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Coronavirus has been quite a large disruption to businesses and everyday life worldwide. Tracking the count of COVID-19, at the time of this article, more than 125 thousand people worldwide have been infected with the virus, with over 4,500 of those cases resulting in death.

In terms of the economy, it’s taking a pretty big hit. All major markets have seen drops of more than 5%. FlyBe, the airline, went bankrupt from the lack of people taking flights. Italy have completely locked down their country, with many big gathering events (such as football games, F1, concerts and more) all having fans banned from spectating, or postponed altogether.

It goes without question that COVID-19 is having a far greater impact than anyone had predicted. With those who can remember SARS, Ebola or the Swine Flu outbreak, the world had not acted as tight and stringent as they are doing so now.

From a marketing and online advertising perspective, it is likely that COVID-19 is going to take a hit on this segment too. With this in mind, here are some points as to what to expect, and how to mitigate the issue at hand.


Ad Budgets on the decline

Although the start of the year is known for not having the highest of ad rates anyway, it is very likely that the ad rates will be much lower than they have been at similar times of previous years. The main reason for this is because:

  • Businesses that have been most affected by the coronavirus will reduce their ad rates significantly, in line with demand for their business products or services. Such examples would include|:
    • Flights and transport
    • Holiday
    • Automotive
    • Gyms
    • Restaurants
    • Anything relating to public interactions

For this reason, with the demand dropping, the competition for ad spots will reduce, resulting in publishers gaining a much lower CPC than before.


What can be done?

Unfortunately, for publishers, there is not much you can do if your ad rates drop.

A great tool that has been quite useful to spot ad increases/decreases is the Ezoic Ad Revenue Index. This shows the relative ad demand there that Ezoic see on their platform, with 100 representing the highest demand ever to be recorded:

Taking the above image as an example, you can see that there is no apparent drop in ad demand, as of yet. However, this is because the budgets of business tend to last more than a few months, and it is the point of these budgets refreshing that the drop is likely to occur (at the end of the first quarter). It is also apparent the change in demand that occurs in the New Year, due to the holiday season finishing.


As an advertiser, access the situation and your data extra carefully, almost on a day to day basis. The stock market provides a good indication of the mindset of the wider community, which should help you react to the real world crisis behind the virus. If your ROI decreases or results diminish, reduce your budget accordingly. On the other hand, this could also be seen as an opportunity. For example, Netflix would be a great example of a company which should invest heavily in PPC, to attract new customers that may be quarantined and looking to past time – due to this, it depends significantly on the market you are currently in.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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