A lot has changed in the last month. We’re largely working from home and social distancing while we navigate a new challenge in COVID-19. And while life looks different, the online and marketing landscape has changed as well.
To illustrate this, we wanted to round up some stats that show just how much has changed and how this change might impact your future marketing plans for your business.
Internet use is skyrocketing.
We thought we spent a lot of time online and then social distancing happened. Internet usage is up 50% in some parts of the world, and in the U.S., AT&T reported a 31% increase. That’s largely due to the vast majority of people now working and learning from home as well as those accessing streaming services.
People are spending more time on their phones.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. When we’re not able to be out and about, we’re probably going to spend a lot more time online and on our phones.
One survey found that 70% of U.S. consumers in areas that are under stay at home orders are spending more time on their phones.
But, they’re also using desktop more.
And while many are spending more time on their phones right now, there’s also been an increase in online activity from desktops. We’ve seen the trend largely shift to mobile over the last few years, with mobile searches first surpassing desktop searches in 2015. But, many sites are now seeing a significant increase in desktop use, Facebook has seen a 27% increase, Netflix a 16% increase, and YouTube a 15% increase.
Social media usage, in general, is increasing.
Here’s another set of stats that shouldn’t come as a surprise: As we’re social distancing, we’re looking for ways to continue connecting with each other on social media.
People are connecting over video, too.
You’ve probably noticed that video chatting has increased during this time as well. If you work from home, you’ve likely been on regular Zoom calls, same if you’re learning online as well. In fact, Zoom has seen a huge spike in usage, they typically averaged around 2.5 million daily app sessions, that has now jumped to over 6 million a day.
Other video chatting apps have seen an increase as well, Google Duo has seen a 12% increase in use and Houseparty has seen a 79% increase in use.
Media consumption is at an all-time high.
As you would expect, people are turning to streaming a lot more. I’d be surprised if you or someone you know hasn’t binged Tiger King over the last month or so. The television industry as a whole has seen a 20% increase compared to the month prior to the pandemic.
Hulu has seen a 25% increase in binge viewing and a 40% increase in live news views since the pandemic hit the U.S. Hulu, as well as Disney+, have also seen a spike in subscriptions to their services since the outbreak. Netflix is refusing to release numbers but says their usage has increased as well.
More people are looking for local news.
More people are searching for and engaging with news more right now. In fact, 58% of consumers in one survey said they’re looking for local news more than they did pre-pandemic. We’ve also seen that play out across our network of local news sites with an 81% increase in unique visits across the USA TODAY NETWORK.
People want to be informed, and they’re looking for reputable sources to help them understand what’s going on. Solutions like display advertising or branded content can help you get in front of consumers when they’re spending so much time on these local and national news sites.
Businesses plan to continue marketing.
While this pandemic has been difficult on businesses, especially smaller, local businesses, the majority are planning to keep their marketing budgets the same or decrease them slightly once this is over. Only 20% said they’re planning to decrease their budgets greatly.
SEO and web presence are taking priority.
Getting in front of consumers where they’re looking on search engines is hugely important right now. We know people are spending more time online and that they’re turning to search engines to find businesses and information about those businesses, so getting found on search engines through SEO and updated local listings that lead to a great website becomes even more important than usual.
Business owners are seeing the importance in this as well. In fact, 63% of survey respondents said SEO will gain importance in the coming months due to the economic situation.
And, because more people are spending time on social media, that’s another place you can’t ignore. You should be posting regular updates and connecting with your existing customers on your social pages. We outlined some ideas for social posts during COVID-19 here.
We know that our situation is changing from day-to-day, and it can be a lot to keep up with. At LOCALiQ, we’re here to help you adjust your marketing and messages to continue serving your customers during COVID-19 and beyond. Reach out to us today to learn more.