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Managing Your PPC During the Coronavirus Crisis

Brick-and-mortar businesses are suffering incredibly right now, with non-essential businesses closing to the public, and even essential businesses seeing a major slow-down.  That said, people sequestered in their homes still want access to goods, which gives any company operating in the online arena an opportunity to meet demand in a different way.

If you have the budget on hand, now is the time to beef up your PPC campaigns in order to reach virtual consumers and assure them that you’re still open for business and ready to meet their needs.  Here are just a few strategies that will help you to properly manage your PPC during the COVID-19 crisis.

Rework Your Budget

While your knee-jerk reaction is probably to cut expenses when your business is suffering, don’t be so hasty to annihilate your online marketing budget.  Right now, consumers stuck at home are not only turning to online purchases for items they can no longer get in real-world stores, but they’re consuming a lot more content online, which offers ample opportunity to put your ads in front of eyeballs.

Instead of tanking your marketing spend, consider reallocating funds to take advantage of the absolute dearth of online activity at the moment.  Review your overall marketing budget and see if you can shift spend to focus on PPC now, when ad placement could have a major impact on targeted traffic, conversions, and sales.

Review Messaging

While you don’t have to call out coronavirus specifically in your ads (save that for on-site and social content), you do have to make sure your campaigns aren’t completely tone-deaf to the global crisis going on at the moment.  At the very least, you should pivot to ads pertaining to products that are most relevant to consumers stuck at home, but you also need to reassess messaging to ensure that it’s not insensitive and that it’s geared toward the current situation (don’t invite people to buy in-store when they can only order online, for example).

Conduct Keyword Research

Trending keywords for your industry may have changed dramatically over the last few weeks, and if you want to take advantage and surge past competitors, you need to make sure that you’re using the right keywords for your PPC ads.  Pay attention to search behavior and trending keywords (terms like free shipping, fast delivery, curbside pickup, etc.) and don’t forget to rework your list of negative keywords, as well, so you don’t accidentally draw the wrong traffic.

Consider Channel and Scheduling Strategies

Consumers stuck at home are turning to online and streaming media in droves to stay entertained, whether they’re working from home or they suddenly have a lot more free time on their hands.  As a result, marketing channels that didn’t seem worthwhile a few weeks ago (like Facebook advertising, perhaps) may now be viable, and it’s worth exploring your options to see if you can generate leads and gain conversions.

You should also consider your PPC scheduling.  Whereas you might normally target early-morning or late afternoon virtual traffic, it’s possible that people working from home are sleeping later in the morning (now that there’s no commute) and browsing into the late hours of the evening.  Ensuring that the right viewers see your ads could mean adjusting your ad schedule.

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