We have entered a new time and a first for many on the digital marketing front.
With a rapidly changing landscape and consumer needs shifting based on outlook and government updates, now more than ever it is imperative to ensure your campaigns are set up to weather changes as they come during this highly dynamic situation.
Here six tactics that paid search advertisers should consider as current events and behaviors around COVID-19 continue to unfold.
1. Check Your Automation
The rise and more widespread adoption of automation has been a great improvement to how paid search campaigns were both run and optimized.
That said, algorithms were not built to factor in pandemics so ensuring your goals, targets and rules are structured in a way to adjust as the buying behaviors shift, shipping options change or supply chains dictate availability.
If changes in the landscape are dramatic and automation is lagging behind in following the trends, it may be time to give yourself the most control to ensure your dollars are put to work in the most efficient way possible.
2. Monitor Key KPIs
While helpful to understand the impact coronavirus is having MoM and YoY on this marketing channel, it will not be a key indicator of how your advertising investment is performing day-to-day.
Monitoring your key KPIs (CPA, ROAS, etc) along with impression share and competitive pressures will allow you to know if you are capturing as much as you can out of the volume available.
3. Use Negatives for Your Dynamic Search Ads
While many terms searched each day are net new to search engines, it is crucial that if dynamic search ads are part of your marketing mix that all things related to Coronavirus and COVID-19 are used as negatives.
Imagine the page that discusses how your company is addressing the situation gets indexed by Google?
4. Monitor Stock, Delivery Timelines and Cancelled Orders
With the constantly evolving needs and availability of products changing almost instantly, ensure you are closely monitoring your stock for what is most searched for and what is leading to conversions and are those purchases being shipped and received.
If there is a breakdown in the flow, there could be false positives that during previous times would result in maintaining a desired level of aggressiveness but could now require the opposite approach.
5. Try New Testing
Testing is crucial to the success of our campaigns and at the forefront of what we do.
During a time where volatility is known, testing is still key but making decisions off of any tests that require stable data such as an ad copy test will be a challenge.
Rather, focus tests on trying new language to focus on versatility, return policy or speed a product may be shipped or available. Test getting in front of users at different places in their journeys as paths to conversion and times to conversion are both shifting.
6. Update Ad Copy
It is crucial to ensure that your ad copy does not touch on any sensitive topics or conflict with local/state/national regulations that have been in place.
For example, if you are a restaurant, adjust the language to speak to take-out & delivery options vs. highlighting the in-restaurant dining experience.
Slight adjustments will show potential customers that you are in touch with what is affecting them and adjusting your services accordingly.
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