Daily Updates Covid-19: The Impact on Digital Marketing
Daily Updates Covid-19: The Impact on Digital Marketing

We are tracking the ways to ensure your digital marketing works during this crisis.

We are working with global organizations, local businesses, non-profits and individuals – developing and executing strategy through various marketing channels.

3 Steps to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Plan

  1. Analyze Data.
    • Company data is essential in evaluating who your audience is and what they are paying attention to. Key factors such as demographics, behaviors, locations and interests can help determine what customers will do and how you will get them to convert.
  2. Target Audiences and Keywords.
    • Targeting specific audiences and/or keywords allows you to reach customers while they are searching content related to your product/service or share common interests with your brand. Use research tools like Google Keyword Planner to determine keyword trends and searchability ranking.
  3. Engage Customers to Convert Leads.
    • Connect with your customers on an individual level. Create personalized website content through messaging, keywords and landing pages. The more focused a landing page is to the customer, the more likely for a conversion or sale.

Scooter Note:Incorporate specific keywords on ad copy and on corresponding landing pages. Setup ads to drive for conversions not impressions. Adjust ad copy and creative throughout the based-on results and analytics.

Top 3 ways to create an effective seo strategy

  1. Create a List of Keywords to Include for Website Content.
    • The first and most important step in creating a SEO Strategy. Keywords and phrases make it possible for customers to find your site via search engines. Find targeted keywords using platforms like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to compare search volume and competition levels.
  2. Design Webpages for Each Topic.
    • Analyze your keywords list to determine topics for your webpages. Each webpage needs to include relevant copy and content that matches the targeted keywords. This helps customers find you easier when they search.
  3. Create Content that Stands Out.
    • Set yourself apart. Create content that is better or different from your competitors through video messaging, unique landing pages and branded graphics. In a cluttered marketplace you don’t want to look like everyone else.

Scooter Note:SEO is never done. Update website content monthly to help stay top of mind and top of Search Engine Results. Take the time and research Google Trends to discover new keywords and topics. Make sure to include photos and links to pages on your site to enhance user experience.

Digital & Website Strategies to Engage Customers

  1. Review Your Website
    • Identify information that needs revised or new web pages that need created. Update messaging, photos, FAQ’s and/or blog posts to stay current and engage with existing or new customers.
  2. Blog Regularly
    • A free way to position your brand as an industry leader by staying connected and developing relationships with customers. Blogging helps drive traffic to your website and increases your company’s Search Engine Optimization (where you rank in Google Search Results).
  3. Analyze Data Channels
    • Do you know who your customer is? How long they are staying active on your site? Which pages and content are they paying attention too? Review Google Analytics, Google Ads, Paid Social, and/or online sales reports to compare results and determine customer trends.

Scooter Note:Stay Connected. Maximize customer interaction by staying engaged and analyzing results twice a week. Ensure all platforms such as, Website, Google Analytics, Google Ads and Paid Social are linked together and are sharing data with one another. If you need additional support or resources, we can help.

Marketing Tips to Prepare for Business After COVID-19

  1. Evaluate Your Creative Assets
    • Take a critical eye to your ads, email campaigns, social media posts, blogs, website, and graphics to determine which pieces and images are most effective and/or which can be repurposed for other channels in the future.
  2. Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan
    • Start thinking about your marketing plan for the future now.
    • Keep your brand active and stay connected to your customers during this time. You want to be top-of-mind with consumers after the crisis.
  3. Enhance Your Digital Marketing
    • If you paused your ads due to COVID-19 – be working on a digital plan for later and have campaigns ready to go.
    • Overall, digital advertising tends to be faster and less expensive than traditional media.
  4. Review your Website
    • Now is the time to look at your website overall.
    • Update messaging, photos, FAQ’s and blog posts to stay current and engage with existing or new customers.
  5. Analyze Data
    • Understand who your customer is by reviewing Google Analytics, Google Ads, Paid Social, and online sales reports.

Scooter Note:Be proactive now and be ready for the future. Now is the time to assess your marketing and branding strategies by planning for the next six months, year and five years.

Free Ways to Reach Your Audience Online During the Crisis

  1. Wordstream releases strategies to expand your reach on Google, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
  2. Update your Google My Business Profile
    • Free listing that shows your business on both Google Maps and Google Local Search results.
    • Verify your company hours.
    • Modify your description to include COVID-19 related items.
    • Indicate industry-specific attributes, such as curbside pickup, drive-through and delivery for restaurants.
  3. Create Google Posts
    • Publish posts to your Google My Business listing for free.
    • Gets your updates and special offers in front of consumers who are ready to engage.
  4. Facebook Lives
    • More people are watching live videos right now than ever before.
    • Facebook Live viewers have increased by up to 50%.
    • Use platform to answer COVID-19 customer questions or provide relevant advice.
  5. Giveaways
    • Get creative and offer Free products or discounts to your customers for connecting on social media.
    • Helps engage current customers and reach new ones.
  6. Use COVID-19 Hashtags
    • Hashtags are a free and yet powerful way to expand your social media visibility.
    • Use targeted hashtags based on your industry or friendly-focused ones to reach audiences:
      • #covidDIY
      • #covidbeautytips
      • #saferathome
      • #stayhome
  7. Repurpose Reviews
    • Use quotes from positive customer reviews and create tweets.
    • These tweets don’t ask customers to leave a review or book a stay, but the positive words and images do leave audiences feeling good.
  8. Support other Local Business
    • Retweet or Repost stories of how other businesses in your community are helping during the crisis.
    • Helps reach new audiences but also supports small businesses near you.

