The webinar, hosted by Tina Aird and Will Haswell, looked at search during the COVID-19 pandemic and why it's so important for the future.
COVID-19 has affected the SERPs in unprecedented ways, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t new opportunities for your PPC campaigns.
Everyone is trying to predict the future right now. But like everyone else, we have no real idea of what is coming. All we can do is look at the data we do have, test and adjust. And who has better access to the data than a search engine giant?
That’s why we hosted a free webinar with Microsoft called “Why Search is more important than ever” to bring you expert advice on how to get the most value from your campaigns right now.
It was hosted by Tina Aird, UK Marketing Manager at Microsoft Advertising and Will Haswell, Head of Digital Acquisition here at Adzooma.
If you missed it, here are the key takeaways!
General trends and the value of Search
- Search has never had a bigger audience as when people moved inside they also moved online. And this happened really fast.
- Search has been the least affected media channel during COVID-19 showing how it has the potential to be the medium that supports other advertising during challenging times.
- If you’re looking for some help with your business to navigate this changing landscape, you’ll find the best services on the Adzooma Marketplace.
- As physical stores closed, search volume increased significantly – panic buying was reflected in global search volumes.
The new normal
- As a ‘new normal’ emerges, it’s important to adapt your campaigns around the sentiments of consumers.
- As people adapt to working from home, they’re using a lot of new devices and technology.
- There’s been a big spike in leisure clothes and a decline in shoe sales. People are also on the lookout for new hobbies as they have more time.
- As people spend more time at home, they’re looking to change their environment with increased search volumes for new furnishings, garden furniture etc.
- New search trend surrounding stronger environmental awareness. Increase in searches for organic cleaning products and electric cars.
- There’s also been an expected increase in demand for personal care products like hair clippers.
- People have shown an ability to adapt quickly and to utilise Search to their advantage.
- You can find more Search data on Microsoft’s COVID-19 data hub.
Benefits of Search
- Search offers a safe space for advertisers; search engines give you control over your environment.
- The intelligence of Search sets it apart during these times. The SERPs are safe for brands as the results are designed to mirror the users’ intent.
- Bing’s Partner Network has been carefully chosen so you know your ads won’t appear alongside any negative press.
- “When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise.” –- adapting to change sets you apart.
- Search offers a simple way of reacting to real-time changes such as stock levels. It’s easy to activate and pause campaigns as consumer needs change.
- By being able to add/remove products as necessary, it helps maintain trust and brand loyalty. You can also change your ad copy to talk to the sentiments of the consumer.
- Search offers sophisticated tools to measure the impact of advertising. For example, automated bidding maximises ROI whilst reducing the risk of over/underspending.
What customers want
- Consumers want brands to lead with empathy.
- Bing maps data has shown an increase in Local Search signalling consumers aren’t getting what they want from national outlets. They’re turning to local businesses to fill the void.
- In fact, people quickly moved to local business with clicks increasing from 22% to 28% in one week.
- Microsoft features make it easier for SMBs to advertise with location targeting, DSAs and RSAs allowing them to scale up quickly.
- Microsoft is piloting local inventory ads in the UK for people who want to show local stock.
- For industries that have acquired new customers, it’s important to ensure their new online behaviour stays long term.
- There are whole new audiences available. There’s been a 73% increase in over 65s using Search.
- The increase in digitalisation that has been seen in the first 2 months of lockdown would normally be seen in 2 years.
- The virus has given people a renewed consciousness of the environment. 57% of people are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce the negative environmental impact.
- Search users may now search for the best deals based on sustainability, with factors such as how the products are sourced being important. So, you should consider how you present your marketing based on this new trend.
- There’s a possibility that business travel may be changed forever with the realisation that a lot can be done remotely.
- The shift from nationwide services to local ones means small businesses now have a great opportunity to thrive.
Consumer intent is changing
The pandemic has accelerated trends and brought new opportunities for advertisers.
Whilst it’s difficult to know which trends will last, it’s important to make the most of the new audiences it has brought with it.
The Adzooma platform is designed to make managing your campaigns easy and effective. Its intelligent software allows you optimise your ads in just a few clicks and shows you opportunities to improve so you can keep up with changes in the SERPs.
You can try it for free for 30 days and then get 50% off for 3 months with our current special promotion. But hurry, it’s only around until the 30th of June.
- If you’d like to read more about the data, the Microsoft blog has loads of articles outlining further ways to adapt your PPC campaigns in light of the pandemic.
- In particular, head to Tina Aird’s page to see everything she’s written on the topic of Search.
- If you’re an existing Microsoft advertising customer who’d like some support, here are the contact details you’ll need.
- And again, if you’re after the hard data, this is where you’ll find COVID-19 insights and resources.
- The new Adzooma Marketplace is really popular at the moment as businesses adapt their marketing plans and want expert advice.
- Get your free 30-day access of the Adzooma platform (and 50% off 3 months afterwards) whilst it lasts!