They Know if You’re Naughty or Nice: Utilizing Search Engines to Avoid a Lump of ROI Coal

Lump of coal falling out of a Christmas sack. Isolated on white with copyspace.

‘Tis the season. Holiday sweaters, festive lights and the like will find themselves bedazzling the corners of our cities and towns. The warmth of hearths fight against the briskness of the weather beyond the doors, leading the populous to hunker down, to lean close towards the fire and begin their shopping from the comfort of their sofas. Such is the perk of the modern age: order online and let the postman face the elements. Such is there motto: neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, and the rest.

It is because of this that marketers need to prepare their B2C clients for one of the busiest online shopping seasons in recent years. The National Retail Federation is predicting 56% of consumers to shop online this year. This is a 4% increase from the previous holiday season. These figures are too steep to ignore, and so here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for your holiday push this season.

Today is the Time for Tomorrow

There is no time like the present, as they say, to begin optimizing for the holiday season. With demand certain to increase, marketers should expect competition to follow suit. Ensure the Max CPCs for your high traffic keywords are prepared for the onslaught, as well as the keywords you’re looking to own for the holiday season. The best way to accomplish this is to establish your marketing goals early. Plan what you are hoping to accomplish from your ecommerce campaign, tailor them to it and jump ahead of the competition. There is no harm in establishing the holiday season before the competitors, because as much as the client is thinking about, it is certain the consumer is thinking about it too.

Santa is Mobile, and So Should Your Campaigns

Let’s not pretend that we don’t know that consumers are spending increasing amounts of time on their mobile devices. Quite simply, they are. Google reports that in November 2014, 43% of all site traffic will be from a mobile device (p.7). While that’s a hefty percentage, we must know that this figure can be slightly misleading as not all site traffic is qualified. However, the point here is simple: be there whenever users are looking for you. While mobile traffic may not always end in a lead, if you think about the nature online traffic, it often begins on packed bus, waiting at a train station and the like. Users looking to make a purchase find comfort in a desktop computer, but being present for the start of the conversion funnel is paramount. The holiday season brings an increased level of interest to any digital marketing campaign, as consumers are searching the web for the perfect gift. As a marketer, you want to be there. That doesn’t mean wasting your entire budget on mobile traffic, quite the contrary. Be smart when setting up your mobile bids: set your mobile bid adjustment to 50% so you aren’t blindly running all day long; establish ad scheduling so that you appear at predetermined times during the day.

These little strategies may seem simple, but you are building brand awareness with every search query, and this will pay dividends when consumers are ready to make their purchase.

Google Shopping Ads Till You Drop

If you are running a B2C marketing campaign this holiday season, creating a Google shopping campaign is a must. With a Google Shopping campaign, you not only place your product in a second location within the search results, but you have the opportunity to establish promotions to differentiate you from competitors. During the previous year, 92% of online shoppers took advantage of some form of promotion. You can boost your brand awareness, while enticing consumers to make a purchase, by displaying the product and the price point. The Search ads possess the snappy content, but Shopping ads appeal to consumers further down the funnel as image and price are what lead to a conversion. Not the content.

There are a lot of strategies to holiday marketing campaigns, but the most important one that often gets overlooked is quite simple: be there when they search.

Keelan Crampsey
Just Media, Inc.

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