last.

Scooter Note:Limit the amount of editing you do to your campaign. Changing the text, targeting or destination landing page, will cause a new ad review. Editing budget and the start & end date will not prompt a new review.

app icons

Google Ads & Google My Business Support May Be Delayed or Unavailable


  1. Google phone, email and support outlets may be slower or unavailable.
  2. Google Ads and Google My Business Customers may be impacted.
  3. As a precautionary health measure Google’s support team is operating with a limited team.
  4. There is no indication how long the delay could last.

Scooter Note:Review your accounts, analytics and any questions you may have before contacting Google. The more information you provide the better.

google maps ui on mobile

Google Search and Maps Will Display Information About Temporary Closures


  1. Google My Business allows businesses to easily mark themselves as temporarily closed.
  2. AI technology is used to contact businesses to confirm their updated business hours and business description.
  3. Customers will quickly know your updated business hours and status when they search your company.

Scooter Note:Log into your Google My Business account 2-3 times per day. Keep hours of operation current and update your business description to let customers know any changes.

facebook business header

Are Social Media Platforms and Google Blocking Paid Search or Paid Social Campaigns?Could I See a Sudden Decline or Spike in My Paid Advertisement Campaigns?


  1. Google and paid social platforms are not blocking your ads as long as you are not exploiting or capitalizing on the situation or claiming you can prevent, cure or treat COVID-19.
  2. The pandemic and market changes can produce unexpected shifts in your ad clicks, traffic and conversions.
  3. “Paid search reflects the market; it isn’t the market itself. If people’s search trends have gone somewhere else in the moment and your products and services are not rightfully on their mind anymore—that’s a reality.” WordStream Managed Services Senior Manager Mike Emilliani.

Scooter Note:Stay proactive and adjust your campaigns based on results and analytics.

digital marketing ideas

COVID-19: Digital Marketing Campaign Checklist


  1. Review your accounts
    • Check for drops in traffic, clicks, impressions and conversions.
    • Look for higher costs per click or costs per acquisition.
    • Monitor comments on social media ads.
  2. Communication is key
    • Maintain customer relations and build trust by communication. Keep clients and customers informed on any updates via email, social media and your website.
    • “If your business is affected, Google recommends updating your business hours and description in your Google My Business profile.”
  3. Modify you Digital Strategy
    • Coronavirus could impact every sector and industry, and you want to be sensitive to the matter – depending on your industry, sometimes pausing a certain campaign or adjusting messaging can be more impactful long-term.
    • If you run an e-commerce business keeping your ads up to date with inventory is crucial.
    • Adjust ad bidding if you see a decline in engagement and conversion

Scooter Note:Stay informed and up to date as new information is shared daily. We will update this feed with current information to help you make strategic decisions for your business or non-profit.