Crafting a winning digital acquisition strategy never comes easily, yet in these volatile times dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, it is more challenging than ever before. As circumstances around the globe evolve country by country, region by region, what made sense last week (or even yesterday) from a marketing perspective, may no longer be pertinent today. Marketers everywhere are having to relearn their business, shift focus to new metrics, and reset their strategy repeatedly.
Here, we’ve compiled a handy, bite-sized 15-point checklist designed to help you navigate this difficult marketing environment and ensure your digital campaigns are set up to drive success.
Research & Assess
- 1. Define your KPIs for the remainder of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Detail what success will look like for you across each channel you will employ in your program. Learn more.
- 2. Evaluate your internal resources and assess how your team is set up to work remotely. Ensure they are empowered with the technical expertise and knowledge required for your department to operate effectively.
- 3.1 Research the landscape of your industry. What do your customers want in the context of the present world order? What are they searching for and how are they searching for it?
- 3.2 Research your competitors. How are they running their SEM campaigns? Programs like SpyFu aggregate every domain’s most profitable paid and organic ads and keyword information that can give you a place to start.
- 4.1 Analyze your current tactics and strategies. For lead generation campaigns, audit the quality of the leads that you are bringing in through all your SEO and PPC efforts.
- 4.2 Where relevant, connect with your sales team. They are your colleagues on the front lines: they know what is resonating with your target audience.
- 5. Determine your tools for measurement. Are they still valuable according to your new goals? Aim to avoid outdated vanity metrics such as page impressions, clicks, click-through rates, and conversion rates, and instead embrace metrics that clearly link marketing success to business value. Learn more.
- 6. Conduct a comprehensive creative review of your search text ads, extensions, social ads, and landing pages. Pay close attention to tone and consider the sensitivity of your messaging.
- 7. For national and international campaigns, take advantage of the insights offered by analytics tools such as Google Trends to better understand the context of the pandemic in target areas. Adapt your content accordingly.
- Consider creating custom Google Alerts relating to news and information pertinent to your business.
- Adopt location extensions in select regions where your supply chain is disrupted or where you are currently unable to do business.
- 8. Review and fine-tune your keyword lists. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Soovle are great places to begin. Learn more.
- 9. Segment keywords by match type at the campaign level for the best budget control. You want your high-value queries as exact match in a campaign that isn’t limited by budget. To prevent your broad campaigns from poaching that traffic, add your exact keywords as negatives to the broad campaigns.
- 10. Get on your buyer’s journey and complete a walkthrough of your path to conversion. Experience what their cycle looks like. Is it still coherent and relevant given the current situation or has the delivery of your product or service changed due to resource shortages, employee attrition, or new ways of working?
- 11. Consider creating custom ad text and landing pages to guarantee that every lead who finds your page receives an optimal experience when they click on your ad. Learn more.
Evaluate, Launch, & Observe
- 12. Work with your marketing team to determine your budget depending on how many keywords you are going to run. Once that has been confirmed, you can allocate where the money will be spent and shape the scale of each campaign.
- Engage in constant testing as search patterns are continually changing and be prepared to quickly alter the budget or cease spending entirely if your tactics are not working.
- 13. Check-in the day before your campaigns go live. Confirm everything is set up as it should be, ensure there are no misspellings, and do a test conversion to verify tracking is working. Conduct daily check-ins throughout the first week.
- 14. If your focus is lead generation, reach out to sales and customer service. Are they handling the influx of traffic suitably and what is the quality of the leads coming in?
- 15. Optimize your budgets every one to two weeks as demand shifts over time, or as needed in response to business pressure (for example, supply chain uncertainty, wavering demand).
It remains unclear as to when normalcy will return and consumers’ spending habits will stabilize. Even as businesses plunge into phases of relaunching and refreshing their campaigns, there are still many unknowns that will stay nebulous for a long time to come. Follow these considerations as you evaluate your ads and you’ll set yourself up to adapt quickly to dynamic market changes and outpace your competition on the channels that matter most to you.