Comms for your clients – to support them through this difficult time

by Amanda Butler

March 20, 2020

As the impact of COVID-19 continues to grow, clients will be re-evaluating their current marketing strategy and looking for avenues to minimise the effect on their business, both in the short, medium and long term.  You know that at PPC Samurai we love automation but that we also value the power of human insight, especially in times when even the best laid plans might need to pivot.  

So, we’ve put our collective heads together (figuratively of course – we’ve been diligently practicing appropriate social distancing) to brainstorm a few tactics that can hopefully help you and your clients to prepare and even be proactive in the face of this crisis.  

To set the scene: Over the course of the next few months, we’re expecting to the current consumer behaviour patterns continue and most likely magnify:

  • People spending more time at home, with a corresponding decrease in foot traffic to restaurants, services, and shops
  • Less spending on non-essentials, as people save their pennies during a time of uncertainty
  • With people spending more time at home, there will be an increase in search activity and in online shopping
  • An increased sense of community, with consumers wanting to spend their dollars locally to support local business

Accounting for these changes, we’ve put our top suggestions below.

Combat Decreasing Foot Traffic

Ensure that local businesses are capitalising on any walk-by or destination foot traffic.

  • Increase the walk-by appeal by providing hand-sanitiser at the entrance and throughout the store.
  • Create an environment where social distancing in-store is hassle free, so that customers and staff find it easy to maintain a safe social distance at all times.
  • Support a change of habits by updating store hours, allowing people to visit the store during off-peak times.
  • Restaurants can offer online ordering and home delivery, either through owned media or through a delivery service.
  • Ensure that those who need to find you, can find you with accurate Google My Business listings and Google Ads location extensions available on all ads.
  • If the business offering is service-based or if there is no option to shop online, test local campaigns (where applicable) to increase local visibility.
  • Where applicable, track store visits and where relevant, optimise to that metric.
Take Action on Decreasing Consumer Sentiment

  • Collaborate with other complimentary local businesses to provide packages or value-adds that will entice people to purchase.  
  • Offer value-add options for your own services to entice people to purchase.
  • Offer flexible, no-penalty rescheduling for services, should people want or need to delay the service.  You’ve already captured the customer, so ensure that they can attend when they feel comfortable.
  • On your website and in your advertising, provide supply chain reassurances for those items that will continue to have strong stock levels.
  • Offer non-contact delivery options.
  • Encourage consumers to stay and shop locally, where they are more familiar and potentially more comfortable with the situation in the local area.
  • CPCs may reduce over the next week as competitors leave the search auction, allowing you to capture traffic.  Use this traffic to build your database and your search remarketing lists to be used when consumers are ready to buy again.

Maximise the Opportunity for Online Purchasing

  • Maintain peak ad account hygiene with regular health checks to ensure that you’re capturing all possible opportunities.
  • Ensure Shopping campaigns have strong visibility in the search results.
  • Maximise ad visibility for key search terms, to ensure you’re found when people are searching.  
  • Enable as many ad extensions as possible to maximise the real estate on the page.
  • Ensure that ad copy is refined and current.
  • Encourage database sign-ups for consumers who are interested but not ready to purchase.  Plan to reach out to these customers again as the crisis subsides.
  • Manage search spend proactively by including virus-related negative keywords across the account.
  • Put brand protection measures in place for Google Display Network campaigns by excluding virus-related topics and interests.  

Our hope is that these starter suggestions will help you, or inspire you in the creation of other amazing and innovative ideas and strategies.

We are here to support you as your partner in PPC and in agency life (the good, the bad, and the ugly), so if you have any questions or would like to chat through any situations in particular, give us a call – we’re all in this together.

The PPC Samurai Team

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