Scooter Note:These tips are a great way to reach current and new audiences during COVID-19, but they can also be used as part of your social media strategy moving forward. Test various options now and see what works best for your business and customers.

Facebook Opens up Application for Its 100M grants for Small Businesses

  1. Facebook will spend $100 million on grants to support over 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced.
  2. Funds will be paid out in a combination of cash and advertising credits to businesses that need help covering operational expenses and in paying rent or their employees.
  3. Criteria for Grant Applications. Businesses must:
    • Be-for profit
    • Employ between 2 and 50 people
    • Have operated for over a year
    • Have been negatively affected by pandemic
    • Be located in an area where Facebook does business
  4. Documents needed to apply
    • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
    • Partnership documents
    • Business license
    • Proof of incorporation
    • Official registration

Scooter Note:Facebook Small Business Grant application opened on April 22, 2020 and will stay open for two weeks. CLICK HERE for further information and to apply.

YouTube launching a free, easy-to-use ad tool for small businesses

  1. Businesses have felt the economic fallout from coronavirus and are running on reduced budgets
  2. Google recognizes the issues and is in the process of launching YouTube Video Builder
    • A free tool to help businesses build their own animated video advertising without having to spend money to do so.
  3. Who should use the platform
    • According to Ali Miller, Director of Product Management at YouTube ads, the tool is geared to either small or larger business owners who need to create their own video ads. For example:
      • “Different businesses have different creative needs. A restaurant may want to communicate changing hours or promotions, while a supermarket may highlight new services like curbside pickup.”
      • “For brands or agencies with existing video resources, Video Builder can help bring agility and experimentation to the creation process by generating supplemental, lightweight videos.”
      • “For smaller businesses and those with less creative experience, it can provide an efficient, low-resource way to create videos, perhaps even for the first time.”
  4. Features & Benefits
    • Animate static assets like images, text and logos
    • Set animations to music from YouTube’s library
    • Choose from a variety of layouts based on your message and goals
    • Customize fonts and color
    • Generate a 6-15 second video
  5. How to use the video content
    • Publish and make visible on your business YouTube page
    • Place a Google Ad through YouTube to reach new customers
    • Use on additional media channels such as:
      • Website
      • Facebook
      • Instagram
      • LinkedIn
      • Email Marketing Campaigns

Scooter Note:YouTube Video Builder tool is currently in the beta phase. If you are interested in testing out the platform Click Here to sign-up and apply.

5 Ways to Help Brands Thrive During Pandemic

Google Marketing announces the 5 C’s to help guide brands and digital marketers at this time.

  1. Context is Key
    • Context is the key to help brands be more empathetic to the needs of its employees.
  2. Constant Reassessment
    • Ongoing reassessment of campaigns, creative collaterals, and even marketing guidelines is needed to keep up with the change.
    • Remember that decisions made two weeks ago are not necessarily appropriate today. You must reassess marketing objectives and strategies for both paid and organic social ads as well as email marketing campaigns
  3. Creative Considerations
    • Evaluate your messaging – from the tone, visual imagery, copy, keywords, and media placements.
  4. Change Priorities
    • Brands need to shift their digital marketing priorities to become a resource to help their their consumers during this time.
  5. Contribute and Help at Every Opportunity
    • Think of creative and innovative ways to help your consumers. Take a look at the brand’s digital assets and think of possible opportunities on how it can support advocacies, and help donations.

Scooter Note:Incorporate the “5 C’s” from above into your digital campaigns by adjusting marketing campaigns & reassessing scheduled content, evaluating the brand’s look and messaging, and being helpful & not capitalizing on the crisis.

Why brands must rely on digital marketing now, more than ever

  1. With 4.5 Billion internet subscribers globally more companies are creating an online image for their brand.
  2. According to Forbes, “internet hits have increased by 50-70% and now is the time for brands to define their digital strategy and find new ways to communicate.
  3. Be a thought leader and resource for customers.
    • Create engaging paid and organic content which is meaningful and relevant.
  4. Stay active and keep your audience engaged.
    • If you are sending out emails, explain how your business is dealing with the crisis.
    • Reach out to customers individually through personal notes, emails and newsletters.
  5. Track how you customers respond.
    • Customer interests and buying behaviors may have changed. Review posts and digital analytics to help determine strategy moving forward.
  6. Avoid new launches.
    • It’s not the time for any new product launches, they could even have a negative impact on your brand.

Scooter Note:Now is the time to look long-term at your digital strategy. What can you do today that will help your company in the future? Engage with your customers through social media and personal touches. Don’t try to over-sell, but rather educate and be proactive with your approach

3 Digital Marketing Trends to Focus on During and After the Pandemic

  1. Interactive Content
    • 93% of marketers agree that interactive content is effective in educating customers.
    • Is extremely shareable, increases brand awareness and gives your followers a direct call-to-action.
    • Includes videos & live streams, shoppable posts, quizzes, contests and polls
  2. Social Commerce
    • 36% of web users in the United States say that social platforms have become as important as other advertising outlets for making product selections.
    • More E-commerce retailers and brands are selling their products directly on their social accounts through:
      • Shoppable stories or posts
      • Social commerce plugins or apps that connect to website
      • Paid social media campaigns that drive customers to purchase
  3. Smart Bidding in Google Ads
    • Smart bidding refers to the use of machine learning by Google Ads to optimize bids for maximum conversions.
    • Google looks at historical search behavior and contextual data to predict the likelihood of a conversion and then increases your bids when a conversion appears more likely.
    • Allows you to set performance targets and customized settings to achieve your goals including:
      • Time of day your ad is shown
      • Location
      • User Device
      • Historical performance of your ad

Scooter Note:As COVID-19 continues to impact the digital marketing world it is important to pay attention to trends to help engage your customers and increase brand awareness. Don’t get overwhelmed – try one trend at a time to see what works best for you company.

