Social distancing: The real impact of our marketing content during these no-contact times (1/2)

With the global social distancing implemented due to the current pandemic, one could expect a social media boom, as everyone tries to compensate for the lack of day-to-day social interaction. This prediction didn’t fail to come true. According to a Kantar study published on the 25th of March of 2020, social media experienced a global increase of 61% of engagement compared to usual use rates. However, ad revenue, accounting for 98% of the global turnover (e.g. Facebook) of these platforms, suffered a real decrease.


Thus, one can note a sensible antagonism between two trends:

  • On the one hand,let’s note that functionalities allowing users to maintain any sort of social link like video calls, and interactive content are widely popular among internauts.
  • On the other hand, advertising is significantly neglected by brands, especially in the most affected industries like tourism and catering. According to a Magna study published by IPG Media Brands, digital advertising revenues should slow down to reach a one-digit growth this year, vs the usual +20% from previous years. Indeed, budget cuts certainly reduce digital marketing budget: a complicated timing to showcase products and services with standard advertising.


Yet, brands play a part in national and global effort: first, towards their employees, then, towards their brand communities. And this can happen through digital marketing.

Yes, current times are not appropriate for traditional advertising. Current times are not appropriate for KPIs completion. Today’s companies have to unite with the positive movement of creativity and support web users where they are: on social media. 

Businesses have to engage on two levels:

  • First and foremost, for those at the forefront of the crisis: hospital workers, supermarket employees…
    • In France, lemonade brand Lorina started a support movement for cashiers with the hashtag #sourisalacaisse (“smile at the cash register”), with help from influencers from the Talent Web Academy platform, who relayed the message to their communities.
    • Likewise, several brands and moisturizing cream distributors, like Nocibé, L’Occitane responded to the fundraising campaign initiated by Elise Goldfarb (@elisegoldfarb), a French entrepreneur and influencer, to collect products to distribute to hospital workers. She started along with Lena Mahfouf (@lenasituations) the hashtag #maindanslamain (“hand in hand”) following several posts of nurses showing their dried hand because of the repeated washes. 


  • Second, people on lockdown are both asking for and creating content: why not joining them? Let’s contribute our own way to offer challenges, free content, join forces with influencers and media to create original content.
    • For example, sportswear clothes brand Tealer and Villa Schweppes jointly created the Lockdown Festival, proposing every day a musical line-up of artists performing live at home, on Instagram and Facebook.
    • Adidas launched “Fit from Home”, a 3-month free Premium trial on their app Runtastic, hosted on Instagram by pro athletes and public figures, with the hashtag #hometeam.


To sum up, one can spur these numerous creative ideas, as social media communities are asking for it, so why not give a deeper collective meaning to your digital brand content ? The crisis will only pass by quicker.


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