We’ve found a silver lining to this difficult time…

Now is the most affordable time to advertise in years. We’re seeing unheard of low CPMs.

If you’re open for business and can afford it, you should advertise!

Some recent findings looking at the last week of data compared to the past:

  • CLIENT A: Compared to last year, Facebook/Instagram CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) is 62% lower, and although CTR (click through rate) is down about half, the overall CPC (cost per click) is still 9% lower right now.
  • CLIENT B: Facebook/Instagram CPM is 9% lower than in January, and is driving very affordable online orders for restaurant carryout. Google CPC is 10% lower.
  • CLIENT C: Compared to last year, Facebook/Instagram CPM is 82% lower and CPC is 55% lower. Cost per video Thruplay (video played for at least 15 seconds) is 69% lower.
  • CLIENT D: Amazon ecommerce ACOS (advertising cost of sale) is still quite good. We’ve seen 19-26% ACOS, while the industry average is 30%.
  • CLIENT E: We’re seeing YouTube ad cost per view at rates 20-40% lower than last year. Overall Google CPM is 36% lower, but search ad CPC is 4% higher.


Advertising spend tends to correlate with increases in business, and return business. Businesses that cut advertising tend to see decreases in business. If you’re open for business, we recommend you advertise.

We recommend Facebook/Instagram, YouTube and Amazon because they’re the same or more affordable right now. Google may be good for reach, but Google search ads may be slightly more expensive at this time than normal.

This is a very affordable time to reach customers with branding, awareness, or general messaging.

We are seeing purchases of both essential goods and discretionary ones (especially those that relieve boredom or entertain or educate children). 

Leading with a coronavirus message may not lead to great CTR (advertising) or open rates (email). The worst email open rate we’ve seen recently came from the subject line, “Dealing with Coronavirus.” Better results come from focusing on short-term pains, problems and goals. When alluding to the virus, say something softer like, “in this crisis,” or “in these times.” 

We’re seeing success with clients who create new offers and discounts, and running a larger variety to discover what customers want most right now.

Brian Carter

An IBM futurist and top expert recommended by LinkedIn, Brian Carter has been a trusted influencer for over a decade. He's built programs and been a keynote speaker for companies like Microsoft, NBC-Universal, Citrix, Marketo, Salesforce as well as small businesses. He delivers motivational keynotes with practical takeaways based his 15 years of cutting-edge work. Brian is a bestselling author you may have seen on Bloomberg TV or in Inc, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has over 250,000 online fans and reaches over 3 million people per year.