Delivered at MGS Europe 19 by Farhad Divecha, Managing Director, AccuraCast.
Get a first-hand account of how Artificial Intelligence and automation are changing the way digitally mature brands and agencies work. The session will cover the benefits and obstacles businesses face when adopting AI, and case studies of successful AI implementation in cross-device marketing campaigns.
In the space of a few short months, the world, as we know it, has completed changed. No one knows when this pandemic will end, what the economic aftermath will be or even if things will ever go back to how they were before.
This uncertainty has left businesses across the UK in a state of panic for their futures. They need to know how they can attract new customers, retain their current ones, and, above all, find a new way to conduct business remotely to survive. To do this, you must first understand how customer behaviour is changing the digital channels that you have and how you should then be using them during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Understand that online behaviours are different
Before we dive into how you should be using your digital channels during Covid19, you first need to understand that online behaviours have changed. It is only natural that this has occurred.
The UK experienced some of the worst panic buying in February, as people emptied the shelves of toilet paper, hand sanitiser, soap, and household cleaning products. As a result of the panic buying, the sales of hand sanitiser rose by 255% in February.
Increase in online shopping
Online shopping has seen a huge increase since the lockdown has been put into place, with people expanding what they previously bought online, ordering non-essential goods, such as board games. There has also been a rise in the number of tech devices (iPads and Nintendo Switches being popular choices) and DIY appliances bought to help get people through this period of being stuck indoors.
Shoppers are not just changing what they are buying, but they are also changing when. There has been a big rise in sales during the week, so your business stands a chance to win over customers a lot more now. However, not everything is as successful, and you could be worried about facing troubling times ahead. The fashion industry was particularly hard hit in March by more than 23%, and it’s not the only one.
Millennials and Gen Z are changing their shopping habits
While many are stockpiling, a survey discovered that not everyone is interested in spending money. Almost 54% of millennials said that the coronavirus had impacted their purchase decisions, and so they are cutting back.
How customer behaviour will affect your digital channels
With the change in customer behaviour, it would be foolhardy to believe that the marketing strategies that were working before will work now. 62% of marketers have already changed their marketing strategies since the pandemic occurred. How we handle business and how you use your digital channels has to reflect the current climate. From your website or eCommerce site to your emails, and your social media, you have to reimagine your current strategies when it comes to securing customers, making sales, and maintaining steady cash flow throughout COVID-19. Here is how you can respond.
Make the most of your website
With the rise of people shopping online, businesses need to offer customers as many products that can be delivered as possible without promising false delivery dates or letting customers down because they don’t have the stock. Inform your customers that due to the situation, delivery times might be longer.
You also need to tell your customers about changes (hours you are open, new product lines, etc.) and convince your customers that you are someone you can trust. Fortunately, Google has made this easy. Optimising your site for COVID-19 updates allows your customers to know of your situation. Google even suggests adjusting your FAQs page to reflect the current climate.
It’s not just this that needs to be considered. There are more customers online, but they still won’t buy from you if your site doesn’t look great. It has been reported that 39% of users will stop engaging with a website if it looks unattractive, so make this a priority and see how we can help you with this today.
Be more caring with content
You need to change the way you produce content for your site and beyond. Before a customer commits to buying products from you, they will carry out research thoroughly and look through your content. Content that is informative and engaging shows you know what you are talking about and can be trusted, but if your current content is not passionate or caring about their current situation, they will go elsewhere. Audit your old content and refresh any that might seem unsuitable for today’s climate and rework it to be more caring and passionate.
Reach people who can’t reach you right now – share recipes, how-tos and useful stuff.
Create new content or stories from new products you’re creating – people engage with stories behind brands.
Switch in-person events into the digital space – they can work just as well.
Engage on social media
Being interactive with customers on social media has never been more important than it is right now. People are feeling lonely and isolated, and so are spending more time online, so you are presented with an opportunity not just to make sales, but to deepen relationships with your audience – vital in retaining loyal customers.
What to post?
