September 19, 2013
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The time to prepare for your Christmas marketing campaigns is already here.
Whether or not you have already been utilising paid search this year is irrelevant. With a huge proportion of the year’s online sales expected to happen during the Christmas shopping season, can you afford not to invest in PPC during quarter four?
When it comes to Christmas shopping, online competition is going to become stronger. Many businesses that are yet to advertise online will soon begin to, and most will increase their budgets. Many will be increasing their bids alongside this. Make sure you set aside a larger portion of your budget during this final quarter to fully take advantage of what is expected to be another busy online Christmas.
A great place to start when preparing for the Christmas period is by analysing last Christmas. Review your trends and consumer behaviours to decipher which keywords worked, and make sure seasonal campaigns and keywords are no longer paused too.
Now is the time to fix any outstanding issues with Google Shopping: this is forecasted to be the most utilised platform over Christmas. It’s absolutely crucial that if you’re running merchant promotions over this period to include them sooner rather than later. This is because Google estimates that there can be a seven-day delay with approvals over the festive period.
It’s an even playing field during the Christmas shopping period, so don’t be put off by the likes of Amazon or eBay. Unlike other times in the year, many consumers are shopping for items that they don’t usually buy, so there is little loyalty to a particular brand:
And don’t forget that consumers are not just looking to buy a preconceived item. Approximately 33% of shoppers are researching what type of item to buy, the brand to choose, and where to get it.
Shopping-related mobile search queries are expected to grow throughout the Christmas shopping period, with many transactions conducted on mobile devices too.
Of course, mobile doesn’t just drive online sales. 84% of shoppers use their mobile in-store to find product comparisons, and one in three shoppers turn to their phones instead of asking a shop assistant for help. Over 90% of mobile searchers are using their mobiles to find local businesses, with 44% of those searches leading to a purchase, either online or in-store.
Make sure you adequately communicate your opening times and delivery charges. Many shoppers are influenced by the cost of delivery, so make sure you understand what your direct competition is offering and aim to beat it. At the very least, aim to provide the like for like.
Ensure you utilise Ad Copy and adding a countdown feature to remind shoppers how long they have left to order if they want their items before Christmas, to promote a sense of urgency. If you are intending to showcase the prices of your products within your Ads, make sure you remain competitive with others.
Make sure you are fully utilising all of your Ad Extensions as Site Links can help push a promotion, similar products, or inspire new products. Call extensions will help to increase the amount of sales calls you will get over the holiday season and location extensions will help drive more footfall. And don’t overlook the offer extensions during the big shopping weekends — this could really help to maximise the effectiveness of your in-store promotions.
Lastly, make sure you are driving traffic to the right landing pages. Most websites move, change, or create new landing pages throughout the year, so make sure that your seasonal campaigns are pointing toward the most relevant pages.
Create seasonal image ads for these campaigns and make sure you break out your audience lists to include seasonal landing pages. The lists might not be big enough to run yet, but make them live and they will soon kick in.
Undoubtedly there are going to be campaigns that are going to run out of budget on a daily basis, so make sure that you take advantage of search remarketing to keep your ads live even when campaigns run out of money. And if you are already running a Google Shopping campaign, make sure you take advantage of Dynamic Remarketing this Christmas.
For more information or an informal chat about how Mediaworks can help you achieve online success this Christmas, contact us.
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