Covid-19 and marketing: Brands put greater focus on local advertising as consumers prioritise change

Jul 1, 2020 | Ad tech, Content marketing, E-commerce and E-retailing, Online advertising, Search Engine Optimization

People 'supporting local business more during the pandemic'
Brands are pivoting to local advertising as consumer trends have changed in lockdown, as people are looking to stay loyal and shop local as lockdown is eased, according to new research.

The study, from neighbourhood hub Nextdoor, found 63% of its members claim they will frequent local businesses more often.

The survey found more than one in three consumers have started using a new brand due to the innovative or compassionate way the brand responded to the pandemic.

As consumer shopping habits have been altered by the coronavirus, 30% of businesses have changed the products and services they offer by building relationships with new vendors and suppliers, providing more online services, and made operational changes.

Nextdoor members have also been using the platform to stay up to date with local issues. When looking at the top three issues in the UK, 37% of members are looking for updates about public services, 33% updates about local businesses, and 33% are using the platform to get updates from their local council.

With communities turning to social networks to connect with neighbours, Nextdoor has seen the UK engagement rate on the platform increase by 73% since January. As a result, the average click-through rate on brand advertising increased by 0.15% in Q2 when compared to the previous quarter.

When looking at the power of local, UK members are keen to engage with their neighbours to get tasks done with 71% of Nextdoor users having hired their neighbours for jobs around the house such delivery services, gardening and tutoring, compared to 34% in the US.

Paps Shaikh, Commercial Director – EMEA at Nextdoor comments: “It’s fantastic to see consumers are supporting local businesses during a time of need. Nextdoor was created to bring communities closer together and as local businesses are often at the heart of our communities it’s important to support these businesses as they need us more now than ever.

“As a result of this slight shift in consumer shopping habits, we have seen brands small and large adjust accordingly and pivot towards local advertising due to the powerful connections this can create. This research shows that the tone and sentiment of advertising has never been so important, as consumers are reacting to those who are providing reassurance at a time they need it the most.”

Oliver Baxter, Head of Brand, Communications and Product at By Miles comments: “Car insurance pricing has been a hot topic during the pandemic, as people are driving much less. However, as our policies are specifically designed for lower mileage drivers, demand has increased significantly for our fairer, more flexible kind of car insurance during lockdown. While our advertising strategy hasn’t changed dramatically, we’ve had to rethink the tone and messaging of our ads a bit, as people are using their cars in different ways than they were before lockdown began.

“It’s been really important for us to advertise in a trusted environment. Nextdoor has allowed us to do this while reaching specific local neighbourhoods at scale, where we know lower mileage drivers can benefit from a pay-by-mile insurance policy.”

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