Adapting and responding quickly to the present climate is a never-ending task. The digital shift from in-store to online is ever-changing particularly even more so with the current volatile market conditions; consumer behaviour has shifted towards online shopping with some clients seeing better weeks & months than Black Friday.

Adjustments to Digital Marketing

Increase your discoverability and adapt to the market instantly by trying out new keywords that come through in search queries or recommendations. It is a good time to opt-in for Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) as these also bring in unique customer queries. With the ads being relevant to the customer search, these can increase the CTR and CVR.

As the market is volatile, changes are required frequently and therefore efficiencies are required. Using automated strategies in the short term to ensure that your campaigns are updated using real-time data to perform. Although automation is key to helping achieve fast adjustments, the changes the AI is making could be based on previous behaviour so manual optimisations are still just as important to ensure no anomalies in performance are missing.

Customer journeys are changing and the duration of these journeys are generally increasing as people have more time to browse & are now looking for the best deals as competition across the market increases & as stores remain shut. Change or have flexibility in your ROAS & CPA targets; expect a lower return whilst people have more time to shop around.

As businesses are now gaining a wider audience it is an appropriate time to use remarketing display advertising across all platforms. There has been an increase in users’ using ‘news platforms’, so this is a good time to opt-in for the search & display networks and remarket to users there.

Your budget may be limited during these times because of the increase in consumer needs but aim to not pause these campaigns, instead focus on where you could lower your budgets and keep activity live or steer towards a shared budget. This way, your quality score will not be impacted

Changes to business

Due to the current situation, some retailers & brands are seeing a shift in product sales. Adapt the products you are promoting to your customers by aligning campaigns with consumer needs & trends. An example of this is an increase in demand for GreatBeanBags ‘deck chair bean bags’ due to customers spending more time in their garden.

As we are all now having to only travel for essentials, updating your Google My Business page will keep customers informed on business information i.e opening times & deliveries. This can also lead to a positive increase of online sales. See the below images from Google that are prompting businesses to update their information.

Impression has taken a proactive approach in PPC by updating ad copy highlighting the new opening times, contact support times etc so that consumers knew at all stages of their journey as shown in the below examples. 

In other sectors, like travel, adaptations to strategies are required. Impression has made it clear to customers in various accounts that cancellations are available and that they can rebook for next year. By adapting and updating the customer you are retaining their custom and adding some positivity to customers for next year. In the travel industry, it is still difficult to adapt when there has been a 73% decrease in searches. (source, SaleCycle).

Trends

It was certain that entering the quarantine period there would be fluctuations in the performance of certain sectors, including large losses for some businesses. As we are now well into the quarantine period it is easier and more evident to see which businesses have had to adapt.

Trending products that are prospering have included: software, laptops, vacuums, freezers (as a result of bulk buying/panic buying), webcam (as a result of family chats, working from home), home decor, craft, DIY (home & garden). Consumers are adapting quickly to new ways of life and workers in the digital marketing industry need to look at real-time insights and trends to focus on the demands of consumers.

Vax, one of Impression’s clients had a surge in quieter household appliance range & air purifiers. Overall improvements in both month-on-month sales and year-on-year sales in comparison to their other household ranges.

Palm spas saw triple-digit growth across most metrics (visits & leads) this past month due to customers making the most of the good weather & spending time in their gardens. This proved to be their best month as a business.

This appears to be the trend across certain sectors; a study conducted by SaleCycle and saw that across some sectors like automotive, office supplies, sport, books all had an increase in year on year sales.

Google Trends coincides with the study undertaken by SaleCycle. There has been a large increase in bike-related queries due to people wanting to exercise more or find alternative ways to ‘wear the kids out’. Searches such as Bicycle child seats, bicycles, bicycles gloves, bicycle trailers all up 90% YoY (source, Google Trends).

Another anomaly this year has been Fashion. This would normally see a spike in January due to Sales and then a bit of a lul but there have been increases in March/April due to more online ordering. 

The browsing habits have varied with not only the time but purchasing decisions too, for example, rather than buying high-end trainers, people are wanting running trainers. There have never been so many runners!

Pragmatic & Creative Solutions

By using creative solutions that represent current trends, particularly media trends, you can promote products in a way that make a customer feel that the business is on-trend and has a certain sense of relevance to the customer. Everyones heard of Joe Exotic by now. Right? Impression’s PR team did a brilliant job with Great Bean Bags and set up a campaign to target users’ fascination with the Tiger King by using their ‘tiger’ patterned bean in a campaign. Why not have a bit of fun in these times!

Across different paid media channels Impression have been using current and topical trends that have been rising. A client of ours, Magnet Expert, has seen an increase in their craft & DIY ranges. Impression increased the presence of these through Ad extensions, showcase ads and display, whilst trialling even more inspirational imagery & wording than before, to connect and inspire users at all touchpoints of their journey. Below is an example of some of the magnet ads.

Summary

Now is the time more than ever to adapt. Having automated campaigns can help you keep up with the rollercoaster pace of the lockdown trends, however, there is insufficient data to fully rely on Google, roll the sleeves up and get on trend and get flexible. It is also important to keep your business up to date and retain your customers with trust and confidence that you are as up to date as the competition.

Claire Henley

PPC Executive

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