While many PPC advertisers have been pausing their campaigns, it may not be the best thing for you to do right now. There are things you can do to ensure your paid search presence remains. Here are our top tips for managing your PPC campaigns during the coronavirus outbreak.
1. Change What Products You’re Promoting and Overall Messaging
Instead of pausing your campaigns altogether, you should shift promotion to products or services that have more demand right now. Is your product or service an essential? Could it be?
Current trends on products, services and messaging people are looking at include:
- Social distancing
- Remote working (or working from home)
- Home schooling
- Streaming and communication services
- Medical services
- Essential services
Understandably, not all products fit into these areas but if you have some that can be modified temporarily, you can plan to promote them. If you have services that could also be moved online, through workshops or webinars, then do this.
It’s vital that you review all campaigns you’re running, to see if your messaging fits with the current times. There are certain things that can be added to do this, including:
- Changing CTAs that include “visit us”.
- Removing images of people in groups.
- Emphasising your shipping information including free, fast delivery features.
- Modifying opening hours and adding any changes from normal services.
- Messaging on your response to the virus.
Don’t forget to convey this messaging in sitelinks and call-outs, as well as your main ad copy. Remember, your landing pages need to be changed to match the new messaging above.
Removing your presence in ads for the top of the sales funnel would be disastrous, as you’ll find it hard to recover once the crisis is over. Yes, you must be softer in your approach right now, but you must be ready to push again later.
2. Monitor User Search Behaviour and Adjust Accordingly
Everyone is looking online, buying online and living out their lives online right now. It’s important as a business to clearly communicate what services you have that can be completed online and the exact times for turnaround on delivery of services.
As we’ve already said above, your ad copy or extensions should be used to emphasise free delivery, fast delivery, doorstep drop-off etc.
There have been many minor and major changes in user search queries triggering your ads. Because of this, you must approach your campaigns in two ways:
- In a reactive manner where you review search terms and display campaigns for COVID-19 keywords and content in real time.
- React proactively by predicting which terms will trigger your ads and create negative keyword lists that can be used across all campaigns.
You can exclude coronavirus keywords such as:
3. Maximise The Budget Across Your Campaign
This is a time when you should reconsider your budgets to resolve your budgets vs spend. It’s important to move your budgets to products that people will find relevant during this emergency.
Are there campaigns that are performing well? You will want to invest in those to ensure you make the most of that campaign.
You may have to think like you’re managing a PPC campaign with a small budget to ensure you get through this current situation. Use the time to review the budget against the actual ad spend to find spare cash that you can put behind the campaigns, which really need it.
If you’re used to setting up daily budgets, switching to a lifetime spend on monthly spend will ensure your campaign is well-paced. This will also give you time to spend on your account management.
If you use Google Ads, Bing Ads or other platforms, they feature automated bidding features. When activated, the platform can adjust the CPC automatically live to match the goals of the advertiser. With the fast-changing behaviour of users right now, this could be very helpful.
4. Consider Your Channels
Now we’re all at home, people are consuming more news-related content, videos and using online communication tools more than ever.
Messaging on Facebook and its apps, Messenger and WhatsApp, have had a 50% increase in usage since the outbreak. With more users messaging in groups and livestreams, because Facebook doesn’t monetise these, the platform is seeing a decrease in ad revenue.
However, with more people returning to Facebook, there’s an opportunity for advertisers to increase their market share thanks to less competition. Reaching more people at the top of the funnel with PPC and paid social media ads is an opportunity worth grasping.
You should also consider these opportunities as people consume more content:
- Display ad expansion on Google Display Network
- In-video ad placements on YouTube
5. Prepare for Normality
The changes you make above are a temporary move to ensure your campaigns are a success during the crisis. At a point in the near future, the restrictions will be lifted, most likely in parts. Consumer behaviour will change back and some normality will resume. You then need to see if things remain the same pre-outbreak. Put simply, prepare for the future.