Tiktok pledges $125 Million in ad credits during pandemic

  1. TikTok this week announced that is giving $125 Million in ad credits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Alex Zhu, President at TikTok, wrote that “TikTok is committed to help Small and Mid-size businesses weather this crisis, and the ad credits are to help companies get back on their feet economies can restart normal activity.”
  3. TikTok is providing $25 million in prominent “in-feed” advertising space for Nonprofit Organizations, trusted health sources and local authorities, allowing them to share their important messages with millions of people.
  4. TikTok ad credits will begin to roll out to markets in the coming months, depending upon the decisions of public health authorities around the world regarding when and how to restart business operations.

Scooter Note:With over 800 million monthly active users, you will want to think about TikTok advertising, especially if you’re looking to reach users under the age of 30. Click to contact TikTok and see if your business qualifies for TikTok ads.

Google ads delay controversial changes to its partners badge program

  1. Google communicated this week that the changes to the Partner badge program will be delayed until 2021.
  2. In February 2020, Google Ads announced significant changes to its Google Partners badge program including:
    • Maintaining a quality score of 70% or higher
    • Maintaining a 90-day ad spend of at least $20,000
    • Having at least 50% of a company’s users be certified in Google Ads
  3. Many Google Partners are upset with new changes.
    • Greg Finn, Partner at Cypress North, “Google Partners program now favors compliancy over expertise.” He went on to say that “while some Google recommendations are helpful, others are downright harmful to the client performance.”
  4. Advertisers are hoping the delay in the program will give them the time to try and convince Google to adjust these new requirements.

Scooter Note:It’s uncertain if Google Ads will listen to advertisers and modify these changes. We will continue to monitor the situation and report any news.

Twitter will share more of your data with facebook and google to advertise

  1. Twitter is making changes to help monetize its platform.
    • Including sharing more of your data with its business partners.
  2. Twitter reveals their updated privacy policy and how they are using the information to advertise on Facebook & Google.
    • According to Twitter, they are removing a setting that allowed users of the mobile app to control how much personal information they allow Twitter to use in advertising measurements. 
    • The company will monitor how every user interacts with ads to get a better idea of their effectiveness.
    • Other privacy settings like sharing your interests or web and location tracking to help personalize ads are still available and can be disabled.
  3. Twitter says that while it may use IP addresses and advertising device IDs, it won’t share names, usernames, email addresses, and phone numbers.
    • “These changes will allow Twitter to continue operating as a free service, and are “part of our ongoing work around transparency and control. We want to ensure that people understand the settings we provide, what they do and how to use them.”

Scooter Note:In March 2020, Twitter withdrew its first quarter proposal due to COVID-19 negatively impacting the advertising business despite seeing an 8% increase in daily activity. Privacy updates are continuously taking place. Pay attention to the fine print and understand how your information is being used.

WordStream Lists Google Ads Benchmarks by Industry during Pandemic

  1. Online advertising platform WordStream, analyzes and announces new Search Engine Results (SERP) benchmarks caused by COVID-19.
  2. Breakdown of trends and what advertisers are seeing in terms of results per 21 industries:
    • Average click-through rate (CTR) by industry
    • Average cost per click (CPC) by industry
    • Average conversion rate (CVR) by industry
    • Average cost per action (CPA) by industry
    • Average daily PPC advertising budget by industry
  3. PPC metrics are listed for the following industries: Arts & Entertainment, Automotive, Beauty & Personal Care, Business & Industrial, Clothing & Apparel, Computers & Consumer Electronics, Dining & Nightlife, Education, Finance, Food & Groceries, Health & Medical, Hobbies & Leisure, Home & Garden, Internet & Telecom, Legal, Nonprofits & Charities, Occasions & Gifts, Real Estate, Retailers, Sports & Fitness, and Travel & Tourism.
  4. Average click-through rate (CTR) has increased across industries.
    • As many advertisers pull back, ad auctions are slightly less competitive and PPC cost per clicks have been declining.
  5. Average cost per click (CPC) has dropped across industries.
    • Some industries are noticing lower CPCs as ad competition becomes scarce. 
  6. Average conversion rate (CVR) varies across industries
    • Many small businesses are unable to operate or convert new customers in the same way that they previously were, but many have been able to pivot and find better ways to convert customers online.
      • Restaurants may have no diners inside, but more are turning to ordering in advance and contactless delivery through online advertisements
  7. Average daily budgets reduced across industries.
    • Overall, businesses are reducing their ad budgets. However, advertisers are finding success with a smaller daily budget.

Scooter Note:It is important to understand industry trends to plan, readjust and execute your company’s marketing strategy. Click to Read the Full Report by Industry.

