Far too many businesses were hit hard by the pandemic, and the global recession that followed. As a result, there were massive layoffs, and other cost-cutting measures being set in place. It was all in an effort to keep businesses running for as long as possible in a lean manner till things hopefully smoothed over. Several months later, it became clear that things were not smoothing over as expected. Now what? What should businesses do to get the engine running again? Would old tactics still work?
“While there are many long, drawn out campaigns that can be initiated to give businesses a much-needed boost, ad campaigns are the way to go,” says Jeff Minnichbach, the Founder/CEO of flat-rate monthly design service, No Limit Creatives. “Of course, there is a lot of strategy that comes into play. In many cases, there won’t even be room for A/B tests, especially when funds are limited. The pressure is on businesses to try to get things right the first time.”
As an award-winning designer himself, Minnichbach launched the design firm in January 2018, to help his smaller customers and startups get quality design services at an affordable rate. By offering a subscription-based design model, he was able to increase the Lifetime Value of each customer by offering lower prices that they could easily afford. They offer a wide array of digital, print and video services that typically covers everything a business needs in a month’s time, all without breaking the bank and incurring high labor and benefit costs by hiring an in-house design team. His vision and persistence paid off, as No Limit Creatives became a seven-figure business within its first 16 months of operation. “Since the onset of the pandemic, a significant number of requests for ads came in, and shows no signs of cooling down,” says Minnichbach. “The best results come from clients who approach these ads with their own unique and well-researched strategies in mind.”
Understand Which Bucket Your Audience Falls Into
First and foremost, businesses would have to decide which audience bucket they wish to target in their ad campaigns. There are three buckets that most customers fit into: cold, warm, and hot:
- Cold audiences refer to people who have never heard about the business
- Warm audiences have had some interaction with the business in the past, possibly through website visits or through social media.
- Hot audiences have had multiple interactions with the business. These audience members could have been to key pages/landing pages multiple times, added a product to their cart, or engaged with multiple social media posts.
Minnichbach insists that content types would be unique for each bucket, as they each have their respective problems that would need to be approached differently with the solution. “Cold audiences might not even be aware they have a problem, much less that your product/service is there to solve it, so educational materials such as eBooks, case studies, or even listicles might be best suited for them,” says Minnichbach. “The warm and hot audiences don’t need to be educated as much, so they might respond better to things such as testimonials and special offers.”
Highlight What Is Most Relevant To The Times
Budgets may be at an all-time-low, but consumer attention is at an all-time high. The best approach for businesses to reel them in would be by highlighting what is most relevant to the situation at hand.
“Since the pandemic, people didn’t care about school and university programs as much as they used to, says Minnichbach. “Suddenly, it became more about the tech element. Were they up to par with remote learning? Do they offer virtual tours? Virtual socializing? The same applied with real estate, automotives, and the events industries, the focus shifted to virtual tours, electronic contracts and the like. As such, many ad campaigns focused on letting audiences know how each respective business was adapting to the times.”
Capitalize On New Opportunities
The sales and marketing industries got hit hard in early 2020 as many live events got cancelled or indefinitely postponed. However, there were also new advertising opportunities popping up in the form of virtual events.
Minnichbach claims that just as nothing beats the networking opportunities of live events, likewise, nothing beats the advertising opportunities of virtual events. “People don’t only pay attention to Superbowl ads. They pay attention to all the ads that come up in virtual events. From virtual conventions, to concerts, to races, and even webinars- new advertising opportunities are popping up left and right that are ultimately far more affordable than they would have been at the live events.”
One of the biggest perks about advertising on relevant virtual events, whether in the form of quick video ads or banner ads, is that the audience will for sure be relevant as well.
It’s not only businesses that changed since the pandemic and recession. Consumer behavior has changed as well. In order to attract them, businesses must initiate ad campaigns that tap into the new and updated personas.