If you remove all the BS and fluff from the “COVID-19” advice they give to advertisers, it boils down to the following.
1) They advise: keep advertising.
The logic they’re coming from is as follows: Competition is lower => costs are down => it may compensate CR drop => ads remain profitable.
What is noticeable: this advice is coming from ad agencies, ad channels, and ad automation tools. Most of them don’t really care about your profitability – they care about whether they will have clients that spend money on ads and tools 🙂
Running ads during pandemics (COVID-19, coronavirus, lockdown, quarantine – call it whatever you want) makes sense only IF the lower costs compensate the lower conversion rate.
But come on, this is a regular bid management routine. The conversion rate may drop due to other factors, like off-season, end of the Black Friday promotion, a stronger competitor increases bids, or comes with a stronger offer, operation system/browser update (for software). You have to adjust your bids on a regular basis in accordance with current and probable conversion rate and average order value and/or lifetime value. If you have a proper account structure, performance-based automated bidding tools do it for you (Google, Microsoft, Facebook do it for free via built-in features).
If the lower cost doesn’t compensate the CR drop => you should NOT burn money on ads.
2) They advise: revise the creatives (ads).
To me, it’s like advising to adapt your creatives to Christmas or Haloween. It’s a common sense, a must, an obvious thing you should do within your ad management routine.
Plus, don’t forget that you better test things, not just blindly implement them. Your prospects may still care more about whether your product will kill their pain than whether you feel them sitting in the lockdown. So, you shouldn’t waste precious ads’ and landing page’s space on what “advisers” tell you. It’s just about keeping testing creatives and angles. You should do it as your daily routine.
3) They advise: update your website with a message of how your business works during the pandemic.
Like, how you work in masks and gloves so they have peace of mind when they order pizza from you.) Which is not that “COVID-19 advice” at all.
It’s just as like as when you see a notification on Dec 23 that your order will be delivered after Dec 28 due to Christmas shopping fever. Or, when a website notifies you about a Haloween promotion ending. Just a common sense, a part of your website/app conversion rate optimization routine.
4) They advise: build an audience of loyal prospects (lead generation) while costs are down. They may buy from you later.
The same logic: ad channel’s capacity has widened (people stair at Facebook newsfeed more than ever) + fewer advertisers => lower cost-per-click
It looks like a great opportunity to build and nurture your audience so they will buy from you later.
But wait. Shouldn’t you do this at other times? Or, don’t you need to take CPC into account at other times? There are many reasons, why people won’t buy from you from the first visit. Pandemics is just one of them. Costs are also down after any major promotion, especially after Christmas. You can take advantage of lower CPC whenever it’s possible AND don’t burn money when competition dictates higher bids than it is profitable for you.
You have to build and nurture your audience of prospects AND control costs per acquisition AND scale profitable things at any time.
So, all the things they advise look like a part of the ad account management and conversion rate optimization routine to me. And shouldn’t be positioned as “COVID-19 response”. What do you think?
What measures did you take in your ad account/website besides the listed above?