Twitter, Facebook, Google Adjust COVID-19 Ad Policies Daily

  1. Paid social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and Google (Search, Display, YouTube) are continuing to update their ad policies based on the latest COVID-19 news.
  2. The internet advertising companies are shifting their ad policies for some companies as frustration among advertisers continues to grow.
  3. Twitter and Google both have loosened rules against mentioning coronavirus for some marketers.
  4. Twitter made an update, saying it would allow some brands, including Uber, Starbucks and UPS, to promote tweets that reference the virus.
  5. Only “managed Twitter clients” can mention coronavirus, meaning only brands with a direct relationship with the company’s ads team can run these types of promoted tweets.
    • To promote how business practices have changed to adapt to coronavirus
    • To show support for employees and customers
  6. Google is continuing to work on ad policies that could allow more advertising related to coronavirus from brands and others.
  7. Facebook is also adjusting ad policies.
    • Last week Facebook stopped the store traffic goal from being an option for advertisers to comply with quarantine orders

Scooter Note:With updates in digital marketing happening in real time, it is crucial to review your paid advertisement accounts 1-2 times a day. Stay current on news to see if your industry is or will be able to reference COVID-19 in future ads.

Pinterest Boosts ability to Shop for in-stock home décor and fashion products.

  1. According to Pinterest more users are engaging with shopping on Pinterest and traffic to retailers has more than doubled in the past year.
  2. On April 7, Pinterest launched several marketing updates to make product search easier.
  3. A “Shop” tab appears on boards to help users find products that are in stock to purchase.
    • Includes brand and price filters
    • Shows the products users have Pinned to their home and fashion boards
  4. Visual search is now integrated in shoppable Pins – it is now easier to find and shop similar products.
  5. Home décor style guides can now be found in search.
    • These are a combination of styles (ex: rustic charm) or room categories (ex: bedroom ideas)

Scooter Note:Pinterest has seen a spike in engagement with more people working from home. If you are retailer or run an e-commerce website it would be beneficial to assess your digital strategy and research Pinterest “Shop”.

Google Search will highlight government's COVID-19 announcements

  1. Google makes announcements related to the Pandemic more visible on Google Search results.
  2. Websites can highlight COVID-19 updates, so people can see the information without having to click through.
  3. Currently, the feature is only accessible to health and government agency websites to use for important updates like school closures or stay-at-home directives.
    • This feature is actively in development and could be expanded to include more websites and industries
  4. These announcements will show up as a short summary that users can expand to show more details.

Scooter Note:As Google continues to make feature updates, it is important to sign up for Google and Google Ads alerts so you can stay current on the latest trends. You may be able to take advantage of new features or procedures to positively impact your business.

Skype Introduces video meetings for those wanting a Zoom alternative

  1. To combat with the high demand of customers and the privacy concerns on Zoom, Skype opens a new type of video chat.
  2. Neither the Skype host nor guests need an account to join the meeting.
  3. There is no sign-up required and no equipment to install.
  4. Skype describes the new Meet Now feature as a “hassle-free way to connect” that doesn’t require signing up to any account or downloading any software.

Scooter Note:We believe in testing multiple platforms to find the right fit for your company and employees. With video conferencing at an all-time high and growing, we suggest researching both Zoom and Skype. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of both to make a strategic decision for your business.

Facebook Giving $100 Million In Grants to SMBs impacted by Coronavirus

  1. Facebook announces it’s putting $100 million toward a new grants program to financially support as many as 30,000 small businesses spread across 30 countries.
    • “We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions from the global outbreak of COVID-19, so we are offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time,” said Facebook.
  2. The grant money will be available for personnel costs, business location rental fees, operational costs, and Facebook ads.
    • The application process hasn’t started yet but should be up in the next few weeks.
    • Businesses are encouraged to sign-up for updates about the program on the Facebook Small Business Grants site.
  3. During Facebook’s earning call, Mark Zuckerberg stated the role SMBs play on the platform.
    • “There are now more than 140 million small businesses that use our services to grow – the vast majority of which use our services for free, said Zuckerberg, having small businesses succeed is not only key to creating broad economic growth where everyone can support themselves; it’s also important to maintaining healthy communities.”
  4. Mark Zuckerberg also said a top priority, “was to keep building its business by, supporting the millions of businesses – mostly small businesses – that rely on our service to grow.”
    • Last year, Facebook earned nearly $70 billion in ad revenue – a number that could take a significant hit if Facebook’s SMB advertisers are unable to survive the pandemic.
  5. Facebook has made its Business Hub available to all businesses and plans to create virtual training programs to help SMBs navigate the uncertainty of today’s economic environment.

Scooter Note:If you’re a small business facing possible shut-down make sure to sign up now for the Facebook Small Business Grants Program. You will be notified when the application process has opened.

Google May Be Easing Restrictions on Ads Relating to Pandemic

  1. Since the outbreak, Google has stopped advertising related to the pandemic.
    • As a response to the virus the company revealed that it blocked “tens of thousands” of ads online that were looking to capitalize on COVID-19.
  2. In recent reports it states that Google is easing restrictions on these types of advertisements.
  3. A memo sent to political advertising clients reveals that Google is starting to “phase in” advertisers who can run ad campaigns related to coronavirus.
    • Starting with advertisers that are working directly on the issue such as “government entities, hospitals, medical providers, and NGOs who want to get relevant information out to the public.”
    • These types of advertisers will be allowed to start advertising this week.

Scooter Note:In the next few days, Google is said to make a public announcement addressing how other advertisers such as consumer brands will be allowed to reference coronavirus and related terms in ads. We will keep you updated on the latest news.

