There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has turned our world upside down – from the once-everyday basics of supermarket shopping and seeing family, through to our professional lives, with 8.4 million of us on furlough, and many industries disrupted with enforced closures and changed practices.
For many businesses, the immediate reaction was to pause all marketing activity while we ride out the pandemic. While there’s no doubt that the current situation is putting immense pressure on budgets and team resources to sustain marketing efforts, it’s clear that there are still many benefits to having a continued presence online – both paid and organic. For brands that are in a position to continue advertising, here are our top tips for getting the best results in these challenging times:
1: Make sure you’re up to date with the latest measures on your core channels
It’s no surprise that with so many at home, browsing is at an all-time high, but Google is reporting a fall in conversion rates. Unsurprisingly, with so many restrictions in place, conversions remain particularly low for travel searches.
It’s worth noting that Google will suppress any ad copy directly referencing Covid-19 or Coronavirus across creative, ad copy and keywords. Keeping an eye on impressions and ensuring ads are delivering correctly is key in this time.
In some cases, we’re seeing a stronger impression share for our campaigns as a result of lower demand from other advertisers at present, so this is a great time for getting more bang for your buck.
We’re seeing an uptick in social media consumption - especially amongst younger consumers - at this time. This has the happy effect of larger audience groups to tap into for targeted campaigns.
It’s worth noting that for the time being, Facebook is now manually reviewing all new ads and ad copy changes before campaigns go live. As a result, it’s advisable to keep ad copy changes to a minimum when mid-campaign.
SEO, by its very nature, is much less impacted by Covid-19 than our paid channels have been.
We see this period as a really good opportunity to get ahead with technical improvements and improved copy across site to help with gains in the rankings, especially at a time when competitors may not have been in a position to put so much resource or investment into this area.
2: Get your messaging right
Our recommendation here is that subtle but empathetic messaging is going to be the best way to resonate with consumers at present.
Continuing with product pushes and brand campaigns with no recognition of the current challenging and unusual times everyone is living through is going to be a poor move, but equally, we know that on some channels, direct Coronavirus messages won’t serve.
It’s worth investing to update creative and move plans around to focus on the things that matter to consumers most at the moment. For a fashion retailer for example, focusing on a roundup of the top seasonal lounge wear is going to be a better bet than which best little black dresses will look best for your night out.
3: Focus on current customers and what they need
Acquisition of new customers is undoubtedly a challenge in the current climate, but focusing on maintaining goodwill and building loyalty amongst your existing customer-base can strengthen your conversions in the short term.
As a broader business, think about if there are ways that you can help your customers to convert, be that through flexible returns policies, longer cool off periods or through interest-free credit, and, where possible, communicate these changes in your marketing efforts.
Overall, we don’t think it’s all doom and gloom – there’s a lot of opportunity to see strong results from paid campaigns and organic SEO activity if internal budgets and resources allow for work to continue as normal. For our clients returning to business as usual after a hiatus, we’re offering workshops to get you back up and running, we’ll be in touch with details soon.