Facebook Ads & E-commerce in a Time of Crisis

The past few weeks have been heavy. Even during moments showing a glimmer of hope, it has been an emotionally draining time as we step back and take a look at the world around us and see just how severe the situation has gotten for so many. Due to current events, trends within the digital marketing industry are constantly evolving around COVID-19, too. It is vital to highlight that even with some encouraging recent fluctuations in Facebook ads and eCommerce in a time of crisis, that we as marketers and small businesses alike need to carefully consider how to proceed and respond to best serve our communities and loyal customers.

Before we dive into some of the positive developments within social media marketing and what that means for eCommerce businesses, we’d like to discuss some best practices and ways to remain not only helpful to your audiences but also how to lead with empathy, first and foremost. Marketing, even during this coronavirus crisis, must continue for so many businesses to stay afloat, but some critical points need to be adopted to be as supportive and valuable as possible and not come off as tone-deaf.

Re-Think Your Marketing Strategy

Learning to adapt to our new normal state of life is key to keeping your business running. Continuing business as usual right now is not as safe an option as some may think. Taking a hard look at what costs can be cut, investing in ways to grow and develop as a business, and a keen focus on refining customer experience are all ways for a business to successfully pivot right now to survive. This entails everything from reevaluating who your customers are right now, to considering what your product offerings are and how you can best position them to be helpful for your customers right now. If you can’t find how to do so, do not panic. This can be a sign of opportunity for your business to expand your product offerings and your customer base. Similarly, by reviewing geographic trends domestically and globally, there could be some insight you find on whether now is the time to expand so you can have a wider reach in helping others with your products or services.  

Be Helpful & Add Value

At this time, it is most important for businesses to hone in on meaningful connections and engaging with their customers more than before. Focusing on what your customers’ needs are right now and even asking them how you as a business can be of more help during this stressful time can be super valuable for them. As a business, it is crucial to be mindful of how to market and speak to your consumers when many of their emotional states can be delicate and complex. To that point, increasing customer service on all fronts, especially via social media, is a good way to minimize leaving your customers unattended for too long and making sure they are well-cared for.

Inspect & Revise Your Existing Marketing Messaging & Creative Content

Again, staying on top of current industry trends, current events, and consumer demand is necessary to best adapt your business’s marketing assets. At this time, it would be wise to perform an audit on graphics, imagery, and messaging of any copy that was created ahead of COVID-19. Brands need to be mindful that every bit of their marketing right now is not painting the wrong tone for their audience. Content should remain authentic and true to the voice of a brand but balanced with enough empathy and a human-centric touch that envelopes your audience with as much value and compassion as possible.

Now that we’ve shared some Coronavirus marketing best practices, let’s talk about some of the encouraging shifts we’ve seen in social media and Facebook ads and what that could mean for eCommerce businesses.

Increased Engagement

While there is no sure way to know how long things will remain this way worldwide, and we surely cannot predict what comes next, taking a look at human behavior can give us a lot of insight into what is needed now. Of what we know so far, one development is crystal clear: most people are spending much more time at home due to quarantines and social distancing as a means to help flatten the curve. With that in mind, we have seen a huge spike in engagement on social media and an appetite for content, worldwide.

Increased Ad Inventory

Currently, 1 in 4 advertisers has dropped out of advertising on Facebook. That’s 24% of advertisers that have pulled out of spending on ads and are actively cutting back their expenditure. Industries like travel, real estate, arts and entertainment, hospitality, and food services have drastically minimized or cut out ad spending due to COVID-19. Which means there is much LESS competition on Facebook. It is easier for a brand to gain visibility currently, especially when paired with the right messaging and relevant creative content.

Cheaper Ad Costs

That brings up the next point – analysis shows that there has been a decrease in CPM’s across the board of all industries. For businesses, this part is especially uplifting because there is now a chance to test out new content on different audiences for much less than before. It opens up a lot of opportunities to gain an audience and potentially win their loyalty for later on down the line. Even if your product is on the less adopted side of commerce right now, it does not hurt to look at ways to stay relevant, helpful, and stay top-of-mind to current and future customers by mindfully advertising if your budget and strategy allow for it.

Vital Points to Ponder

After walking through these key best practices to continue marketing your business during a time of crisis, the main points to remember are:

  • Pivot and adjust accordingly to survive. Businesses that manage to survive this upset are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change. Running with a customer-first state of mind also presents a distinct chance to reinforce customer service relationships. Everyone wins with that mindset.
  • Looking for ways to be of service and help others should be top-of-mind. Whatever help can be offered may differ from business to business and of course based on the specific needs of an audience. In a time when everyone could surely use a helping hand, both generosity and empathy go a long way and will be remembered in the long-term.
  • Be thoughtful with your marketing messaging. Again, staying human and leading with empathy here reaps its rewards, not just presently but later on too by building up newly engaged and interested brand loyalists for the future.

For more tips on how your eCommerce business can survive this time and prepare marketing assets to capture your audience’s attention, check out our blog post on How to Create Facebook Ads That Stop the Scroll.

📹 Check out the video below for more on COVID-19, Facebook Ads, and eCommerce from our founder of Dash Activate Online, Darian James.

You can also discover more business tips and hacks for your eCommerce store on our 👉🏽 YouTube channel 👈🏽

Arielle Michelle Strakhov

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Arielle Michelle Strakhov
Arielle Michelle Strakhov is a digital marketer based out of Washington, DC. Specializing in social media marketing and content creation. Arielle likes to help businesses organize the chaos, implement growth through S.M.A.R.T. strategies, and play in the sandbox building sandcastles that dreams are made of. 🏰