Following on from last week’s seminar, which we also covered on the ROAST Blog, this Wednesday the Facebook EMEA team presented four key insights into the COVID-19 consumer and how brands should be interacting with them.
1) Uncertainty is growing, but so is the opportunity to help
In the UK we are seeing mounting concern from consumers about catching coronavirus.
However, many people are more worried about the financial effects than the health effects.
When it comes to finances, we see a clear disconnect between how people think it will impact the national and global economy, versus how they think it will affect them individually. Whether you see this as optimism or foolishness, it seems that most people are predicting a global recession which won’t touch them…
Of course, offline shopping (except for groceries) has taken a huge hit. Initially online spend also dipped but it is now recovering across some categories.
What does this mean for advertisers?
Well, only 29% of UK think brands shouldn’t continue advertising as normal.
Now is a good time for brands to stand up and be counted. But the question is… what to say?
In any normal time, discounts and promotions would lead this chart.
However, in this COVID-19 state of altered reality, consumers are most likely to be calling on brands to help with their daily lives.
Examples include Tesco putting out informative advertising showing how to social distance in their shops and Saga creating a Not Going Out Club complete with celebrity guests.
The imagery in a lot of creative that has been months in the making will now seem inappropriate. Analysis shows there has been a 27% reduction in ads with imagery showing social interactions (such as hugging or shaking hands) and a 400% increase in ads showing fitness or health activities.
2) 18-34 are the least impacted physically, but the most impacted socially.
Older groups are more afraid of catching the virus.
But 18-34s are finding this period the hardest when it comes to completing day-to-day tasks.
As a group they are finding it most disruptive to their way of life. They are financially the least solvent so disruption always hits them hard.
However, the largest differentiation is in how difficult they are finding it to keep entertained.
Movies are a source of solace, up 46% over the past 2 weeks with 18-34 year olds.
It seems that that this group are also turning to online retail as a source of relief. Perhaps redirecting some of the money they’ve saved on going out to filling up their summer wardrobe.
3) ‘Going Live’ to reach consumers
There has been huge growth of live across Instagram and Facebook, first from consumers and celebrities, but now brands are in hot pursuit.
Brands are using content, often in partnership with celebrities, to create content that is timely and quick and easy to produce remotely. The added advantages of live are that it gives a push notification to all your followers and you can track how many people are watching in real-time.
4) COVID-19 is pushing us towards a new digital dawn
There was a joke going around on LinkedIn a couple of days ago:
Who was most influential in pushing forward the digital transformation of your business?
It went viral because it was truthful, timely – and of course amusing.
As we change our lives to cope with lockdown, we are leaning more and more on digital channels to help us feel connected – especially social media.
For more on Social Media and COVID-19 read our blog from last week.
This massive consumer shift is of course being echoed by businesses, who have to change not only how their own workforce operates, but also how their brand interacts with consumers.
The coming months will be tough for many businesses, and when we come out the other side of this its likely to be the most agile and digitally-native companies that emerge as the survivors.
Follow us on Twitter to be the first to know when we publish the round-up of next week’s COVID Live Webinar.
For more content right now, download our latest Whitepaper – The Effect of COVID-19 on Search Behaviour .