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How To Adjust Your Media Buying Strategy During COVID-19 – Part 4

Gadi Elias, July 25, 2020

This is Part 4 of a series focused on adjusting your DV360 media buying strategy during COVID-19. Previously, we discussed how to analyze who might be new target audiences and how to maintain control of your brand’s visibility and messaging to audiences. You can read post 1 here, post 2 here, and post 3 here.

Tactics and Best Practices for Advertisers Using DV360

    After previously examining global trends and the new realities present in the online advertising industry due to COVID-19. This chapter will bring together the methodologies we presented in the last three posts (post 1 here, post 2 here, and post 3 here) and show you how to apply what you have learned to improve your DV360 campaigns. The first and most important step is to differentiate your tactics into two categories – ongoing activities and new activities. To achieve this, we recommend a mix between performance tips and brand safety.

  • Tactics for ongoing campaigns for DV360
  • Analyze your campaigns using “Offline” reports to better understand which campaigns, including all live Insertion Orders (“IO”) and Line Items (“LI”), are underperforming to allow you to and pause them and prevent spend waste.

We recommend that you leave only the best performing campaigns LIVE during this period. (If you are unsure about which campaigns to pause, please contact your account manager for further assistance.)

  • Invest some time to evaluate your live campaigns’ creative messages.
  • Ask yourself whether there are messages that are perhaps inappropriate or do not reflect your core values as a company.
 Advertisers Using DV360

This ad could be perceived as tone-deaf due to global travel restrictions during COVID -19. Paris might not be the best place to quarantine these days…

brand safety

Running campaigns for hotel rooms in faraway destinations is probably not the best use of funds these days when most of the world is unable to leave their countries for travel.   It is essential to protect and ensure that your brand does not appear alongside problematic content.   We recommend manually choosing all of the categories which are NOT relevant for your brand on the I/O level.  Additionally, identifying & adding negative keywords into your Display & Video 360 lists is another way you can keep your brand safe while avoiding placements that are located alongside controversial subjects.  

How you do it? 

campaign or IO level
keywords exclude

Advertiser level > “Resources” > “Channels & Keywords” > “Negative Keyword List” (as seen below)     After you have created the list, we recommend you can target it on the IO level  (Target > Content > Keywords)   If you are already running campaigns and you have gained enough data (amounting to usually two weeks with at least 10-20 conversions), we recommend you to consider switching to “Automated bidding” for your best performing LI’s and on the IO’s. The idea is to have the ability to make your campaigns flexible enough to adapt in real-time to different market trends and fluctuations as they happen.

Line Items:


Insertion Orders: 

Since every strategy is related to the specific characteristics of a specific campaign, please don’t hesitate to reach out to point-of-contact here at Total Media to discuss all of the most viable options available to maximize your automated bidding tactics for your campaigns.  

  • New campaigns TACTICS for DV360: Plan, Plan, Plan and then…Execute!

  Now more than ever, we recommend that you should explore CPM prices and your campaign targeting potential before you consider your budgets and go live.   

How can you do it? 

display and video

Easily… On the campaign or IO level > After you will add formats, geo & different targetings you can transform the plan to a real IO easily.  


Another suggestion is to ramp up new brand awareness campaigns to new audiences based on new and emerging trend opportunities that have become available.  Seizing opportunities to use new ways to advertise will enable you to discover new attributions for new audiences that you historically didn’t consider to use and now, you should be considering to engage. Should you decide to take this advice, you will create powerful opportunities to reach new and relevant audiences which you can re-market and re-engage later. Here’s how to do it > New funnels, New Formats, New content targeted > New audience >  Remarket later & expand your potential audience altogether!  


As a marketer, it is crucial to understand the full scope of the world today, specifically the new trends that have emerged from the arrival of COVID-19. We believe that possessing the attitude of continually aiming to understand and find new core audiences is one of the critical levers of success today.  Being agile and adaptive to new opportunities will enable your company to perform better going forward.  We hope that you now possess the beginning of a foundation for a better understanding of how to evolve your brand’s advertising during this period. With more uncertainty than certainty present, COVID-19 is a hurricane with the power to change industries, daily routines, oil prices, media prices, politics (national & international).  Make a goal to set aside some time in the coming weeks to re-evaluate your current and future creative formats & media plans against ongoing trends. If you need some assistance, we can consult and examine your campaigns and potentially offer you new perspectives and strategies for identifying new opportunities for expansion and exploration of DV360.  

  • Understand the current trends and potential opportunities
  • Create strategies and tactics built on facts and new understandings 
  • Execute your well-built plans using the recommendations & best practices mentioned above

The power of COVID-19 is unprecedented, and it has exposed its influence to almost every aspect of our lives. It is possible that our world is forever changed by its impact. But, survivalism is an essential instinct we all possess. Paired with tenacity and resilience, these are pillars of world-class holistic marketing strategy.   Thanks for reading. ——————————– Gadi Elias Programmatic Training & Strategy Expert Please Share on your Social Media! Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3