The question is whether to advertise or not to advertise. When a crisis comes, businesses are forced to search for methods to cut expenses. And, if they execute marketing and advertising activities, they are often the first to be impacted.
But you do not want to lose your business because of insecurity, do you? Customers perception changed as a result of the crisis, but your customers have not driven away entirely.
Although many nations’ pandemic precautions are now being loosened, the new customer behaviour tendencies will continue to be significant for a long time.
How can you customise your messaging to meet the demands of your target audience? The worldwide economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was more than expected. There is no disputing that many individuals have little purchasing power, and using a hard-sell strategy will be counterproductive.
Let us look at the figures, see how things are in different niches, and create a go-to plan for generating online ads in a crisis to answer this question.
Here’s how to handle online advertising during a crisis:
- The Influence of the Pandemic on Advertising
- The scenario from the consumers’ perspective
- Adapting your marketing strategy: few pointers
How Has the Pandemic Affected Advertising?
Companies began to significantly reduced or minimised their advertising expenses in March. On the one hand, it impacted publishers since ad income for advertising channels and news outlets fell in the first two quarters of 2020.
Advertisers who were able to react and continue running their campaigns, on the other side, benefited from lower CPCs. They took advantage of a less competitive environment to increase their marketing efforts, explore new ideas, and expand their audience.
This is precisely how the Coda marketing team was able to keep their campaigns running when the quarantine was announced. “Given the rapidly changing climate amid COVID-19 and shelter-in-place,” said Bilal Zaidi, a paid acquisition specialist at Coda, “we’ve been deliberate in reviewing our creatives, landing pages, and promoted docs to ensure they’re still relevant.”
“For example, before the beginning of shelter-in-place, we might have promoted a guide to in-person team off-sites,” he stated. Now, we are concentrating on providing helpful content, such as our remote work starter kit’ and our founder’s ‘guide to distributed teams.”
Demand for digital advertising and CPCs eventually recovered. What is more interesting is that pre-pandemic levels of Digital marketing spending are being surpassed.
According to the IAB report, most purchasers would spend more money on digital advertising in the second half of 2020 than in 2019. It is predicted to be 13% higher in 2021 than it was in 2020.
eMarketer estimates that digital ad expenditure will expand in the United States as well.
According to statistics, advertisers are spending their advertising budgets much more carefully these days. However, as online activity grows, brands are becoming more concerned than ever about their online presence.
Now, more than ever, a well-thought-out online advertising plan is critical. Now let us look at how users feel about brand advertising during a crisis.
The scenario from the consumers’ perspective
65% of the customers say that how well a company responds to a crisis influences their choice to buy from them in the future. Consumers do not desire aggressive ad campaigns targeted at them (and they never did). Statistics show, however, that people do want to hear from and interact with brands.
What is more surprising is that 75% of those polled said they attempted new buying behaviours during the pandemic, including new brands and locations, and that they plan to continue with them in the long run.
As a result, today’s world is really a world of new possibilities. And they are not just words on a page. Today could be the ideal opportunity to attract new customers and establish long-term relationships with them.
Adapting your marketing strategy: few pointers
Many examples of firms who benefited from keeping their advertising campaigns at the same pace or even increasing their ad budgets can be found in previous recessions. But that does not imply you can not change or pivot your marketing plan.
What is your area of expertise?
In times of crisis, your strategy for marketing and promotion is heavily dependent on your niche.
While the crisis affected many people, a few enterprises have thrived since the outbreak. Pharmaceuticals, consumer products, e-commerce, online services, and IT platforms will continue to rise in the coming years.
If you work in a hard-hit industry, the advice to “pivot and thrive” must be driving you crazy.
If your firm is prioritising survival for apparent reasons and there is nothing you can do about it, revising your goals will be the best option for the time being.
Revisit Your Goals
Is your company doing well right now? Then you may skip this, no questions asked!
Is your business struggling to stay afloat? Then try to change your objectives to something more achievable.
Brands of all sizes are considering switching to various types of campaigns as a result of the scenario. Since the coronavirus outbreak, several of our agency clients have prioritised lead generation.
We realised that pre-pandemic sales might not be as effective, so we decided to exploit this opportunity to reach new customers. We have expanded our targeting, created new landing pages, and tweaked our messaging, and we are ready to fly.
Focus on the Long Term
The campaigns you run today will significantly impact how your audience perceives your brand in the future. You can either expand your audience now to prepare for the rise in future sales interest, or you can relax and wait for your competitors to take it all.
Make sure you understand why you need these leads if you switch from sales to lead generation activities. You may come up with the most exciting idea in your area, collect thousands of email addresses, but never convert these leads into paying customers.
Only when an advertiser fails to consider the sales funnel while creating campaigns can this happen. So, when you have revisited your objectives and devised new advertising strategies for the coming months, consider how your new campaigns will help you achieve your business objectives.
Determine the needs of your target audience.
Only you know what your target audience wants to see right now. Is it the proper time for them to get taught? Or do you believe that engaging content will be more effective?
Take one or both of the following methods to gain a more profound knowledge of your consumers’ interests and demands in the changing environment:
- Review traffic insights. This is already a part of your daily or weekly schedule. Now is the time to delve further deeper. How did user behaviour change in the first, second, and third quarters? Was it altering in any way? Use these findings to create content that people want to read.
- Make a close connection with your audience. Inquire with your sales department, conduct a survey, or do anything else that will help you understand what your target audience expects from you.
Make No Attempts to Speculate on the Subject
You should never profit from your customers’ issues, no matter what industry you are in. Increasing consumer-goods prices or launching aggressive ad campaigns will not benefit your business in the long run.
When unexpected events happen, newsjacking is an issue. Many brands have already tried to profit from high-volume headlines without providing any value to their viewers. In the most majority of cases, this results in nothing but criticism.
Make changes to your landing pages and creatives.
All of the preceding steps require a change in your messaging. New creatives are required for new goals, channels, and content. Create new landing pages, leverage trending keywords, and be more creative when testing variables you have never used before.
Avoid thumbnails with crowds of people or overcrowded by opting for photographs taken indoors. Use the keywords’ coronavirus’ or ‘COVID-19’ carefully; they rank second on the list of terms blocked by publishers.
If you are going to start running advertising on new platforms, look at your current campaigns first. You can utilise ad spy tools to export all of the current campaigns in your niche or do manual research.
You will gain valuable insights from your investigation, which you can utilise to create more effective and appealing campaigns.
Time to put your plan into action.
The world around us is changing. Advertisers should use their creative brains to their full potential rather than rejecting it and waiting for things to calm down.
Keep track of your campaign’s performance, analyse early performance indicators like time on page and scroll depth, and optimise real-time to run highly effective campaigns.