Wow is all I can say.
I didn’t see that coming is another thought I had.
If last year I had predicted what was going to happen a few months later no one would have believed me.
Here is an article I wrote at the end of 2019. Click here to read it.
Yes, I’m referring to the Covid 19 virus and what happened there, but also what happened with online activity.
After all the internet has been around for well over 20 years. Most of us have had access to it in one way or another so we were familiar with its use.
However, life online changed dramatically just like everywhere else.
First, this year more people used online meeting software like Zoom or Google Meet. It’s interesting, many thought they knew how but when they used it there were hiccups. And don’t even talk to me about Zoom fatigue. I’m going to say grow up. It’s just like a phone call only you get to be on video. For those of us who have been using these tools for years, welcome to the club.
People also started buying online like never before. See the chart.
Look at the growth that happened this year. It’s equivalent to the last 10 years’ growth in E-commerce sales. And that growth continued most of the year.
Facebook and Instagram:
People began spending more time at home both while working and also in their free time. This resulted in increased usage and time spent on Instagram and Facebook.
Facebook hasn’t been promoting how much time people are spending as I don’t know that they want that publicity, but it’s a lot.
That opened up more space for ads in the newsfeed which dropped the cost of ads for the second quarter of the year.
I suspect that many businesses stopped or reduced their spending at the same time. I do know that for our clients our Facebook ad costs dropped significantly earlier in the year and then rose back to the usual levels over the next few months.
We did notice a drop off of sales of larger ticket items for a few weeks but anything that could be delivered online or from a delivery service increased in sales rapidly.
As far as how our clients fared, it was a mixed bag.
The industries we work in like hospitality, travel, and retail were all affected negatively. The ones that had an online store in place did better as long as their products could be delivered remotely. The ones that need in-person interactions to deliver their services are still on a downward trend.
Clients in industries like supplements had huge growth this year. People focused on their health and were willing to buy and buy more often than in the past.
We also had clients move forward much faster once the lockdowns started happening.
We had been marketing to financial planners before the pandemic started and had begun working with some in 2019, however many prospects said they were going to wait and implement this strategy in 2020.
By April 1 I was swamped with those people wanting to move forward and move forward now. It was an exciting time. We had this in limited cases for others as well.
What the pandemic revealed was how important it is to have an online marketing plan and to be actively marketing online.
Our clients who had invested time and effort into online marketing in the past did the best. Even in the industries that are decimated (like travel) our clients are down, but doing better than others in the industry.
Those who called in a panic and had little online marketing in place struggled. They had success but it was more work and thus cost more to get going. As they gained momentum their success has come easier, as it does for everyone.
Here are some comments on last year’s predictions:
- First: I mentioned having a plan. That is more important now than it was then.
- Second: The Facebook experience continues to change… and boy did it this year. From new options for ads to working better with larger audiences to cracking down on hate speech and discriminatory advertising.
- Third: Targeting options stayed consistent this year.
- Fourth: The algorithm continued to change. Facebook is monitoring what is being posted and checking it for truth. The wild west days of posting what you want organically are going away.
- Fifth: Video continued to grow in importance.
- Sixth: Facebook is stricter about its rules being followed. Especially around the election, there was an ongoing challenge of accounts being shut off.
Overall I’m happy to say that my predictions concerning Facebook were on track.
I guess that shows that all the time on the platform and talking to others and reading about changes has helped me get a handle on it.
In my next article, I’ll share my predictions for next year. We’ll see how I do for 2021.
Have a great day!
P.S. If you’d like to talk about how Facebook can help you grow your business, apply to talk at http://fearless-cattle.flywheelsites.com/workwithus. If you qualify we’ll schedule a time and discuss how Facebook and Instagram can help you reach your goals and how we can help make that happen.