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With more people at home and Internet use soaring, it has been a very busy few weeks for digital marketers. There has been an abundance of data, reports of changing consumer behaviour and lots of tips from authorities such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook. If you’ve missed anything, here’s our round-up of the month’s most interesting developments in search.

Snapchat reports record engagement and use

Snapchat says its new user figures have soared during the coronavirus pandemic, with 11 million new active daily users signing up between January and March. Its total user base now numbers 229 million.

The app says voice and video calls also increased dramatically in March, with a 50% growth from February as users turn to digital channels to help them stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers. Usage of Snap Games has also spiked, with time spent and player count reaching record levels, while lenses use grew 25%.

LinkedIn releases content engagement trends

LinkedIn has been studying content engagement habits during COVID-19, with many businesses changing their posting strategy to reflect new audience priorities. Its data shows that 1 in 4 posts on company pages now references the pandemic, while 15% of posts refer to remote working or working from home.  Companies generating the most engagement with their posts are ones who adopt an empathetic tone of voice and display a sense of community, support and care.

Posts which give a COVID-19 update and focus on how the company is helping or supporting its community) generate the best engagement overall, with 30% more interaction than other posts throughout March.

Those posting about working from home will also have noticed uplift in engagement – it grew 45% in March and 76% in April in the USA, and 165% in Asia-Pacific.

Facebook launches Messenger Rooms

While the video apps Zoom and Houseparty have been enjoying plenty of media attention during lockdown, Facebook has launched its challenge to their dominance. The social network has just rolled out Messenger Rooms. This feature allows a regular Messenger user to spontaneously create a room for a spur-of-the-moment video chat with as many as 50 participants. Users can join at any time and hosts can share the link with any of their contacts. A room can be created through NewsFeed, from a group or an event page. Facebook says it is working on bringing a similar feature to WhatsApp and Instagram.

UK ad budgets decline – but better times to come

There is now less competition for ad space with the Q1 IPA Bellwether report showing budgets have declined at the fastest rate since the 2009 recession. A report analysis by Marketing Week concluded, “… a net balance of -6.1% of companies revised their total marketing budgets lower” although 16.2% do expect to spend more in the next 12 months.

The report authors say that cutting ad spend could be a mistake with IPA director Paul Bainsfair advising, “Brands that hold their nerve will gain extra share of voice which will achieve competitive gains.

“These are undoubtedly the toughest overall trading times that any business and indeed any marketer will have ever experienced, but while we suspect the fuller, sharper extent of this global pandemic to be captured in Q2 data, the hope from this report is that we will see a more upbeat end to the year.”

Email open rates in retail sector grow

New research has suggested that email marketing open rates for the retail sector have improved by 40% from pre-March levels. The BounceX study says that conversions and website visitors have also increased by approximately 10-15%. 

Need more help to navigate the COVID-19 marketing landscape? Speak to Adrac today.

Author Rebecca

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