CTM Blog


How to Adapt Your Advertising Strategy During Economic Uncertainty

by Frances Miller

Today’s economic uncertainty means advertisers everywhere are finding ways to carefully adjust their budgets, ad content, and broader marketing strategies in order to stay competitive and drive revenue. Like many of our partners, the marketing team at CallTrackingMetrics has taken a look at how marketing budgets, ad content, and existing strategies can be maximized. Luckily, our software and its attribution insights, provide often untapped information about your customer, automate time-consuming processes, and help you do more with your budget and stretch your dollar.

In one of our webinars, CallTrackingMetrics’ Senior Paid Media Manager, Lisa Salvatore, shared her views on how to adapt your advertising strategy during a crisis. Read on to learn more about her top suggestions to cope during challenging times and build a strong pipeline for the future.

New Yorker Cartoon showing a man and woman at a table reading the paper.

In the Short Term: Monitor and Adjust Daily

Optimizations you might typically make on a weekly or monthly basis should now be monitored daily. Dashboards and analyzing the information found there is more important than ever. In particular, here are a few items to check:

  • Consider the locations of your businesses. If some areas are affected by the economy more than others, adjust your location bid
  • Pause or update shopping ads if items are out of stock
  • Update your Google Business Profile if your hours of operation or location have changed.
  • Re-adjust your targets if you are using automated smart bidding strategies. If your cost per lead has come down, make sure the system is optimizing to the new target.
  • Keep an eye on traffic by desktop and mobile devices. This usage behavior could be changing rapidly due to ongoing economic changes.

Read More: Introduction to Facebook Advertising

It’s also vital to know your tolerance for risk and your performance targets. If you can afford to maintain your ad spend and are still hitting your ROI goals, then don’t pull back. You could get more visibility at a lower cost, with many advertisers cautiously reducing ad spend right now.

Tools for monitoring and adjusting advertising campaigns:

  • CallTrackingMetrics integration with Google Data Studio
    Quickly and easily identify shifts in performance. Learn more.
  • Keyword Planner tool (Google Ads)
    Look for changes in traffic on your most valuable terms.
  • Auction Insights report (Google Ads)
    See how your competitors are adjusting.
  • Search Terms report (Google Ads)
    See if the keywords triggering your ads are still relevant, or not.

Book a Demo to see CallTrackingMetrics in Action

Graph illustrating results on a Google search

Ad Content Changes to Consider

More than ever, you want your advertising to resonate with your audience, and if it’s totally out of touch with what your audience is facing right now, people will feel that and ignore what you have to say. Make sure to focus on the messaging, context, and tone of your ads—for both new and existing campaigns. Double check the language and imagery in your current campaigns to make sure they still resonate, and that you aren’t putting too much focus on something no longer relevant.

Example of a Houzz ad

If you offer a product or service that can help organizations or consumers save money or stretch their dollar, focus on promoting those and emphasizing how it can save them money and improve efficiency. Above all else, be sensitive and empathetic. For current customers, help them find ways to further utilize your product or service and do more with what they already have.

This Too Shall Pass:  Looking Long-term for Your Advertising Strategy

While we don’t know exactly where the economy is headed and how organizations and consumers will fare, there are things we can do now to set our future selves up for success.

Specific to paid media, we recommend considering new ad formats and ad channels to establish a strong pipeline for the future.

Here are a few ad channels ideas:

  • Think about other outlets to reach your customers, such as enabling search partners in your paid search campaigns, as well as running display, Gmail, or video ads.
  • Consider using streaming services. With more people working remotely, the use of streaming services continues to grow. Audio ads or connected TV ads are also worth considering if your budget allows for it. According to Choozle, connected TV and audio advertising impressions have been skyrocketing.
  • Think about native ad formats to promote your content to reach people at the right moment who are receptive to your message. With such dynamic market conditions and uncertainty, you may find customers are hesitant to take action and convert. But they are still researching and ingesting content.
  • Expand to these new channels and consider not relying so heavily on paid search.  You may want to adjust your advertising strategy to target more to the top of your funnel. This top of funnel approach could be wise right now. This will allow you to continue reaching your target customer during their consideration phase while opening the opportunity for strong retargeting campaigns in the future.

And, a quick note about your SEO efforts: keep them on track to keep your organic traffic strong

Read More: 7 Easy Ways to Optimize Your SEO: From Keywords to Crawlers

Resources for Marketers and Small Businesses

No matter what challenges we face, it’s always important to stay up to date on market conditions and industry trends. We recommend subscribing to newsletter lists from your favorite industry sites and the CTM blog so you can receive the info you need, right in your inbox. CTM was built with agencies and marketers in mind and we’re always making enhancements to help our customers maximize their ad budgets, prove ROI, and consistently drive revenue.  Learn more about maximizing your marketing budget with CallTrackingMetrics or Book a Demo and see for yourself.