Facebook Ads in the Time of Coronavirus: Change your tone, stay positive, keep evergreen ads, and show how you can help

4 Ways to Change Your Facebook Ads in the Time of Coronavirus

  1. How marketers are being affected by Covid-19
  2. 4 ways to change your brand’s tone and actions to address the crisis
  3. How to shift your strategy in channels beyond Facebook Ads

What changes are marketers seeing on Facebook Ads?

How should Facebook Ad creative change in this time?

1. Change your tone to address the crisis head-on.

Don’t just continue to run your regular ads — address the crisis head-on, be empathetic, and adapt your messaging to show that your brand is human, too.

  • If you’re a stationery brand or anything gift-able, use messaging like “stay connected from a distance”
  • If you use a lot of outdoor imagery, focus on your indoor imagery and talk about social distancing. 437 swimwear had a great take on this, replacing their beach imagery with indoor selfies.
  • If you’re a brand that has a fun product like snacks or games, emphasize staying playful and positive
  • If you’re a restaurant, emphasize delivery
  • If you’re an outdoor- or adventure-centered brand, see if you can adapt your product to the home, like GoPro and Nike did. We love Nike’s addition of “now more than ever, we are on one team.”
  • If you have a product that assists with digital communication, tap into that, like Verizon did
  • If you’re a clothing brand, focus on your lounge/comfortable clothing talk about staying at home in your messaging.
  • No matter your industry, you can spread useful information and PSAs about social distancing, hand washing, and staying safe!

2. Don’t shy away from humor and light.

3. Keep running evergreen ads that work well.

Instead of focusing on incremental A/B testing, continue to run your best ads, and try totally new tactics that are specifically tailored to this environment.

4. Show how your brand is helping.

  • Unilever distributed 200,000 masks to hospitals in New Jersey, where its US Headquarters are located (source). Brands like P&G and Philips are following in their footsteps, donating healthcare equipment
  • Brands large and small are converting their manufacturing plants to mask, hand sanitizer, and respirator manufacturing facilities
  • Google is offering free ad space as part of a $800MM+ budget to support small businesses
  • Large tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft continue to pay their hourly workers, even if they physically cannot do their jobs
  • Quickbooks paused its current TV ad campaign and replaced that with a campaign to donate to its Small Business Relief Fund
  • Brands like JanSport are donating free products to people in need

Thinking Beyond Facebook Ads

  1. Invest in e-mail marketing, but do it right. Consumers are being inundated by emails from brands that they don’t have relationships with and haven’t interacted with in years. This can come off as inauthentic. Reach out to people that do have a relationship with your brand, instead.
  2. Invest in content marketing. It’s more affordable than Facebook Ads and, for some of the messaging above, it may be a more effective channel for distributing your message. Try writing helpful articles, producing entertaining videos, and pulling your best content back from the archives.
  3. If you’re a B2B company, communicate with your clients, see what they need, and help. Emphasize the value of what you bring and what you will continue to do. Try to use non-email channels, since they will probably have an overflowing inbox from all of their various tools and partners.
  4. Invest in your customers as people. Consider personally messaging your most engaged social media followers.
  5. If you’re an e-commerce company, consider site-wide sales and emphasize your discounts throughout the site (at cart, at buy box, category page, homepage). People are still buying! Emphasize when you’ll ship, instead of focusing on delays: “we’ll ship your products out in 3 days!”

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