Zoom is freezing all new features to sort out security and privacy

  1. Companies such as NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have banned employees from using the video-conferencing app Zoom over “significant privacy and security concerns,” according to a memo seen by Reuters.
  2. The outbreak has led to mixed messages towards Zoom.
    • With companies and students working from home on a global scale, the number of Zoom users has spiked.
    • The company however has seen scrutiny due to its product security and privacy standards.
      • Patrick Wardle, a former NSA hacker and founder of Apple-focused security company Objective-See, disclosed a new vulnerability in the macOS Zoom installer, which was using a deprecated and insecure application programming interface in macOS.
      • The Zoom Windows client was leaking network credentials due to the app rendering UNC file paths as a clickable link in group chat windows.
      • Zdnet.com reported, Zoom was also slammed for allegedly misleading users about the platform’s end-to-end (E2E) encryption. Zoom has admitted that E2E is not currently possible for Zoom video meetings and instead uses transport layer security (TLS) encryption.
      • Last week, Zoom removed the Facebook SDK in its iOS app after a report that it was sending device analytic data to Facebook, even for users without a Facebook account.
      • The FBI Boston Division this week warned schools about two cases of strangers ‘zoom-bombing’ online classrooms at two separate Massachusetts-based high schools.
      • FBI cautioned schools against making meetings or classrooms public and urged them to require a meeting password. Additionally, it advised against sharing links to classrooms on publicly available social-media posts.
  3. Zoom is stopping production of all new features so they can focus on the security and privacy issues
    • Zoom founder, Eric Yuan said the company was immediately freezing all new feature development and turning its engineers to the platform’s trust, safety, and privacy issues. He also outlined the following fixes in current blog posts:
      • Zoom has released a fix for the UNC link issue in the Windows client.
      • Zoom released fixes for the macOS issues and apologized for the confusion around its E2E. Zoom also denied having built a mechanism to decrypt live meetings for lawful intercept purposes
      • Zoom removed the attendee attention tracker feature and removed the LinkedIn Sales Navigator in Zoom, which it found was unnecessarily disclosing data.
      • The company will also commence a “comprehensive review with third-party experts and representative users to understand and ensure the security of all our new consumer use cases”.

Scooter Note:Starting next week, Zoom founder, Eric Yuan will host a weekly webinar on Wednesdays at 10am PT to provide privacy and security updates to the Zoom community. We recommend tuning in and staying up to date. We will continue to post as news and updates arise.

Small and mid-sized Google Ads agency partners to lose dedicated ad rep support

  1. Google confirmed that some agency partners will lose their dedicated agency rep.
  2. This latest change is said not to be related to support limitations during the coronavirus crisis.
    • According to Google, “These changes are not related to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. They are part of a routine review where we evaluate our support level for all agency partners. Status as a premier partner does not impact their agency representative status.”
  3. Those who lost agency support are directed to the general Skillshop training, blog posts and Help portal.
  4. At the beginning of 2020, Google also ended support via social platforms, directing advertisers to an online form.
  5. A concern for advertisers in certain industries is their campaigns will be mistaken as profiteering during the coronavirus outbreak and will be stopped. With no ad rep, there is no guarantee on how long adjustments could take.

Scooter Note:With shifts & changes continuing at Google, it is important to start self-educating. Sign up for Google Ads alerts so you are up to date on the latest news, subscribe to YouTube Channels that focus on digital marketing and the various platforms and read current blog articles on how to optimize your ad campaigns.

Strategies for Facebook & Instagram Advertising During the Pandemic

  1. Stay consistent and extend your high-performing ads.
    • Staff changes at Facebook due to COVID-19 are causing an increased delay in ad approvals, reviews and appeals.
    • To avoid disruption in your ads Facebook recommends “that brands extend the delivery period of their best performing ads, as new campaigns will be subject to a new review.”
  2. Build brand awareness.
    • More consumers at home = more ad impressions for your business at a lower cost per impression(CPM).
      • Lower CPM means you can capture a larger reach with your Facebook and Instagram budget
    • People are actively searching for content – your content should be centered around the value your product or service provides and how customers could benefit from it in the future.
  3. Find new leads and build your email marketing list.
    • Adjust your digital strategy with a Facebook lead ad campaign to:
      • Reach potential new customers
      • Increase signups for newsletters
      • Create an audience to remarket to later
    • Remember when creating your lead generation form, less is more.
      • People are more willing to fill out a form if there are only 2-3 questions
  4. Focus on remarketing campaigns.
    • According to Barilliance, over 75% of shoppers will abandon your site without completing their purchase.
    • Remarketing campaigns allow you to re-engage with website visitors or people who interacted with your Facebook and/or Instagram by offering them incentives such as:
      • Discount Codes
      • Special Offers or Promotions
  5. Try Facebook and Instagram Live.
    • Facebook and Instagram Live videos receive 3x higher engagement than pre-recorded videos.
    • Connect and engage with your customers without being overly pushy on just selling.
    • Answer customer questions in real time.
    • Test video and audio feeds before going live to ensure the equipment is properly working, visually clear and easily understood.

Scooter Note:In times of uncertainly, it is crucial to look at your business strategically and digital advertising is no different. Shift your objectives to become a resource and outlet for your clients. Now is the time to test social media features such as Facebook and Instagram Live to engage customers one-on-one and reach potential new clients. Click to learn more Facebook & Instagram Strategies.

