Holiday marketing strategies: 10 Google ads must-do’s
It is the season when most e-commerce sellers are looking for dos and don’ts of marketing. Why? Because it is the jolly time of the holiday season. The time when shoppers from the US and UK region look forward to spending money on shopping. And Google Ads, being one of the most effective ways to expand reach and visibility, comes at the top of retailers’ Holiday marketing strategies list.
The past couple of years has seen a drastic change in consumer behavior and shopping trends. But now, when the dust of uncertain times has settled down, people are more excited than ever to celebrate the season with zeal.
In a survey reported by McKinsey, 55 percent of US respondents said they are excited about holiday shopping, and most people have the savings to spend. While 56 percent have already started shopping in October instead of waiting until later in the season.
Thus, the retailers who can come up with the best Google ad campaigns during this season will drive a major share of consumer reach and sales.
If you are also an e-commerce owner and want to take advantage of this opportunity of the holiday shopping season, it is time you leverage the power of Google Ads to reach the maximum potential customers.
Ten Google Ads Must-Do’s For The Holiday Season
In this article, we are going to share with you ten Google ads must-do’s for this Holiday Season. That’s not it. We will also share some of the bonus tips that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy to get maximum results from your holiday campaigns.
1. Get ready with a promotional calendar as early as possible
Having a plan in place that outlines your marketing activities on a month-to-month basis assures that a steady stream of promotion enters the marketplace, keeping you in the minds of your established customers and roping in new ones. The more you talk about your company, the more likely people will overhear and become curious.
A marketing or promotional calendar is exactly what it sounds like: a plan that covers your marketing activities for the entire year. Like most aspects of a business plan, it requires some initial investment in time and resources, but it pays off later. The time when the marketing calendar is most useful is precisely the moment you have the least time to think about self-promotion.
A well-planned promotional calendar is a stepping stone for any campaign’s success. If your strategies lack proper planning, there is a high chance you are not going to get the results you expected.
Create a calendar in advance for each specific Holiday and plan everything out to avoid any rush or mess during the peak shopping days. Also, because most people start shopping in August for Holidays, it becomes crucial to prepare a promotional calendar early in the season. From the types of campaigns to the budgets and bidding, everything should be well-planned before kicking off your Holiday marketing strategies.
Stores like Steam, plan their promotional activities at the beginning of the year and post the timeline. This not only reduces the burden of planning activities every season but also allows users to plan their spending ahead of time.
You can also refer to the calendar below that we have prepared for one of our clients for the Holiday Season. This might help you prepare a promotional calendar for your brand.
2. Update your inventory ahead of the holiday season
Managing the increased number of shoppers during the season can be challenging if your inventory is not up to date and every product information is error-free and updated accurately.
You don’t want people clicking on your ad and bouncing back because they found the product out-of-stock or because they found the wrong information on the landing page. It can be unpleasant to the visitors; they might not visit your website again, and you don’t want that.
Make sure all your products are updated in Google Shopping Feed and none of them are disapproved because of the GMC errors.
If you have a large inventory and make frequent changes to product prices, you can have an automated feed to save time and effort, which you would otherwise have spent manually updating the feed.
3. Create compelling ad copies
No one can deny the fact that there are hundreds of ads that are going to pop up on your prospective customer’s screens. And out of those ad copies, making your copy worthy enough to click is crucial.
So, what makes your copy clickable and stand apart from those competitors? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think like them while creating ad copies.
Create something unique and creative while keeping the festive mood intact. Add compelling graphics or a sense of urgency/FOMO to your ad copy. Highlight holiday promotions or discounts and offers like free shipping or free gift wrapping if you are offering it to your customers.
4. Use local inventory ads to improve in-store sales
If you also have a physical store along with the e-commerce store, then you must utilize Local Inventory Ads to drive traffic to your physical store. To use Local Inventory ads, you need to connect your Google Merchant Account to Google My Business accounts. So that when a customer searches for a product similar to yours, Google will display your store’s information.
