Growth Hacking
Nov 12, 2021

5 Tips on How to Handle PPC Marketing in the Post-Covid Era

by
Tori Stroup

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

When we heard about the first few cases of covid-19, we never could have expected what was coming our way. Now, after nearly two years of lockdowns, toilet paper shortages, and homemade masks — we can almost say we’re living in the post-covid era.

One thing companies learned during this time is that their marketing efforts need to be flexible. As customer needs changed drastically from one week to another, we all started working from home — companies across all industries needed to figure out how to reach their customers and continue selling products.

Nearly every aspect of business as we knew it changed. From the way we sold products to how we marketed to our audiences and successfully ran our pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

In this article, we’ll look at how the pandemic affected PPC marketing and provide you with five tips to help make the most out of your PPC efforts in the post-covid times.

5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your PPC Marketing in the Post-Covid Times

For most industries, the pandemic has caused a shift in search behaviors, which may have caused you to see a decline in the success of your PPC advertising. But some industries were hit harder than others, such as travel and tourism, bars and restaurants, building and construction, and industrial and manufacturing.

When you look at the traffic growth across various industries, it’s easy to see that the pandemic had a significant impact on most. While a few had success in these unprecedented times, most companies struggled to increase search traffic. Image courtesy of ACE Infoway.

No matter what industry you fall into, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the ever-changing environment we live in. This will allow you to easily adjust and adapt to your customer’s needs as they start to transition back to a more normal life.

Let's take a look at five tips that will help you reconnect with your customers and improve your PPC advertising efforts in the post-covid era.  

1. Position Your Brand Messaging to Align With Current Customer Needs

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the everyday lives of your customers in so many ways. They’re purchasing more cleaning products, doing more online shopping, and are much more cautious about being around large groups of people.

These are all things you should take into consideration in the post-covid world.

Knowing this, it’s important to make sure your existing PPC messages are still relevant and haven’t become obsolete or even insensitive to the challenges customers are now facing.

How you position your brand can make a big difference in how your content resonates with your customers. When done right, it can help you create hyper-personalized content that differentiates you from the competition.

Finding the right way to position your brand can make a big difference in the success of the content you’re serving to your customers. It can help you create more personalized messages that are clear and concise for your audiences -- resulting in higher engagement and ROI. Image courtesy of Visme.

In the post-covid environment, you should be looking for ways that you can position your business and products to serve the ever-changing needs of your customers. Keeping up-to-date with the trending topics will allow you to find new ways to present your PPC content to audiences in a timely and relevant manner.

Right now, the things your customers care about are a little different than they used to be. Consider adjusting your value proposition and messaging to include things like:

  • Safety and mask requirements
  • Social distancing guidelines
  • Returning to work or school
  • Family entertainment
  • Travel and tourism

While these trending topics most likely won’t always be top-of-mind for your audiences, right now, they’re part of their everyday life. Making sure to address these concerns and finding ways to bring your brand into the conversation will provide audiences with the content they need in this world of the unknown.

2. Make the Most Out of When You Schedule Ads

Are you taking the time to dig in and see when your audiences are most engaging with your PPC content?

Are you wasting time spending ad dollars during hours that your customers aren’t even active? Knowing when your customers are engaging with your content will allow you to strategically schedule your ads and help you make the most out of your spending. Image courtesy of Software Promotions.

Understanding when your customers are most likely to engage with your content will allow you to make the most out of your ad schedule. Doing this will allow you to know when you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck and increase the number of conversions you collect over time.

For many consumers, their lives were turned upside down when the pandemic hit. They may have lost their job or had to homeschool their kids. These major life changes can drastically change how and when someone is most active online.

These changes in consumer behaviors may have changed the primary times your customers are browsing the web. If enough of your audiences fall into this mix, then it’s important that you update your ad schedule to reflect these behavior changes.

To determine when you should be running your ads, you’ll want to go into your AdWords account and choose Time or Hour of the Day from the view drop-down menu. This will provide you with insights into how your ads performed for every hour of the day and day of the week.

With the help of this data, you can easily identify what days and times your ads receive the most engagement. That means you’ll know exactly when you should run future ads and know what days and times don’t work for your audiences.

Identifying these trends will provide you with the information you need to make the most out of every penny you plan to put towards your PPC campaigns. From there, you can plan your ad schedule around these trending times to increase engagement and drive higher conversion rates.

