Go viral: Using digital content to boost your business during quarantine

Over the weekend, my iPhone buzzed to alert me that my weekly screen time report was available. I opened it and saw what I already knew: my screen time was up. 34 percent over the week before, to be precise. Admittedly, I’m a heavy smart device user in the best of times. Working from my home office, I frequently text partners, clients and friends to stay connected. I also manage my customers’ social sites and websites (as well as my own) from my smart devices. And reading online news with one tired eye open never fails to lull me to sleep at night. But this sudden spike in usage got me thinking. Certainly I’m not the only one.

The surge in digital consumption is real

A quick search online (with a smart device) proved my point. Stuck inside their own homes due to the COVID-19 quarantine, people everywhere are consuming online content at voracious speed, reports the Washington Post, Social Media Today, and others. Vox published the following graphic, pointing out that that internet traffic is up 18 percent, from January 1 to March 22, in the U.S:

Vox - internet traffic during quarantine

It goes without saying that much of this increased digital consumption is related to the entire country suddenly working and schooling from home, increased searches online for health information and — let’s admit it — nightly “Tiger King” binging.

But companies like Zoom and Netflix aren’t the only ones benefiting. Social media sites are surging. And retailer sites are enjoying a boost in digital traffic, too, due in part to searches ranging from essential items (ahem, toilet paper) to product research and generalized shopping. ComScore summarized this spike in digital retail visits by focusing on a representative sample of traffic on Amazon, Target and WalMart’s sites:

Comscore retail traffic

Even for companies that aren’t in the business of retail, it’s clear that consumers — no longer burdened with commutes and in-office water-cooler talk — have additional free time to surf the internet, research products and services, and connect digitally with brands.

The opportunity

Those who recognize this sudden spike in web traffic for what it is have a massive opportunity to connect with customers to maximize revenue potential. Here are a few tips for businesses to capitalize on this opportunity now:

  • Create SEO-optimized content (like crazy!): Produce entertaining videos, educational blog articles, helpful podcasts and webinars, catchy social content and more.

  • Launch Google Adwords or other digital advertising campaign.

  • Use hashtags and boost content on social sites to attract more attention by those who are surfing online.

  • Promote any virtual offers and good deeds being done by your company.

  • Use your social channels to cater to the emotional side of your customers. Intuitively solve their challenges however you can to show empathy.

Need help producing or marketing your content? A.WordSmith can help. Let’s connect. And stay well, friends!

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