The outbreak of COVID-19 has a major effect on day-to-day business and customer behaviour and, as a result, these are moments that small business owners and marketers need to identify ways that will help them develop meaningful and long-term relationships with their audiences from a safe distance. Unprecedented times call for improvements to your online ads, and we can help.
We’ve outlined six strategies to effectively run Facebook and Instagram advertising during the pandemic:
- Remain consistent and extend your high-performance advertising
- Create brand recognition with your online audience
- Discover new leads and create your email marketing list with lead ads
- Focus on remarketing campaigns
- Try new ad creatives audiences
- Test out Facebook and Instagram Live
Remain consistent and extend your high-performance advertising
Facebook recently warned advertisers that there are likely to be delays and errors due to recent personnel changes as they increase their dependency on automated systems to monitor new ads and trade listings. This means that when new advertisements are submitted or changed (e.g., copy updates, titles, photos, viewer targeting), the commercial will be subject to new review policy. In order to prevent damage to your ad, I would advise that marketers prolong the distribution cycle of their best-performing advertising because new promotions would be subject to a new review.
Create brand recognition with your online audience
With more consumers at home, we’re likely to see more consumers browsing online to spend their time. In reality, this impact is already taking place, as Google recently announced a 20 percent week-over-week rise in web traffic. With more views and changes in rivalry, your CPM is likely to decline which is a good opportunity to gain more exposure from your Facebook and Instagram budget. So far, we’ve seen a 12.7 percent decline in CPM month after month in our in-house Facebook account — and we’re watching it every day to see how it’s going to grow.
If you can, plan your ads in advance this is the time when people are looking for content to consume. Content will revolve around the value that your product or service offers and how it will benefit them when they are ready to buy and/or prepare for the future.
Be sure to always keep your audience informed with the latest news about your business and show how they can support you with business activities such as:
- Shopping online during a promotional sale.
- Writing positive reviews online.
- Shopping online and/or via phone.
- Ordering delivery/curbside pickup if available.
In particular, this is important for small and local businesses.
Discover new leads and create your email marketing list with lead ads
If your business is a service-oriented, online, and/or locally-based business, you are likely to send emails to keep your audiences updated and up-to-date via newsletters. If your business is sluggish or closed right now, it could be a perfect time to change your approach to gathering new leads and emails instead of encouraging sales.
With a Facebook ad campaign, you have the ability to:
- Pique interest with content.
- Increase leads and signups for email newsletter campaigns.
- Create an audience to remarket to at a future date.
For example, if you’re in the fitness business, this could be a good opportunity for you to endorse a 30-day challenge that your audience might subscribe to. Or, if you sell goods, you might have your audience alerted to be the first to hear about any future sales, new product releases, and any other business updates.
There are a few things to note:
- When you build a lead gene type, less is more. Customers are more likely to opt-out with the more information you ask them to give. The general best practice rule is to leave no more than two areas, such as name and email address.
- Integrate with your CRM provider and set up your welcome newsletter to ensure that you quickly follow up with material relevant to your advertising campaign.
Focus on remarketing campaigns
With increased browsing, it is now a good time to re-engage with former website users and get them back to your site with rewards such as ‘free delivery’ and special promotions.
This is particularly true for businesses that are experiencing increased traffic right now, such as healthy delivery options.
In addition to website visitors, you can also drive new potential leads and sales by testing customer-specific engagement audiences that allow you to reach users who have been engaged with your content through Facebook and Instagram.
This includes reporting on those who have liked, posted on, shared, or interacted with your Facebook and Instagram business page, watched your videos, or viewed/filled a lead form. Note, the more important you can get, the greater interaction you’ll get, and the more you’re segmenting your audience.
Try new ad creative audiences
Have you been testing out a new marketing campaign to see if the audience is more interested in unique imagery and messaging? If your business has slowed down or closed down, it might be time to test a new innovative approach to a wide range of audiences to collect insights that will make your future campaigns more successful.
When evaluating new markets, consider developing a new ad package instead of upgrading an existing one so that you can better grasp the true effect. You’ll want to check against an already high-performing ad for a new ad creative. This way, you can compare the results directly to an ad that you know is doing well for your specific business, saving you time to evaluate the results.
You will want to check one factor at a time for a more accurate review. For instance, if you want to test new pictures, do not make adjustments to the headlines or copy them. Give it a few days and track the results.
Here are a few things that you can want to check for:
- Audience targeting, demographic, interest-based, or custom audiences.
- Ad copy, including headlines and CTAs.
- Landing pages, including copy, design, and messaging.
- Ad creative, like images vs. videos.
And other advertising tactics bring me back to testing out Facebook and Instagram Live.
Test out Facebook and Instagram Live
For local businesses that are struggling more than ever before, we recommend that you think about how you can adjust your business plan to deliver online goods and/or services to respond to these unprecedented times. If that is not possible, you can still support getting online and in touch with your customers and prospects on Facebook and Instagram Live.
With live footage, you can relate to your viewers in a more transparent and sincere way. Plus, we know that successful video marketing will result in higher conversions: Facebook and Instagram Live videos get 3x more interaction than pre-recorded videos. So grab your phone and start streaming to get in touch with your customers.
People who are self-isolating or practising social isolation will be searching for ways to communicate with more people face to face. While this isn’t in direct touch, it’s an up-to-date solution that provides engagement and online content that the audience needs. Try answering questions in real-time, deliver online check-ins, webinars, online tutorials, and more to keep your audience up to date with the new stuff your business has to deliver.
To execute a good live event, make sure your broadcast is as transparent and as high-resolution as possible. Seek a round of practice beforehand, but don’t worry too much. The point of the live stream is to have a real, authentic representation of your brand.
Overall, there is a constructive and empathetic approach that your business should take to be innovative in a world of social distancing, so take this opportunity to be innovative and discover new ways to extend your scope across Facebook and Instagram.