As companies reopen and adapt to our new sense of normal during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with varying restrictions, there are quite a few digital advertising tips to keep in mind. We love helping businesses better understand the opportunities digital marketing presents, especially in today’s challenging climate.
Seize The Opportunity
When the lockdowns started, the reaction from many businesses was to pull-back on marketing spend. Ad platforms such as Facebook and Google have seen lower advertising costs than they have in years because there is less demand for that ad space.
However, if your business is in a position to provide services and sell products, it’s important to try and seize this opportunity and actually maintain, or even increase marketing spend while costs are still down. Advertising costs will rise again, making a positive ROI potentially more difficult to achieve than it is right now.
Additionally, a lot of platforms including Facebook and Google announced that they would be handing out advertising credits to small businesses. We’ve seen these credits hitting our clients’ accounts over the last week or so, and we’re working hard to help them make the most of them! If your business qualifies for these credits and receives them, make sure they do not go to waste! This is free money that should immediately be put back into growing your business via digital advertising. If you’ve gotten a free ad credit, but aren’t sure how to use it most effectively, let us know! We’d be happy to take a look at your account and give you our recommendations!
While the world slowly returns to a “new normal”, things will look different. Customers will need to know that businesses have their health and safety in mind. People also don’t want to do business with companies that they feel are taking advantage of a situation (this can apply to more than just a pandemic as well).
While advertising, there are a few things to keep in mind with the messaging your brand is putting out.
- Your business should continue creating new promotions, sales, and marketing your various products and offers. But again, the messaging needs to be crafted in a delicate way, otherwise, you may come across unethical and as profiteers.
- If you have a brick & mortar business, are you implementing safe social distancing procedures? Have you started new routines to keep your store clean and patrons healthy? Tell your customers in the advertisements!
- Don’t use images with large gatherings of people until gatherings are widely accepted as safe again.
While this may not apply to every business, particularly service-based businesses, it is important to keep e-commerce in mind as it rapidly grows due to fewer people wanting to gather and shop in a physical location.
In today’s world, it is imperative as a business that sells products to have an online store. This is not to say the online storefront replaces the brick and mortar shop but rather compliments it well. This online shop can operate 24/7, leading to an increase in sales and can greatly increase a brand’s awareness with the proper marketing strategy in place.
It’s possible the COVID-19 pandemic has really hit service-based businesses the hardest. While it may be harder to offer e-commerce products, thinking outside the box and getting creative on what additional products can be created and sold online will help buoy the business when sales are down. Gift certificates are an easy option. Products such as info guides, ebooks, and courses can be a cost-effective way of generating smaller sales and simultaneously generate more leads for the larger services offered. Additionally, customers can easily book a service online through different software like booking portals and chatbot services.
Advertise Where Your Customers Live
This digital advertising tip can be applied anytime and should be something your business places importance on when creating marketing campaigns.
When advertising online, you must know where their ideal customers are “living”. For example, in industries such as B2B, a social platform like Instagram might not be the most optimal choice when compared to a B2B friendly platform like LinkedIn. This is due to the fact that their audience is more likely to be active and engaged on LinkedIn than Instagram. Similarly, if selling e-commerce products to end consumers, a business would want to do audience research to determine if their target audience is more active on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or even YouTube.
Audience Research Tip: Buyer personas play an important role in keeping your marketing efforts focused and purposeful. Get access to our free persona development guide here.
Currently, with a lot of people still staying at home and avoiding large crowds, it may be wise to look into advertising via OTT (over-the-top) video. OTT advertising is delivered over the internet through various streaming platforms such as Sling, Roku, Hulu, and other smart devices, including smart TVs. This type of advertising is essentially TV commercials but with better targeting management and typically suited for smaller budgets.
Additionally, local and geographic targeting can play a vital role in generating new business within your own community. In the Fox Cities, for example, we help businesses target their ideal customers by utilizing various geographic targeting strategies. Oftentimes, local customers become some of your biggest fans and not only support your business, but recommend it to their friends and families. Local and geographic targeting is certainly not something to overlook, especially if you are a service-based business!
All in all, we understand that right now is full of unknowns for your business. You may not know how to proceed with getting your business back up and running or how to scale up your marketing without waste. That’s why E/Power Marketing is here to help. We’re offering free digital marketing consultations to ensure your business is ready to thrive.