The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses across the world and consumer behavior. As a result, in order to sustain, businesses must create ways to build personalized connections with their followers from “six feet away.” These unprecedented times call for a new online marketing strategy. 

Here are six ways to effectively advertise on Facebook and Instagram during COVID-19:

#1: Maintain consistency and extend top-performing ads

Facebook recently announced that there will likely be delays and errors as they shift to automated systems to review new ads. As a result, when you submit a new ad or edit an existing one (i.e. targeting, headlines, copy, graphics), it will result in the ad being subject to a new review policy. 

To avoid this disruption, Facebook’s Director of Product Management, Rob Leathern, recommends that you extend the delivery period of your top-performing ads as new campaigns will need a new review.

#2: Increase your brand awareness online

With more people at home, online browsing has seen a drastic surge. Verizon reported they saw a 20% week over week increase in website traffic. So what does that mean? It means your cost per thousand impressions (CPM) will most likely decrease. This creates an amazing opportunity to get more bang for your buck on Facebook and Instagram. We have seen this trend in our clients at TFC. 

Since people are now seeking content to consume online, strive to plan ahead with your ads. It’s also important to note, you want to make sure your messaging focuses on the value your product or service provides and bridge it with the benefit it will provide when your audience is ready to purchase whether now or in the future.

Your Facebook and Instagram page is a great way to leverage engagement with your brand and keep them up to date on news and how they can still connect with you during this period of social distancing. 

#3: Tap into the power of Facebook leads ads to expand your email list.

While many e-commerce stores have experienced a spike in sales, for those in service-based businesses that may not be the case. Instead of promotional ads, this is a great time to grow your lead base with Facebook lead ads.

Facebook lead ads give you the opportunity to entice interest with content (lead magnets), increase subscribers to your ongoing nurture sequences, and generate a new audience you can remarket in the future.

Bonus tip: When creating your lead generation landing page form, do not get greedy for information. Best practice calls for a minimum of two fields (ie. name and email address). Then make sure your CRM is set up to immediately send a welcome email with content related to your lead ad after they subscribe to nurture the lead.

#4:  Ramp up your remarketing campaigns.

Over 75% of shoppers will abandon their purchases (Barilliance). That means it is important to re-engage with a warmer audience. These are people that have either visited your site previously or have purchased from you in the past. Incentivize them to shop with offers such as special promotional discounts and free shipping.

You can also test engagement custom audiences which allows you to target people who have engaged with your brand on both Facebook and Instagram. This includes retargeting people who have done the following actions: likes, comments, shares, video views, etc. The more specific your target, the better your engagement will be.

# 5: Test new audiences and creatives.

If your business currently is slower or unable to open, this may be the time to test new ad creatives on a variety of audiences to generate data for future campaigns. In order to get an accurate picture of results, make sure to create a completely new ad versus updating an existing one. Then, test your new creative against one of your top-performing ads to compare. Also, important to note: only test one element at a time! 

Here are some elements we test at TFC:

  • Images and video
  • Headlines, copy, and call-to-actions
  • Landing pages
  • Audience targeting

#6 Maximize your exposure on Facebook and Instagram Live

Facebook and Instagram Live is a great way to build your own stage. Authenticity rules on social and this provides an organic way for your audience to connect with you directly.  Facebook and Instagram Lives receive 3x more engagement than a pre-recorded video. When you stream live you can conduct webinars, real-time Q & A’s, product demonstrations and so much more to keep your fans engaged and up to date with what you have to offer.

You may be separated from your customers, but you are not apart from them. Social distancing has paved a path for businesses to become more creative and be more open than ever to building a solid relationship with people worldwide via Facebook and Instagram.