Covid-19: Leveraging Online Campaigns

Covid-19: Leveraging Online Campaigns

Ecommerce has provided a lifeline for many businesses that would otherwise struggle to get sales during lockdown. Here's how to leverage online campaigns to keep your business trading

By Sam Carr

The coronavirus pandemic has caused economic turmoil all over the world. With over 100 countries under lockdown, most people's daily lives are temporarily on hold. This unprecedented event has seen many businesses shut temporarily, while many others have already closed their doors for good. 

Although many non-essential businesses in the UK have been forced to close, online stores and ecommerce have provided a lifeline for many businesses that would otherwise struggle to trade, and there are plenty of ways to leverage online marketing to help boost sales. Here's how.

1. Paid Search Campaigns

The global economic turmoil caused by the pandemic has had a considerable effect on the paid search industry. With many businesses slashing their advertising budgets in order to make ends meet, the average cost per click for paid search ads has decreased significantly. This means that if you have the money to spare, now is an excellent time to ramp up your paid search campaigns across all networks. 

Even if you've never run any paid ads before, combining lower cost per clicks and lower competition means running paid search ads is suddenly an affordable marketing strategy for every business.

An important point to consider when running paid ads during lockdown is the recent shift in consumer behaviour. Pre-pandemic, many users would regularly use their mobiles throughout the day on the way to work, lunch, and home. But with the pandemic causing most people to work from home, you'll want to increase your budget on desktop devices as fewer people use their mobiles throughout the day. 

In response to the challenging pandemic, Google, the biggest paid search network, is helping businesses take advantage of online advertising by offering free access to its shopping platform. In a recent blog post, Google announced that it would be introducing a free option for its Google shopping platform, allowing anyone to post product listings. 

With ecommerce proving to be the most effective strategy during the lockdown, this is an excellent way for businesses to take advantage of Google's huge network for free.

2. Social Media Campaigns

Similar to paid search campaigns, social media is another highly popular online marketing platform that many businesses use. And similar to paid search campaigns, there are also some big changes in user behaviour during the pandemic. 

For starters, social media traffic is up as many people spend lockdown indoors with very little to do. A recent article by Facebook showed that social media traffic was up significantly, and users are spending more time messaging friends and scrolling through their newsfeeds. 

To help improve brand awareness and exposure, many businesses are posting resources and updates to keep their audience both entertained and informed. If you've neglected your social media profiles in the past, then getting engaged with your audience through social media campaigns is a must. 

With social media traffic up, not only are users more likely to see your social media posts, but they're also more likely to like, share and comment. And with millions of people turning to social media during lockdown, there's never been a better time to increase your social media following and presence.

3. Search Engine Optimisation

With the closing of physical stores all over the country, many retail businesses are suddenly realising how vital search engine optimisation is. Users might not be able to visit their favorite shops, but that doesn't stop them from shopping online. And at times like these, search engine optimisation will be paying dividends to businesses that have invested in it over the years. 

One of the biggest opportunities that businesses can focus on during this pandemic is landing page and conversion rate optimisation. Trying to squeeze as many sales as possible out of your existing traffic is crucial. And with many websites receiving recording-breaking amounts of traffic, this can be a quick way to boost sales overnight. From changing the colour of a button to giving away free delivery, you'd be surprised at the impact a small UX change can make to your conversion rate and bottom line. 

Another big SEO opportunity to leverage is to spend time auditing your competitor's websites. Many businesses often audit their own website for technical health checks to ensure search engines are crawling it correctly, but very few bother to audit their competitors' sites. Not only can these competitor audits bring up some interesting new ideas that you haven't thought about, but they can also help shape the future of your digital strategy going forward.

About the Author: 

Sam Carr is the marketing manager at PPC Protect, an award-winning click fraud detection tool that helps Google Ad users get the most out of their advertising budget. Sam has a wealth of experience with both digital and traditional marketing strategies.