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How COVID has changed the way people consume content

It should come as no surprise to know that because of the coronavirus pandemic that there has been an increase in unemployment and boredom thanks to social isolation. This has inevitably lead to a change in the way people consume media. Whether the content is news updates from the government, an entertaining documentary on Netflix or viral TikTok videos, media agencies globally have witnessed trends and shifts in audience behaviour on a weekly basis. Based on this, it is vital for brands big and small to understand these changes so they too can adapt to the environment. 

We’ve noted reports and statistics over the past few weeks to provide you with some key points for you to consider when working on your content plan.

Following the announcements of the Australian borders closing and restrictions on social distancing, there are media channels exceeding their average audience viewership and usage:

  • According to, "Viewing across daytime is up 38% and night time audiences are over 20% higher."

  • Business Today conducted a survey and found that "75 per cent people were spending more time on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp compared to the week before."

  • "'Obviously' is an influencer agency who did research to unearth that there has been "a 22 percent increase in Instagram campaign impressions from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 and a 27 percent jump in engagement on average on TikTok from February to March.” 

  • News sites such as the Guardian Australia have had an unprecedented increase in their average daily unique readership, doubling its numbers.

  • Anxiety and the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has also lead to 59% of Aussies checking in on updates and government announcements at least 2-3 times a day. 

  • Short-form video content on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram has increased in engagement by 27% in March.

  • Videos with the hashtag #coronavirus has been viewed over 5.5 billion times on TikTok alone.

  • Searches for searches like ‘banana bread’ has increased by 54% globally on Google Trends. 

Although media consumption has statistically been proven to increase, brands have reduced their marketing spend with up to 70% of media buyers pausing their ad spend due to global uncertainty. Due to the reduced spend across digital marketing, there has also been a 30% decrease to cost per click on Facebook  making it a little more affordable for local brands or businesses to put their best foot forward during the crisis. 

What does all this mean for digital marketing as we try to survive through the rest of the year?

COVID-19 has inevitably changed the way people consume and engage with content and interact across multiple channels. This means that brands will need to get more savvy in the way that they reach and engage with their audiences to ensure that they get their ROI. It is a great time to A/B test your paid VS organic media and to especially build your audience in a strategic way. 

When creating content, it needs to be tasteful and clever. The past few weeks, our inboxes and feeds have been inundated with all sorts of messages and announcements. Be authentic across all your touchpoints. Inform with empathy and be creative in the right context. 

See examples on ‘How brands are dealing with the C-Word'