Advertising During A Crisis can actually help grow your business. How? Read on to find out in this guest post from Performance Advertising Expert Neil Parbhu.
The year started like any other year.
January and February was business as usual, but the news about the Corona Virus arriving in the west during the second week of March caused a continent-wide shut down and shook retailers.
For some, the news was enough to shut down shop – even pulling out from advertising during a crisis on Facebook.
When there is a disruption to “business as usual”, it might seem logical to make cuts to your advertising budget with a view of sitting things out until life normalizes again.
This may very well hurt your business, and this is why staying the course and keeping your brand to the forefront of your customers by advertising during a crisis is imperative.
Think about it.
With most businesses closed, people are staying at home in order to reduce the potential spread of the virus.
With all this home time social media usage is surging.
A top marketing platform for advertisers that want to drive users to take certain actions. And people in physical isolation have certainly been clicking plenty of ads!
Brands that saw success.
Some of our advertisers wanted to cut spend/turn off campaigns in this time, or not be seen taking advantage of advertising during a crisis – not even thinking about increasing budgets to take advantage of competitors pulling out.
We leveraged Attribution data to convince them to stay running and in some cases scale, as Facebook was identified to drive the most conversions for these brands across several Attribution models.
This created an opportunity for advertisers who were still in the game to scale and spend more while CPMs were cheap – as we saw our competition temporarily leave the advertising space.
We noticed this across various e-commerce accounts across a variety of verticals.
As advertisers left, we saw our cost to put an ad in front of Facebook users 1,000 times in March dropped on average 48.5% from February across 3 E-commerce accounts.
Since it was a good opportunity to scale spend, in this time we also saw our average ROAS increase by 71.57% and average CPA decrease by 34.07%.
To see the CPM be cut by nearly 50% means we’re reaching twice as many people for the same amount of money.
This didn’t happen across all industries though.
Products like Headphones and Skin Care saw their CPMs and CPAs go down, and ROAS go up in this time, but non-essential items such as Bags, Dresses, novelty gifts, and B2B clients saw either slight decreases or slight increases in this time – leading some retailers to turn off their ads as costs got higher in this time.
Here’s a look at some clients.
Client 1 – Premium Skincare Brand
Seeing a -49.42% decrease in CPMs from Feb to March.
ROAS went up by 126.41%, and CPA went down by 53.94%
During the same time period in 2019, CPM was up 56.72% comparing Feb to March.
As of May, we started to see our CPMs normalize again as advertisers re-entered the market for the summer – a trend that we also saw in May 2019.
We continue to see an increase in CPM as advertisers scale spend prior to Black Friday/Cyber Monday and accelerate advertising during a crisis.
Client 2: Wireless Headphones Brand – AfterShokz
Seeing a -47.63% decrease in CPMs from Feb to March.
ROAS went up by 21%, and CPA went down by 14.20%
During the same time period in 2019, CPM was up 9.57% comparing Feb to March.
Just like our skincare brand, as of May, we started to see our CPMs normalize again as advertisers re-entered the market for the summer – a trend that we also saw in May 2019 for AfterShokz.
We continue to see an increase in CPM as advertisers scale spend prior to Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but still not at the levels we saw in 2019.
It was a good opportunity to expand our reach with new targeting options – expanding our LALs and targeting fans of competitor brands.
In particular, we saw our LALs bring in the most improvements across the funnel compared to Interest, Broad targeting (which also saw improvements, but not by as much as our LALs) in this time.
We saw an average increase in ROAS by 389.57% and CPMs down by an average of 62.5% on our Lookalike audiences.
It will pay off in the long run
With people at home and spending more time on their mobile devices, it was a perfect time for these clients to be brave, advertise during a crisis scale and cut through the noise of the News Feed as competitors left the market.
In some cases, we saw brands advertise during a crisis break through in this time as costs and ROAS remained steady throughout the subsequent months, never really reaching the state they were in in January in terms of CPA and CPM.
Your voice will be the loudest
In order for your business to survive the difficult weeks and months ahead you need to stay relevant and top of mind.
Making the right decision and staying engaged could be the very thing that keeps your business afloat.
Loyalty demands integrity and consistency. With all this spare time, your customers are looking for reassurance and guidance.
Give them that strong feeling of allegiance they are searching for and use this time to strengthen your relationship with your customers.
As strange as it seems, you need to advertise during a crisis to save money in the long run.