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What Your Display and Paid Social Campaigns Should Look Like During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen stark changes in the way we are living our daily lives. The COVID-19 outbreak has put individuals in a position that was once thought unimaginable. Many companies have shifted their offices to remote space, schools are closed, and travel is restricted. We are seeing a monumental shift in the way we think leads us to the question of what is the best response in a time of uncertainty?

As Director of the Paid Social and Display channels at Blue Moon Digital, I’d like to provide some ways on how to shift your strategies to speak to your consumers during this uncertain time.

Use the below as a thought-starter and, as always, use your BMDi team to create a more customized message for the coming weeks.

What We Do Know

Most people are at home, working remotely, taking classes online, or on an extended spring break. With any of these scenarios, the underlying theme is: people are at home. People are still online using their social platforms, streaming a new series or movie on TV, and/or reading information online.

Brick-and-mortar locations are shifting towards a temporary closure, encouraging online shopping and engagement. This took the shift to online shopping to a different level as it’s becoming the only option for people to get what they need from the brands that they love.

What You Can Do With Your Display Campaigns

Video

It’s important to get your video ads on connected TV devices, streaming apps, and YouTube because your typical shopper is at home and plugged in now more than ever. This can be done with the flip of a switch through our programmatic buying program with the BMDi Display team. Our programmatic platform currently has a 76% reach into connected TV households, showing a huge opportunity to target your users.

Keep in mind what your video is showcasing and leverage some of the messaging ideas in the below Paid Social section below for some direction on what you can be doing. If you are afraid that your video content isn’t strong enough, share with your account team so they can give you an idea of how it may best be used.

Audio

This is going to be another area of opportunity that can have a light lift to make a big impact. Something easy with low barriers to entry is getting a recorded spot that can run across audio streaming services through the BMDi programmatic display offering.

Another option is to sponsor something like a Spotify playlist that highlights the current state (i.e. think WFH Jams, Walking Around The Neighborhood ballads). We can also help explore the option of doing a Podcast spot, which can be a great option to take some of the weight off your team. In this instance, we send a script to a Podcast network that works on the recorded spot. For example, Chewy is re-promoting their dog walking playlist since people are using their breaks to get outside with their furry friends.

Contextual

If you are looking for something to do with a standard display banner, think about a contextually targeted campaign. This aligns your banners on webpages that are highlighting specific content. While you may not want to have your banners showing alongside COVID-19 specific articles, consider an approach where people may be searching “things for your kids to do at home” or “how to spend a night in” and focus your banners there.

New Ways to Message Your Paid Social Ads

Take Care of Yourself

Help encourage people to feel okay to take some self-care time. Don’t be afraid to approach the conversation of people who are socially distancing.

Showcase products that are good to have while at home:

  • Retail: leggings, sweats, slippers, walking shoes
  • CPG: face creams/masks, hand and body lotion, essential oils
  • Grocery: delivery of healthy foods, highlight products that support your health such as teas and vitamins

Perks of Being Online

Along with a similar storyline, don’t be afraid to have copy that highlights perks of shopping online. Display items such as “Online Exclusive: no crowds, no germs, no worry” or “Staying home is key – spend some time online checking out some new arrivals.” There are great ways to lean into messaging while showing an awareness of the current state.

Lean into the At-Home Lifestyle

Think about doing product kits for “Top 5 Clothing Items Great to Wear While Video Conferencing Your Co-workers” or “Top Products to Get You Through the Next Month.” Create new landing pages that may be more specific to a remote lifestyle space, like instead of “Clothes to Wear to Work” try “Work From Home Basics.”

Delivered Right to Your Door

From grocery to eCommerce, focus on the delivery coming to you while indoors. If you don’t already, consider offering free shipping while other shopping options are limited.

Offer Support and Have a Conversation

Even if you’re not focusing on product messaging, support your customers in a way that engages them with your brand. Express times are tough and relate to people who are feeling down and out over everything going on and don’t be afraid to engage. Try “Show us your best work from home outfit. Tag us in your new WFH style for a shot of being featured on our Instagram” and align with an organic strategy.

Product/Gift Card Giveaways or Donations

Offer a giveaway for new items or offer to donate a portion of proceeds to a response fund or charity. Make sure to keep the giveaway product-focused (avoid travel/trips).

What to avoid

Be careful about encouraging people to gather! Don’t message in-store shopping or things such as airplane/train travel in a time like the present.

Time of Uncertainty

Use this blog to get your wheels turning on how you can shift your standard advertising messaging. You should be confident in your ability to approach the conversation digitally with people who are online and connected more than ever.

Work with your account teams on more customized approaches you could use in your efforts over the coming weeks we are here to be a partner for you during this turbulent time! Drop us a line if you have any questions or concerns.

Emily Callender: Director of Paid Social & Display
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