3 Tips to Optimize Your Campaigns During The Coronavirus Pandemic

3 Tips to Optimize Your Campaigns During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Adapting to the pandemic world is rapidly changing perspectives, requiring a new level of flexibility when it comes to your COVID-19 business strategy online. The new realities of addressing coronavirus present an opportunity that is the very definition of optimization. The sooner advertisers can recognize and respond to consumer behaviors that go along with them, the greater results they can realize.

Keeping up with digital advertising trends proved to be challenging before COVID-19. It’s even more vital now, with internet usage up by as much as 50-70% and dramatic shifts in ad traffic and ad budgets:

coronavirus campaign change in traffic

This is particularly true for businesses now being forced to consider a more consistent ecommerce strategy, with many embracing direct-to-consumer models for the first time, and when you consider that ecommerce transactions as a percentage of retail grew as much in 8 weeks (March and April) as it did in the last 7 years:

ecommerce sales increasing during coronavirus

Bottom line? Change can strengthen your brand if you’re prepared to discover and fix what isn’t working in your online experience. 

Terms like “disruption” have taken on new meaning in the uncharted territory of our new economy. Finding ways to pivot toward higher returns on coronavirus advertising spend should be a priority for smart marketers, regardless of industry.

Tips to optimize your coronavirus digital ad strategy

Out of necessity, the coronavirus is changing the way advertisers go about business. Best practices for advertisers are still being determined, but staying consistent in your messaging across channels while also being vigilant about quick insights sets the stage for successful optimization.

Don’t stop advertising during the pandemic

The upshot is that consumers don’t want brands to stop advertising, according to a March 2020 survey by GlobalWebIndex. In the survey, they asked internet users in 13 markets whether brands should continue coronavirus advertising as normal: 

Emarketer survey brands continuing to advertising during coronavirus

What consumers do want is responsiveness in the form of empathy. Pre-coronavirus campaigns require careful analysis of messaging that is out of step with heightened concerns about personal safety and financial insecurity. 

By focusing on customized post-click experiences, brands can make the most of lower costs for digital advertising buys as demand has fallen:

Google search clicks slowing down after COVID-19

With conversions down for most industries, now is the time to lean into a personalization strategy that can significantly increase your ROAS:

Google conversion rates decreasing after COVID-19

Henry Ford once said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” If brands don’t double down now on staying top of mind, they’ll lose their market share and need to start all over in building brand recognition when life returns to normal. 

Historically, brands that have advertised during financial disasters have shown growth.  Understanding customer behavior is more important than ever for advertising that resonates and converts, and ad-to-page relevancy is a key opportunity to pivot toward personalization.

Addressing the motivations and intent of your target audiences can help align your messaging throughout the customer journey, boosting your ability to deliver the relevant content users expect when they click your ads.

Learn to adapt your conversion funnel

Online advertising has been a moving target since COVID-19, with many pre-coronavirus trends reversing in recent weeks. For example, new searches are growing, advertising revenue during the coronavirus is shifting from events to digital, and mobile traffic is decreasing relative to desktop searches. As brick-and-mortar businesses begin to slowly reopen, counterintuitive trends may yet emerge.

Ensuring that you’re segmenting audiences and creating post-click experiences at scale is your best strategy for navigating uncertain times. The more you can make an immediate, positive impression, the better chance you have at discovering how to improve business during the coronavirus, converting existing customers as well as those who are discovering your business for the first time.

Test and learn to optimize for uncertainty

Creating a dialogue with your customers under today’s dynamic circumstances is vital to driving conversions, for existing customers, and potential customers alike.

The best way to establish the credibility and trust that customized, relevant content can create is to understand the data your ad traffic generates. Analyzing and comparing key metrics from before and during this unprecedented time will help you draw informed conclusions about the impact COVID-19 is having on your business, and how to best adapt your design, messaging, calls to action, and more.

Being proactive about making changes that optimize, customize, and personalize each customer’s journey will make your ad spend as efficiently as possible. Experiment and test, early and often, and be open to making incremental changes to increase ROI for all of your marketing channels.

“Optimizing the post-click experience with personalization is the end game in every advertising maturity model for integrated marketing campaigns,” says Postclick Director of Conversion Strategy Mike Perla. “Personalization at scale based on data-driven decisions is a win-win when it comes to making your online experience more valuable. It’s a proven methodology for creating a better dialogue with customers while generating more credibility, loyalty, and revenue for businesses.”

Solid insights on which interactions are directly serving your customers can help you talk to your customers in a new way. So can quickly fixing interactions that aren’t working correctly, and updating content that isn’t relevant to the coronavirus climate. 

Other tactical quick fixes to optimize your post-click experience for “the new normal” include adding “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” as negative keywords. Doing this prevents your campaigns from reaching irrelevant panicked searchers. Furthermore, adding an exclusion list for coronavirus Google Ads to exclude your ads from appearing on news sites or URLs that relate to COVID-19.

Conclusion

The key is to stay agile, making practical changes. Build the kind of awareness that effectively future-proofs your brand, to keep customers following through from ads to conversion—now, as well as through recovery and beyond.

Discover how to create relevant post-click experiences at scale and get a complimentary conversion analysis today.

Suzan Revah
by Suzan Revah

Suzan Revah is a senior copywriter at Postclick. She integrates experience from a diverse career in journalism, UX, content strategy, marketing, and brand in service of the language of optimization and personalization. She is a logophile and also speaks in dance.

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