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Marketing during the pandemic – social media advertising advice

The global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we do business, as every company under the sun has been affected. Consumer behaviours have changed considerably and with all the talk of a new ‘normal’, things won’t be going back to the way they were any time soon. Now that the way we market to consumers must change, here are some key points to consider for social media advertising.

Change your pre-pandemic strategy

The world has changed and so have consumer needs and expectations, so why would your pre-pandemic strategy still be appropriate? To my surprise, I have continued to be targeted for certain offers that just aren’t relevant or feasible in this new climate. Face-palmingly obvious examples I have seen include overseas holiday promotions and estate agent property viewing bookings. All ad activity certainly doesn’t have to stop (in fact, we advise against that!), but we live in a new economy. As supply and demand have completely changed, consumer preferences and needs are unrecognisable from just a couple of months ago – your digital ad strategy must change too.

Promote your company values through social media ads

Remember that branding workshop you did a couple years ago to distil your business values? Well, search the depths of your server for that PowerPoint presentation and let it inspire you all over again. A lot of businesses are unable to trade at the moment, but just because you can’t make direct sales doesn’t mean you can’t promote your values and purpose through blogs and videos to bolster the very essence of your brand. What are you doing to help your stakeholders and customers in the current situation? It’s okay to shout about it! People care more and more about what companies stand for in respect to sustainability, the environment and societal issues, and in the midst of these difficult circumstances, now’s the time to show what’s important to your business.

For example, Kellogg’s are currently running Instagram ads focussed on their dedication to keeping their factories open to feed the nation.

Patagonia are currently promoting their alliance with The Rivers Trust, highlighting their commitment to environmental preservation and restoration, one of their core values.

Provide consumers with extra value

Many businesses are struggling to shift units due to governmental lockdown restrictions, changes in consumer demands and a drop in spending. For example, clothing sales dropped by 34% in March in the UK, sending fashion retailers into crisis mode. Reduced incomes mean consumers are also counting their pennies at the moment. Combined with the headache of depreciating stock, an impromptu sale or discount can really help with cashflow – as a silver lining, it might mean you acquire some new customers in the process.

At the risk of exposing some of my tastes, here are just a few examples of sale promotions I have been compelled to click in the past week:

Be patient with the Facebook ad review process

On a more platform specific level, anyone who has been running Facebook ads in recent weeks will know that COVID-19 has resulted in longer approval times and some dubious ad rejections due to staff reductions. As an agency, we are making clients aware of the extended reviewing time and would advise businesses to get ads in review a day or two prior to the scheduled live date in order to give time for any appeals that need to be requested.

A focus on trust and transparent messaging

Be sure to make users aware if there are any delays in delivery near the start of the customer journey, rather than right at the end. You may gain a few more ‘initiate checkouts’ in the short term, but it can infuriate users who have spent a lot of time on your site and expect a typical delivery time, only to be disappointed at checkout. We live in a climate where empathy and trust are incredibly important, so if you’re upfront about it, people will largely be sympathetic to longer delivery times. It doesn’t need to be plastered across your ads, but a line in at the end of the primary text, a global banner on your website and a pinned post on your Facebook page can really ease expectations. A clear emphasis on quality customer service is likely to increase consumer trust too.

Need some more digital marketing guidance?

If you’re looking for digital marketing support to navigate this tricky time, we’re here to help. We currently offer a free consultation and brainstorm to all new clients with no obligation to proceed – so get in touch today!

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