The COVID-19 Clampdown and Digital Advertising

We know, we know, wall-to-wall corona coverage is making you numb, and it seems hard to remember what we all focused on before COVID-19 dominated every conversation. But we here at Gourmet Marketing are generating creative ways you and your clients can help mitigate losses as people take part in the #StayTheF*ckHome movement.

Almost all businesses have been touched by this outbreak in some way or another, and if you haven’t yet, buckle up, because it’s only just a matter of time. The PPC world is no exception to this, as we see our search volumes plummet, but virus searches increase tenfold. While we are arguably towards the peak of interest in the virus, we will most likely continue to see increased levels of interest over the coming weeks, which will vary by location and will depend on where the virus spreads next.

So what can we do to operate in this crazy new normal?

As the Coronavirus pandemic spreads throughout the world, we are all adjusting to our new temporary (hopefully, amirite?!) reality. Deliveries have become a critical lifeline that connects us, if only for a moment, to the outside world.

So if you haven’t already, amidst all the closings, offer delivery, takeout, or curbside/non-contact pick-up, and tell people about it. In your Branded ads, adjust your copy to let people know you’re open in whatever capacity you’ve decided. This allows people to still enjoy your food, and people will appreciate your efforts to keep everyone safe, especially now that road sodas have officially been approved! But don’t drink and drive – that sh*t’s not cool.

Now is NOT the time to go dark. Now more than ever people are craving information and connection, and your content is a way to connect to your audience. You can:

  1. Create a new advertising campaign focusing on keywords like “restaurants who deliver near me” with minimal spend (because overall traffic has had such a decline).
  2. Create posts to tell your story. This is a great way to let people know your changed hours, current offerings, and the extra steps you’re taking to keep everyone safe.
  3. Boost those posts on your social media channels to tell your story to an expanded audience.

Reaching out to your community and keeping people updated will not only help keep people informed, but also helps establish an emotional connection to your brand. While giving back is ALWAYS important, now, more than ever, it’s important to help out your neighbor.

If you’re a restaurant you can:

  1. Create a gift card promo, which keeps revenue coming in the door, but also allows people to enjoy your food at a later date.
  2. If schools are closed, help out with kid’s lunches. So many families rely on the schools’ lunch programs to properly nourish the children, and now that schools are closed, these same families are struggling now more than ever.
  3. Set up a mini-market. With all the panic-buying that happened over the last few weeks, some basic ingredients are harder and harder to come by. So if you have some to spare, allow people to purchase the ingredients at cost. This way, none of the ingredients spoil.

If you’re a hotel you can:

  1. Allow the public to use your wifi/business centers for free. Now that kids are doing a lot of schooling online, they may not have the appropriate resources to continue their education.
  2. Open a basic continental breakfast, if you have the capacity, to the public. As food supply slowly diminishes, people will need to rely on their neighbors for help if they need to.

Things are changing on a daily, even hour-to-hour basis, so make your adjustments as you see results (or not! There’s plenty of data in silence too!) and trust in your strategy. And remember, at the end of the day, communication is key.