Coronavirus has had obvious and global impacts that are felt across the board. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business or industry that has not been affected by the pandemic. For marketers, the question remains how do we accommodate these new industry challenges?
In other words, how do you adjust certain strategies to respond to the changes and impacts created by coronavirus? This discussion will look specifically at PPC campaigns and what marketers should be doing to adjust their strategies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s take a look at 5 tips to help you get started.
#1: Look For Free Advertising Benefits
Towards the start of the pandemic, when strict lockdowns were in place around most of the US and beyond, Google rolled out some benefits for small and medium-sized business owners. These perks were intended to relieve some of the pressures caused by these companies having to temporarily close their physical doors.
Google created two benefits. The first was free product listing ads for all Google Ads users. This allowed anyone to list their products on Google’s shopping network at no cost. It was a way to give brick-and-mortar businesses the opportunity to generate new sales online.
The second benefit was free advertising credits. This program was more restrictive and only targeted accounts of a certain size that had been active throughout the beginning of 2020, and most of 2019.
Google selected these businesses on their own. There was no application process, so don’t worry if you think you missed a window. That said, be sure to check the email inbox associated with your Google Ads account to see if you received any of the free advertising credits.
This is nice to know because it means you may have more in your budget than normal. You also need to remember to adjust your data. If you had a strong month of clicks and impressions, make sure that it isn’t the result of having some extra credits allowing your ads to run in more auctions.
#2: Conduct A Competitive Analysis
A lot of businesses have unfortunately had to close or restructure their company during this time. That means that your competitive landscape has undoubtedly changed. Some of your top competitors may have left the PPC market all together.
Even larger companies are struggling, especially with their global supply chains and distribution channels being tested by COVID-19. These large corporations may be less active on PPC channels because they can’t move products or materials as swiftly as they are used to.
If it’s been awhile since you conducted a competitor analysis, you definitely want to revisit this important activity and make sure the information is up-to-date. When you can more accurately map your competitive landscape, you can better decide how to navigate the market and counter-strategize against the competition.
#3: Explore YouTube Advertising
The majority of the workforce still hasn’t returned to their offices or other places of business. The work-from-home trend looks like it will continue even into 2021. While most companies are pleased with the performance of at-home employees, that isn’t to say that people aren’t more prone to distractions when they are in the comfort of their house and with no supervisors watching.
What’s a common way that many people distract themselves? Browsing YouTube content. Many YouTube creators are experiencing 20-60% increases in daily views, which suggests more people are consuming YouTube during the pandemic.
As an advertiser, this is a potentially golden opportunity to begin investing in YouTube ads. More eyeballs means more potential users to convert! Remember, not all YouTube ads need to be videos. You can also publish PPC display ads on the video sharing platform.
#4: Optimize For Voice Search
Another area that’s seeing an increase in activity is voice search. This has been on the rise for a number of years. Not only has the technology and AI matured over time, but devices have become more affordable, thereby increasing market penetration.
Coronavirus was the last nudge voice search needed to really boil over. Again, with the majority of people working from home and spending more time indoors, consumers are sitting in close proximity to their voice search devices (Alexa, Google Home, etc.) for longer stretches of time. Naturally, this means that there are more voice searches being performed.
This is going to have an impact on what sort of keywords are valuable in the PPC marketplace, as well as the content that voice search audiences will find valuable. Voice searches are typically longer, more conversational and in the form of a question. Incorporate these into your keyword targets and you may see some good results.
It’s a good idea to refer to your search terms report to see exactly what queries are leading people to your website and ad messages. This will give you a clearer picture of how to approach voice search marketing.
#5: Understand The Volatility Of Your Data
Data has always been a guiding light for PPC marketers. You need to use your data to make sense of what’s happening now. One of the most common data analysis tactics is to compare current metrics and statuses to the past. Are things trending up or down?
Unfortunately, this isn’t so easy during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can’t compare historic data to current data because pre-pandemic and in-pandemic behaviors (and data) are so radically different from one another.
Instead, marketers need to rely more on their short-term data and less on what’s normal for their campaigns because there really is no normal in the pandemic. The problem with relying on short-term data is that it is very volatile. You can’t draw strong conclusions on only a few weeks or months of information.
This is where your instincts and expertise as a marketer need to take control. Think strategically about what trends and opportunities make the most sense based on your experiences. Don’t trust opportunities that seem too good to be true. Wait for the data to mature!
There are plenty of ways that coronavirus is making life less convenient than we’re used to. With these 5 tips, you can at least protect yourself from letting it cause negative impacts to your PPC campaigns.