3. Shift Your Budget and Spending as Customer Needs Change

It’s always a best practice to revisit your budget and spending throughout the year, but in a post-covid world, it’s an essential step to running successful PPC campaigns.

Monthly advertising budgets vary from one company to the next, but the success of these campaigns comes down to whether they’re targeting the right keywords and customers. To ensure you’re always staying ahead of the curve, you need to stay ahead of trends and shift budget as necessary. Image courtesy of WordStream.

Consider how quickly customer needs have changed over the last two years. One minute everyone was scrambling for masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper -- and the next, they’re getting vaccines and trying to figure out this new hybrid working situation.

If you’re able to keep an eye on these trends and shift your PPC budgeting to match the needs of the general public to your products, you can expect to see increased engagement with your ads.

Think about this scenario:

When this all first started, if you sold hand sanitizer, but it wasn’t one of the products you put PPC budgeting behind, it would have been a massive opportunity to shift some of your ad budgets to these products.

It was nearly impossible to find hand sanitizer for a while there, and if you were staying ahead of the trends, you could have quickly tapped into that frenzy and sold all of your hand sanitizers within days.

Now we may be past the initial stage of panic buying and empty shelves, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be new opportunities to promote certain products over others. To be successful in this area, you have to stay ahead of the continuously changing demands of your customers and find ways to connect your products to their everyday needs.

There are other ways to improve your PPC budgeting efforts outside of shifting spending to high-demand products. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your PPC budget:

  • Prioritize low-cost, high-reward campaigns
  • Run retargeting campaigns
  • Use a lower-cost ad platform
  • Bid on high-value keywords
  • Get rid of irrelevant placements

When done right, you can strategically improve your campaign spending and budgeting to drive higher-performing ads that result in higher revenue.

4. Improve Your PPC Efforts by Targeting Specific Devices

It’s no secret that people use more than one type of device to browse the internet and search for products they’re interested in. It should also come as no surprise that some customers prefer one device over another.

This is another thing you should consider as you continue to create PPC campaigns in the post-covid world.

No two customers are the same, and this is true for the device types they’re using to engage with your content. By understanding where your audience is most active and what channels they may not frequent as much, you can start to put your focus on those more frequented devices. Image courtesy of Spectrum Group Online.

Spending time and money creating ads for every device type out there, including mobile, tablets, laptops, etc., may be causing you to lose money. If you’re creating advertisements that no one is engaging with because they aren’t using that device type -- you’re wasting your time and ad budget.

Why spend more on devices that your audiences put down during their time in quarantine? Or maybe you identify that your customers have taken to a new device during that time -- whatever it may be, you’ll want to ensure you’re making the most out of your spending.

To do this, you’ll want to take the time to look at your ad data to understand what devices your customers are most active on. Look at the cost per conversion and identify the channels with the lowest per lead and the highest ones.

If the devices with a high cost aren’t providing any value to your current strategy or sucking budget from more effective channels -- it’s time to cut back or stop targeting that device entirely.

5. Tracking New Keywords and Search Behaviors

Now that you understand your customers’ current needs, it’s time to put that knowledge into action.

You’ll want to actively track what keywords and search queries are trending and how your customers are behaving throughout their search process. This will help you to stay ahead of changing behaviors and actively meet your audiences where they are in their purchasing journey.

Tracking keywords will allow you to identify the best terms to use in your ad campaigns to reach the most customers. Staying ahead of trending topics will allow you to reach people searching these terms and increase ad engagement. Image courtesy of SEMRush.

Here are a few tips to help you create a good keyword strategy to ensure you’re reaching the right audiences:

  • Identify and understand what your main objectives and goals are
  • Analyze user search intent to get to know who your audiences are
  • Create engaging content that people are interested in
  • See what your competition is doing and how they’re using PPC
  • Look at what the search engines are doing
  • Analyze data within Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Staying ahead of keyword and search behavior trends will allow you to quickly join in on the conversation and help you to understand better what terms to avoid.

Key Takeaways to Improving Your PPC Marketing in the Post-Covid Era

Our most important key takeaway -- make sure to keep up with the current trends and understand the changing needs of your customers.

We may have made it through the thick of the pandemic at this point, but that doesn’t mean you can just go back to the way things used to be. The way your customers shop and the things that they care about have changed drastically over the last two years.

You need to continuously evolve with them and continue to find new ways to improve your PPC efforts to match those needs.

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