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  • Lauren Hooker

How Audiences and Behaviors are Changing in 2020


The impact of COVID-19 has already begun to shape our nation and the world in a new way. This is an unprecedented time and as we are seeing, nearly every industry has been impacted, including the communications industry.


Because there is no playbook on communications during a pandemic in the digital age, marketing and communications professionals are scrambling to anticipate what this means for our industry.


We are seeing changes in audience behaviors and forms of communication which means brands and marketing professionals need to adapt.


Forms of Communication are Shifting

People are connecting in more ways like never before. Before the pandemic hit, the preferred form of communication between smartphone users was through text messaging.

With stay-at-home orders and social distancing in effect, people began communicating in different ways to avoid feeling isolated. As a result, people turned to video chatting and making phone calls to maintain a feeling of connectedness. Facebook reported a 70% increase in video chats through messenger and Houseparty, another group video chat platform, saw a 79% increase in usage in March 2020.


People are even turning to pick up the phone and call someone to hear another voice. Verizon is reporting that daily phone call usage has doubled during COVID-19.


Types of Connections are Changing

Now that video chat is the only form of “face-time” communication between each other, we are also beginning to see a shift in audience expectations.


Connections are becoming more personable and less formal. Newscasters, Professors, CEO’s are all video conferencing from their living rooms, creating a more relaxed environment. Even SNL and The Voice are conducting live shows from their living rooms. This has become the new norm.


People are looking for more authentic experiences, human interaction, entertainment through connection, and more ways to participate.


One thing that is certain in the age of COVID-19 is that brands and firms will need to be more dynamic, agile, and adaptable to change. The world will reopen and return to “normal.” We must be ready for it when it does because engaging with audiences in a reopened post-COVID world will be new territory as well.

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