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While some brands are experiencing hardship, others are thriving. This post explores what brands can do during this unprecedented period to not only survive, but thrive.
- Screen time has been very high with people at home on their devices more
- Everyone is sharing a similar experience
- Conversion rates are volatile because of uncertainty about the economy and people with more time to “window shop” online.
These three factors impact a lot of direct response business right now.
Remember, engagement is high right now, even if purchase conversions are low, so you can still warm up audiences for now so that when conversion rates do go back up you’re even more effective. A lot of this post shows ways to leverage this point.
Many brands we work with have amazing communities built around their brand and niche, mostly in the form of Facebook groups. Especially closed groups where one submits an email address to join. Since so many people are online more, and everyone’s mind is on how the COVID-19 situation is affecting their lifestyles, we find posting about COVID-19 and how to adapt has created a lot of engagement. For example, fitness communities are sharing home workouts and parenting community groups are sharing homeschooling tips. Every niche is affected by this somehow, everyone’s mind is on COVID-19, so thinking of relevant content is easier than ever. Being a source of engagement, and making a group more active during this time, will keep your brand top-of-mind for this highly engaged community. This is great for long-term repeat business.
Retention & Email:
Also known as “loyalty” or simply “repeat business”, since conversion rates are low, people are more likely to buy from brands they trust the most. Email is very important here. This is a great time to test out different email campaigns if you aren’t doing it already.
See our case study on email marketing
Engagement & Organic Posting:
Engagement is up, and you know what content will be relevant because everyone is thinking about similar things now. Organic posting is very important now. We suggest 3-5 posts per day – this volume may seem daunting but after 30 days of this volume you’ll have a great sense of what content your target audience responds to on social media, and a lot of top-performing organic content can perform extremely well as a paid conversion ad. Also, on Facebook, pages with highly engaged organic social feeds are given lower CPMs on Facebook Ads because Facebook is rewarding top content, they want to show the best and most engaging content to their users for the best possible user experience on the platform. This CPM decrease can make your ads more profitable.
Lead Generation Funnels for E-Commerce:
With many advertisers completely pausing, we’ve seen a decrease in CPMs, but at the cost of a decrease in conversion rates. Yet people are still engaging, clicking ads, and browsing websites. This is a great opportunity to do email list building campaigns. One style we love is offering a strong lead magnet in exchange for an email address. Another list-building campaign style we love is a pre-launch early-bird lead generation campaign for a “grand re-opening” sale in a few weeks. On the signup thank-you pages, offer a really strong one-time-offer upsell. We’ve seen lead gen + upsell funnels pay for ad spend several times over while the email list generated from these campaigns is also highly profitable.
A Free + Shipping can also be great around now – this is where you offer a lower priced item, or a sample sized version of a product for free, but the customer just pays shipping (which is usually not a lot), and you can still have one-time-offer upsells on the thank-you page. We find this works similarly to the lead gen + upsell funnel, and is especially good for brands just starting out who want to get their products in the hands of a lot of people to try it and for those who love it to be long-term customers.
Angles & Creative Adjustments:
You should always be testing different angles and creatives. Now, with everyone sharing similar experiences, new angles arise. Fitness brands can promote home workout angles, parenting brands are talking about the kids being home from school. One of our brands simply changed its messaging to “bulletproof your immune system” for a supplement product and we saw a 338% week over week improvement in sales just by tweaking the messaging to the times.
Delayed attribution is when people take longer than one day to buy something from an ad. Facebook tracks delayed attribution up to 28 days after clicking an ad. You can see the difference in your Facebook Ads Manager by adjusting your columns and checking all the attribution window options. Note the difference between 1-day and 28-day attribution. After 28 days the results of a certain time tend to increase as future sales are attributed to that day. This is important because people who were window shopping but not buying during the middle of March panic might end up buying a few weeks later, and those sales will be attributed to ads you ran during mid March. This is important because your current feeling about that ad spend can influence your decision making right now, but if you experience heavily delayed attribution and it turns out your ad spend was more profitable than you thought, it could have a serious impact on your decision-making.
There are many opportunities during this period, demand is extremely high in many niches, and we’re seeing many of the niches that took a hit already begin to bounce back. And the techniques outlined to get you through this tough situation will also help you tremendously long-term. With fewer distractions and staying inside more, this is the perfect opportunity to focus on a long term foundation of engagement and retention.