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What does the corona virus mean for marketing on Instagram in 2020

Instagram marketing is very tricky, due to the fact that the platform is so overpopulated with everyone trying to drown each other and their competitors out with content. It becomes a long game, and a battle for attention. However, with the impending doom of the coronavirus, we may actually see this competition start to slacken, and there be enough attention to go around for all. In this article I will attempt to explore what the coronavirus means for marketing on Instagram, and how you and your brand can take advantage of this.


The first thing to outline and make clear, is that due to country lockdowns, and people being housebound, there will naturally be a rise in people on social media. In fact, a study conducted by the influencer marketing agency Fohr, revealed that the amount of users on Instagram had increased by as much as 40% since the beginning of the outbreak of the virus. While this is a clear indication that brands on social media could reach a lot more people than usual during this period, how will that actually work you may ask. It has already been seen that there has been a spike in engagement ratios, as a result of Instagram having the opportunity to promote the same amount of content to a much larger audience. What this means is that brands with very niched services/products will see an increase in engagement as Instagram opens up the flood gates to this new audience that previously could not see their content because they simply were not using Instagram. With higher engagement ratios come higher reach, which allows for not just the vanity metrics like comments and shares to increase, but also the actionable metrics like website clicks, leads and sales. As such, the businesses and brands that are still operational, like e-commerce and digital services will start to see a slight boom in customers and revenue, provided their ideal customer is not too greatly affected by the coronavirus financially.


The other interesting concept, and one that we are yet to see, is the theory that advertising costs on Instagram and it’s big brother Facebook will plummet. The reason for this is simple. There are twice as many users on the platform and half the number of advertisers, as businesses and brands simply cannot afford to continue spending their revenue on ads in this time, especially if they are brick and mortar and have been forced by their government to close as a precautionary measure. What this means is that CPMs will rapidly decline, and the few remaining advertisers will all boom off of the cheap costs of ads and high yields of results. This does however remain a theory, as at the end of the day, Facebook will maintain the power and means to control advertising costs, so they could just as easily do that and make sure no-one profits too greatly. On the off chance that this ends up becoming reality, it’s a perfect time for digital brands to jump on paid social media advertising, as if ad costs really do cut in half, the amount brands could profit from it would be immense, and if their product/service is sustainable, a real long-term growth opportunity.


The negative is that we will start to see influencers trying to undercut each other, as they have more and more time to produce comedic and entertaining content from home. It does allow brands to take a more humorous approach to their influencer advertising, which is light-hearted and portrays their brand in an even better light. It also offers brands the opportunity to make viral campaigns, as especially with big brands, they are the voice of the nation, and we have already seen some brands gather together celebrities and popular influencers in adverts to spread the message of staying at home.

In summary, Instagram marketing will continue to be the same competitive social media platform that it always was, but there is certainty that there will be more opportunities for specific brands in specific industries over the coming weeks and months, and it can definitely be said that it will be an interesting one.

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