As we all know, the COVID season has been a trying time for all, and during these times everyone needs someone they can trust. Agency clients are no exception. As a result of COVID-19, it has been commonplace for brands to decrease their paid media budget or cut all advertising budget as a whole. Many brands have even gone through hard times on their teams, including pay cuts and layoffs. Throughout all of this, sustaining a trusting relationship with your clients has never been more important. Here are some tips to help sustain your current relationship with your clients so you can hopefully return to normal once they are ready to ramp their marketing budgets back up.
1. Review Your Paid Search Account For KPI Alignment And To Eliminate Inefficiencies
When overall advertising spend has decreased, it is the perfect time to review past success and define what success will look like in the future. This conversation allows you to identify past successes to keep them top-of-mind and re-evaluate your future goals accordingly. For instance, with one brand, we re-evaluated our prior KPI, revenue, and started focusing more heavily on form fills and creating retargeting audiences for when the brand is fully operational again. By redirecting our efforts to form fills, we were able to achieve an all-time record in form fill completion throughout the months of April and May. Open conversations and flexibility from the client helped us find the best way, during this strange time, to allocate the budget and redefine what our current goals should be.
You can also take this time to identify the existing areas of inefficiency within the account. For the same brand mentioned earlier, our new focus on form submissions allowed us to dive in and identify which campaigns were driving the lowest cost per lead and those not performing well. From there, we were able to deprioritize the campaigns not performing and build strategies on how to improve them. What I found was there was a significant change in which campaigns were and were not performing well over the three months of the stay-at-home orders and made adjustments accordingly.
Re-evaluating goals and removing inefficiencies are both worthwhile projects, especially as we see many businesses beginning to ramp up their marketing again and pandemic restrictions begin to decrease.
2. Analyze Your Competitor Data
Auction Insights is a great tool to keep an eye on your specific industry as well as your competitors and can be a great indicator of when your client should begin to increase their budget. The best strategy for using this is to show your client auction insight data from pre-COVID so they can compare a normalcy benchmark to their current position within the industry in paid search. I would suggest that once you see a decrease in impression share and your competitors pass you in impression share, this is the time you must begin to increase spend.
3. Refresh Your Testing Strategies
Our industry thrives on testing and in this situation, testing is as important as ever. Implementing new tests is very important right now due to the drastic changes in consumer behavior and especially consumer purchasing habits. Some questions to consider:
- Due to the lifestyle changes caused by COVID, where are people consuming even more content than before?
- Does that app/site/streaming service/etc. have a self-serve ad platform?
There are many different areas where you can focus your testing budget rather than paid search during this time. I believe streaming platforms are a great place to start.
Test Your Video Ads On Hulu
Hulu is the number one streaming platform where ads are a part of their normal viewing service. Hulu provides the opportunity to get in front of a very large and desirable audience for your video ads. With people at home bingeing tv shows and watching movies during all their free time there is no time better than now to start advertising on Hulu. If you would like more information on advertising on Hulu read Madison Feldhake’s article Hulu Advertising: What You Need To Know About It.
These tips have helped me continue to advance client relationships through these tough times and hopefully, they’ll help you too. Plus, these tips won’t just help you through the current slow period. You can always benefit from these tips during normal times.