How to advertise during uncertain times (without upsetting your customers)

When you mapped out your 2020 marketing plan at the end of last year, did you also prepare for the possibility of a global pandemic bringing the world to a standstill?

Nope, neither did we.

Oh, 2020, what a mess you’ve been. Luckily, your time is up soon, and you won’t be missed.

Anyway: In uncertain moments like these, all bets are off, and tried and tested marketing strategies don’t always work.

Besides, even when you’re making progress with your online store, it can sometimes feel a bit icky to keep promoting your products when you don’t know if your customers are dealing with health issues or financial hardship at home.

In fact, a recent survey by Edelman shows that customers definitely expect brands to rise to the occasion. A massive 71% of respondents said that if they perceived a brand to put profit over people during the pandemic, they would lose in that brand forever.

Think about that for a sec.

But despite the hurdles, there are plenty of ways online stores can thrive during these uncertain times – without compromising their integrity.

Here are just some of the ways you can advertise and grow the sales of your online store during COVID-19.

Rethink your messaging and creative

If you haven’t done so already, make sure your message and creative matches the “new normal” that we’re all experiencing right now.

In other words: update those creative assets.

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), 73% of advertisers have modified or developed new assets since the start of the pandemic.

Out of these, 53% have increased messaging that “emphasises the mission of the company.” That’s a clever move, as 64% of consumers expect brands to communicate their values through their messaging, according to a Kantar COVID-19 Barometer report.

Meet your customers where they’re at, mood wise. But bear in mind that shopping is a welcome distraction for many people – so don’t feel guilty about promoting your awesome products. Just spread the joy in a mindful way.

Think digital first

One of the perks of social media advertising is that you don’t need to commit to campaigns months in advance, unlike TV, radio, or other traditional forms of advertising.

Not only does this allow you to be reactive, but you can always pause campaigns if a message suddenly becomes irrelevant or done deaf.

You could also benefit from cheaper impressions, as the pandemic has shrunk the pool of potential advertisers competing for bids.

Embrace the power of eCommerce

It’s not all bad news, especially for online retailers. According to a recent study by AusPost, the eCommerce industry has continued to grow in Australia during the pandemic.

The latest statistics show that growth was up over 80% year on year in the 8 weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the WHO. “The industry has not only kicked up a gear, but it has also gone into overdrive” the report concludes. Impressive, right?

To wrap up….

In uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to invest in social media ads and work with a trusted digital marketing partner who has experience adapting to challenges and changes in the market. (Not-so-subtle hint: that’s us! Get in touch with our team today to book a call).

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