How has COVID-19 affected internet traffic and Facebook ads?

For the majority of people, this is the third week of isolation and everything has switched to online mode. With the infamous Coronavirus making its insidious way around the globe, many businesses are operating from home. It stands to reason that Coronavirus will have an effect on internet traffic and Facebook ads.

The virus is upending society in drastic ways and as such new behaviours are forming, reshaping both work and education. The result of these new changes has had dramatic effects on the internet. Traffic on video conferencing, streaming services and e-commerce websites has increased tenfold.

Further, communication companies have reported a massive increase in residential broadband networks. With colossal surges in internet traffic, now is the time for businesses to reach their consumers.

Advertisers and small businesses need to seize this opportunity to create personalised relationships with their customers through the web.

With a captive audience isolated at home, NOW is the time to address and assess the needs of your consumers.

Whilst surges in internet traffic aren’t unusual when global events are going on (like the World Cup or the Olympics) there are unprecedented patterns that are emerging during this pandemic. The first is the sheer volume of traffic. Since the lockdown in Italy, we have seen a 20% to 40% jump in their daily traffic.

This unprecedented event has been the catalyst for the increase in internet usage however, it is entirely dependent on the government and actions enforced within the region.

Evolution of Italian Traffic

The second pattern that is emerging is the timing of traffic. People have started paying attention to our world leaders, with a massive surge in traffic after a national address is made. When Donald Trump addressed America last week there was a jump in traffic by 20%, and we are seeing the same patterns emerging in numerous other countries.

USA Traffic by Day

The below graph shows an increase since the end of January corresponding to the Hubei lockdown on the 23 of January.

Bits per Second

The third pattern experts are noticing in these unprecedented times in the fall of mobile search traffic.

Desktop search traffic has increased whilst mobile traffic has decreased by 25% in March. With many staying indoors, not commuting and not travelling, we’ve already noticed that we’re appreciably less mobile than we were just a few weeks ago.

These sedentary behaviours make us much less mobile on search as well, and our paid search campaigns show a large decline in mobile search traffic.

This has had a profound impact on the way Google advertises. With mobile traffic sharply declining, this begins to erode a core tenant of Google’s own “mobile-first” philosophy. Traffic on mobile is generally cheaper for PPC advertisers, so this shift has meaningful implications for PPC strategy in the coming weeks. This has had a tremendous impact on clicks and impressions and we are seeing a decline across many industries. This article sums it up perfectly


Client analytics

Less advertising with Facebook and Instagram ads during COVID-19

Another pattern that has emerged from this pandemic is less advertising with Facebook and Instagram ads. In the current pandemic, Facebook has faced huge losses in ad revenue as businesses are swiftly turning to organic methods due to fewer customers.

It’s not just small businesses that are affected, with the entertainment industry taking huge hits and slashing their advertising budgets as album releases and movie premiers are pushed forward.

Facebook is bringing in significantly less ad money however has never had as much traffic as it currently has to sustain social ties amongst its users. We have seen the virus have a huge impact on both businesses and consumers, especially as businesses struggle to find ways of communicating safely, effectively and respectfully with their consumers.

Now is not the time to stop advertisements for your business. In fact, it’s never been a better time. Unprecedented times call for adjustments to your online advertising, and we can help.

With this massive shift in the norm, your CPM is likely to decrease and this can give your business the right opportunity to reach more of your audience. If your business has slowed or closed at this stage it is a fantastic time to reevaluate the strategy that you have had in place and create some new Facebook leads for promoting your business and ensuring sales.

Maintaining engagement is critical at this point, especially for small and local businesses that want to survive the sudden economic downturn from this global crisis.

Some simple advertising suggestions can help you preserve your customer relationships.

  1. Consistency is key, and continuing your online presence is paramount in these times. 
  2. Continue creating Facebook leads 
  3. Focus on remarketing campaigns
  4. Try testing different ad creatives and audiences, with so much traffic online at the moment your potential customer base has increased. 

Get in touch with us at Four Drunk Parrots to have a chat about the various ways we can keep your business thriving in the current global crisis.