Digital Fatigue & The Decline of Paid Social

Video ads and social media ads have become part of the fabric of the internet and anyone who is trying to market their product or service is doing it. But Covid-19 has had a massive impact on how we as consumers engage with the digital world.

What’s the impact of this on us as consumers?

During the pandemic, screen time hit unprecedented levels and studies suggest that this has affected our sleep quality and was correlated with increased mental stress and anxiety levels.

In a survey of 1,000 consumers, querying the effectiveness of marketing communications directed at them, PIWorld found that 75% of consumers reported being “overwhelmed by the number of digital ads they see daily”.

Digital Fatigue is real. 

But, there’s another huge factor at play here and this is going to be an unpopular one, so take a deep breath folks. Paid Social is in decline and this isn’t a new thing, it’s been declining since 2019, way before Covid. In a study conducted by Trust Insights, they analyzed 1.4 million Instagram posts from 3.600 brand profiles. The results showed that in April, Instagram user engagement was 1.54%, and only three months later, it was 0.9%.

So, there’s no doubt that as marketers, we’re needing to be increasingly creative to hit our targets.

No surprise, but it’s Direct Mail for the win folks!

Direct Mail is already providing a welcome respite from the digital world. According to IAB’s study on direct brand media planning and buying decisions from 2019-2020. Nearly two-thirds of marketers are using direct mail, more than any other offline marketing channel.

Catalogs are King right now. D2C lifestyle Brand “Away” printed and mailed a spoof SkyMall style catalog to debut its collection in a catalog featuring at-home uses of Away’s new travel neck pillows, travel blankets, sleep masks, compression socks, and, of course, face masks.

Get in touch with Snowball to find out how to make your direct mail piece stand out and resonate with personalization. And how to harness the digital tools, like QR codes and Informed Delivery to boost response. 

Physical connections to your brand are more meaningful and more powerful than ever right now. What are you waiting for?

Written by Katrina Shaw

CEO and Founder, Snowball Print Marketing


Medical News Today,, W3Lab,, Trust Insights, Away, AdWeek