For small to medium sized businesses, the type of product you deliver is an important part of when your audience is likely to buy. For example, some products are available all year round but change in their offering, such as clothing. In the fashion industry, the types of clothing delivered changes per season, as would the marketing campaigns behind them too.
Some products may only be available at certain times of the year, such as bikinis, that are mainly bought during the Spring and Summer seasons. The way seasonal marketing campaigns are tailored, particularly paid search ads, determine the type of spend you will allocate and the likely ROI you will make.
Create a strategic plan based on previous data
If you have run PPC campaigns previously, this data is crucial to see where the strengths and weaknesses in your seasonal performance lie. It will give you an indication when to test out Ads and what products work well at key times of the year. As you wouldn’t want to focus the majority of your advertising budget on a full range of bikinis in the UK Wintertime would you?
So, what if you are completely new to paid search Ads?
If you don’t have access to past PPC campaigns, data can be gathered in several different ways. First, consider keyword research and use Google Trends, a tool Google has implemented to give indications of how product interests are performing and changing over time. Remember your offline data differs from your online data, what sells successful online may do so offline and vice versa. Your audience also differs and when selling products online, make yourself aware as to where your audience hang out and who is viewing you adverts.
The important thing here is, sometimes you can be too close to your own product. So having a second opinion is always handy. Consider some industry research to find out what your audience on social channels are thinking. This will help you to tailor Ad Copy and the type of keywords you may want to bid for on limited budgets.
Observe your competitors
Observing your competitors Ads isn’t a method of copying what they are doing. Instead, it sets a benchmark for what your minimum performance should be competing with. Again your online competitors may be different to who your offline competitors are. Your online competitors are essentially the ones who are bidding for similar terms and are appearing alongside you in the search results. Your offline competitors may be who is in the locality of your business, or generally regarded as a similar type of business in terms of the products you sell.
This data is widely available through various tools online. Google’s Keyword Planner allows rough estimates of cost per clicks for keywords you may want to target. SEMrush is also a great tool for bench marking competitors and their keywords.
Optimise your PPC campaigns
Optimising can be difficult, but the great thing about paid search is data defines your decisions. A few areas for optimisation are:
Bid adjustments – Where higher bids can be applied to as narrow as certain cities or at key times of the year. Bid management as a whole is important from the data that you will define. Budgets can be allocated to push seasonality, where bid adjustments can be applied.
A/B testing – Will help to test Ad Copy and refine to the keywords that should be in the Ad copy and what works best. This will also happen as you learn more about your customer’s behavior through paid search.
Search Terms Reports – Observe exactly what terms your customers are searching for. This will give you an indication of what terms to add into the campaigns you set up or what negative keywords to use. A constantly monitored CTR can again help at seasonality periods to maximize your ROI.
Re-marketing – A key campaign to implement across all your paid campaigns. Re-marketing at peak times will allow a push for conversions. For example, during Christmas times, people are looking for the best deal and can tend to jump from site to site looking for it. A re-marketing ad can help to redirect customers back to your website to make their final sale.
Don’t Forget About Seasonality
Overall, seasonality should be a key part of your strategy and implemented with your online paid campaigns. This will define the best exposure for your brand and where to narrow and expand the budgets to gain the best ROI.