Advertising Strategies Built With The Social Distancing Economy In View
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, and people will need to continue practicing social distancing until there’s a viable vaccine. Even after governments start to ease restrictions and allow businesses to open, the pandemic’s influence on consumer behavior will linger.
Customers will focus more on products or services that improve their quality of life and less on wasteful expenses. Businesses must adjust to the new normal by optimizing their advertising strategies for the situation. Here’s a look at some strategies that will help:
1. Focus on High-Performing Campaigns
The pandemic has compelled all businesses to take a closer look at workings and cut expenses wherever possible. Companies have smaller advertising budgets and need to make do with fewer campaigns. Fortunately, it is possible to get good returns and still cut down on expenses.
Move away from a diverse advertising strategy and develop a more focused approach. For example, if you’re a B2B business, invest your advertising dollars on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. You can target other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Bing, etc. after the market stabilizes, and business booms again. Right now, it is time to focus on campaigns that deliver the maximum ROI.
2. Target Regular Store Visitors
Many companies have brick-and-mortar establishments and a small online presence. Their campaigns are focused on drawing foot traffic to their stores instead of a website. Such campaigns won’t help in the social distancing economy. This is most apparent in the foodservice industry where restaurants are closed, but food delivery and takeaways are open.
Study your sales records and Customer Relationship Management databases carefully to understand how people interact with your products or services. Develop advertising campaigns based on this information and target customers through emails or social media handles. Promote your website through Gmail advertising, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. Customers who have already visited your store are familiar with your business and are more likely to convert on an online platform.
3. Find New Customers
The pandemic has changed consumer behavior, forcing millions of digital novices to rely on online shopping and related services. Older customers have now started to use their mobile phones and computers to odder essentials. Start creating ad campaigns for this new generation of shoppers.
It is also a good idea to branch out of your current target audience base and reach out to non-traditional customers. For example, if your target audiences are primarily college-age women, consider expanding to include young professionals or older consumers. Expanding your targeting parameters won’t hurt and may help you discover unexplored markets.
4. Conduct In-Depth Keyword Research
The top keywords change and evolve every day. A phrase that worked a few months ago won’t work now. Consumer behavior and the local business environment have changed, so the keywords have changed as well. Conduct in-depth research to determine which keywords are trending. Look at your existing ad campaigns and compare clicks, conversions, and related data.
Focus on the most effective keywords and redirect resources from phrases that don’t deliver good returns. Experts recommend focusing on intent-based, long-tail keywords for the best results.
5. Change the Message
Most people are divided on whether they should mention the pandemic in their advertising material. They are wary of alienating their audience, but recent surveys indicate that customers want to hear from their favorite brands. Approximately 77% of the 35,000 consumers surveyed in a Kantar poll said they want brands to offer helpful advice on adjusting to the new norm.*
Only around 8% believe that brands shouldn’t advertise during the pandemic, which shows that almost everyone wants a sense of normalcy and connection. They want their favorite brands to be active and helpful. Continue advertising but change the message so that it is more relevant to the times. Offer useful advice on coping with social distancing, keeping safe, and helping others.
6. Determine How Your Brand Can Help
Many brands don’t sell essential goods or items people would buy during a pandemic. For example, most people aren’t going to buy high-fashion clothes or shoes. Almost no one is going to buy a vehicle. But that doesn’t mean manufacturers of non-essential products can’t continue to be at the forefront of their industry.
High-fashion brands have started to manufacture PPE for medical professionals and the general public. Automobile companies have begun making ventilators. You can use your resources to create something that will help the general public and then advertise it. Modern consumers appreciate companies that contribute actively to social causes. Your brand will gain some prominence and good press by doing something to help. Instead of advertising your regular products, you can create ads that offer products that aren’t a part of your regular inventory but are useful during a pandemic or encourage people to contribute in some way. Social action and support now will pay back in dividends later.
7. Stay on Top of Analytics
Keeping an eye on analytics is an essential aspect of marketing, but it is even more crucial. The business landscape is more uncertain and fluid today, so trends change constantly. A marketing campaign that worked well a few months ago may not work well today. Campaigns have a shorter lifespan and need refreshing more often.
Keeping an eye on analytics helps you get real-time insight into how your ad campaigns are doing. If they are faltering, you can optimize them or remove them from the roster. This keeps your marketing fresh and helps save some money.
8. Keep an Eye on Market Trends and Consumer Behavior
This is a volatile time for businesses and customers alike. People adjust to the pandemic and social distancing requirements one day at a time, which means consumer behavior is regularly changing. Keep an eye on market trends, industry news, and consumer behavior. Read important publications in the industry and study the top businesses’ current advertising strategies in your field.
This information will help you refine your current marketing campaigns and adjust to consumer requirements easily. Your advertising campaigns will be more productive, targeting the right customers and giving them what they need.
9. Plan for Rebound
No business has escaped the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. While companies offering essential goods and services scraped by, ones offering non-essential products are struggling to make ends meet. In such circumstances, investing in advertising may seem like a waste of money, but it isn’t a good idea to abandon marketing entirely. A business will return eventually, and sales will pick up once again. Prepare for the rebound sales by keeping your brand in the customer’s mind.
Minimal but effective advertising will ensure you have an active online presence and some visibility. When customers are ready to buy again, they will remember your products and be more likely to invest in them.
Don’t stop advertising during the pandemic, even if your brick-and-mortar store is closed and the online one isn’t making too many sales. Inactivity will give competitors an edge over you and boost their sales after things get back to normal. Even barebone advertising is better than no advertising at all. If you’re on a tight budget, run a light marketing campaign that requires minimal investment but will always be visible.
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Thanks for reading,
Digital Canteen Team