How An Online Payment System Shifted Their Digital Strategy During A Pandemic

Content & Messaging
January 1, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Paid Social Focus — Instagram & Facebook: PayPal is currently focusing their advertising efforts on Instagram and Facebook. Since October 2020, PayPal increased their Facebook spend by +125%. 

The main objective for PayPal is brand awareness of their new Buy-Now-Pay-Later program, as well as customer acquisition in the form of giveaways and promotional cashback offers.

Content & Messaging  — Create Educational Content: With the sudden spike in new users, PayPal shifted their social content strategy from engagement to education. PayPal began to post tips and tricks on how to use their platform, and addressed common concerns such as online phishing scams. Educational posts were timely and relevant during the height of the pandemic as PayPal created educational content on the following:

  • Ways PayPal can help businesses transition into eCommerce
  • How users can receive their government stimulus payments via PayPal

Providing educational content gives followers a reason to come back to your channel and engage with your content. Educational content can live in the form of social media posts, YouTube How-To Guides, or blog posts.

Content & Messaging — Provide Social Proof: PayPal shared stellar reviews of their product on Instagram by taking direct quotes from the comments that are left by their users on social media. This is a common type of post on popular meme accounts that are highly engaging amongst the millennial audience. Sharing quotes from your users is also a great way to add an element of humour and to encourage your followers to engage with your brand.

While many businesses struggled to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, PayPal rose to the top and had a record breaking quarter in Q3 2020 while the entire world was on lockdown.

Paypal - Record Breaking Quarter - Q3 2020

As many businesses turned to online payments, Paypal saw a spike in search interest starting in March, and peaking in April 2020.

Paypal - Google Search Interest - Search Term -  paypal

PayPal saw a +395% increase in monthly new Instagram followers between March and July during the same time when there was a spike in Google search interest.

Paypal - # of IG Followers Gained Monthly

As a result, PayPal shifted their social media strategy, by increasing their post cadence by +164% from an average of 4 posts a month to 10.

Paypal - Instagram - Average Monthly Post Cadence Increase

With the sudden spike in new users, PayPal shifted their social content strategy from engagement to education.

Paypal - Social strategy shifted from engagement to education
Engagement | Education

PayPal’s top three content buckets on Instagram during COVID-19 were:

Paypal - Top 3 Content Buckets

PayPal created social media posts to educate their new users on how to use various features in the mobile app.

Paypal - Social Media Posts - Tips & Tricks

Not only did PayPal focus their efforts on helping the healthcare community during COVID-19, they helped  various communities such as minority-owned businesses and environmental causes.

Paypal - Social Causes

PayPal shared popular and hilarious reviews of their service to drive customer acquisition.

Paypal - Customer Reviews

As more and more businesses turned to online payments during the pandemic, PayPal took advantage of this trend and ramped up advertising spend on YouTube from $10K to $2.9M during this period.

Paypal - Monthly Advertising Spend
*Geo: USA & Canada

Currently, advertising spend is at an all time high as PayPal shifted their focus from YouTube to Facebook and Instagram. PayPal increased their FB spend by +125% since October 2020.

Paypal - Monthly Advertising Spend - Increase in FB Spend
*Geo: USA & Canada

PayPal’s top Facebook & Instagram campaign focused on the launch of their Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) payment program which allowed consumers to purchase goods in 4 interest-free payments.

Paypal - Top Facebook and Instagram Campaigns
Ad#1 | Ad#2 | Ad#3

PayPal ran a $500 daily sweepstakes giveaway and promotional ($10 & $25 cash back) advertisements on Facebook to increase brand awareness and customer acquisition.

Paypal - Daily Sweepstakes and Giveaways
Ad#1 | Ad#2 | Ad#3

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