Facebook Focusing on Live Streaming as Usage Spikes During Lockdowns

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. The number of US users watching live video on Facebook has increased 50% since January, Bloomberg reports.
    • According to Facebook, “This is a really unique moment. [Facebook has had to] adjust really quickly and really reshape our roadmap.”
    • Facebook is accelerating the development of new Facebook Live features.
  2. New Facebook Live Features.
    • Stay tuned for the following:
      • Watch Facebook Live videos without a Facebook account
      • Automatic closed captions
      • Expansion of digital tipping capabilities to more streamers
      • Toll-free phone numbers for charity streams to take live callers
  3. Facebook Live Producer.
    • New tool & feature that allows page managers take more control of their broadcasts
    • Designed for pages that broadcast live video with higher-end production equipment and software.
      • Managing Live posts, scheduling, and certain types of broadcast settings can be done from one area.
      • Functions such as source details & stream health, plus interactive features like polls, are located within the feed
      • A small stream preview is constantly available in the bottom right-hand corner. Or you can scroll up to reveal a much larger view of the stream.
  4. Facebook is said to be working “incredibly quickly” to develop new ways for users and small businesses to make money on the Facebook platform.
    • Facebook Live is its top priority

Scooter Note:With video views on the rise and people actively searching for content, now is the time to take advantage of social media features like the new Facebook Live. Strategize new video concepts and messaging that will engage your customers and followers or schedule a Q & A around a product or topic that may be of interest.

Why Facebook Ads are Critical for your business during COVID-19

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Digital attention is at an all-time high.
    • More online traffic to Facebook and Instagram = an increase in impressions, larger target audience reach, and lower overall campaign operating costs.
    • Do not test any new campaign initiatives, however if you can afford to keep campaigns active you will be reaching a more captive audience.
  2. Multiple competitors are pausing their campaigns.
    • Many companies have quickly paused their paid ad campaigns – meaning it is now easier to reach and take any shared customers you may have.
    • Less ad competition = Lower cost per click (CPC) and lower cost per impression (CPM).
  3. Brand Awareness is a low-cost strategy
    • Overall conversions during this time are likely to slow down. Try Shifting your campaigns to Brand Awareness, a lower-cost objective.
    • Brand Awareness campaigns generate as many impressions as possible and typically cost only a few cents per result.
    • These campaigns can help your business stay top of mind during these times.
  4. Reach people now, win business later.
    • Update messaging or offers in order build trust, instead of just selling.
    • Be sensitive on how you market to your customers. Offer helpful, thoughtful service, and/or increased value in a time of need.

Scooter Note:We have all heard during this time “business is not normal”, and the same goes for digital marketing. Now is the time to take a strategic look at your campaigns and objectives. Be mindful of your customers feelings. Sometimes adjusting your campaign message or strategy will help you long term.

Google Pledges $340 Million in Google Ads credits for small and midsize businesses

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Google provides support for businesses, health workers & organizations as well as governments during the pandemic with an overall commitment of more than $800 million.
    • Google states, “We hope to alleviate some of the costs for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to stay in touch with their customers.”
  2. Small Business Ad credits.
    • Eligible advertisers will see notifications about available ad credits in their Google Ads accounts over the next few months
    • Credits can be used throughout 2020 on all campaign types and Google Ad platforms including:
      • Google Search
      • Google Display
      • YouTube
  3. Extra Google Grants Allotment.
    • Google is pledging $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions and Non-profit organizations to run PSAs on relief funds and resources for Small and Medium Businesses
    • According to Google “We are increasing ad grants available to the World Health Organization and other government agencies to provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from an initial $25 million to $250 million.”

Scooter Note:There are many unknowns in regard to the Google Ads credits – how much will a typical business receive, how far will the ad credits go, and will they come in time to make a difference? We suggest signing up for Google Ad alerts so you can stay up to date on the latest news and updates.

Google Recommends advertisers to evaluate ads during Coronavirus pandemic

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Advertisers should consider the context and tone of their messaging.
    • Be sensitive on how certain words may come across
    • Consider if the message is helpful
    • Think about the images and videos shown – is it appropriate to show large gathering of people or human interaction?
  2. Update Business Profiles on Google My Business, to reflect changes during the pandemic.
    • Adjust business hours or say closed if your retail space is not currently open to the public
    • Direct customers to your website if applicable
  3. Review performance metrics of online ads and pause if needed.
    • Significant shifts in conversions rates could require bid adjustments
  4. Google implemented new policies on ad approvals, where the reference to COVID-19 can lead to an ad disapproval.

Scooter Note:Be mindful of the state of the country and the world. Depending on the context of your ad it could be more beneficial in the long run to pause your campaign or adjust the messaging and/or photo. Reviewing your analytics will give you an indication if people are paying attention and engaging with your business.

Facebook & Google Could Lose Over $44 Billion in Ad Revenue Because of Coronavirus

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Overall ad spending is declining rapidly, and the two largest players Google and Facebook are seeing the largest impact.
    • Cowen & Co. analysts estimate that Google’s total net revenue is now projected to be about $127.5 billion, down $28.6 billion (-18%)
    • Cowen & Co. analysts estimate that Facebook’s ad revenue is around $67.8 billion, a drop of $15.7 billion (-19%)
  2. Facebook execs disclosed that the company has “seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
  3. Digital Advertising is feeling the impact before other media outlets.
    • “Digital platforms are feeling the pain soonest, given the relative ease of pulling ad spend versus mediums such as television,” says LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield
  4. Twitter, Snapchat & Amazon expected to see an ad decline from original year-over-year projections
    • Snapchat | -30% over original forecast
    • Twitter | -18% over original forecast
    • Snapchat | -11% over original forecast

Scooter Note:As shifts & declines in ad spend seem apparent for the near future, you will want to stay current on the latest news. Adjust your campaign strategy weekly depending on Cost Per Click (CPC) & Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), website traffic and conversions.

