Paid Media During Lockdown

“You can’t stop the future

You can’t rewind the past

The only way to learn the secret,

is to press play.”

With everyone’s affairs in order, we are hunkering down for the national lockdown, and it almost feels a little bit surreal. However, the more we come to grips with reality and cancel out all the white noise, the more we realise that things will inevitably go back to normal. We will be back in our cars, busses, taxis and trains, grinding hard to make our life goals a reality.


Businesses across the world will be greatly affected by the current pandemic, but somehow we need to look beyond our current set of circumstances and plan for the future. Costs have been cut at every corner and in the paid media industry, the month-to-month spending on ads through Facebook and Google, for example, has dropped with significant amounts as well, but this can be a good thing for some. In reality, less ad spend on these networks means that you get clicks at a lower cost, taking your budget further than before.


The easiest way out is to take a long hiatus and gather your thoughts and energy, maybe have a few beers and watch old movies. Then you get the bold route, the few people who know how to weather the storm and use the time off to improve their brands and keep it relevant for when everything goes back to normal.


We need to remember that there is a community attached to our brands. Loyal customers, clients and patients, staff members and newcomers, who all have unique perceptions around us. When we stay silent, we make way for our competitors to change that perception and create a better one of their own. This is why we propose that business owners keep marketing their brands, but change the way they do it with strategies like paid media. The mindset has to be that you can come out on the other side of this pandemic, a stronger and more trusted brand.


Communication during a time where businesses can’t operate is key. Staying top of mind throughout means that when people resume their daily lives, you will be the first choice when met with a solution to a problem they need to solve. Be it products or services. Change your brand message to communicate loyalty, support, trust and unity. Give people hope, a few good laughs where you can, and let them know you will be back in action when everything is said and done.


Plan ahead! Your business might not be able to operate during this time in terms of service delivery, product shipping etc, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fill your calendar or order logs for the months ahead. Even though the lockdown might get extended, you can still move scheduled slots for any form of client services to a later date by simply calling and confirming a new time.

There’s no point in going back to work, without any clients to do work for! Your clients need to know this however, so ensure you spread the word through social media and google based ad services to ensure people still reach out to you. The amount of work coming in might be much less than normal circumstances, but it will keep you afloat after lockdown ends. 


Build your online communities and follower base by providing supportive content that people will require the most. Messaging of support will let your clients know you are there for them. Reminiscing about previous business achievements, success and present business financial strength will create trust in the future. Humour around failures and current news, while subtle and professional, will create engagement and community growth.

As long as we remember that while our clients are sitting at home, some might still plan for the future. In anything, most people are actively using the internet and social media platforms, creating the best environment for you to reach more people with your content.


A simple example of replacing booking based ad content with supportive content, while still being able to make bookings a secondary option comes in the form of Bosch Car’s lockdown promotion.

The easiest way of creating an environment to keep making bookings, while not being desensitised to the current lockdown situation, is by providing messaging of support as well as business strength.


If your business can’t operate during the lockdown, you can still speak to clients. There’s no reason to stop taking bookings, answering questions or creating a backlog of product orders. At the end of the day, the amount of work coming in might be less, but it will never go away.

Get in touch with Elemental to find out how we can help plan your lockdown marketing approach!

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Having been established in 2005, in Cape Town, South Africa, Elemental is primarily focused on providing web development services and digital marketing campaigns.