Working out how to keep your marketing going during the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge challenge. That’s why Think with Google has published a list of 5 marketing tips that its own media team is using during the pandemic.
Let’s take a look at each of the Google marketing tips, and how you could apply these to your business.
1. Context, always
Tip: “Though this is a global pandemic, its impact is local. We’ve found it helpful to carry that thinking into the evaluation of our marketing campaigns. Our global teams are providing guidance centrally, but we’ve found it’s best to trust each market to make decisions locally.”
Lesson: COVID-19 is affecting people all over the globe from all walks of life, but the principle of targeted marketing that addresses the specific needs of your customers hasn’t changed. What specific challenges are your customers facing right now, and how can you help?
2. Constantly reassess
Tip: “What we decided two weeks ago isn’t necessarily appropriate today. The one constant assumption we have in this situation is that things will change … For instance, we’ve had an Android campaign running that referenced being ‘out and about’. Was that OK in the U.S. market a few weeks ago? Sure. Today? Not so much.”
Lesson: While long-term strategic planning is still a good marketing principle, you will need to reassess more frequently than usual. Keep an eye on scheduled social media posts and upcoming blogs, and don’t be afraid to pull any that are no longer appropriate.
3. Creative considerations
Tip: “All kinds of creative elements need scrutiny right now … For instance, we don’t think slapstick humor is appropriate for our brands right now. So we’re holding off on some campaigns that were funnier in nature. We’re reevaluating creative that shows interactions like hand shakes, hugs, and high-fives, since social distancing is an important tactic for slowing the spread of illness. We’ve also reviewed all our Search ad copy to spot phrasing that’s now awkward — ‘virus checks’, for instance, have taken on a whole new meaning in light of this moment.”
Lesson: Look at all your creative elements through the lense of the pandemic, and change anything that might be seen as insensitive or inappropriate. Even images of happy families or coworkers in close proximity could be triggering for people living in isolation.
4. Changing priorities to navigate uncertainty
Tip: “Our guiding principle as a brand, particularly in this moment, is to be helpful … our emphasis is moving to products like Search as people need information, YouTube as people need inspiration and know-how, and Hangouts and Chrome as educators turn to live streaming and digital lessons.”
Lesson: Shift your marketing focus towards the elements of your product and service that are most relevant to customers at the current time.
5. Contribution, at every opportunity
Tip: “Every brand has its ‘owned media’, whether stores, websites, or even social handles. Across Google, we’re using many of our surfaces to help however we can. Take the YouTube homepage, for instance, that directs users to videos from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other locally relevant public health agencies.”
Lesson: Think about how your brand can use its visibility to make a helpful contribution to the crisis.
We hope our analysis of these 5 Google marketing tips has been helpful. You can read Think with Google’s full guidelines here.
For a little inspiration with your own strategy, here are three brands succeeding at marketing right now.