Smaller Budget, Huge Impact: How to Win at Digital Advertising Amid COVID-19
In the words of renowned writer William Arthur Ward, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” As the pandemic has changed countless facets of business and consumer behavior, it is crucial to adjust the sails of your business by adopting new practices.
For media buyers, the avenues that attract people to view content have shifted largely toward digital and OTT streaming, while at the same time some traditional forms of media have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Consumers are stuck inside with their laptops, smartphones and smart TVs, and that’s where they’re spending most of their work time and leisure time. It’s only natural that the ad dollars should follow the eyeballs.
Indeed, many reports have shown that digital advertising is continuing to grow amid the pandemic. For instance, eMarketer recently reported that the U.S. retail industry has largely embraced digital advertising, and ad spend has continued to grow in 2020:
“…thanks to its accelerated embrace of ecommerce, retail will slightly outperform the industry average. We estimate that retail digital ad spend will increase by 3.1% in 2020—to $28.23 billion—compared with US digital ad spend overall, which will grow by 1.7%.”
That being said, the shift to digital advertising can represent a challenge for companies that previously relied on offline brand ads and in-store shoppers. Here are some tips to make a smooth transition to digital advertising during the COVID-19 era:
Determine the approach that best fits your goals
- Are you looking to generate more leads for your business? If this is your goal, you can create a signup form on your website to get more info about your potential customers. Offer your customers a free e-book, marketing study, white paper, or podcast in exchange for their contact info and some basic feedback on what type of services they’re looking for. Later on, you can sift through the list to find the most qualified leads to re-target and convert.
- Are you an e-commerce advertiser? If your company was mostly focused on retail sales before COVID-19, you might fit into this category. With digital advertising, you can easily find the exact audience you’re looking for and track the customer journey all the way from initial interest to closing a sale. If it’s your first time to run digital ads for your website, you will need to learn how to set up a pixel and track the customer journey step-by-step. We’ll cover that topic in detail in a future post.
- Are you a brand advertiser? Since consumers are more price-conscious in their shopping habits these days, some brand advertisers have started using digital ads to raise awareness for social causes to tie their brand identity to. The goal of this approach is to be helpful while also displaying empathy, so that when consumers do have money to spend again, those companies will be top of mind.
Create content that counts
- Consumers interact with countless digital ads on a daily basis. As a result, they often develop a sense for ads that are clickbait or “spammy” and tend to avoid those. When creating an ad, quality needs to be top of mind. In fact, most publishers have rules about their advertising content to ensure that their users don’t get turned off by clickbait-y ads.
- First impressions matter. This is arguably even more true in a CPC (Cost-Per-Click) advertising model than in a CPM (Cost-Per-Mille) model. Content that is educational and entertaining, with eye-catching images and a trustworthy, grammatically correct headline, will resonate with customers and increase the likelihood of them clicking on your ad and entering your marketing funnel.
- It is imperative to create ads that have a quality appearance in order to increase engagement and boost your campaign’s ROI. Viewing an ad should not feel like an interruption in the browsing experience, but rather something that sparks interest. Native ads excel in this regard, since they emulate the content of the website that they’re on.
In addition to the right strategy and content, you should also use an advertising platform that offers flexible options that best meet your needs. MediaGo offers an easy and efficient experience for launching digital advertising campaigns. MediaGo lets advertisers directly access high-quality placements on MSN, and we work via a CPC model. To all the e-commerce advertisers out there, this should be music to your ears. If you are looking to buy MSN native on CPC, and scale your MSN campaigns, look no further.
Whether you are new to digital advertising or a seasoned expert, you will not regret making strategic adjustments to your approach to future-proof your marketing funnel. The impact of COVID-19 on businesses cannot be overstated. Visual Capitalist reports that, historically speaking, the global advertising industry did not recover for eight years after the last recession, suggesting that tightened budgets and a digital-centric landscape are likely to stay the norms of this industry for the foreseeable future. Moving away from old practices to build new, more effective strategies is prescient in this era of digital advertising.