Facebook Ads and the Corona Virus – What you need to know now

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Facebook Ads and the Corona Virus – What you need to know now

The Corona crisis is currently having a significant impact on the economy and thus, of course, on the marketing and placement of social ads on Facebook and Instagram. In this article, we want to point out a few essential aspects that you should pay attention to now.

Feel free to bookmark this article, as we will update it again and again in the next few weeks.

Check current campaigns
First of all, we need to act now and put all the current campaigns to the test. This weekend we saw a lot of ads that – probably designed as always-on – don’t make sense anymore.

This is especially true for the travel industry. Of course, branding campaigns are still necessary in the current period in order not to start from scratch in a few months, but concrete offers for spring and summer are not target-oriented.

Rethinking campaigns and ads
What applies to already run ads should, of course, also be considered when planning new campaigns. We have the following areas in particular in mind:

Travel
Events and activities with more than two people or personal proximity
High-priced products such as cars and real estate (too much uncertainty with regard to the future)
Everything in Maslow’s pyramid of needs in the area of self-realization and individuality
Even intrusive ads (“buy this now”) which completely ignore the current situation will not see any success in these times.

Stop advertising completely? Or even more so now?
Indeed, studies from the past show that it makes sense to continue to invest in marketing, especially in times of crisis. Companies that are not idle during this time can usually expand their market share and take advantage of the weakness of their competitors.

For many smaller companies, it is currently almost inevitable to start with Facebook Marketing. Without Facebook ads, for example, hardly any restaurant or café will have the opportunity to promote the newly established delivery or takeaway service. The same is true for many retailers who are currently building online shops from scratch.

To support companies, Facebook is currently building a $100 million program. It is designed to provide advertising budgets to 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries to keep them running.

CPM/TKP prices on the ground
Since the beginning of the crisis, many advertising accounts have shown the same picture: CPM/CPM prices continue to fall. This has two main reasons:

Many advertisers are first withdrawing from the advertising market to observe and reassess the situation. Their advertising spaces become “free” as a result. There is less competition in the market.
Both the shifting of work to the home office, short-time work or even the loss of work, and the increased need for information of people in times of crisis mean that significantly more time is spent in social networks. This, too, increases the number of possible ad spaces.
The low contact prices can be seen as a real catalyst, especially in industries that are hardly affected by the Corona crisis or even profit from it. For newcomers, they may open a way to try out online marketing without significant losses.

Restrictions on corona and health ads
Of course, in such a crisis, it is not possible to advertise for everything. And playing with people’s fear is a no-go!

Facebook has therefore started to ban ads related to the Coronavirus step by step in the last few weeks. This affects the following areas, among others:

Ads that make false promises of curing or protecting COVID-19
Displays for face masks
Displays for disinfectants
Displays for test kits
However, the mention of Corona / COVID-19 in advertisements remains permitted until further notice. For example, if a product that would otherwise be subject to a charge is now being sold for free in times of crisis.

Longer release
What advertisers must currently expect in any case are significantly longer approval processes on Facebook. These are partly based on the review by Facebook employees and their review partners. However, since they are currently either no longer working to protect against infection, the review process takes longer. Setting up “ad hoc” campaigns will, therefore, not work. Prefer to plan ahead and place the ads with a little buffer in the ad manager.

The same applies to the review after changes have been made to ads. The only exceptions to this are changes to the validity period and the defined budget.

The extended rules on allowed and prohibited ads naturally play a role again and slow down this process even more.

Community Management in Ads
In these times, you should pay special attention to the community management under your Facebook Ads. Personal fears and insecurities can cause people to perceive your ads entirely differently than you intended. And a Corona Shitstorm is the last thing you want.

So always keep an eye on the comments and react more carefully than you might typically do.

Conclusion
The corona crisis is causing a lot of dynamic in the Facebook and Instagram ads area. In almost all industries, this makes adjustments necessary. At the same time, falling ad prices also offer new opportunities.