Marketing Inspiration
Preparing Your Brand’s PPC Marketing Strategy for This Holiday Season? Here’s Our Guide for 2022

Seasonal marketing. Q4. The simple thought of your business’s holiday advertising and peak season sales can be a terrifying one. Winter is coming — and it’s important to ask whether or not your PPC (pay-per-click) marketing strategies are ready to compete. In a recent webinar with Lunio, our Paid Media Supervisor, Nicole Santana talked about what it takes to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace. For Nicole, capitalizing on Q4 is crucial.

“Your competitors are going to be out there. Without any paid media efforts, you’re limiting your exposure and reach during the most important time of the year,” she said. “Paid ads allows you to control the message you want your customers to see.”

Hosted by Lunio’s Content Manager, James Deeney, the webinar featured discussions about how to maximize conversions and limit abandoned carts as we head into what is expected to be a holiday shopping season unlike any other. Here are our top tips for creating the best holiday ads.

Plan Ahead

While it is always important to make sure you don’t fall behind as the holidays approach, this year’s challenges make it that much more important to stay ahead of the game. By having your content and promo calendar ready to go, you’ll be able to work ahead of time and will be better prepared for any roadblocks that present themselves as the season progresses. 

“If you plan ahead, you can budget your ad spend to be heavier when you’re still offering holiday shipping, have new promotions, or want to highlight last-minute shopping offers,” Nicole said.

Keep Your Lines of Communication Open

Whether you’re running your paid seasonal marketing in-house or through an agency partner, make sure all teams are in the loop from the jump, especially when it comes to your holiday inventory outlook.

“What items do you have a surplus of that could use an additional ad push? What items may sell out? It’s also important to figure out the process for when an item does sell out,” Nicole said.

Hang in There

For Nicole, it’s important for businesses to stay consistent and keep their message flowing during the holiday season.

“While the increase in CPCs and CPAs/CPPs might seem intimidating, your business will fare much better by holding steady and taking advantage of the holidays,” she said. “Have your core plan and a backup plan ready so your internal teams or agency partners can schedule check-ins during major shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

A PPC Checklist Worth Checking Twice

When executing your holiday PPC marketing strategy, the below checklist from Lunio’s webinar is the perfect guide to help you close Q4 on a high note. From reviewing your business’s historical seasonal marketing to planning for potential out-of-stock products, you’ll put yourself in a better position to attract customers and limit abandoned carts.

Step One: Review Historic Holiday PPC Campaigns

This is one of the best PPC tips to follow. Did any of your recent holiday ads perform better than the rest? It’s also important to compare your data with that of your competitors. This could give you the direction as you brainstorm what to feature.

Step Two: Prepare to Bid More Aggressively

As the holidays ramp up, pay-per-clicks tend to become more expensive. If you notice a drop in your seasonal marketing’s search impression shares, it may be time to up your bids, whether doing this manually or through automated bidding. 

Step Three: Get Your Promotional Calendar Ready

No two holiday ads are the same. When laying out your creative calendar for the holidays, make sure you’ve decided which products are best to feature and when they’ll be promoted. Get creative when prepping your campaigns. You never know which fun design or whitty copy could win over a new customer.

Step Four: Setup Google Analytics 4

This step is a little more technical, but if you haven’t set up Google Analytics 4 yet, the time is now. Why is this important? Simply put, you’ll lose access to your historical conversion data, which would make next year’s holiday prep a nightmare.

Step Five: Tap Into Emerging Holiday Trends

Following up to step three, it’s always great to be up to speed with the current consumer base. This year, interest in “mystery” items and boxes is expected to spike. At the same time, however, spending may be down overall due to the tough economic times consumers find themselves in.

Step Six: Create Holiday-Specific Ads 

Part of getting creative with your seasonal marketing is playing into the time of year. Perhaps you debut holiday-inspired products or create ads that are specific to Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Either way, your customers will want to enjoy engaing with your holiday ads.

Step Seven: Eliminate Fake Clicks and Invalid Activity

A tricky part of analyzing pay-per-click strategies is factoring in click fraud. You can protect your PPC budget by eliminating invalid activity from your search and social media campaigns.

Step Eight: Plan for Out-of-Stock Product

There is no escaping the struggles of our current supply chain. Because of this, it is crucial that you have contingency plans in place when developing your PPC ads. For example, you could choose to feature products similar to best-sellers that are unavailable.

Step Nine: Use Retargeting to Address Abandoned Carts

If a potential customer decides to abandon their cart, don’t give up. This is where your creativity can shine. Your PPC marketing strategy should include a healthy budget for cart abandonment to make sure you capitalize on the interest shown in your brand.

Step 10: Gather First-Party Data and Audience Insights

Did you know that third-party cookies are set to be discontinued in 2024? As a result, you’ll want to make first-party data gathering a major priority for this peak season. This will help you maintain a consistent and effective PPC strategy as you move ahead to 2023 and beyond.

Step 11: Optimise Performance Max Campaigns

As we enter the first holiday season with Google’s Performance Max campaigns, it may be in your best interest to create separate groups in PMax for seasonal marketing assets. This could give you better control over the budget spend.

Step 12: Schedule a Post-Holiday Review

What worked? What didn’t? These are a couple of the questions you won’t be able to answer unless you schedule time to review your holiday advertising results. It’s a great way to get all of your marketing teams on the same page as you begin to think of ways to improve in the following year.

If you found these tips helpful, make sure to check out our blog to read more about the marketing world and catch up on the latest trends.

Marketwake team

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