It’s the last day of the year! As we look ahead to a new year and new decade, we also took time to look back over various 2019 marketing trends. These trends impacted your marketing efforts and will continue to have an impact moving into the future. Marketing is constantly changing and evolving and it’s important to stay on top of trends to continue to most effectively reach your clients.
In this guide, we have also compiled seven trends to look for and be aware of as you make marketing plans for 2020 and beyond.
Top 7 Trends And Takeaways We Saw In 2019
Google ad policy disclaimers
In 2019, Google made a major change to their ad policy that impacted every pregnancy center. Their rule change required that disclaimers be added to pregnancy centers advertisements letting people know they don’t offer abortions. The statement showed up in a small grey font at the bottom of each ad.
Across the board, we noticed that the cost per click increased in the first four to six weeks following this major change. Afterwards, we developed a strategy that focused on creating ads that appealed to the target demographic while remaining compliant with the updated policy. Centers are currently trending up as their ads are shown on Google, and the costs per click have normalized.
Snapchat was for awareness and conversions
We initially thought Snapchat would be effective primarily for raising awareness about your pregnancy center. Like Facebook and Instagram, it would accelerate the word of mouth that has brought clients through your doors for many years. However, one trend we noticed is that Snapchat is getting conversions! Snapchat ads were effective at getting clients to directly respond to the ad and call pregnancy centers for appointments.
First, we learned that if you’re running ads on this platform, make sure they reflect your local community. Your clients and potential clients want to feel known and know that the organizations they visit understand them and their needs.
Second, make sure that the video and ads you run are organic. “Organic” means they look like videos or images that people’s friends would post on the platform. The more genuine and authentic the ads are, the more effective they are.
Communication between pro-life organizations is essential.
As the pro-life movement grows, we are noticing a higher tendency for pro-life organizations and pregnancy centers within a community to act independently of each other. This is natural because each organization has a unique vision and mission.
However, there are some negative trends as a result of these independent operations – especially when it comes to marketing. These tended to happen as each organization launched their own marketing campaigns that had a negative impact on other pregnancy centers.
For example, if there isn’t a strategy about where the ads from your campaigns are served, it creates competition for prices between pro-life groups as it drives up the cost for Google ads in the same region. In addition, it’s confusing for a woman seeking your services. If she lives in your area, we want her to connect with your center as it is closest to her, not a center located an hour away found only because they are serving ads about their services to her. There is a big risk that she will search for other options – and end up in the closest abortion clinic instead of receiving life-saving services from a pregnancy resource center.
As we move into 2020, it will be important for our movement and the players in it to remember who the true competition is (the abortion industry) and adjust our strategies so they don’t unintentionally make costs higher for our allies. As we notice this happening, Choose Life Marketing will continue having conversations with other pro-life groups to resolve these issues. It is also important for groups within the pro-life movement to communicate with each other about their goals and intended outcomes so we work in harmony with each other, not against each other.
Marketing tactics should be strategically integrated.
This is not new, but sometimes is overlooked. It’s important to let your overall marketing plan drive which tactics you employ instead of allowing trends or flashy tactics drive your strategy. House your marketing under one roof if possible rather than outsourcing to many different freelancers or other entities. You will have a more effective strategy as a result.
Facebook Ads policy
Facebook implemented an ad policy update this year similar to Google’s. For Facebook ads, organizations must now specify if they speak to issues of “national or political significance” and abortion made the list under the health heading. This means before a business on Facebook can run ads, they must go through a verification process and have a disclaimer displayed letting people know more information about the page.
Additionally, Facebook has made updates to make their ad process more transparent, allowing us to adjust ad strategies based on what we see the competition is doing. These changes can also make the cost per click very costly, so it’s important to watch the ad metrics closely to make sure your ad budgets are being spent wisely.
Do not be afraid of these changes on Facebook or Google. While our first reaction was concern that it would impact whether or not an abortion-determined woman would pursue services from a pregnancy center after seeing these disclaimers, what it has done is show them you are honest and transparent about your services. The generations you serve are seeking authenticity from you.
Blogging continues to be a great and easy way to boost your SEO. However, if you are blogging for SEO purposes, you should do keyword research before you write each blog post. Otherwise it will not be effective for increasing the ranking for your website.
