Many advertisers opted to pause campaigns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but those that did not and chose to change their message emerged stronger.
Analyzing its data from thousands of advertisers, Simpli.fi wanted to understand how industries have been impacted by COVID-19.
Here’s how some advertisers adapted after the initial shutdown as they gradually re-opened businesses.
Data pulled between March 9, and May 30, 2020 analyzes the time from shelter-in-place orders to eventual reopening in certain cities and states. Among those industries are Automotive, arts & Entertainment, Attorneys/Legal, Food & Beverage, Finance, Education, Healthcare, Home & Garden, and Real Estate.
It’s no surprise that overall spend for most industries declined in mid-March as consumers began sheltering in place. Businesses experienced an increase in April as many adapted to new consumer behaviors and reopening plans.
Among Simpli.fi’s clients, advertisers in all industries turned to Addressable Geo-Fencing and OTT/CTV advertising to reach consumers. Some also layered multiple targeting tactics to help hone in on interested consumers.
Automotive advertisers increased the amount spent in the beginning of May on OTT/CTV media to reach consumers through devices. Spend rose 92% in late May compared with mid-March.
Initially, nearly every targeting tactic declined as consumers began to stay at home, but by mid-April, advertisers began to increase their spending on search and site retargeting to reach consumers who have been actively looking for vehicles.
Advertisers shifted strategies from awareness and higher-funnel tactics to more lower-funnel tactics to help drive immediate revenue. Mobile comprised a portion of of the amount spent, making up 55.4% of inventory spend.
Some dealerships -- especially those selling trucks -- saw a positive CTR throughout the pandemic, showing that despite stay-at-home orders and closed businesses, consumers continued to engage with automotive ads.
Healthcare has been top of mind for consumers. Advertisers decreased their spending as stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March, but increased spending by 20.8% at the end of May compared with the beginning of social distancing.
The weekly spend increased by 46.8% in late May compared with pre-pandemic spend.
Healthcare advertisers used Addressable Geo-Fencing to target homebound consumers. Spend on Addressable Geo-Fencing rose in mid-April as social distancing continued, rising 69.17% in late May compared with spend in mid-March as states reopened their economies.
As online streaming time rose, this group targeted streaming devices, increasing OTT/CTV advertising spend from March throughout May and reaching a 189.4% increase by the end of May.
Advertisers began increasing spend on search and site retargeting to reach consumers who have been looking for information on healthcare. Site retargeting declined in late March, but rose by 52.2% in late May as more consumers looked to stay informed about COVID-19 during the reopening of states.
Despite the decline in spending late in March, advertisers continued to allocate most of their budgets to OTT/CTV.
Advertisers also saw an opportunity in desktop, and increased spending to 137.9% in mid-April compared to mid-March. CTR for the healthcare industry rose 7% at the end of May in comparison to mid-March.
Real estate also has performed exceptionally well. These advertisers began investing in OTT/CTV ads as online streaming time went up, increasing spend by 139.66% in late May compared with mid-March.
Advertisers began to increase the amount spent on search retargeting to reach consumers interested in purchasing a home. They increased spend by 4.6% at the end of May compared to pre-pandemic spend.
The real estate industry proved its ability to take quick action and adapt to challenges presented by COVID-19, resulting in CTRs rising 6% and CPA falling 22.3% in mid-May compared to mid-March.
Some industries managed to adapt more quickly, while others experienced a longer recovery time.
Advertisers that were able to shift their strategies to Addressable Geo-Fencing and OTT/CTV advertising seemed to fare better than others, resulting in stronger performance than pre-pandemic, including higher conversion rates and lower CPAs.