Several posts will work during this time. As long as you are consistent, you could:
Write a status about keeping safe
What to do at home
The best TV shows to watch
Photo and story competitions
Show them your current office setup
How they can help you (inform your customers how they can help by leaving reviews – 90% of customers will read reviews before visiting a business)
If you can’t remain open, then all is not lost. Share educational videos, audit your social media sites, start a new social media account (TikTok is taking the world by storm), and start trying to build up a loyal audience.
However, it’s not just how what you post; it is also about how you communicate, so be sure to:
Keep your site active by posting all the time
Listen and acknowledge your customers
Don’t just focus on driving traffic, focus on engagement
Tell them they can reach out to you
Keeping them up to date about your business status
Remarketing campaigns to help people
Now is the time to target previous customers and get them back. Advertise deals, such as free delivery, or special promos like 25% off. As millennials are less inclined to spend money due to worries about their own financial future, give them a reason not to feel guilty about treating themselves with your products. Keep an eye out for those that are interacting on your social media pages, watching videos, or filling out surveys, and make the deal relevant to them.
To show people you care and that it is okay to keep buying from you, you need to make it personal when sending out emails. Build up your brand so that people can trust you by responding promptly, thanking them for their loyalty during this unprecedented time, as well as sending inspiration messages and providing helpful resources that will get them through being at home.
Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky has said that the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most significant events ever experienced.
Pharma search engine marketers want answers to these key questions – “How are these shifts impacting the search messaging landscape? How to adapt SEM campaigns to remain relevant to shifting patient/provider needs and stay competitive in the search auction?”
Ian Orekondy shares insights from AdComplyRx analysis of 50k+ SEM text ads from over 500 prescription treatment brands serving on thousands of keywords.
The analysis showed that copy messaging with search terms like “savings” and “coverage” has rapidly risen.
He highlights some quotes from industry veterans to help paid search marketers gain clarity on these conundrums.
Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said on Tuesday’s earnings call that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is “one of the most significant events that any of us have ever experienced”.
It has caused more than 120,000 deaths and is impacting every industry, especially the pharmaceutical sector.
According to IQVIA’s ‘COVID-19 Market Report’, published April 10th with data through March 27th, “increasing unemployment pushes more patients onto Medicaid and into economic fragility. [Likewise], providers are financially strained due to decreased visits, reduced elective surgeries, and lower reimbursement rate [and] many pharma companies are expanding patient support in response to the COVID-19 crisis…with free branded drugs through Patient Assistance Programs…and copay reduction & patient savings programs.“
These companies include Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbvie, and more.
So the question for pharma search engine marketers is?
How are these shifts impacting the search messaging landscape?
And how do we adapt our campaigns to remain relevant to shifting patient/provider needs and stay competitive in the search auction?
To help answer this question, AdComplyRx analyzed over 50k SEM text ads from over 500 prescription treatment brands serving on thousands of keywords (condition, treatment and brand terms) comparing the frequency of mentions of various pandemic-relevant messages over two time periods: 4/1-4/13 (post-stay-at-home orders) vs 3/1-3/13 (pre-stay-at-home orders).
Pharma search ads shift to “savings” and “coverage” amid COVID-19 pandemic
Since Google’s ad policyrestricts ad messages containing terms like COVID-19 or Coronavirus, AdComplyRx also measured terms like “cost”, “savings”, “co-pay”, “supply chain”, “availability”, “fill”, and “delivery”in terms of frequency of mention within paid search (SEM) text ad copy from prescription drug brands in the U.S.
Based on this analysis, AdComplyRx is observing the following shifts in Rx Pharma SEM advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mentions of “savings” grew by 11%
These included “savings card”, “co-pay card savings”, “patient savings, register for savings.
Mentions of “coverage”grew by 40%
These included “insurance coverage” and “formulary coverage”saw the most significant increases in the frequency of mentions within Rx pharma brand SEM text ads.
The top categories that showed the greatest increase in the frequency of the words “savings” or “coverage” were Hematology, Diabetes and Respiratory.
The Oncology category showed little change in the frequency of any of these messages during these time periods.
Mentions of “savings” in paid search (SEM) ad copy messaging
Mentions of “coverage” in paid search (SEM) ad copy messaging
Since it is unlikely most pharma brands have already created new search ad messages and received approval from their med-legal team, this data suggests that Google’s advertising platform may be dynamically adjusting existing pharma brand search campaigns to better serve patients and providers based on their search behaviour (for example, search interest and click behaviour).