As you consider topics, consider what your clients are searching for in terms of help and support. Do not shy away from talking about abortion procedures, costs, and impact. This will not cause them to further solidify their choice for abortion, but instead allow them to access information they need. It’s better for this information to come from you instead of an abortion provider. Ultimately, we want them to walk through your doors, knowing you are a safe place to go in the midst of the crisis of their unplanned pregnancy.
The power behind your impact includes your heroes that give their resources to support your work. Communicate with them frequently and effectively through multiple channels (email, direct mail, social media, and phone calls) to keep them up-to-date on your work, impact, and needs. What separates the big organizations from the little ones is donor communication.
Top 7 Trends We See In 2020
Planned Parenthood will double down on their efforts.
Planned Parenthood is feeling both emboldened by extremely permissive laws passed in states like New York and Illinois and threatened by extremely restrictive laws passed in states like Ohio, Alabama, and Georgia. The fight for abortion rights is stronger than ever, and they will increase their efforts to reach women earlier and earlier in their pregnancies. Because 2020 is an important election year, they’ll be fundraising, advocating, and donating to political campaigns more than ever.
This means we cannot slack off in our marketing efforts. Choose Life Marketing will continue to stay on top of various marketing trends that impact the messages and advertising for PHCs like yours.
Plan C will become a target for campaigns.
As more and more states pass more restrictive abortion laws, more women will turn to the internet to try to obtain an abortion. Ordering the abortion pill online is called Plan C, and women will be seeking it out in 2020 more than they have in the past.
We all know the passage of laws does not change how people feel; women will still feel like abortion is the only answer to their unplanned pregnancy. Make sure your marketing efforts speak to that fear and the urgency of needing an answer to an unplanned pregnancy sooner than ever before.
Abortion pill marketing strategies will need to adjust to colleges and universities that offer it on campus.
As many of you know, the use of the abortion pill is increasing each year. Women have the opportunity to have an abortion earlier, more quickly, and more privately. In fact, in 2019, California passed a law that will require all public colleges and universities to offer the abortion pill on campus by 2023. You need to reach them earlier and on their phones. Don’t wait until 2023 to plan your marketing around reaching women on college campuses. Your marketing here goes hand in hand with your marketing around Plan C.
Because of this, geofencing will become a critical component of your marketing efforts. You can’t afford not to have highly targeted geographical ads running to meet women where they are.
Google Ads Paid Search will continue to be the difference maker.
Centers we work with have great success with Google ads. This is how many abortion-minded women will find your pregnancy center, so it should be a big part of your SEO and marketing strategy. Women are searching for abortion information online on their phones, and they are looking for a reputable organization that can give them the information and guidance they need.
If you are not yet utilizing Google ads, this should be a high priority for your marketing efforts in 2020.
Communication from online to into the office will be more important than ever.
Don’t let popular media control the narrative about what pregnancy centers are like. Be professional, genuine, and approachable in your on- and off-line communication.
Make sure your communication in your pregnancy center matches your online communication. This is authentic, which appeals to Millennials and Gen Z.
Generating positive reviews from clients with great experiences at your center is critical as well, because they’ll show credibility and authenticity for your center. These will be key to getting women through the doors of your center.
Using video in advertising will become essential as it is the place where Gen Z spends the most time.
YouTube is the largest platform and Snapchat is the second biggest platform for grabbing the attention of Gen Z. Video in general is huge and video advertisements will speak to the younger generations in ways that written advertisements won’t. Remember to craft your plan and strategy around what speaks to your target audience, not what would speak to you. Focus your video advertisements on YouTube and Snapchat to reach younger clients.
Google My Business optimization will become more important.
As Google takes into consideration the location of the abortion-minded woman when she searches for services, a properly optimized Google My Business listing is imperative. Not only does it boost your SEO, but this will help your PHC show up when a woman searches “abortion near me” – as well as other terms – when she is close to your center.
These are the trends we will be watching and want you to be aware of as well as you head into 2020! As always, we want your center to be highly successful in reaching abortion-minded women. If you need help putting together a marketing plan or would like us to manage any aspects of your marketing for you, it would be an honor to partner with you.