Click Through Reads #2: More COVID-19 Updates and Opportunities

Johanna Gumbrill
April 30, 2020

Here we are, the second week of Click Through Reads. A majority of you are probably reading this while wearing your “nice” loungewear, you know the stuff with no holes or stains that is good enough to socially distance at the grocery store and/or take video calls in. 

While we continue to fight for quiet rooms in our residences to take conference calls and strain our home wifi, COVID-19 continues to change the marketing industry. This week the news roundup shows signs of opportunity for marketers during this pandemic, and covers some major changes to campaign features in response to COVID-19 trends. 

Top news

Marketing Strategy: Forbes published an article speaking to marketers and business leaders titled, How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy to the Current Market. There is a recent trend of marketers pulling ad spend, but this can be a good time for consumer product brands as well as specific tech businesses and startups to invest in marketing if they can lead with the right strategy. 

Consumers are “87% more likely to purchase a product if they know the company behind it supports the causes and beliefs that they care about.” This is important for brands to consider before pulling their marketing budget. Brands who respect the moment, lead with help and value, localize everything, and do the right thing, can be successful in this current market. 

Verify Business on Google: Google Ads is requiring all businesses to verify their identities. This was likely sped up due to the increase of fake ads popping up around COVID-19. “Advertisers will be required to submit business incorporation documents, personal identification and other information to prove who they and the country they operate in.” 

This is to provide better user experience for searchers who can learn more about advertisers before clicking on them or purchasing. This is also helpful to advertisers because it can lower competition from bad or fraudulent advertisers. This requirement will be coming in the next few months, and accounts will have 30 days to comply.

Google Call Ads Update: Google adds website links to Call Ads. This gives users another way to contact the business, which is especially helpful right now as some businesses might have long call wait times during COVID-19. The link makes the ad take up more real estate on the SERP, and will help reduce accidental calls and drive more qualified leads. It’ll also help smaller businesses who do not have the capacity to handle high call volume, so users can visit the website directly to answer their questions.

Google Ads Scripts: This free Google script lets you compare your search performance in terms of devices, hours, and weeks of the day before and during the COVID-19 crisis. This is beneficial to advertisers to determine whether the virus has largely changed their audience’s behaviors. This can also be used for future comparisons to spot seasonal or holiday trends, or to simply analyze a single time period - no comparison needed.

Here’s another Google script that lets you see PPC performance in accordance with large government-related COVID-19 events that have taken place thus far. For example: See what happened to traffic when shelter-in-place was implemented in California.

Facebook Ads CBO: Facebook is no longer making Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) the only option when creating campaigns. Many advertisers voiced that they weren’t happy with being forced to use CBO, and wanted to keep the option to set budgets at the ad set level. Facebook decided to not move forward with the CBO default policy so advertisers can continue to choose between setting the budget at campaign or ad set level.