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.
Considering the current state of emergency sweeping the world, businesses without an established crisis communications policy or plan are seeking quick tips for managing their social media and other accounts. We have comprised a list of the most standard tips for managing your communications strategy during this sensitive time. While your industry may call for a different set of responses, these tips provide sound advice for any organization looking to communicate effectively during this time.
Understand the Crisis
Don’t jump wholeheartedly into communicating about the crisis without a sound understanding of the facts. Do your research from respectable and reliable organizations, not gossip. Don’t jump to conclusions and make sure you consider the short and long-term impacts of the situation on your customers and audience. Be aware that even the most reliable news sources are sometimes incorrect and report too quickly. Make sure what you’re quoting or reporting is being checked and substantiated by multiple, reliable news outlets and agencies.
Your audience is now accustomed to quick almost instantaneous responses online from sources. When organizations do not address an issue or respond to a relevant event, customers begin to suspect that the organization may be hiding something or may have some sort of negative attitude toward a situation, or even guilt! Don’t wait to respond online or think your customers will not notice your sudden absence online. Even a day may be too long to wait in the aftermath of a crisis. Hours may also be too long. Try to have messages prepared in the event of a crisis in advance, but when that is not possible, recognize the situation online. Don’t act oblivious to something everyone is aware of and commenting on.
Keep your audience calm by providing timely and consistent message that they can expect and rely on. Apprise your audience of the circumstances of the situation on a regular consistent basis. Then let them know when they will expect their next update. Don’t make people wonder if or when they will receive another update. By sharing information regularly, your audience will learn to trust you and that will help them remain calm. When you do not provide information as you promise, your audience will begin to doubt your sincerity and trustworthiness.
Determine your Core Message
What is the theme of your message? Decide what it will be and be consistent in your messaging. Avoid being argumentative or defensive about your stance. Clearly and repeatedly state your core message in a reliable, timely, constant fashion.
Make the Message Clear
Although in an unexpected and dramatic situation, individuals may be tempted to think deeply to offer greater meanings or ideas, an emergency is not the time to speak in poetic or complicated language that may be difficult to decipher for some of your audience. Be as clear and focused as possible stating as many facts as are appropriate and avoid attempting to speak in high, unfamiliar language.
Keep the Message Consistent
During an emergency, people may become confused and disoriented. While a speaker may think a message is clear and easy to understand, it may be necessary to repeat the same message in a consistent fashion before your audience understands. During an emergency, people may not be able to comprehend or decipher information as easily, so repeating the same, similar message is crucial.
If you have a good relationship with several individuals or organizations who are not directly affiliated or employed by your organization, now is a good time to leverage their support. Ask kindly for them to stand beside your message and reiterate it for your audience and theirs. Leverage their impartial relationship in order to gain the trust of your audience.
Monitor Social Media
Do not post to social media and then ignore your users comments. If your organization decides that social media is an appropriate place to respond to a certain situation, make sure your posts are regularly monitored and that someone is available to respond to questions and comments.
Put the Victims First
Although you may feel that the crisis is having its worst impact on your organization as a whole, depending on the circumstances, it’s possible that there are victims whose situation is of far worse or critical standing than yours. Always put them first in your communications, Do not gloss over their suffering or circumstances, be clear about your sympathy for their situation and suffering.
Communication Can Save Lives
Depending on the status of your organization, don’t forget that providing reliable and helpful communications can save lives. Making individuals aware of facts and preventative measures may prevent an escalation of the crisis.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Avoid blaming others for the situation. Especially before experts have decisively and definitely pinpointed the cause of the situation. Continue to focus on the victims and do not begin to blame individuals or organizations or make accusations of guilt.
Avoid acting as if you have no information and avoiding comment. Be up front and forward about acknowledging the facts of the situation. Avoid keeping totally quiet and acting as if nothing has occurred.
Keep Your Employees in the Loop
While you are notifying your audience outside of your organization about the circumstances, don’t overlook your company employees and your official, internal lines of communication. Make sure your employees are kept abreast of the situation through your internal lines of communication while you are publishing public notifications.
Preparation Is Key
Be prepared with your approach before an emergency. Create a Business Continuity Plan for your company and make sure you have systems set in place for responding to emergencies before emergencies take place.
If you need help managing your communications strategy and forming a business continuity plan, contact Cote Media today!