The COVID-19 crisis has turned health, safety, transportation, and food industries upside down. While we struggle to adjust in our daily lives, we’ve also been closely tracking major shifts in digital marketing performance across DKC clients.

According to Axios, over half of Americans are self-quarantining, 42% are working from home, and 36% are not working or furloughed. The result? A massive shift in digital content engagement that necessitates a strategic shift for any online brand. Organizations that invest in paid digital right now can very likely reap historically strong returns.

Here are the major trends we’re seeing across platforms, sectors, and marketing objectives to help you navigate.


It’s not rocket science to say driving traffic to any existing streaming property is now easier than ever. But the discounted cost per view must be called out: We’re seeing paid social campaigns to promote features on major channels deliver returns at > 90% discounted rates. For any organization with streaming media, this creates a huge opportunity to expand your audience and enhance the quality of re-marketing and look-a-like targeting for future releases.

One notable exception here is podcast content. Overall podcast listenership is down, due to the sudden shift in commute time and frequency.


Petitions and opportunities to sign on for a cause are extremely cost effective. Netizens want to be helpful, even if its just by lending their name to say “thank you” the workers on the front lines helping people. Right now may be the best ever environment for a cause to grow its list with a smart petition or sign-on effort.


People are not just spending more time online overall, they’re also paying more attention to what’s online. This means an interactive effort that, one month ago, may have been quickly scrolled-past, might now receive very thoughtful engagement. You might bet on especially strong returns with:

  • Online votes
  • Sports content (people really miss live sports!)
  • Museum interactive content
  • Executive thought leadership, especially touching on how society/humanity should function and can improve
  • Anything that helps parents teach kids
  • Brands running social media contests to keep consumers engaged until they can return to stores

We’ve never seen faster turn-around time for online poll responses. In particular, two types of efforts are highly recommended right now:

  1. If you want to screen for a hard-to-reach audience, like female Millennial scientists with green eyes, you’ll never have an easier time getting fast, quality responses. Though, on second thought, hopefully those scientists are hard at work.
  2. If you want to conduct research specifically about the impact of coronavirus on your sector, there are many discounts and partnership opportunities. We may be able to run a major national consumer survey for as low as $5K, depending on the press value.

Some of our clients have seen drastically decreased in B2B lead generation efforts because executives and decision makers (a) have time on their hands and (b) need solutions now. One caution is that, while sign-ups are currently very easy, conversion to sale may be harder. You have to be patient.


When businesses started to shut down, many of them paused existing paid search ads. This means real estate on the top of the page is likely less expensive than ever. This dynamic has a double-benefit: the consumers actively searching for your product are also the most likely to buy, so doubling down on paid search may help you survive the downturn. You just can’t use coronavirus keywords.

More news consumption = more opportunity for premium programmatic display because more clicks = more space for your brand. This option is great for low-cost brand awareness. And remember, mobile impressions allow ad buyers to capture mobile ID’s, which will be very valuable when normalcy returns. Just don’t bet on people buying non-staple-goods during April.

You might not be able to sell tickets right now, but you can make a smart long-term bet in digital audience acquisition. Since traffic-generating campaigns are so low-cost right now, you can keep driving a ton of site traffic based on one or more of the above tactics. All of those event site visitors can then be bundled into much-larger-than-normal re-marketing audience when you’re ready to hold the live event. Essentially, this is a buy low, sell high strategy. You’ll invest some money upfront and gain big returns later because the remarketing audience is usually the core driver of high ROI during ticket sales and event attendance campaigns.

If you’re still looking to have an experience where you bring your customers together, consider the role of livestreaming and AR/VR for your upcoming event. Our digital and events teams are working with clients to transform panel discussions, board meetings and even product demos into virtual events.


The Coronavirus has introduced new complexities in the ever-changing world of influencer marketing. Influencers reliant on travel and events to create their content have been vocal about the impact that #quarantinelife has on their business. But creative solutions are on the rise. DJ-hosted virtual parties bringing in 200k+ simultaneous viewers and subscription content services such as OnlyFans seeing record numbers of new registrations. Influencers may be offering services at rare discounted rates to collaborate live/interactive content for your customers.

Want to know more? We’ve got a team of digital media buyers, content experts, and social media pro’s to help navigate your own unique challenges, budget, and product landscape. Just reach out at www.dkcnews.com.

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