Online Ads Gaining Traction Amid Pandemic

Research shows that ads are gaining traction as more people are working online and relying on the internet for all aspects of life....
Online Ads Gaining Traction Amid Pandemic
Written by Matt Milano
  • Research shows that ads are gaining traction as more people are working online and relying on the internet for all aspects of life.

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues spreading around the globe, an untold number of individuals are working from home. For many, e-commerce has suddenly become a lifeline, providing a steady supply of food and essentials. Zoom, Slack, Skype, Teams, and other videoconferencing applications are keeping employees connected to work, and families connected to loved ones. Mobile apps are serving as a welcome distraction for people struggling to maintain some semblance of normalcy.

    Amid such conditions, many companies have pulled back on their advertising efforts and budgets. According to Playground XYZ, however, there are a number of advertising categories that are experiencing greater engagement during the pandemic. Specifically, Playground XYZ found that consumer attention on ads was up 7% for February and 6% for March, compared to the previous six months. Home & Garden, Personal Finance and Food & Drink saw the largest gains, at 21%, 23% and 21% respectively. Another significant finding is that users paid more attention to ads the longer they looked at a site. For example, users who spend approximately 300 seconds on a site had a 250% higher attention index over the baseline, emphasizing the need for companies to focus on long-form and editorial content.

    Similarly, Global Web Index (GWI) found that 27% of individuals are reading Business & Finance articles online. Similarly, “87% of U.S. consumers and 80% of UK consumers say they’re consuming more content.” While video and streaming take the top spots, the point remains that people are craving more information now than ever before. Just as important, “68% of millennial podcast listeners say they intend to keep consuming just as much after the outbreak, indicating potential areas of revenue for digital content providers in the aftermath of the crisis.” Again the point is clear: patterns of behavior and content consumption that are created now will likely continue long-term.

    While the coronavirus pandemic is creating challenges and hardships for businesses of all size, there is also a tremendous opportunity to deliver the content users are looking for—and gain lifelong customers as a result.

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