This situation surrounding COVID-19 requires everyone to be more flexible and nimbler in how we work. As more stay-at-home orders were put into place, DEG’s Media + Search team began actively pivoting strategies and updating creative messaging to support our clients’ customers in whatever way made the most sense.

Striking the Right Balance in COVID-19 Email Communications

To that end, we wanted to share some helpful tips to ensure we can all make more thoughtful and informed decisions as we navigate this uncharted territory.

As we think about how COVID-19 impacts media and search, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing customers during this challenging time. Below is a list of suggestions that our team has assembled to ensure we are putting customers first during this time of need while doing our best to minimize business impact.

Audit creative for relevance and accuracy

We’ve found that the most important thing we can do to connect to customers in a relevant way during this time is to audit messaging across channels to ensure that all brand communications are accurate. If you have physical locations that are not open, pause creative mentioning the local call to action and redirect customer attention to your website.

You should also keep a keen eye out for creative that may not be valuable or may come across as insensitive. Consider what your customers are doing when they see your ads now and adjust your messaging or visuals accordingly, or pause campaigns completely, to avoid confusion or insensitivity.

Be helpful, not opportunistic

While some businesses are facing extreme challenges in the current economic climate, others are surging in demand. Regardless of what category your business falls into, focus on being helpful in your efforts to connect with customers.

This may require you to rework planned creative or campaign strategies. However, it is critical for the future of your relationship with customers that you are focusing on meeting a customer need, rather than capitalizing on an opportunity.

Audit landing page and website copy

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Website experiences are becoming more important than ever since it may be difficult or impossible for someone to interact with your business physically. Considering the same guidelines as listed above, make sure that you are evaluating messages across your website, landing pages, and even organic metadata.

As call centers become flooded and customers have questions about your business, your website content must accurately reflect the state of your business and address concerns or questions that customers may have.

Activate nimble budgeting strategies

Our team at DEG is always advocating for clients to be nimble in the way they invest media dollars across channels. Consumers are engaging with media in different ways than they did two weeks ago, and customer behaviors will likely continue to evolve over the weeks and months ahead.

Ensure you are thinking about your current media mix and remaining flexible about shifting investments across digital channels as customer behaviors continue to evolve. Consider how behavior is changing and how it impacts performance across your media channels during this time. It may be worth your time and money to adjust which channels are receiving the most of your budget and what ad creative is being shared.

Allow for extra time to launch campaigns

Although the world is moving at high speeds, Facebook and Google have explicitly stated that they are having challenges keeping up with the pace of creative changes, especially as they work through remote-working structures with their teams. Both organizations have noted that it may take longer than normal to get approval on a creative ad set to launch in the platform. Make sure you are accounting for this time as you are launching new campaigns or refreshing creative.

Additionally, Facebook and Google are being more cautious than ever about the creative ads in each platform and are relying more heavily on non-human creative reviews. This means that you need to ensure you understand creative rules and are being cautious when producing creative that may not be precisely in-line with guidelines from the platforms.

Overcommunicate with partners

With the pace of change in the last few weeks, it is becoming even more critical to overcommunicate with business partners and internal teams alike. If possible, share corporate communication strategies with your agency partners, media partners, and contractors. This will help to ensure that your customers don’t see mixed messages across your website, email, and paid ads. It also helps to have multiple teams auditing messaging so that inconsistencies can be quickly adjusted.

Adapting Email Messages for the New Normal of COVID-19

As always, our team is available to dive into any of these areas for all sizes and types of businesses. Please reach out with any thoughts, concerns, or changes you have about your media and search strategies.

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