3 Tips for Advertising During the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 9, 2020

The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought a huge change to marketing, promotional, media and advertising spends. Brands and businesses alike have been forced to re-evaluate current and future advertising campaigns to ensure that their revenue continues. Given that the world is not business as usual, social media advertisers have a unique opportunity to leverage on the almost exponential increase in awareness. That being said, they must also learn to carve out a demographic from that increased awareness or risk being overtaken by competitors.

Social media users have been known to have a fleeting attention span and get tired of things quicker; advertisers have to strike a balance between getting their message out there and not overspreading it to a point where it gets interpreted as spam. Advertisers have to come up with innovative and creative marketing practices and strategies that will hopefully navigate their brand through this period. For certain brands, it will mean dealing with the change in spending as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact. Here are tips that brands can implement to ensure that their advertising dollars have a significant return on investment.

Featured Snippets

Search has rapidly evolved over the years and that is more evident in the search trends created since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. Search users have specific queries such as “how to wash my hands?” “what type of face mask is best?”. For this reason, featured snippets, which are the boxed search results at the top of the results page, are heavily desired.

These coveted spots provide almost instantaneous responses to user questions and they also offer twice the click-through rate of other results. This translates to an increase in traffic and prospective leads over the exalted first result on the SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. This is particularly useful as it takes advantage of an update in Google’s search algorithm. High quality, trustworthy, educational, and authoritative content are prioritized over regular SEO factors such as keyword density. This means that advertising campaigns will have to be concentrated on developing content that answers extremely specific target audience-relevant questions. The most popular featured snippets are tables, step by step types, lists and definitions.

Shoppable Posts

Given the massive focus on social distancing, social media has unsurprisingly seen a large uptake in traffic. Social media apps, such as Instagram and TikTok, have seen a surge in trending topics, memes and interaction. This increase in traffic means that advertising dollars spent have a larger audience to effect. A study showed that over 70% of Instagram users purchased a product on the platform in 2019. This number is only bound to increase. A proponent of this are influencers who are able to promote brands to their large following. Advertising dollars can be spent on shoppable posts, posts which are directed at a target audience and offer a seamless sales funnel. Users are able to view the products in the post and quickly be directed to where they can make an in-app purchase.

Mobile optimization

Throughout lockdown in numerous countries, more people were beginning to change their shopping habits, opting for home deliveries, spending more time on social media, playing video games and online shopping. This is a particularly important thing to note as retail activity has grown 34% in spite of the economic downturn. This has caused eCommerce companies to hire more employees to manage the increase in demand. This jump in retail activity can be attributed to the increase in time spent online. And while mobile browsers are responsible for 53% of all internet traffic, desktop conversion rates are twice those found on mobile platforms. When a website takes a second longer to fully load, conversion falls by 7%. Advertising spending should be focused on progressive web apps which enable a brand’s site to be optimized like an app. Seamless page transitions and instant logins can help drive conversion rates up. This also helps ramp up the buying process ensuring that the target audience has a much improved mobile experience.

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