What you’ll learn reading this article:

  • Ninety percent of consumers prefer premium news and publishing sites when seeking out coronavirus content online.
  • The coronavirus situation is changing the type of content that 61 percent of marketers are comfortable advertising alongside, prompting a quick shift in their ad adjacency strategy.
  • The difference between brand safety and brand suitability.
  • Consumers prefer information-based ads about the coronavirus situation

How Coronavirus Is Changing the Way People View Digital Sources 

As the digital advertising industry adapts to the new reality of COVID-19, restoration contractors should be asking how best to navigate the changing consumer landscape while continuing to find safe, brand-suitable publishing environments for advertising. 

In March and April 2020, digital advertising tech company Integral Ad Science (IAS) conducted several coronavirus ad adjacency studies to understand U.S. consumer and marketer perception of digital advertising and coronavirus content online. The research finds that because of COVID-19, 75 percent of consumers are seeking out more news content in general. 

In addition, 90 percent prefer premium news and publishing sites when consuming coronavirus content online.

  • Some advertisers are making the most of increased traffic on these premium sites, defined as recognizable, brand-name publishers that produce consistent quality content that also attracts a large audience consistently.
  • Some are deciding this pandemic is an inappropriate time to promote their messaging.
  • Some 61 percent of marketers say the coronavirus situation is changing the type of content they are comfortable advertising alongside, prompting a quick shift in their ad adjacency strategy.

For instance, the keyword coronavirus” is now the most blocked keyword in the world, even though it wasn’t on any block list just six months ago. Keyword blocking allows marketers to block their ads from appearing adjacent to online content they think is an unsuitable match for the brand. Keyword blocking is just one part of an effective ad adjacency strategy. 

Brand suitability is another, more nuanced approach.

Brand Suitability vs. Brand Safety

Marketers want to make sure their advertising messages don’t appear anywhere near editorial content that they consider unsafe for their brand. By blocking certain keywords, such as “murder” or “terrorism” (and now “coronavirus”), marketers can force a more favorable ad placement for their brand. However, a robust keyword blocking strategy can result in brand-safe placements that deliver limited reach and engagement of a target audience. 

That’s why marketers prefer a fresher approach to brand safety that is “more focused on finding places suitable for their ads than avoiding inappropriate content.” The brand suitability approach values content and context that matters to a particular brand and has a more positive impact on the overall effectiveness of marketing and advertising strategy. Especially during the current global climate, marketers want to leverage best practices for brand suitability. 

Where Do Consumers Stand?

The IAS coronavirus ad adjacency and follow-up studies also explore consumer perceptions concerning coronavirus content and show consumers are 41 percent more likely to engage with ads alongside coronavirus content if they run on premium sites. Not only are consumers more likely to engage with ads next to coronavirus content seen on recognizable news sources, but they also have more favorable responses to advertisements that appear alongside positive coronavirus news and content. 

Consumers also prefer information-based ads about the coronavirus situation:

  • Forty-seven percent have a more favorable sentiment toward the brand ads that provide information (such as how to wash hands, etc.) to help them deal with the coronavirus situation.
  • Forty-four percent have a more favorable sentiment toward the brand ads that highlight the brand or company’s response to help the public during the evolving coronavirus situation.
  • Forty-one percent have a more favorable sentiment toward the brand ads that feature how their product or service can help them during the coronavirus quarantine.

If you have questions about your ad adjacency strategy, we encourage you to get in touch with us at Three65 Marketing. We help restoration contractors and others in the restoration industry market services effectively using best practices for brand suitability.