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5 hacks to make the most of your marketing budget during COVID-19


The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is impacting ad budgets around the world, no matter the scale of operations. While online subscription services, ecommerce, social media, and gaming services can survive this outbreak, most brands are rationalising spends as things progress.

However, contrary to popular belief, most digital consumers seem to be spending more time on online platforms than ever before, leading to strong engagement on relatable content, and leading to a great opportunity to drive wider adoption at a lower cost.

Here are five simple tips on how your digital campaigns can continue to thrive in the COVID-impacted ad industry:

1. Tweak brand messaging

Updating the major messaging for key products and services not only enables brands to stay abreast with the times; it also indicates to customers that you are empathetic to those struggling with COVID-19. Customers are more likely to shop from a brand if they are informed of the responsible initiatives you’re undertaking to keep your store, office, and products safe.

Advertisers have a moral responsibility to ensure they are meeting their customer’s best interests, and so it's a great time to try and include sensitive and creative messages in your online campaigns that can resonate with your potential customers.

You do not have to overtly mention COVID-19 or its effects on daily life, but your web/print copy may positively allude to winning against it.

2. Alter key objective

While this may not be the best time to try and drive a large number of conversions for products/services directly impacted by the coronavirus, this is the perfect time to take a step back and promote wider online brand awareness and consideration programmes that will allow your brand to continue to stay at the top of the mind for customers until services fully re-open.

By increasing your potential net new users at the top of the funnel, you can expand retargeting opportunities once the outbreak dies down.

3. Experimenting with new ad inventory

While most small-to-medium businesses around the country may not consider this the time to start testing new ad units online, discounted inventory means you can always promote your products and services to customers who can save and buy them later.

Pull out of channels that aren’t driving measurable results and reinvest your online channels that can ensure your customers feel connected to your brand.

4. Remain authentic

Customers may not be completely open to seeing gaudy and over-the-top advertisements for products that may not be ‘essential goods’ during such times. It's important to stay true to your brand voice while recognising that people have genuine concerns, while offering real solutions in a compassionate and caring manner goes a long way.

5. Play the long term game

Some brands are too focused on the short-term and are taking aggressive measures to reallocate their ad dollars through the rest of the year. This scuffle may hurt the brand over the long term.

Brands that maintain a healthy online presence and use sensible messaging that doesn’t overtly try to capitalise on COVID-19 will stay at the top of the consumers’ minds.Also ReadBusiness lessons from COVID-19: Recognising the opportunity arising from adversity

As you work on your next campaign, leverage these actionable tips and remember that it’s key to ensure your brand messaging is aligned with the customer’s interests.

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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