Digital marketers make hay in flu season

Mumbai: Savvy digital marketers are using Covid-19 (or novel coronavirus) as a keyword to make their products and services visible online, capitalising on the concerns of consumers who search for information and protection against the infection.

The spread of the virus has led to a flurry of searches online for tools and tricks to protect against the outbreak.

Cleverly positioned ads and optimised keywords are helping retailers and ecommerce websites position products in such a way that consumers looking for remedies see them right on top, despite explicit virus related marketing being barred and goods that make false promises removed from online platforms.

"Typically there's a keyword and surrounding it is a keyword universe," said Karthik Govindarajan, Growth marketer at a Chennai-based startup.

"Digital marketers will try to cover as many keywords as possible in order to gain traction from the search engine on this topic," he added.

Alphabet Inc CEO Sundar Pichai had said on Sunday that the search engine had temporarily banned all ads for medical masks and respirators, while continuing to block ads on 'coronavirus'.

Ecommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay and Etsy have also said that they have removed hundreds of products making false claims on fighting the virus.

Though Amazon continues to remove products making false claims, it reappears on the etailer's website soon after deletion.

Be that as it may, companies are sponsoring ads and optimising keywords for related terms to attract consumers. "Companies are trying to use the keywords (Coronavirus and related terms) in the content copy of their products so they appear when people search for goods that fight the virus," said Karthik Srinivasan, an independent communications consultant.

Companies are also using the information route to target brick-and-mortar retailers and brands and reach out to consumers. For instance, Hari Krishnan, senior manager, SEO at said articles on awareness against the virus are being used to target consumers.


Mar 17, 2020

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