The unexpected effect of Coronavirus on PPC digital advertising.

I get it. It’s a nerve-wracking time for business at the moment. For those in hospitality and tourism, there has been an almost complete halting of trade. Imagine planning that into your 2020 business forecasting! But this is not the case for all business. Many businesses have seen an increase in custom, let’s think for a moment of our local cleaning and sanitation businesses or those with a focus on leisure. Other businesses have adapted to meet changing demand and have seen profits increase accordingly. Perfumeries who have switched to making hand sanitiser or manufacturers that have switched to producing acrylic sneeze barriers which we see being installed in almost every retail store we are now allowed to visit.

For most businesses, there is a general uncertainty that is causing more harm to business confidence than the coronavirus pandemic itself.

Without breaking into a little bit of Alanis Morrissette (who didn’t understand the concept of irony), there is a rather ironic twist here. As I mentioned in a previous article there has never been a better time to get exposure for your brand through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The reason for this is simple, we have never had a time when so many people are online.

As social distancing was enacted across the globe, the time that individuals spent online increased, arguably at a similar pandemic rate. Our user behaviour changed very dramatically, almost instantly. Within a matter of weeks there were far more people spending more of their time online, and when people are online they are available to be advertised to. Here’s the best bit: all of the major digital advertising platforms use algorithmic bidding systems to charge for digital ads. So, put simply more eyeballs = more opportunity for ads to be viewed = cheaper ads.

There is yet another factor at play here; those industries who were significantly affected by travel bans and social distancing pulled all of their ads immediately. For those in hospitality and tourism, this has been an unprecedentedly difficult time.

But let’s just work with a scenario here for a moment. Say, you make a product and your typical customer is an educated female in her 60’s. There are many brands and products that market to a female 60 something, however, the largest spenders in this category are travel (predominately cruise ships), live entertainment (concerts, cultural activities and cinemas) and cafes and restaurants. Within the space of two weeks all of the major spenders in this category disappeared plus the number of time the average 60 something spent checking her Facebook and Googling increased significantly. Because of the auction system that is run by the digital advertising giants, the cost of advertising to our friendly 60 something market decreased dramatically.


The (very) good news is for business is that now is the best time to get your PPC ads started. Here are my top three reasons why time is of the essence:


Use increased traffic to your advantage

If you have never used Google Ads, Facebook Ads or other forms of PPC digital marketing now is a unique time to enter the marketplace. Higher numbers of people online mean that more people are searching for all sorts of things than ever before. Effective PPC ads use data that is aggregated across search volume, therefore greater search volume means that good results can be reached quicker. These learnings can then be extrapolated as volume decreases because you have found the coveted “winning formula” for your brands PPC ads.


Use greater social media usage to grow your followers

More people are using social media than at any other point. Whilst these users may not be ready to purchase your product or service right now, it is a great time to grow your contact list and be ready to move potential customers through your marketing funnel by acquiring more high-level contacts. Facebook ads, for example, are cheaper and getting better results than they have done in years and are a great place to start building customer intent.


Be creative to get exposure

In general, there is a lag time between when a new platform is launched or becomes popular and when corporates start to take notice. We are in that magical time on TikTok. There is an opportunity for not just cheap paid advertising, but good, creative business content can get significant organic exposure also. Ideally, a strategy that combines these elements is going to get your business huge wins.

There is absolutely uncertainty in the marketplace at the moment. However, there are also unique opportunities and a limited time to capitalise on them. Now is the time for businesses to be brave. If you haven’t ever tried PPC marketing, then let’s get started, it’s not as daunting as you might think.

If you have tried PPC marketing before and were not happy with the cost of results, then it is time to take another look. Here at Lee Paton Digital, we provide a fresh perspective when looking at your business, by combining this with our years of experience we create strategies that work. Your first step is to get in touch with us, we make the rest easy.