The Covid-19 pandemic has forced sudden, unexpected and massive shifts into the online strategies of most organizations. Even companies with extensive Business Continuity Planning are struggling to come to grips with how to approach such a crisis. Everything from the most practical considerations such as budget to more existential factors like the "why" and "who are we now" have come into question. We have compiled some of the top reflections on advertising post Covid-19 from a variety of sources to help our clients and colleagues approach this time.
The first thing we are seeing is people trying to exploit fear.
What I mean by this is supplies are running low around the world. From masks and toilet paper to hand sanitizer and other basic necessities… I am seeing marketers buying them and then reselling them on eBay or running ads and selling them for 10-50x the price.
This isn’t entrepreneurship and this isn’t marketing. I highly recommend that you avoid exploiting the Coronavirus situation to make a quick buck.
Not only is it wrong but it is also very short-sighted. Sure you may be able to make a quick buck, but it won’t last… you are better off spending your time on anything that is long term.
So now that we got that out of the way, what does the Coronavirus mean for marketers?
With most businesses closed, and most people staying at home in order to reduce the potential spread of the virus, social media usage is surging.
Since people aren’t going out to bars or engaging in outdoor activities, they're turning to Facebook and Instagram much more than normal - which means that the amount of available impressions is also on the increase, and the capacity for your ads to reach your target audience is equally on the rise. This will lead to lower overall operating costs for your campaigns.
We wouldn't necessarily recommend the testing of any new initiatives during this time, however those who can afford to keep their campaigns running for the next 30, 60 or 90 days will be doing so in a more favorable market for attention.
Proactively share important information with your customers using email, your website, Facebook Page, Instagram Business Profile, or however you typically connect. Remember that you can pin important posts to the top of your Facebook Page for quick viewing. You might include information about the measures you’re taking to make your premises or products safe, or how you will handle customer inquiries if there are expected shipping delays.
You can also update your Page hours to show your customers how and when you’re available for business. Notify customers of any changes or modifications to your availability or services by updating your Page Info and selecting Open With Service Changes or Temporarily Closed, depending on your situation.
Demand is likely to remain subdued during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but that doesn’t mean it's going away. Indeed, financial experts expect a spike in shopping and product demand once a vaccine is developed or a solid treatment is found.
As an advertiser, you can prepare for that pent-up interest by building your brand and creating bonds with your community. From helping out with local needs to being visible and active on social media and other online channels, there are things you can do to enhance your brand awareness and be ready for the shopping spree to come.
The COVID-19 crisis has created a new landscape for businesses everywhere, with some firms prohibited from operating and others working harder than ever to meet demands. Advertising in the heart of all this has created its own set of challenges.
Stay up to date on local conditions. The Google Trends page can help you better understand the context in local markets and your customers’ frame of mind.
Review your performance metrics, and be willing to pivot. For example, significant shifts in conversion rate may require adjustments to your Smart Bidding targets.
Pause ad groups or ads if needed. Review products and services that are affected by demand issues and adjust accordingly. For example, mark online or local products as “out of stock” across channels if you’re unsure of real-time inventory or restocking times.
Consider tools that can help you adapt. For example, the Google Ads mobile app (iOS, Android) can help keep you connected to your campaigns.
If you need any help with your marketing and advertising strategy, contact us today.