Marketing 2 min read

How Media Engagement During Pandemic Affects Ad Revenue

atmawati achmad zaenuri /

atmawati achmad zaenuri /

COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, forcing more people to stay at home. As a result, media engagement is up.

Ideally, more media engagement should translate into higher ad revenue. But that’s not the case at the moment.

Along with causing an economic slowdown, the pandemic is also responsible for crashing markets, as well as disruption in supply chains. In response, many advertisers are pulling or pausing their ad spend.

In other words, media engagement during the current pandemic isn’t translating into increased ad revenues.

According to eMarketer analysis of Twitter‘s Q1 update, the company is expecting a 9 to 40 percent revenue decrease in March.

Similarly, Facebook released information about its engagement and ad revenues. The social media giant reported increased engagement on services such as WhatsApp — which isn’t monetized in the first place.

eMarketer analyst, Nicole Perrin wrote:

“Reports of consumers spending more time with digital media don’t necessarily mean they are spending more time with media where marketers can reach them.”

But there’s another problem.

Increased Media Engagement and Ad Revenue Growth

According to reports, “coronavirus” and other related terms have risen to the top of clients’ brand safety blacklist. As such, the traffic surge on social media and news site is not generating as much ad revenue as it should.

And that’s understandable. Most advertisers want to shy away from “negative” or “anxious” content like the pandemic.

However, a March study from Integral Ad Science suggests that those concerns may be unnecessary.

Only 16 percent of internet users in the U.S. thought it was unsuitable for a brand’s ad to appear next to COVID-19 content. On the other hand, 80 percent of the participants said such placement wouldn’t affect how they perceive a brand.

Currently, people are eager for information about their communities, as well as institutional responses. They also want to know how to keep their families safe during this difficult time.

So, experts advise that brands lean into that. Instead of outrightly advertising a product, they could emphasize their roles in these communities.

Brands should also consider whether one of those roles is sponsoring the information people will need during the crisis, says Perrin.

Read More: How the Current COVID-19 Pandemic Affects Ad Spend

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Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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