Working in the retail space is exciting and filled with adrenaline, though for many Paid Advertisers holidays can lose their true meaning, as they represent long hours of navigating competitive marketplaces.
Don’t get your heart broken this Valentine’s season by missing out on the chance to develop the paid campaign that is “the One” for your audiences. Instead, get hit with Cupid’s arrow and fall in love with your retail advertising efforts by following these six simple tips.
1. Know your demand curve
Look at Analytics, AdWords and Bing Ads in previous years to understand how your target personas change in behavior leading up to a holiday.
Make sure to account for day-of-week and other seasonal changes that might be different this year versus previous years. Examples can include proximity to other holidays, when it falls compared to the beginning or end of the month, or can even be related to something like weather. Look into more than just last year, and understand how the curve changes with each factor to best predict when you will see demand change this time around.
2. Become a merchandiser
Do your research on best performing products year over year and also look into query data to see what people were looking for last year but may not have been able to find.
With all of the data that Google AdWords and Google Analytics put at your fingertips, it is easy to become a merchandiser’s best friend. Make sure that the right products are prominent on your landing pages and that they either accommodate users who are searching for certain products or negate those queries from your campaigns. Funneling relevant traffic to the right products without confusion is the easiest path to purchase.
3. Don’t forget the basics
There can be so much emphasis on creating new campaigns that existing campaigns are often overlooked. Building a campaign just for Valentine’s Day is great, but don’t forget to enhance existing non-holiday campaigns.
Add Site Links to non-holiday campaigns, update ad copy where appropriate and add Valentine’s Day products to existing landing pages.
4. Test. Test. Test.
Consumer behavior changes in the weeks leading up to a holiday. Make sure to run a test between top performing pages in order to put your best foot forward when the demand curve spikes.
Use a campaign that has a large amount of volume and predictable conversion rate to run your test, and when you see conversion rates on one page start to spike, apply that change to all of your campaigns for the biggest lift.
5. Don’t sacrifice Quality Score
There is a lot of pressure to stand out in a competitive holiday market, and compelling ad copy is a great way to do that. Toe the line carefully, though, and make sure not to let ad copy best practices get away from you. The most clever ad copy could cause a campaign to fail if it hurts your quality score.
Holiday markets not only see the largest amount of competition, but most of the competitors are dealing with bigger budgets and more aggressive bid strategies. You will need to lean heavily on your Quality Score to help keep CPCs as low as possible, and you don’t want to risk hurting the QS by replacing major keywords with the word “Cupid” in your ad copy.
Find a balance between staying on theme and preserving what makes your best performing copy so strong.
6. Be nimble and have a backup plan
No matter how hard you plan, things happen. Make sure to build backup bulk sheets as you make changes to your account. The data may show that your new landing pages were not the way to go for a few campaigns.
Having a bulk sheet prepared that will undo any major account changes in the snap of a finger will help you react to any hiccups that come along. Watch the data closely each day and build an “undo” bulk sheet for every set of major changes that you do. If your new ad copy bombs for some reason, you’ll be able to pull it from market and have your strongest performers carrying the bulk of the traffic again in no time.
And there you have it! If you take advantage of these tips, your Valentine’s Day paid campaign is sure to be one you’ll fall head over heels for.
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