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Highlights from Google's COVID-19 Marketing Strategies Guide

In response to the recent yet destabilizing impacts of COVID-19 on businesses, Google has released a playbook with marketing tips. Due to the pandemic crisis, customer purchase habits and demand-and-supply chains have seen unexpected changes. The playbook aims to help businesses tackle these disruptions with smart measures.

How and where should you start?

Facing such new challenges requires accurate analytics and thorough, careful strategizing for the future. To begin with, Google created a three-step economic recovery path for businesses to follow. However simple, these steps described in-detail discuss the necessary precautions to consider.

The three steps include:

  1. Respond, which is to adapt to the market fluctuations and consumer patterns, and prepare for stabilization.

  2. Rebuild, or planning to recover from the disruptions with the help of insights and technical tools.

  3. Recover, or reframing strategies to adjust to the current demands while ensuring future growth.

For navigation through the current crisis, Google provides three major tactics, including Consumer Insights, Impact Assessment, and Action-Oriented Strategies.

Consumer Insights

Although the changes are prompt and not following set patterns, insights, and analytics are essential to predict future consumer behaviours. Google provides three search patterns, including Shock, Step-Change, and Speed Up. They are defined by whether the changes are sudden or based on existing behaviours, and how likely they are to sustain.

In addition to that, Google provides five key traceable consumer behaviours since the onset of COVID-19. These include the following:

  • Increase in media-consumption via multiple devices: Across the globe, there is an increase of 20% in the amount of time spent on applications since last year.

  • Increased searches for critical information: The search for “online grocery shopping” has increased by 23% in the US.

  • Increase in virtual connections and relationships: There has been a sharp increase in the number of “with me” YouTube videos.

  • Adjustment of routines to prioritize the internet: People are searching about “telecommuting” excessively, and the numbers for the same keep growing since March.

  • Increase in the practice of self-care and caring for others: The views on videos related to meditation and coping with anxiety have increased by 51% in the US.

Moreover, to attain exclusive insights, Google recommends four beneficial tools for all businesses.

How can you get personal insights for your business?

The following tools and adjustments can provide effective analytics for your business-oriented consumer patterns.

Google Trends

Through Google Trends, users have access to real-time search analytics for Google search, YouTube, Shopping, and Images. Users can also filter and compare analytics based on different categories. Moreover, Google Trends provides trend search tips to understand data effectively.

Shopping Insights

Shopping Insights allow users to compare products and understand local demands. Users can filter results through different categories and subscribe to have updated information.


Google Alerts

Through Google Alerts, users can find and comprehend global trends and how the pandemic crisis affects them.

Find My Audience

Finally, through Find My Audience, businesses can identify their most valuable customers on YouTube. With this strategy, users can download their audience's profiles and insights to connect with their customers adequately.

Impact Assessment

According to Google, there are four different kinds of impacts on businesses because of COVID-19, and these include:

  • Facing Unforeseen Challenges The new challenges that businesses are dealing with at the moment include supply, demand, and logistical disruptions.

  • Reassessment of Priorities By attempting to reassess priorities, businesses are trying to mitigate risk levels for the future.

  • Adapting New Products and Services Businesses are creating new offerings, services, and products to reach out to customers through innovative methods.

  • Dealing with Increased Demands Finally, some businesses are trying to meet highly-increased demands across the market.

Having identified the various general impacts on the market due to COVID-19, Google goes on to suggest action-based strategies to businesses.

Action-Oriented Strategies

Businesses, now more than ever, need to plan carefully and form effective yet precautious strategies, having decided their priorities. Google attempts to do the same with the following tips.

Responding to Challenges

In response to new challenges, Google suggests that businesses invest in digital marketing. They also recommend pausing advertising campaigns if the volatility of supply-and-demand patterns is critical. Moreover, Google proposes that businesses re-prioritize their audience and geographical locations, as well.

Mitigation of Risks

To alleviate plausible risks, business workers need to think critically and strategize to be more resilient. The aim is to focus on absolute optimization. Moreover, Google recommends using Smart Bidding on Google Ads, planning tools, and shared budgets. Connecting with customers through Dynamic Search Ads and Keyword Optimization is vital.

Adapting Innovative Services

To advertise new products and services, introducing them online is essential. Businesses should use technical and creative tools to update their current schemes. Google recommends implementing Smart Bidding on Google Ads, using Dynamic Search Ads Campaigns, and updating keywords.


Meeting Increased Demands

Using heightened demands allows businesses to expand their audience, market, and customers. Therefore, Google advises that businesses assess their marketing strategies as per their current and expected requirements.

Once again, using Smart Bidding and planning tools is beneficial. It's necessary to reallocate budgets and set more relaxed targets. The aim is to serve more people in various ways, including Keyword Optimization, Dynamic Search Ads, etc.

Google also provides instances of various businesses who used these strategies for stabilization. These businesses include OrangeTheory Fitness, Hily, Huda Beauty, and Milk Bar.

What else does Google recommend?

Another significant recommendation Google makes in the playbook is adapting creative and media campaigns. Due to the necessary measures taken in response to COVID-19, YouTube now caters to the world in more substantial amounts. Therefore, businesses can use video creativity to approach a bigger audience.

However, to do the same, it's necessary to consider a few things beforehand. One should consider the relevance of the content, whether it provides valuable information or not. Moreover, it's necessary to be sensitive to visual imagery and modify tone according to situations.

How is Google responding to the crisis?

Google is focusing on five key principles, including:

  1. Context - Google is focusing largely on the local impacts of the crisis.

  2. Reassessment - It's necessary to reconsider guidelines and ad campaigns.

  3. Creative Reflections - Moreover, they're regularly assessing tone, visual imagery, and keywords.

  4. Adjusting Priorities - Assessment of priorities is essential to operate according to the current demands.

  5. Contribution - Finally, businesses should help the world in every possible way.


Endnotes

Google ends on the note that change, in the current period, is inevitable. Thus, businesses should reassess, reevaluate, test new approaches to connect to their audience and incorporate new learnings for the future.

Download Google’s COVID-19 Marketing Strategy Playbook here (PDF)

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