With the help of Local Inventory ads, you’ll be able to boost sales to your physical store. Thus, you must utilize Local inventory ads in your holiday marketing strategies if you own a physical store.
5. Paid ads on Social media platforms are a win-win during Holidays
According to Forbes Study, “On average, an internet user spends 6 hours, 53 minutes online and 2 hours and 29 minutes on social networks a day worldwide!”
Do you see it? That’s a huge time to reach out to your prospects on social media platforms. And how important it becomes for you to run PPC campaigns on social media platforms. If not on all platforms, consider running the ads on the most significant platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and/or TikTok.
You can run contests or giveaways on your social media platforms to engage the viewers or post some creative videos or updates about your store. Or, you can also create and run a campaign around Holiday specific Hashtags such as #ScariestHalloweenCostumes and ask the visitors to participate in them by sharing their pictures with the same hashtag.
6. Conduct keyword research to optimize your ads
Choosing the right Keywords to target in your campaigns is one of the most critical factors determining your ad campaigns’ efficiency. There are specific Holiday-specific and current trending keywords that you will bid on in your PPC campaigns.
However, finding the right keywords with high search volumes need thorough research. You can use tools like Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest to find the most searched keywords or for competitor research.
Or, you can seek help from digital marketing agencies to help you manage and run your campaigns.
7. Get the most out of Performance Max Campaigns
Performance Max is one of the biggest shifts to automation that we’ve seen from Google. It’s been nearly a year since Performance Max campaigns launched to all advertisers around the world to help you increase conversions across Google’s full range of ad channels and inventory.
As per Google, Performance Max puts your business goals front and center and prioritizes these above other signals by inputting your specific conversion goals. It is designed to complement keyword-focused search campaigns through automated bidding and targeting, thus making it a perfect campaign to make use of during festive seasons.
How to get the most out of it?
Below are some ways you can get maximum results out of PMax campaigns:
1. Audience signals: This is the most underrated part of Performance Max, but likely the most important. Google gives you the ability to input signals on who the system should target. Upload your customer and email lists, compile top keywords, use interests, etc.
We’ve found success with the following audience signals:
- Customer Match
2021 holiday shoppers
- Custom intent
Competitor names and URLs
High-intent (bottom-funnel) keywords
2. Asset groups: With PMax, it’s important not to shock the system by making drastic changes. It’s better to make smaller and more incremental changes.
You can use the below-mentioned approaches:
- Create a new asset group for promotional items.
- Layer new promo creative and extensions.If you’re creating a new asset group, do it within the same campaign so that the product-level historical performance is utilized.
3. Datafeed: The data feed is important all year round, but it’s especially important during the Holiday season! Google Shopping and Performance Max do not allow you to target based on keywords. The system uses your product information to understand what search queries should show your ads.
4. Ad extensions: Ad extensions (assets) are an easy way to launch promos without making campaign changes that can throw off the system.
You can and should add promo extensions in two places:
- Google Merchant Center for Shopping
- Google Ads for Search, YouTube, etc.
Read on to know more about ad extensions.
5. Bids and budget: Give the system space to perform but don’t make super-drastic changes. We recommend increasing budgets and decreasing ROAS targets incrementally. Again, don’t shock the system. Anytime you increase the budget, you force the system to find new audiences. It can take time for the algorithm to find a new audience that’ll perform well.
8. Get aggressive with your bidding strategies
With the increased seasonal shopping, there comes a lot of competition for online sellers. Every business owner wants maximum audience reach and sales during the Holiday marketing season. But, to get the best results out of the season, one needs to go the extra mile to boost their marketing efforts. That also means you’ll need to get aggressive with your Google ad bidding strategies.
You get two options in bidding strategy – Manual and Automated. Both have their own share of pros and cons. However, automated bidding strategies have advanced options and use machine learning to predict the strategy that would work best for your Google Ad campaigns.
- If you use an automated strategy, get aggressive with your bids to keep up with the competition and maintain results.
