Recent events have shaken up the e-commerce sector, with new consumer trends emerging that were unforeseeable just months ago. Here, Bradley Hall, head of paid search at digital marketing agency Glass Digital, takes a look at how you can successfully adapt your PPC campaign strategy in the current climate.
As a business owner, you’ll be aware that consumer trends are moving all the time, which means that you always need to be reviewing and tweaking your pay-per-click (PPC) strategy. However, while current events and seasonality have always influenced trends in paid search, the COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented in its effect on shopping trends.
To get a sense of how much things have shifted, you just need to look at the recent ONS internet sales figures: in February 2020, online shopping accounted for 18.9% of all sales, but, by April 2020, this had skyrocketed to 30% as people stayed at home and logged on. This is just one way that things have changed, but it means that more money than ever before is being spent online.
While it’s true that many businesses are struggling, if you can do so, this is a great moment to review your PPC strategy. By tweaking your approach, you may be able to adapt with great success to “the new normal”. And, if you haven’t tried paid search before, now is a great opportunity to dive in. To help you out, here are some tips for adapting to the new consumer trends we’re experiencing.
Keep track of the latest news
In recent weeks, the status quo for many industries has been subject to change very quickly. To stay ahead of the game, you will need to proactively follow the latest developments, think about how it will affect your customers, then make changes to your PPC campaigns accordingly. Doing so will give you the best chance of beating the rest of the industry to the punch, helping you to secure business.
For instance, recently we saw the lockdown lift to the point where people from two households could meet outdoors. This would mean that many people would be looking to kit out their garden with outdoor products. Businesses that anticipated this move were able to review their PPC campaigns and adjust them before demand skyrocketed, ensuring they were in the best position to benefit from these new trends.
Monitor your competitors
Keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to is likely something you already do as part of your marketing strategy, but, in recent months, the rewards of doing this well have seen a huge increase.
This is because many businesses that have suffered in the current crisis have had to slash their digital marketing budgets, including paid search, to stay afloat. So, if there are search terms that have seen stiff competition securing PPC ad space for, it may be worth checking to see if businesses are still targeting them. If they aren’t, you have a great opportunity to capitalise as less competition makes it easier to secure a prominent spot for a lower cost per click.
Adjust your PPC campaign ad messaging
When you’re reviewing your campaign, it’s worth remembering that these are hard times for many people, so be sure to check your ad messaging to make certain your brand isn’t coming across as tone-deaf. Doing so will ensure your adverts are thoughtful, while still being able to attract custom. You should also take care to make your ads as up to date as possible, so they’re factually correct.
Think about whether your messaging matches the current situation, in particular the tone, call to actions, any associated extensions, and any visuals. Are they still relevant to potential customers? You should consider using extensions to communicate changes to your business, such as any reduction in hours, contactless delivery, or free shipping, to keep everyone updated. If you trade internationally, you may also need to consider whether you need to change the adverts in different regions to match their current regulations.
We’re experiencing huge shifts in e-commerce at the moment, but hopefully, these tips will help you to adapt your PPC campaign to these new consumer trends. With some smart realignment, your business can generate a healthy return on investment.
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