How should pharma brands shift their search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns?
Search Engine Machine Learning algorithms are working on behalf of advertisers by prioritizing the most engaging messaging themes thanks to functionality like:
Responsive search ads
Optimized ad rotation
In light of this, GVP of Search at Publicis Health Media, Peter Levin suggests,
“Think beyond refreshing creative through new asset submissions.”
“Brands should strive to maximize the impact of already approved assets and prioritize patient assistance and treatment accessibility messages.
Pharma brands can ensure a nimble response in the short term by enabling these features and making sure priority messages are available across campaigns while trimming away lower priority message themes. Don’t neglect planning out long-term responses with new messaging strategies and landing page content, as well as the potential for new paid keywords as the editorial landscape evolves.”
Sri Nagubandi, Director of Search at Syneos Health suggests that,
“Pharma brands should take both a short–term and a long-term approach as this will be an ongoing concern globally until there is a viable vaccine. In the short term, brands should begin tracking ‘Brand name + Covid‘ and ‘Category Name + Covid’-related search volume to understand how patients and providers are searching around their specific brand situation. For example, we are seeing some categories like oncology where search activity is increasing as patients and caregivers seek to understand the impact on ongoing treatment, especially for the immunocompromised.”
Additionally, from an organic SEO perspective, Nagubandi cautions,
“Do not use a takeover modal window on your brand.com website to communicate Covid-19 related messaging. Google has not suspended best practices because of the pandemic. Instead, use an updated header above the top navigation.”
How can these insights impact pharma brands’ SEM campaignsto improve patients’ lives?
With marketing budgets in flux andpaid search (SEM) being one of the few marketing channels that many marketers will continue to invest in, brands will be relying more than ever on search traffic to support their business and serve patients and providers during this challenging time. Since search advertising is a competitive, auction-based marketplace where advertisers with the most relevant and engaging ad copy typically seeimproved ad click-through rate (CTR) and reduced cost per click (CPC), ensuring your brands’ search campaigns contain frequent mentions of the above messages can help brands reach more patients and providers with potentially life-saving treatment messages within limited marketing budgets.
Ian Orekondy is the founder and CEO of AdComplyRx, a pharma ad tech stack based in New York.
Snapchat gained 11 million daily active users in the first quarter of 2020, bringing the total count to 229 million.
An additional 11 million daily active users (DAUs) represents a 20% increase over last year.
Engagement hit record highs as well.
On average, more than 4 billion Snaps were created each day in Q1 2020.
As people flock to Snapchat to stay in touch amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has published data about how users’ online activity is changing during this time.
Here are some key highlights from the report.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Snapchat Users
Engagement hits all-time highs
By far, people are turning to Snapchat as a way to stay connected with people face-to-face.
Time spent voice and video calling has grown by more than 50% during late March compared to late February.
During the same period, group chat engagement reached an all-time high.
The number of snaps sent between friends reached new highs as well, exceeding Snapchat’s typical peaks on Christmas and other major holidays.
Time spent with Snapchat’s unique features is up
Users are finding new ways to stay occupied on the Snapchat platform.
Time spent with games, AR lenses, and Snapchat shows is all up.
“We’re seeing highly elevated engagement in Snap Games, with our highest figures since launch for overall time spent, player count, and usage of in-game social features like Voice and Chat.”
Users are spending more time playing around with with Snapchat’s various lenses, with usage up 25% during late March compared to late February.
Time spent watching Snapchat Shows is higher than ever, the company says.
In particular, content within the News, Health & Wellness, and Gaming categories are seeing increases in engagement.
What else are Snapchat users doing?
Snapchat released data on what their users are doing off the platform, according to survey and location data gathered in mid-March.
Snapchat users are staying inside:
73% Lower University and School Attendance
29% Fewer Bar Visits
22% Fewer Air Travelers
59% Fewer Music Venue Visitors
41% Fewer Gym Trips
Snapchat users are changing their habits:
62% are streaming more
21% are shopping more
38% are gaming more
23% are ordering more food delivery
Snapchat users are consuming more content:
39% are consuming more online news
39% are watching more TV
29% are spending more time on social media
Ad Revenue Declining
Despite Snapchat usage reaching all-time highs in several categories, ad revenue is down month over month.
