April 28, 2020

Are You Reducing Your Marketing Spend During COVID-19? – Part II

By Nate Vigil, Marketing Manager

Are You Reducing Your Marketing Spend During COVID-19? – Part II Strategic Marketing

In my last article, I touched on the importance of knowing your audience and building a detailed buyer persona. Based on the data compiled, you can take the information you know about your ideal buyer and make strategic decisions about how to market to them.

Paid Strategy Needs More Daily Management

I was taught to always manage your paid media strategy daily. If you customarily tend to “set it and forget it” for a few days or weeks, this is not the time to play roulette with your paid strategy. Search Engine Land is reporting some significant changes in the way people are searching since stay-at-home orders have been enacted across the U.S. Overall Google search volume is down, and those online are not searching the way they were before the pandemic. Search traffic is experiencing a massive switch to reflect users’ new priorities. With no end in sight, users are searching for items that will help them and their families hunker down for the long haul, as opposed to, say, researching vacation destinations. Looking at Google trends, we can see dramatic surges in search volume around terms in grocery, bulk and online productivity categories. On the other end of the spectrum is search in recreational industries such as hotels, theme parks and chain restaurants.

If your business isn’t deemed an “essential service,” you may want to consider pulling back your paid spend. Failure to reduce spend can make even the most optimized and profitable campaigns turn for the worse and create a negative return on ad spend (ROAS). I would advise proceeding with extreme caution if your product or service is not deemed a top priority for consumers right now.

Bids in many industries are lower than they have ever been. If you aren’t aware, Google Ads pricing (bidding) is based on supply and demand. The more that people bid on specific key terms, the higher the price of the bid. If your competition has completely cut their paid strategy, you may be able to get some bargain pricing. If you have a business that is categorized as an essential service, you should consider maximizing your ad spend. Just make sure you are keeping a close eye on your ROAS.

Double Down on SEO

The overall decrease in search demand inevitably causes performance issues in organic traffic (SEO) as well. While I believe you need to be more strategic with your paid spending, I highly encourage businesses to double down on content marketing and SEO efforts during this pandemic.

If your business is nowhere to be found in organic search, now is a great time to invest in building great content that puts you and your business in the driver’s seat. The most effective way to set yourself apart from your competition is by generating relevant and timely thought leadership. Click here to read a previous article I wrote on the importance of content for business.

With companies making tough staffing and budget decisions, the coronavirus pandemic could be the perfect opportunity for you to leapfrog the competition in organic search rankings with a strategic content marketing plan. The most cost-efficient way to create content is to have your paid staff allocate time to sharing their expertise. If that is not an option for you, there are lots of online resources that connect you with talented writing professionals.

If you’re a business has invested heavily in content creation to boost your organic rankings, you don’t want to let all of that hard work fall by the wayside. Just because you made it to page one of the Google rankings for significant key terms today doesn’t mean you will stay there. Search engine rankings are dynamic, which means they change in real time based on the quality and quantity of content being generated.

If you reduce or discontinue your content creation, you take a significant risk by allowing your competition to leapfrog you in the rankings. If your organic rankings drop, you will see less traffic to your site, which equates to fewer leads for your business. Avoid that pitfall and continue to generate timely and relevant content that is beneficial to your ideal buyer. Businesses that continue to execute on their SEO content strategy will be poised for a faster recovery when we come out of the coronavirus crisis on the other side.

We understand that these are difficult and stressful times and we’d like to help by offering you a free website audit report. If one of your main goals is to drive more relevant traffic and provide a better user-friendly experience for your visitors, a website audit is a good place to start, as there are always ways you can improve.

To learn more about our free website audit report, please email Jonathan Ebenstein.

Coronavirus Resource Center

Have more questions about the impact of the coronavirus on your business? Visit Marcum’s Coronavirus Resource Center for up-to-date information.