Holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it comes the greatest opportunity in the year in which to convert customers and really make a difference to your business’ bottom line. During the holiday period customers spend money like at no other time of the year, and the opportunities to sell are there as long as your marketing approach is sound.
A major aspect of any successful marketing approach at this time of year is using pay-per-click (PPC) strategies, which means investing in ads. Unfortunately, if this method is performed without any semblance of a plan, this can end up being a major waste of money for a company, particularly because PPC is considerably more expensive than usual at this time of year, and this happens frequently. However, with a considered approach using these strategies, your PPC investment can reap handsome rewards.
Strategy #1. Use holiday wording and imagery
As a general rule, people love the holiday season, and the idea of it often helps to sell your merchandise like nothing else. The fact is that potential customers are substantially more conducive to spending money at this time of year, so it is important that you piggyback on the harmonious spirit that the holiday season brings by making it a central tenet of your PPC approach.
“I strongly advise using holiday-themed wording and imagery in any PPC approach, simply because it has been proven to work,” advises John Frostrup, a PPC marketer. “Jump on the bandwagon, and appeal to the shopper’s holiday spirit and desire to treat a loved one, or even themselves”.
You could set up coupon codes like “XMAS20”, or descriptions like “festive” or “great gift idea” or “stocking filler” to the titles of some of your normal, existing products, since it is likely people will be searching for words and phrases like these. You may want to use some negative keywords too though, so that a person who searches for “birthday gift idea” won’t end up on your site, increasing your bounce rate and thus decreasing your profits.
As well, on the homepage of your website, you could add a HTML snow effect, which you could easily remove after the holiday season and could also be left on until the end of the winter season if you were having any January sales. Also, you could add a Santa hat or other similar decoration to your company’s mascot or logo.
Strategy #2. Leverage offers
An incredible amount of shopping takes place in the last few days running up to Christmas, for example, as shoppers wait to avail of offers that may come their way. This is a great opportunity to strike, but bear in mind it is also the most competitive time to get on board, so PPC approaches may reach premium cost level. That said, cleverly targeted advertising which features keywords such as ‘last minute deals’ and emphasizes the lack of time available (but also the fact that you can deliver in time) will resonate with shoppers who are feeling the urgency like never before. Even rushed shoppers at this time are often still looking for the best price, so you should still utilize holiday-themed coupon codes and deals.
You could market your unsold back to school stationery as a “stocking filler”, or your personalized name beanies as a “perfect Winter gift”.
Similarly to redecorating your home page so as to be more festive, if your ad says “50% off our Christmas socks”, your main landing page should say so, too. This will help your customer trust your website and also easily find what they came to your website to buy.
Strategy #3. Use ad extensions
Though the prices for advertising will have increased considerably leading up to the holiday season, there are all manner of advertising extensions that you could use in this period, from call extensions to special product landing page extensions and even promotion extensions, which have a high hit rate at this particular time. Ad extensions have proven to be a successful approach in the holiday period, and can really provide more bang for your buck in converting more customers.
If you have many offers at this time of year, promotion ad extensions will definitely help with showcasing them to your potential customers when they’re searching for potential gifts.
There are also sitelink extensions, which allow you to navigate a user towards a specific page of your site, based on their search. If they search for hats, they end up on your page solely dedicated to selling your business’ hats, instead of any of your other less relevant merchandise.
As well as this, there are also product extensions that showcase images, details and the titles of each of your relevant products underneath the hyperlink to your website in an ad, when a user searches for some certain holiday keywords.
Strategy #4. Remarket
The holiday season is a great time to concentrate on your remarketing lists as now you can customize as to the behaviors of previous visitors to your site. Very often these users have already expressed an interest in your products and services, so the chances are the conversion rate will be higher in any case, but a finely-tuned prod at this particularly fruitful time for sales is a great strategy for increasing conversions.
“Just make sure that you are collecting the right data throughout the year in order to smartly enact a remarketing approach when the time comes,” warns Lidia Smith, a business writer.
In this way, you can figure out what is working with your existing holiday strategy and repeat this method again next year, as well as already getting instant sales growth from the immediate fine tuning.
For example, if your customers had abandoned their carts earlier in the year, you could have an email sent to these customers about your new Christmas goods.
Many of your customers will be existing customers who are already familiar with your shop, who will already be watching some of your products, waiting for you to have a sale. You could also have an email sent to these customers about your newer holiday stock, since they are customers who know that they are already interested in buying a product of yours.
Strategy #5. Use integrated software
Google is usually the first point of call for PPC approaches, but ignore others to your detriment. Search engines like Bing, with it’s substantially lower cost per click have a surprisingly great proven track record with PPC advertising strategies in certain specific luxurious product categories, like jewellery, specialized cooking accessories and other items as well as with older users who are married. Bing also lets you target logged-in users’ age groups and genders, and displays more ads at the top of its search results pages than Google, though Bing does only advertise in a few countries – it’s major success is in mainly North America and French-speaking countries.
It also really pays to implement an automated software system, such as those delivered by Adstage, to integrate with other platforms such as Amazon and Pinterest too, among many others that you could consider. In this way, you can automate when your new ads ought to go out on each platform, and you also have access to much data about how effective your advertising campaign is – when a user clicks on your ad, do they then purchase anything and what do they then purchase – through AdStage’s “Report” functionality. This kind of automation tool can greatly decrease your workload, letting you focus on producing the right kind of ads and otherwise optimizing your marketing strategy with the data you’ll get, as well as being sure to get rid of the ads that are not working.
Using an integrated approach can really optimize your PPC marketing approach as this potentially lucrative time of the year, and will also pay dividends for the rest of the business cycle too (it is far from just a gift for Christmas) so explore the options available to your business and make sure your marketing approach is properly integrated.
So, be sure to cover as many bases as possible with your PPC at this time of year, even if you are surprised that targeting the users of search engines like Bing are important – this method is sure to bear fruit.
‘Tis the season to be jolly as they say, but it is also the season by which considered and optimized PPC approaches can turn a good year for your business into a great one. If your budget can only stretch to PPC strategies at certain times, then this is certainly the one to target. With these approaches, the result can mean a very happy Christmas for your business Although somewhat more expensive than at the rest of the time, these methods are absolutely sure to be effective at drastically boosting your sales at this time of year. If you follow these methods, you could gain some new loyal customers for years to come.
About the Author
Marketing expert Aimee Laurence can be found contributing her business thoughts at UKTopWriters Essay Writing Services and Best British Essays, where she helps with creating presentations and developing online courses on business writing.