3 Simple But Powerful Search Ads Strategies To Use Right Now
As we continue to weather uncertain times, many businesses are reviewing their current advertising. Recent reports show search ad spend is down as much as $8 billion. Even Google slashed its marketing budget by 50% in the last week.
Not every industry is going to be impacted in the same way. Indeed, some sectors are seeing increased volume and performance.
Regardless, Google is rallying to help businesses affected, including $340 million in Google Ads credits for SMBs.
Right now, there is one thing that all industries have in common: the ability to use ads to their advantage. As I’ve outlined previously, now is not the time to completely stop marketing or advertising.
Even if you’re in a sector that is almost at a complete halt, you can use search ads to keep in touch, stay top of mind and drive conversions.
1. Pivot Your Offerings
In response to current conditions, many businesses are pivoting their focus completely, or offering free or low-cost versions of their products and services.
For example, booze makers are turning to hand-sanitizing products amidst the shortage. Others are now offering free shipping.
Whatever it is that is changing with your business, you’re going to need to communicate it, and you can do that with search ads.
2. Change Your Messaging
Now is the time to revamp your messaging if you haven’t already. For many businesses, ads are on autopilot. But you need to make sure your messaging matches the current tone of the crisis.
For airlines and hotels, that may mean discussing future travel plans. For restaurants, you may want to highlight delivery and pick-up options, and how you are ensuring food safety.
For some, that means promoting top-of-the-funnel content in your search ads. This could include videos, podcasts, webinars and other marketing initiatives. It might be as simple as driving ad traffic to landing pages with COVID-19-specific information.
And yes, you can use PPC for crisis communications. The manufacturers of Corona beer would have had the perfect opportunity to do so when people stopped buying Corona beer after the coronavirus outbreak.
So think about it. What key information do you need to disseminate when someone searches for your brand online right now? Use the search ads channel to your advantage as people are still searching online, albeit in different ways.
3. Consider Location Targeting
Make sure you think about how the current crisis will impact your location targeting now and in the future.
It’s no surprise that 20 percent of advertisers have decreased their local geotargeting as a result of COVID-19.
But what about the future? In a recent post, I talked about how the current crisis will change the way we live and search. And that can have huge implications for search advertising.
In the future, city centers may see a dramatic decrease in foot and car traffic, impacting local businesses. Local neighborhood businesses, on the other hand, have the potential to reign as a result of a new work-from-home economy.
For both categories of local businesses, a customer’s first touch point is likely to be a Google search (versus the normal kind of traffic that local businesses tend to see).
In conclusion, yes, we’re in uncertain times. But one thing we have control over is how we add value now and communicate that to our audience. Search ads are just one way we can show our audience we are still here.