Snapchat’s year-over-year growth in ad revenue from January and February reached 58%, which dropped to 25% in March.
As Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel notes, advertising is down due to the pandemic:
“While many advertising budgets declined due to COVID-19, we experienced high revenue growth rates in the first two months of the quarter which offset our lower growth in March.
These high growth rates in the beginning of the quarter reflect our investments in our audience, ad products, and optimization, and give us confidence in our ability to grow revenue over the long term.”
Spiegel remains confident, however, saying the company will shift resources as necessary to better serve advertisers.
Content Marketing is Changing – This is Where it is Heading in 2020 | Content marketing will keep being one of the strongest marketing channels in 2020. But it’s going to be quite different from what you’re seeing right now. Why? Because there’s just a lot of blogs, there’s over a billion blogs. So doing these old tactics won’t work in 2020 anymore. Today I’m going to break down how content marketing is changing and this is where it’s heading in 2020.
RESOURCES & LINKS:
Alexa – alexa.com
Google Home – googlehome.com
Quora – quora.com
Ubersuggest – ubersuggest.org
The first thing I want you to do is to optimize your site using structured markup.
That way you have a better chance of getting those rich snippets and that will help you with voice search because in 2020 over 50% of the searches according to Comscore will be voice-related. These devices like Alexa and Google Home are just getting more popular. Whether you like them or not, more people are using them.
You also want to use the header hierarchy to help Google crawl and decipher the important data and pages and content on your site. Now another interesting point, and this is from Search Engine Land, roughly 50% of the searches result in no click.
The next thing you need to do is make EAT a priority. EAT is all about expertise, authority and trust.
Google had a Medic Update a while ago. And what this Medic Update did was, they’re like, “Hey, if you’re Neil Patel, a marketing expert “and you blog about medical advice and surgeries “and what people should do to cure their health problems, that’s not good.”
Next, you’ll see an increased personalization for audiences. Look, there’s content on everything. Heck, even on the Neil Patel blog I have content on everything out there, from e-commerce to paid ads to analytics. There’s so many areas that it doesn’t interest everyone. You’re going to see more personalization in content marketing and that’s what you need to do. A good example of this is Neil Patel Blog.
This is one of my most clicked areas on my website. If you go on the Neil Patel Blog, you’ll see a sentence that says, “I want to learn about” and you can click on the dropdown, whether it’s email-commerce, SEO, content marketing, and all of the content adjusts based on what you want to learn about. That’s really a simple, easy thing to do and by doing that you’ll find that you’ll get more engagement from your audience they’ll stick around your site more, your bounce rate will go down, more people will keep coming back.
The next big trend, AI and machine learning will continue to take precedence. Google had this update called Blur in which it now understands when you type in “Brazilian citizen looking for US visa,” it ends up telling them, “Hey, this is someone in Brazil and do they need a visa to go to the US?” Versus before, a lot of times Google would show results of someone saying, “Oh, US citizens don’t need a visa to go to Brazil,” right? So with their Blur algorithm update they’re able to clearly identify what someone is really looking for, and they’re adjusting the results based off of that.
So look up Quora and see what’s popular in your space and that will give you ideas of some questions that you consider right and content on, and just nail it. It’s not about having a 5,000 blog posts or about 2,OOO, it’s all about having the best blog post that answers that question. You can also use Ubersuggest under the keyword ideas report, that shows all the questions that people are typing in within your space.
Again you want to answer all of those questions to the point because it’ll help you get that traffic that your competitors don’t have, because before Google would just rank high authority sites that didn’t go as specific, but they’re changing this. They want to rank the most relevant site even if they have less backlinks, less domain authority, because, why? That creates the best experience for our users. And last but not least, interactive content and imagery will take off.
So yeah, videos are already booming, podcasting is already booming, but what things they’re doing that nobody’s really talking about, check out my Instagram profile.
You’ll see that I have content that’s micro-content, that is broken down in bite-size educational pieces where you can keep swiping, like a carousel, and that’ll give you like quick statements that will help you find the solution.