- If you are using Manual bidding, keep track of what works best for you. Try A/B testing and adjust your bidding accordingly.
9. Add extensions to your ads
Google now gives you the option to add extra information to your ads in order to enhance performance. And they are called ad extensions. From percentage discounts for specific holidays to specific web page links, locations, and phone numbers, Google offers you to add different types of extensions to your ads. That, too, without any extra added cost.
Moreover, adding extensions requires minimal effort, is very easy to set up, and you can add as many extensions as you want to your ads. It is up to Google to decide which extension suits your campaign and will be relevant to the searchers. Though you must ensure to attach an accurate landing page to the extensions.
Adding extensions will make your ad look more attractive and encourage shoppers to shop from you. So, if you have not yet implemented the extensions to your campaigns, it is time to get set to go with ad extensions.
10. Work on holiday-specific ads
If you want maximum returns on your ad spent, remember to target all Holidays during the season. It will help if you create separate ad campaigns targeting each specific Holiday.
Gone are the days when Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Black Friday were only considered significant shopping days. And, most brands also used to promote their products during these Holidays only.
But now, the time has changed, and you can reap the benefits from increased shopping during other Holidays, including Halloween, Cyber Monday, Easter, Labor Day, New Year, and more.
To keep up with the change in costumer’s search behavior for any Holiday, you need to search for trending keywords that are ranking for that specific Holiday and incorporate them into your Holiday ad campaign strategies. For example, “Christmas Gifts” during Christmas or “Halloween Costumes” during the Halloween season.
Or, you can simply add Holiday names like Cyber Monday or Labor Day in the Keywords in your currently running campaigns.
Bonus Tips For Your Holiday Season Google Ads Strategies:
1. Ensure that the landing page is optimized and aligns well with your ad copy
As said earlier, having the perfect landing page is crucial and is an essential factor that determines your ad campaigns’ success or failure. Ensure that there is no discrepancy between the information provided in the ad copy and its landing page. The landing page and the ad copy should be identical and convey the same idea.
2. Use both searches as well as shopping campaigns
When it comes to grabbing customers’ attention towards your website during the season, you want to take advantage of every opportunity. So, why not utilize both the searches as well as shopping campaigns?
- Google Search Campaigns are the advertisements that are shown on top of the SERPs for the keywords searchers you have bid on. These ads are efficient in driving traffic and leads to your store.
- Google Shopping Campaigns are the visual ads that appear just below the search bar and includes product image, price, title, offers, reviews, and/or more. They are more engaging and are targeted to attract customers for purchase.
So, you should use both campaigns and target the prospects in accordance with the stage they belong in the purchase funnel.
3. Leverage the power of automation
Optimizing the ads from time to time, depending on the customers’ needs and promotional calendar, is crucial for better performance of your ad campaigns. However, manually managing ad campaigns can be tedious and time-consuming. To save your time and effort, you have the option to choose automation for your ad campaigns.
Automation is most useful for campaigns you want to run for a particular period. For example, campaigns for Cyber Monday specific start in October end and end by the first week of December. And with automation, you can program when to start, pause, or stop the campaigns like these automatically.
4. Do not forget to use retargeting ads post-Holiday
Retargeting the visitors who have visited your website earlier and shown interest in your products can be very powerful. Thus, keep your list ready and offer your products to those who have shown engagement on your website.
5. Analyze, Measure & Evaluate
Nothing works if you don’t adjust and tailor the campaigns as per the customer’s demand or the analytics results. If the results differ from what was expected, try and test alternative solutions. Check for what posting times deliver you the maximum results and schedule the posts accordingly.
‘Tis the time to set up your PPC advertising campaigns the right way!
Now that you have got what to do in your Google ad campaigns, it is time you get your PPC campaigns created with more ease.
However, if you face any struggles or have difficulty bringing traffic to your store, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. You can connect with us to get industry experts’ advice.
We truly understand that every client has specific concerns and requires individualized attention. Thus, we study your business in-depth and provide customized solutions tailored to your requirements.
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