How to Run Google Ads Campaigns Through a Pandemic

google ads during covid

The business and digital marketing landscape have significantly changed in the last few months. For some businesses, the COVID-19 crisis has been a disaster, in particular for hospitality, tourism and travel industries.  However, other online businesses seem to be doing well, notably Amazon and other online retailers.  

The timeline to economic recovery remains uncertain, but there are actions businesses can do now to improve their digital marketing strategies and reinvent the way they connect with audiences, communities and customers.

Google recently released – Navigating the Road Ahead, a guide intended to help businesses adapt their digital marketing strategies to the new environment and help prepare for what’s next.  In this blog, we look at some of the key points in the document and highlight some of the steps you should be taking.

The guide focuses on three key points: 

  • Base your approach to consumer insights
consumer insights covid 19

Since the arrival of COVID-19, consumer behaviour and media consumption habits have changed.  Google has identified three behavioural search patterns: shock, step change and speed up.

Your short -term and long-term digital marketing strategies need to evolve to the changes in consumer patterns.  Consumers are using multiple devices to go online, with home media consumption increasing dramatically. Some key Google statistics are:

– Staying home has led to a 60% increase in the amount of content watched 

– Consumers across the globe are spending 20% more time in apps than they did a year ago

Consumers are searching for critical content to meet essential needs: 

  • Search interest in “online grocery shopping” and “grocery delivery” grew 23% year over year in the US.
  • Consumers watching videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate of 31% higher than they did in March 2019.

Consumers are discovering new connections and practising self-care:  

– 50% of US consumers said they used video to communicate with family and friends. And search interest for “virtual happy hour” is rising.

  •  54% rise in “with me” videos of people doing everyday tasks on YouTube.
  • Search interests in telecommuting has reached an all-time high.
  • More people are turning to online video for help in coping with anxiety and stress.

 If you want to identify real time marketing insights and trends, then four tools are recommended:

1. Google Trends – helps to identify changes in consumer behaviours.  It provides access to real-time search requests across Google Search, YouTube, Shopping and Images based on a keyword or topic to ask the right questions to inform business decisions.

2. Shopping Insights  – helps you understand what shoppers are looking for across Google, compare competing products in your category, and discover local demand for your brands and products.

3. Google Alerts – helps you stay on top of changes.  To set up your own custom Google Alerts on the latest information and news, input the topics you’re interested in.  You’ll get an email when new results show up in Google Search.

4. Find My Audience  – helps you understand who your most valuable customers are on YouTube – so you can discover new audiences and learn how to reach them individually with relevant messages.

Understand the impact on your business

covid 19 impact on business

The response stage will depend on your company goals.  Google have identified four distinct ways in which COVID-19 has impacted a businesses’ marketing.  Check the four situations below and see which relates most to your business.  The guide suggests corresponding digital marketing strategies which are designed to help you sustain your business in the short term while laying the foundations for recovery.

 Develop a strategy and take action quickly

 Google playbook says the following:

“The response to COVID-19 has changed the way people interact with businesses, presenting supply-and-demand disruptions, as well as logistical disruptions that have made operations unpredictable.”

“If your company is facing these challenges, you might be looking to invest in digital marketing only if it has a positive impact on your business in the next 30 days. You might also be contemplating pausing your advertising campaigns if you’re experiencing severe supply-and-demand volatility.”

“Amid these challenges, you can still be there for your customers by adapting your approach and marketing objectives. Below are some recommendations to help you rethink your advertising strategies as you navigate this time of uncertainty.”

You can find the full link to the Google Playbook here…

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