As noted by research gathered by online statistics portal Statista, the coronavirus pandemic is causing a substantial upturn in media consumption across the globe. We’ve seen a 27 percent increase in the use of streaming services, a 36 percent increase in news consumption, a 14 percent increase in book and audiobook consumption, and a 21 percent increase in social media usage. Research gathered by The New York Times paints a similar picture. You could say people are consuming content at an all-time high.
Facebook usage is up by 27 percent. Netflix is up by 16 percent, and YouTube is up by 15 percent. Readership has improved for established newspapers and news agencies, and video games and gaming-related sites are similarly seeing an increase in traffic/viewership.
Not Surprising To See An Increase In Users Consuming Content
This is hardly surprising. With so many people stuck in lockdown or quarantine, it would be shocking if we didn’t see increased numbers. We expect that most people online at this point fall into one of two camps on any given day – either they’re hungry for updates on COVID-19, or they’re trying to distract themselves from it.
You might expect, in light of this, that your own content website would be more valuable. After all, there’s greater demand for what you do, right? Doesn’t that naturally mean you’d be able to sell for more if you so choose?
In March, marketing and search engine optimization specialist Marie Haynes surveyed SEO specialists to see what sort of impact COVID-19 had on organic website traffic. The results were not good. Of those who responded, 49 percent indicated that organic traffic declined, while 21 percent saw little to no change. Only a paltry 14 percent saw any marked improvement.
Moreover, even among those websites that saw stable traffic, many saw a reduction in conversions. Those that saw improvements included grocers, dating sites, niche healthcare sites, and SaaS companies. In other words, service-based sites for which you’d expect there to be a higher demand.
Despite These Numbers, There Are Some Areas That Show Some Promise:
- Content that highlights positivity, healing, and growth – but only those that do so genuinely (people are tired of “we’re in this together”).
- Deeper-dive content, such as e-courses, is less sluggish, especially as many are offering steep discounts.
- Educational content is soaring, especially as a means to supplement lost hours in the classroom.
- Gaming sites have continued to gain momentum, but this has been a pretty consistent growth market.
What Do These Traffic Numbers Mean
So, what does this mean? The best advice we can give here is to look at your traffic numbers and, if relevant, your subscriptions. If you’re seeing a consistent and significant increase, that may well indicate that your business has gone up in value.
If, however, you’ve either seen no change or a decline? That’s not necessarily bad news, as you’re in the same boat as a lot of others. On the bright side, however, you can use this as an opportunity to focus on your stats and optimize your content, pivot to a point of view that’s a little more relevant to a post-COVID audience, or to connect with your fans in a new way – one that is genuine and focused on community.
While ultimately you want to increase your value, big disruptions like the coronavirus remind us to question our values and reach out to our followers, many of whom are hurting right now. Focusing our messages will ultimately help to heal a lot of wounds created by this pandemic, and providing that forum might create an increasingly engaged and loyal community… no matter what the stats say. For example, we are focusing a lot of attention locally here in St. Louis.
Guest Post Author Bio:
Christopher Moore is the Chief Marketing Officer at Quiet Light Brokerage , which specializes in helping clients sell their internet-based businesses. Additionally, he founded Gadabout Media LLC to inspire, educate, and unite others by creating visually stunning content for clients.