How to manage your online marketing during COVID-19

Mar 22, 2020

How to manage your online marketing during COVID-19


This resource uses insights into digital behaviour during the coronavirus to help ecommerce businesses manage their online marketing effectively.  Partnering with an Online Media Agency like NLOM can help guide you through this changing landscape smoothly.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to change many aspects of our lives, there are many things we don’t know. 

But we do know it’s more important than ever to support each other however we can. For us at Next Level Online Marketing, that means helping you navigate this time by sharing our knowledge and expertise. As an Online Marketing Agency in Melbourne its important to us to keep up to date with changing consumer behaviour.

This post will show you how to use data-driven insights to make smart online marketing decisions as the crisis continues to unfold. 

How the coronavirus is changing consumer behaviour

The coronavirus is changing consumer behaviour in two main ways at the moment. As an Online Media Agency we are seeing uncertainty when faced with these trends… stay tuned for guidance on how to use these insights.

Firstly, as people spend more time at home, they’re doing more online including:

  • 32% increase in online shopping activities across all markets (1)
  • 42% increase in home streaming (catch up TV, Netflix, Stan, etc.) 
  • 30% increase in browsing on Facebook
  • 20% increase in browsing on Instagram

Secondly, what consumers want is also changing, with data showing that 30% are making panic purchases, 34% are worrying about recession, 46% are worrying about getting sick and 60% want to be more proactive about planning for their future financially. (2)

People are also buying a lot more in certain categories, including: (3)

  • 48% buying more personal hygiene products
  • 45% buying more health and nutritional products
  • 40% buying more home cleaning products 

What the data means for ecommerce businesses

It’s clear that with people spending more time online, there are opportunities to reach them there. 

The data is also clearly pointing to the fact that people want reassurance from brands. This manifests in several ways. People want businesses to:

  • Act responsibly and do the right thing by their employees and the community
  • Provide reassurance about their products and service
  • Help them feel healthy, happy and well at home

All of this creates selling points and brand-building opportunities for ecommerce businesses. At a time when you’re also likely to be grappling with supply-chain and other issues, making use of these opportunities could be the difference between barely surviving the crisis to the opposite – thriving through it. 

Here’s how you can apply these data-driven insights to your online marketing.

Pivot your focus

Think about which of your products or services would resonate with your customers at the moment.

What do they need when stuck at home? What could entertain them, help them keep some part of the routine that many people crave in times like this, or make their home a nicer place to be? 

Also, could you provide stock-up bundles and the ability to pre-order so customers feel less panicked about running out?

Once you’ve set your focus areas, market them to existing customers through targeted eDMs and reprioritise your online marketing to new customers to focus on these products/services too.  

Video is still king of the online world followed by social media channels so factor this in when planning your online marketing too. It’s also worth making your remarketing campaigns dynamic for better cut through. 

As always, monitor the results along the way so you can refine and keep looking out for different selling points as things change. 

Be a trusted adviser

How can you help your customers during this difficult and uncertain time? 

As well as upping your CRM game and proactively communicating anything customers need and want to know (which Facebook has some good tips on), this is a chance to be a trusted adviser to your customers. 

As mentioned earlier, video remains king in the online world followed by social media, so how can you use these mediums to reassure your audience during this time?

You don’t need to go big budget – when it comes to video, short form is best. A good place to start could be a short video with your team showing the extra precautions they’re taking to keep things clean and safe for your customers. 

On social media, you could share Instagram or Facebook stories about how your products are helping people keep their routines at home despite the strange times. Or how they’re using your products to relax or make being at home more enjoyable. 

Being a trusted adviser is not so much about creating sales though. It’s about building your brand in a really positive way with your audience, and also just doing the right thing by your community.

Craft your messaging 

More than ever, people want to feel understood and reassured. Is that the feeling they’ll get from your website, your customer emails and your online marketing? 

While we specialise in online marketing, the same applies to all your messaging – anywhere. Think about what you can say on any medium you use to:

  • Remove doubt or fear people might feel about your products or service
  • Show that you care and understand how they might be feeling
  • Show how you can help them through this time
  • Highlight anything else you’re doing to help the community

Do something different

With online media consumption increasing and many people looking for entertainment – as the catch-up and on-demand TV stats above show – there’s also an opportunity to do something a bit different.

Think about what could be relevant for your business and audience. Perhaps you could host an online customer event or make a video tutorial showing customers how to style their outfits, apply your products, wrap gifts like a pro or make their own soap (to list a few examples). 

Imagine the uptake if you offered a one-hour online event to teach people’s teenagers how to care for their skin.

With the right data and online marketing behind them, these sorts of things can be excellent ways to build awareness of and trust in your brand. 

If you need guidance with your online advertising activity and looking for an Online Marketing Agency in Melbourne, get in touch.


  1.  Data from COVID-19 Impact on the Asian consumers’ perceptions and behaviors by Kantar, Feb 2020. While based on Asian countries, it is reasonable to expect the same experience in Australia.
  2.  From COVID-19: What do consumers expect from brands? by Kantar, Feb 2020
  3.   Data from COVID-19 Impact on the Asian consumers’ perceptions and behaviors by Kantar, Feb 2020. While based on Asian countries, it is reasonable to expect the same experience in Australia.


In these uncertain and challenging times, it can be difficult to think clearly. But with so much to handle, it’s even more important to make decisions strategic and data-led so that your online marketing can help you through this. That won’t be the case for every business, but it will be possible for many. 

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the coronavirus. From our own perspective, we are doing what we can to stop the spread by working from home, often around our young families, and by opening up our diaries to help businesses see their way through. 
Please look after yourselves and those around you, and know that you’re not alone in this. Reach out to us if you want help.