As a business owner you’ll know that, in order to succeed, you need to be willing to adapt to shifts in consumer trends. This applies to everything from the products you stock to the way you choose to market your company.
Everything from seasonality to current affairs can have a huge impact on how people shop and, if your digital marketing strategy has a PPC element, you need to be ready to tweak your approach to account for this.
Of course, the ongoing coronavirus crisis has affected people’s shopping habits in a huge way. For example, we’ve seen online shopping become more popular than ever: April was a record-breaking month for the ecommerce space, with 30% of all purchases being made online (ONS). So, if you’ve been thinking about ramping up your paid search efforts, or you want to start taking advantage of PPC advertising, now is a great time to do so.
Here, I’m going to outline how you can ensure you’re always getting the most out of your pay-per-click strategy by keeping an eye on and adapting to consumer trends.
Keep an eye on the news
In order to stay competitive, you need to be proactive rather than reactive. So, while you’ll already have big shopping days like Black Friday and Boxing Day in your calendar, you also need to keep an eye on the news so you can anticipate and prepare for approaching shifts in consumer behaviour.
For example, when we started to see COVID-19 make its way across Europe, Italy and Spain were quickly put on lockdown, and it soon became obvious that similar measures would be taken here in the UK. This means you would have benefitted if you had started to think about what people are likely to need when they’re confined to their homes for 23 hours a day.
For example, it would have been a safe bet to assume people would start shopping for more loungewear, board games, and even DIY supplies to help pass the time when they aren’t working or popping out to the supermarket.
As the owner of a pet business, it might have also occurred to you that, as they’re spending more time at home, people may have decided to get a new pet. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has seen a huge surge in adoptions over the last few months (Time Out). So, the beginning of our lockdown would have been a great time to stock up on and focus on advertising products designed to help a new four-legged member of the family settle in. This is something that could easily be factored into your PPC strategy.
Pay close attention to your competitors
You’ll already understand the importance of paying attention to what your competitors are doing, from what they’re posting on social media to which new products they have in stock. But have you thought about looking into how they manage their paid search ads?
Right now, you might find that a lot of your competitors have put their marketing budgets on pause, as many businesses are struggling, whether that’s from a lack of sales or logistical issues around shipping orders out. So, if you’re in a position to fulfil orders and you can afford it, now could be a great time to ramp up your PPC efforts and spend. With fewer businesses competing with you, lucrative ad space that might have previously been out of your reach could suddenly be much easier to obtain. Less competition will typically mean that the cost per click of your ads will be lower than usual, too, giving you a better return on your investment.
Don’t get too comfortable
Even if you’ve settled on a strategy for now and it’s working well for you, don’t be tempted to get too comfortable. As we’ve seen with the economic effects of the coronavirus, things can change in the blink of an eye, so you need to be ready to switch things up with a moment’s notice.
For example, lockdown restrictions are now being eased, which means people might go back to spending less online, or some of your competitors might start advertising again. What people are buying and how much they’re willing to spend on pet products could also change over the next few months. You need to keep paying attention to all of this to ensure you continue to get the most out of your PPC strategy.
This is a strange period for most businesses, including those in the pet space. But, if you have the time and budget, taking full advantage of PPC marketing could really help you to stay ahead of your competitors. Keeping an eye on the news, paying attention to what similar companies are doing, and regularly checking in on things can help you to get the most out of your strategy, so make sure you take these tips on board.
Bradley Hall heads up the paid search team at Glass Digital, an online marketing agency that specialises in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, SEO, and affiliate marketing