Part 6: The Importance of Advertising During COVID-19

Part 6: The Importance of Advertising During COVID-19
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We cannot stress enough about the importance of advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic. Advertising is a way of reaching and communicating with the general public, and as an e-commerce business that is selling a good or a service, you must reach your intended target audience with ease. Advertising makes this possible.

Although advertising is important at this time, you should consider altering your messaging and your advertising strategy in order to better advertise to your intended audience.

Ensuring sensitive and compassionate messaging is vital during a highly emotional and stressful time. Make sure you implement a strategy that shows your brand personality and complete empathy at a time when it is much needed.

Did you know that?

  1. 64% said brands should continue advertising products as normal.
  2. 52% agreed that seeing/hearing ads gives them a sense of normality.
  3. 77% agreed they feel more positively about brands making an effort to support society at the moment.

Be Authentic

Creating a strong connection with your customers is crucial, specifically when discussing your brand. Remaining true to your brand and your values will allow you to succeed at this point in time.

Be authentic with your audience. Ensure you are providing messages that match your brand position, values, and your tone of voice.

Revisit your Strategy Often

Your creative strategy should be continuously updated, in order to meet the demands of the changing market. For example, some popular brands are replacing their original advertisements with new advertisements that incorporate COVID-19 messaging and creative. If you are not sure whether or not your creative strategy needs to be updated, consider these three questions.

  1. Is the ad well-designed and well-created?
  2. Does the copy answer how you are willing to help your customers during this time?
  3. Does the copy share how you are helping or thinking about the larger communities in which are being affected?
  4. Does the ad provide useful information for safety, prevention, health, or services?

Look Closely at Segmentation to Inform New Strategies and Messaging

If you are not sure whether or not your audience should be broad or slim, you should think through how you can segment your audience based on inputs such as site behavior or psychographics. This enables you to get the right message in front of the right customer.

Take into consideration your existing web analytics. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are your customers searching for?
  2. What messaging is getting their attention?
  3. What is getting these customers to convert?

Take note of any shifts in data, and adjust your strategy and messaging accordingly. This will allow you to provide the information your customers are looking for, along with a positive customer service experience.

Assess the Media Channels Where your Customers are Spending Their Time

Most people are spending the majority of their time at home, which will seemingly alter consumer behavior. This has increased ad buying opportunities in many cases and decreased CPMs compared to previous months.

There is an increase in activity in many areas, including but not limited to:

  1. Increase in TV use, from 12:00 - 4:00 pm and 6:00 - 9:00pm.
  2. Desktop video use is up by 8% throughout the entire day.
  3. Mobile video and gaming are up by more than 2.5% compared to previous months.

Choose the Premium Options — Which Have More Credibility with Consumers

With so many options and so many constant changes in the media world, consumers need sources they can fully trust. From a recent study, it is shown that video ads on premium channels are considered 20-50% more credible compared to non-premium channels. Consider this as you implement a premium option during the COVID-19 strategy.

Remove Assumption - Do NOT Assume your Audience is Consuming Content the Same Way They Always Have

Due to live sports cancellations, box office closures, and extensive work-from-home policies, standard media patterns are constantly changing. There are still several ways to reach your audience and adjust to these shifts. For example, take advantage of targeting tactics that reach both linear and CTV in order to adjust to the increase in at-home viewing.

Remove Restrictions - Do NOT Blindly Restrict your Ad Placements

Although your first thought might be to restrict your ads almost entirely from appearing any COVID-19 content, we recommend the opposite. We are dealing with an extremely sensitive time, and COVID-19 has garnered a considerable amount of coverage, therefore blocking ads regarding the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to an inability to connect with your customers.

Be Sensitive - Do NOT Share Anything Insensitive or That Could Induce Panic

Similar to your messaging and ad creative, you should take into consideration your sensitivity levels at this point in time. Over 70% of consumers believe that brands should not exploit the situation to promote their brand.

Before altering your advertising strategy, consider these questions:

  1. Is it insensitive?
  2. Does this ad provoke panic or fear?