Facebook Ads have seen a decline in business despite an increase in usage

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Many of Facebook’s products, including Messenger and WhatsApp, have seen a spike in traffic as more people stay home.
    • “Messaging has jumped more than 50 percent in many of the countries hit hardest by the virus,” Facebook said, adding that voice calls in those regions have more than doubled.
  2. Services that are booming in popularity currently are not apps or products where Facebook has robust ad businesses.
    • According to Facebook “We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
  3. Usage has been so high that simply keeping the services up and running has been more challenging than usual.
    • “The usage growth from Covid-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day,” says Facebook.

Scooter Note:With recording breaking traffic on Facebook and delays in ad approval & ad appeals – it is crucial to strategically plan, analyze and execute your paid ads. Schedule your campaigns in advance, adjust live ads only in necessity and review your ad manager analytics on a daily basis.

New Search Trends During a Pandemic

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Store visits drop by 90% in one month.
    • Many advertisers use Google Ads to track the impact of their online presence to their brick & mortar traffic
    • As more retail stores shut down, business owners have seen dramatic declines week over week and are adjusting their strategy to have more of an online presence by:
      • Designing a simple website
      • Adding a retail location(s) on Google My Business
      • Engaging customers through email and social media
      • Advertising on Google Ads, Microsoft Ads and/or Facebook
  2. COVID-19 dominates search terms.
    • Searches related to COVID-19 or Coronavirus have skyrocketed over 100%
      • “Tax Preparation and COVID-19”
      • “Travel Booking and COVID-19”
    • Behavioral and economic changes are causing people to search differently
      • “California lockdown rules” (+4,600%)
      • “When are taxes due 2020 USA?” (+2,050%)
      • “Will grocery stores be open tomorrow” (+3,550%)
  3. Mobile search traffic has declined nearly 25% in March.
    • With people staying indoors and not commuting to work there has been a sudden decline in mobile search traffic
      • Since March, 16 mobile traffic has consistently been down nearly 25%
    • Traffic for mobile is typically cheaper for PPC advertisers, causing a shift in strategy
      • Adjust your device bidding, to focus more on desktop
      • Consider Smart Bidding to adjust CPC bids in real time

Scooter Note:As shifts in search continue to happen weekly, its crucial to be flexible with your digital and business strategy. Stay up to date on current search and paid social trends, review & adjust your key words based on volume & conversions, add negative keywords to avoid capturing unrelated searches. Click for More Information on Search Trends

COVID-19 Paid Search Strategies

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Don’t be too quick to pause your search campaigns.
    • Evaluate your data before making any decisions. Even though you may see a decrease in orders, you may also see a decline in clicks & ad spend – meaning your Return on Ad Spend (ROA) may be the same or even better.
  2. Shift your sales strategy to promote different items.
    • Certain business areas are seeing an increase in business during this time – such as, vitamins, fitness products, DIY home products e-books, kids craft kits and toys, batteries, and ink and toner cartridges.
  3. Adjust your digital strategy and ad platforms.
    • Google Video and Google Display ads can be an inexpensive way to increase brand awareness. You might not get the immediate business; however, the investment and brand recognition can pay off later.
  4. Offer virtual services
    • Use technology to your advantage. Set-up online meetings & consultations with clients, create an online forum where people can ask questions, highlight new products or services through YouTube and adapt your ad copy to promote these new incentives.

Scooter Note:Now is the time to clean up your ad accounts and adjust your digital strategies. Test new keywords & ad copy, create & update targeted landing pages, modify ad & site-link extensions to be more focused, review data & analytics to create new and exciting campaigns.

Amazon Warehouses are Only Accepting the Essentials

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Due to rapid growth in demand, Amazon will only be accepting essential goods in all of their warehouses until April, 5 2020.
    • According to Amazon, “We are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers.”
  2. Amazon will continue delivering the products considered nonessential that are currently stocked in their warehouses, but they will not be allowing sellers and vendors to replenish those products for at least the next 3 weeks.
    • Expect greater availability of things like soap and dog food, and potential shipping delays when it comes to less pressing items like clothing and electronics.
  3. If Amazon is a major part of your eCommerce business and you’re not selling an “essential” product then be prepared for a potential decline in sales.

Scooter Note:If you rely heavily on Amazon Ads or sell non-essential products, now is the time to get creative. Setup a pick, pack & ship station out of your living room or dining room. Recruit your kids to package orders. Communicate regularly with your customers on business and order status.

Click to Read More on Amazon

Google Ads Makes it Easier to Appeal Disapproved or Limited Ads

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Google Ads is launching a feature that makes it easier for advertisers to appeal policy decisions and get ads approved.
    • According to Google Ads, “Our advertising policies exist in order to protect users, advertisers and publishers from bad actors and ensure only high-quality ads are served across our platforms. But we understand that sometimes well-intentioned advertisers make honest mistakes, and we want to empower every business to get their ads up as soon as possible.”
  2. You can now appeal policy decisions directly in Google Ads.
    • You can resubmit an ad immediately after fixing the policy issue.
    • You can now appeal decisions without contacted Google directly.
    • If ad is eligible for an appeal, you can hover over the ad and select “appeal link.”
  3. Google advises that processing appeals will take longer because of COVID-19.
    • A statement by Google Ads, “An important note: We’ve been taking action to protect the health of our team members during the evolving COVID-19 situation and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, we are currently experiencing longer than usual times to process appeals of ad disapprovals.”

