It is without a doubt that COVID-19 has impacted businesses around the world. From large corporations enforcing strict work-at-home guidelines to local small businesses needing to close their doors as they are not deemed essential, all businesses in some way have been affected by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. In these trying times, there are ways that businesses can be ready for the economic rebound once the infection curve begins to flatten. We are here today to guide you through some options to help you continue to be found (if you are deemed an essential business) as well as strategies on how to bounce back if you were forced to close your doors.
Advertising has changed drastically within the last month. In some cases, businesses have paused all advertising to free up funds to be able to make payroll for their employees. Although we understand this tactic and feel for those businesses that had to make this decision, we would like to offer up some strategies on how to weather the storm.
Social media is growing stronger by the day. With most people working from home and having more time left to their devices, this is a great way to get in front of your audience and have their undivided attention. For example, restaurants are deemed essential. Now, more than ever, they need to rely on immediate interaction with their customers who must carry out food. Facebook is a great medium to use for this. Not only can you target new customers via ads, but you can share the up-to-the moment status on what your business has to offer, whether that is food specials or abbreviated hours of operation.
Now, you may ask yourself, “How can I use this situation to drum up some new business?” This is a great thought process, but beware of new rules. Facebook is running on a limited staff, which means your new ads will take longer in the review process before they will go active. You will also need to make sure your messaging DOES NOT use words related to the pandemic. All ads mentioning the pandemic are being removed due to misinformation about COVID-19. Facebook, along with the World Health Organization, are trying to cut down on the amount of misinformation about the virus.
On a side note, businesses that are currently closed due to being deemed “non-essential” can still use social media to position themselves when the economy rebounds. We recommend, if you can spend budget right now, building brand awareness through the downtime to help you see results in the rebound. Industries all over the board can see results, from golf courses to dental clinics or even those in the hospitality/travel industry. Now is the time to remain consistent if you can. Your audience, as mentioned above, is glued to their devices for up-to-date news on social media. If you display ads to them through this time, they will have a better likelihood of remembering you once this is all over. Audiences are high, and costs are low to hit your key demographics. Brand awareness is key, and a well-crafted message can go a long way!
Advertising on Google Ads is another medium that can help build brand awareness through the pandemic. Google, just like Facebook, is running on a smaller crew with their offices shut down and employees reviewing ads from their homes. Ads will be denied if you use keywords based on the COVID-19 pandemic. Keywords such as “coronavirus,” “pandemic,” “COVID-19,” etc. are being suspended due to businesses preying on the fear of searchers. See the ad below as an example of what one company was doing to capitalize on the pandemic. This company was selling face masks through their site, but the link led to a page which sold fake testing kits.
Not saying that any of our clients would use these tactics as we are all ethical, but Google is really cracking down on what can be advertised. Our advice is to continue as you would have before the virus. Once the stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, the economy will rebound back and consumer confidence will skyrocket. Wouldn’t you like your business to have built up the brand awareness through the downtime to be thought of first once things return to normal?
In closing, we are all trying to save business as we know it, but positioning ourselves during this time will help all of us recover once restrictions are lifted. Now is your time to cash in on the low costs per click and increased traffic on certain platforms to be ready for the rebound. For more info on how to position your company during these times, reach out to Baer Performance Marketing, and we can set up a conference call to go over your advertising options.
Stay healthy. Stay strong. We will rebound!