The COVID-19 crisis has likely caused a loss of business for your organization. Now, it’s time to learn about what your organization can gain. The pandemic has created an opportunity for businesses to advertise online for less. With low-cost CPM opportunities all over the web, you can build an awareness and following for your company, even during the difficult times of the pandemic.

Ad rates are down 35 percent, and smart companies are using these times to their advantage by spending dollars on advertising when their competitors are pulling back.

Why Are There Low-Cost CPM Opportunities?

Lots of advertisers have cancelled their digital advertising plans due to the coronavirus, causing the demand for online advertising to all but disappear. At the same time, people are at home and spending more time online than ever before, boosting the audience supplied. This is basic economics - when the demand plummets and the supply increases, prices go down. That’s what’s happening now, creating the perfect opportunity for your business to bid low on CPM advertising. If you’re a small business owner looking to compete online, now is the time to dive in. You can create ads across multiple networks and spend much less than normal.


Facebook Ads — Reach More of your Audience for Less

With 1.73 billion daily active users for the first quarter of 2020, it’s no secret that your customers are on Facebook. Before the pandemic, advertising on Facebook might not have been possible due to budgetary restraints. Now, though, the cost is on a serious downward trend.

On average, people spent 15–20 percent less in March to receive 1,000 impressions for Facebook ads compared to February. Some companies saw a whopping 25 percent decline in ad cost. As the costs continue to go down and the competition wanes, marketers are finding that they can get more bang for their buck. Budgets that normally would have reached only 1,000 people are now reaching 2,000 because of a lack of competition. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, conversion rates dropped with ad prices. Now, though, conversion rates are ticking back up as well, making ad spend well worth it. In the last week of March alone, conversion rates increased by 10 percent, showing that people are spending money on products they see online once again. 


Reach Customers on YouTube

When the shelter-in-place orders were initially announced, YouTube publishers were confident they would make tons of money. People would spend their time at home, watching videos on YouTube. Then, the money would roll in. 

It didn’t take long for publishers to identify two problems. First, advertisers were pulling their ads during the crisis. Second, those who continued to run ads didn’t want them associated with the pandemic. Advertisers have been blocking ads from running on videos that have anything to do with COVID-19.

These two problems have caused the price of YouTube advertising to plummet. The decrease is in line with the decrease on Facebook, although some advertisers have seen a decrease of as much as 40 percent.

As an advertiser, you can take advantage of the millions of blocked ads for content related to the coronavirus. If your product or service is in any way related to the pandemic, run ads on videos about the crisis. Of course, if your product or service isn’t related to the pandemic, you can still take advantage of the lower costs of ads, but be mindful of your placements.

Other Advertising Wins

You can also save money by advertising on other networks. You will notice that the prices are lower than normal on many of them. Consider placements with Google Ads or social media sites such as LinkedIn. Use this time to increase awareness around your brand and make sales soar. Then, when the pandemic is over, you will have a stronger foothold in the market.


Make your Ad Dollars Reach Further 

Being visible and accessible to your audience at a time when most advertisers are pulling back might be the smartest play for your business during this time. If you have the budget for paid digital advertising, just know you’ll get a lot more eyeballs for your dollar and it might just be worth the investment in the long run.

If you’d like some help getting your digital ad planning efforts off the ground, the team at Ironmark is here to help. Reach out to us today and we can help you get started. 

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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