Scooter Note:Google Ads may be disapproved or limited if the text does not comply with Google’s ad policy. In an ever-changing market, it is crucial to stay up to date on the current ad requirements set by Google.

Click to Review Google Ads Policy

WordStream Ranks How COVID-19 Is Affecting Ad Results for 21 Industries

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. 7 Industries with higher volume & performance
    • Non-profits & Charities | +23% search ad conversions
    • Health & Medical | +47% pharmaceutical search ad conversions
    • Business Management | +41% office supplies search ad conversions
    • Finance | +23% accounting search ad conversions
    • Beauty & Personal Care | +41% overall search
    • On-Demand Media | +102% search ad conversions
    • Greetings, Gifts & Flowers | +43% floral arrangement conversion rate
  2. 7 Industries with a mixed performance
    • Real Estate | -25% real estate listing conversion rate, +11% moving & relocation services search volume
    • Home Improvement | average conversion rates are steady but vary widely
    • Home Furniture | +/- 2% search conversion rate
    • Automotive | -28% vehicle parts & accessories conversion rate, +44% vehicle repair & maintenance conversion rate
    • Retail | -14% search ad conversion rate and –9% Cost Per Click
    • Jobs & Education | +10% and +8% in paid search traffic
    • Legal Services | -5% in search volume and conversions
  3. 7 Industries who have taken the biggest hit
    • Travel & Tourism | -43% search ad conversion rate
    • Bars & Restaurants | -58% search ad conversion rate
    • Live Entertainment | -30% search ad conversion rate
    • Conferences | -33% search ad conversion rate
    • Sports & Fitness | -74% search ad conversion rate
    • Building & Construction | -2% search ad conversion rate
    • Industrial & Manufacturing | -13% search traffic

Scooter Note:Understanding your industry search trends is essential in making strategic decisions for your company or non-profit. Login to your accounts daily to see how your ads are performing. Pause any ads that are not converting and readjust your overall campaign strategy if necessary.

Click to Read the Full WordStream Report

Facebook UI on mobile and laptop

Facebook & Instagram Ad Reviews are Taking Longer Than Usual

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Ad reviews are taking longer than usual and may cause delayed ad delivery.
  2. Ad appeals may also be reduced or experience slower response times.
  3. Facebook is sending home all contract workers who perform content and ad review, until further notice.
  4. No indication how long the delays could last.

Scooter Note:Limit the amount of editing you do to your campaign. Changing the text, targeting or destination landing page, will cause a new ad review. Editing budget and the start & end date will not prompt a new review.

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Google Ads & Google My Business Support May Be Delayed or Unavailable

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Google phone, email and support outlets may be slower or unavailable.
  2. Google Ads and Google My Business Customers may be impacted.
  3. As a precautionary health measure Google’s support team is operating with a limited team.
  4. There is no indication how long the delay could last.

Scooter Note:Review your accounts, analytics and any questions you may have before contacting Google. The more information you provide the better.

google maps ui on mobile

Google Search and Maps Will Display Information About Temporary Closures

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Google My Business allows businesses to easily mark themselves as temporarily closed.
  2. AI technology is used to contact businesses to confirm their updated business hours and business description.
  3. Customers will quickly know your updated business hours and status when they search your company.

Scooter Note:Log into your Google My Business account 2-3 times per day. Keep hours of operation current and update your business description to let customers know any changes.

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Are Social Media Platforms and Google Blocking Paid Search or Paid Social Campaigns?Could I See a Sudden Decline or Spike in My Paid Advertisement Campaigns?

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Google and paid social platforms are not blocking your ads as long as you are not exploiting or capitalizing on the situation or claiming you can prevent, cure or treat COVID-19.
  2. The pandemic and market changes can produce unexpected shifts in your ad clicks, traffic and conversions.
  3. “Paid search reflects the market; it isn’t the market itself. If people’s search trends have gone somewhere else in the moment and your products and services are not rightfully on their mind anymore—that’s a reality.” WordStream Managed Services Senior Manager Mike Emilliani.

Scooter Note:Stay proactive and adjust your campaigns based on results and analytics.

digital marketing ideas

COVID-19: Digital Marketing Campaign Checklist

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW DUE TO COVID-19

  1. Review your accounts
    • Check for drops in traffic, clicks, impressions and conversions.
    • Look for higher costs per click or costs per acquisition.
    • Monitor comments on social media ads.
  2. Communication is key
    • Maintain customer relations and build trust by communication. Keep clients and customers informed on any updates via email, social media and your website.
    • “If your business is affected, Google recommends updating your business hours and description in your Google My Business profile.”
  3. Modify you Digital Strategy
    • Coronavirus could impact every sector and industry, and you want to be sensitive to the matter – depending on your industry, sometimes pausing a certain campaign or adjusting messaging can be more impactful long-term.
    • If you run an e-commerce business keeping your ads up to date with inventory is crucial.
    • Adjust ad bidding if you see a decline in engagement and conversion

Scooter Note:Stay informed and up to date as new information is shared daily. We will update this feed with current information to help you make strategic decisions for your business or non-profit.

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