Three ways to make your digital marketing campaigns go further during COVID-19

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Date: 14 May 2020

An attractive woman reads the latest marketing messages sent to her phone.

Trying to get people to buy from you during a crisis isn't easy, and I'm not going to pretend it is. There are loads of hurdles you could come across. Customers may not need your product or service at the moment, or you might be facing a whole load of competing messages. Whatever the case, don't quit!

I'm going to break down three actionable tips you can use to increase brand awareness, drive new traffic to your site, and even make old customers stick around – all by improving your digital marketing campaigns.

1. Utilise social media marketing

There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Set up accounts for free and fill them with content that will engage your customers
  2. Use paid ads (pay-per-click advertising) to reach specific users who are likely to be interested in your brand

Both have their own unique benefits and can be used together to maximise your results. For example, if you want, you can set up a Facebook Like Campaign and pay less than £1 for every new follower you get. If you want to push a particular page instead, you can do that for a similar price per click. Twitter ads are even cheaper.

Best of all, it's not a guessing game. You can use free tools like Facebook's Audience Insights to discover who your ideal customers are and which content they like the most. You can also view important data for each of your ads, allowing you to make improvements the next time around.

At no cost, you can:

  • make use of the 'Stories' feature to draw more attention to your campaigns
  • run exciting competitions and giveaways to increase your campaign exposure
  • create your own hashtag to give your campaign its own identity

This type of marketing won't work for everyone, but it's important that your customers can find you if they need to during the crisis. At the very least, create an up-to-date profile and be active when you can, making sure to respond to customer queries.

In terms of your paid ads, these don't have to break the bank. Facebook and Twitter ads, for example, can be relatively cheap and still get thousands of eyes on your brand.

Paid ads are great for a number of reasons: to amplify your reach, enhance your targeting, and tap into mobile users. And, they don't have to be dull and boring. Get creative with different ad formats for the perfect blend of motion, colour, and text, and see how they help retain user attention and drive clicks to your site.

2. Tap into your existing customer base

Being honest, consistent, and communicating well can be the difference between gaining a loyal customer and losing them forever. Similarly, it's much better to be active and gently remind people of your business than it is to pretend your customers need you right now.

Ask yourself this: is your business essential? If it's not, it's going to be an uphill struggle persuading worried people to buy your luxury product or service. Talk to your customers and keep them up to date, but don't push them to spend money – all you'll do is damage your reputation in the long run.

Also, remember that you don't have to stick to your original marketing plan just because you don't want to create a new one. The small bit of time you'll spend working on a new strategy will be worth the new customers it attracts. Reacting is key.

You can also:

  • post regular updates about changes to your business, such as delivery times or if you expect to re-open shortly
  • make it clear that you're just a message away if your customers need support 
  • contact your customers about any pre-existing bookings or appointments, particularly if you're in the wedding or travel industry

While not directly impacting your campaigns, these tips will help to get more customers on-side, show that you care about more than just sales, and, in turn, set you apart from your competitors.

For an extra boost, you can weave email marketing into your campaign to connect with your customers or give them a call if it suits your business.

3. Make the most of audience targeting in PPC

Audience targeting allows you to categorise different users based on personal data, so that you can serve ads to people who are most likely to engage with you. It's basically a way of making sure your message is seen by people who are interested.

This is a great feature in general but can help you reach audiences in a more authentic, considerate, and meaningful way during this time.

To get started, you need to:

  • think about the type of person that will be interested in your product or service right now, as the crisis stands
  • if there's more than one, segment them into different groups (ie a new mum might like our health and fitness tracking device, but so might people who want to monitor their sleeping habits)

As well as helping you understand who you should be targeting, this will help you filter out people who are unlikely to buy. You won't get it 100% accurate the first time, but you can use one of the analytics tools I mentioned earlier to refine your audiences.

This feature isn't exclusive to paid social ads, you can also use it for paid advertising on search engines like Google. Other options include:

  • remarketing - aimed at users who have previously interacted with your business
  • affinity audiences - based on lifestyles, buying habits, and long-term interests
  • location targeting - to reach people in a specific area, country, or radius
  • demographics - including age, gender, education, income, and more

If you're not too clued up with PPC marketing, our intelligent Adzooma platform helps you manage and optimise your campaigns across Google, Facebook, and Microsoft ads. It provides custom automations, a free reporting suite to break down the data, and a constant stream of opportunities you can apply in one click.

It helps you to bypass the learning curve and is the easiest and most effective way to grow your PPC campaigns – for beginners and experts alike.

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Engage, adopt, and secure

Generating results during a crisis isn't impossible. As you can see, there are several tools and techniques that can help increase awareness around your brand and make sure the right people are seeing your campaigns.

Even by just sustaining a relationship with your customers, you're laying the foundations that will have them return when the crisis has passed. Following our tips will also help you tip the scales for new users – turning consideration into repeat custom, all from a little hard work, compassion, and tactic.

Copyright 2020. Post by Jess Kirkbride, Copywriter at Adzooma – the simple, quick & easy way to manage your online advertising.

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