It’s never too early to get a headstart on your holiday marketing plan. Last year, 31% of shoppers began searching for products as early as June. As an advertiser, your plan should align with the trend of holiday shoppers starting earlier year after year. Shoppers have also become increasingly aware of global supply chain issues and uncertain economic factors. They’re assessing all of their options more carefully before they buy.
Let’s take a look at some tactics for a successful holiday strategy that will make your brand stand out.
- Start early and set goals
Ideally, you should begin planning for the holidays in August. Begin outlining important dates pertaining to your promotions and align them with holidays. Figure out when your customers begin their holiday research for your particular company or industry. Set out measurable goals that are attainable, specific, and realistic so that you have something to measure yourself against at the end of the holiday season.
- Plan your budget
The next step in your plan should be outlining your budget. Be sure to take into consideration the additional traffic the holidays may bring to your site. Ideally, we want to take a holistic approach, meaning that we capture demand by being present at the moment consumers are searching for their products.
You should evaluate previous holiday periods to get an idea of what your total spend may be. If historical performance is unavailable, you can use Google’s Performance Planner to see how optimal bids and budgets may help you achieve your seasonal business objectives. Be sure to leave some budget headroom so that your ads are shown where possible. You don’t want your budget to run out amid a crucial weekend.
- Leverage automation
If you get started early, you can begin looking into strategies such as Google Performance Max. This allows you to drive performance based on the specific goals you set when creating the campaign. Performance Max also has features that allow you to focus on expanding and acquiring new customers. It has valuable insights that allow you to predict the “peak” for your holiday campaigns to bid more aggressively during that timeframe.
Be sure to test early so you can optimize and begin catching demand for the holiday season. A best practice is to create a separate performance campaign if you want to prioritize certain types of products but remember to segment with intention.
Implementing Google’s Smart Bidding strategies can help you in setting the right bids using machine learning. First, decide if you’d like to increase sales and leads or increase your profit. Then you can set your bid strategy to target CPAs, ROAS, or maximize conversions. Using these smart bidding strategies will save you time as bids are optimized for your goals.
Creating an ad schedule and setting dates and times where you want your holiday promotion ads to appear can be especially helpful. It’ll save you time and ensure your ads are present when you want them most.
- Create video action campaigns
The omnichannel shopper has become increasingly valuable over the past year. On average, they spend twice as much on purchases versus consumers who only shop on one or two channels. That’s where video action campaigns come in — displaying your ads across multiple channels is the best way to reach omnichannel shoppers and, in turn, increase your sales and conversions this holiday season. According to Google, advertisers who use video action campaigns and product feeds together see 60% more conversions at or near their original CPA.
Creating these ads and product feeds together doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to be a videographer or graphic designer to make effective ads that grab your consumer’s attention. If you don’t have any videos, you can use product images and stitch them together to create one. Be sure to feature products on sale and include holiday promotions with calls to action. The Youtube audio library also features free music tracks to instantly give your videos a holiday feel.
- Building your digital storefront
You’ll want to make sure your Google Merchant Center account is in good standing when building your digital storefront. It’s also important to take care of any products that are flagged by Google for review. The worst mistake you can make is ignoring alerts and causing your account to be suspended during the peak holiday season, so make sure to continue monitoring your storefront throughout the holiday season to avoid downtime.
With consumers taking more time to consider purchases, your digital storefront should make you stand out from the crowd. One of the biggest factors consumers are taking into consideration today is quality. As an advertiser, you need to show your audience the value you’re providing while emphasizing the quality of your product. Create ads that resonate with your customers. Not only should you highlight the features but also the benefits of your product(s) and why they should buy.
The holiday season will often make or break your goals. Implementing these strategies into your marketing plan will give you a significant advantage.
At the end of the year, take some time to reflect on the holiday season and review the goals you had set. See what worked, what didn’t work, and what you can do to improve the following year.
Cheers to a successful holiday season!