New Year is approaching – a special time for internet marketers: they need to find time to prepare advertising campaigns for the holiday hype.
What to expect:
- First, sharply traffic volume will increase… This is natural: in search of gifts, users often go to online stores, select goods with discounts.
- Secondly, as a consequence, conversion rate and average check will increase…
- Thirdly, the level of competition will increase… All market players want to benefit from the holiday season. And along with the competition, the CPC is also growing.
According to research by the consulting company Deloitte, the proportion of Russians planning to buy gifts online is increasing every year. So, in 2017, the growth was from 23% to 31%. The holiday budget also increased, despite the already established opinion about the annual economic recession and a decrease in purchasing power. Last year, the average check was 16,900 rubles. But, do not forget that in New Year’s spending, only 45-50% is allocated for gifts.
At this time, it is very important for buyers:
- Availability of goods in stock… According to Deloitte, 35% of users are not ready to wait for a product to appear in a store and will immediately look for a product elsewhere.
- Availability of discounts… Every year more and more Russians are waiting for the Black Friday sales, now it is more than 46% of respondents.
- Speed order processing and fast delivery.
- The friendliness and competence of the seller…
- Possibility of return or exchange… Do not spoil the festive mood of customers with complex and long bureaucratic processes.
- Also important protection of personal data, online payments and after-sales (warranty) service…
Seasonal activity of the product
Each product on the market can be divided into three periods of seasonal activity.
The beginning of growth
The period when interest in a product category is just starting to increase. This is the perfect time to prepare your ad campaigns.
Examples of categories (by November): Christmas trees and decorations, expensive gadgets, smartphones, computers, home theaters, winter goods, sportswear, inventory, pre-ordering events and institutions.
Search interest is nearing its peak. We recommend that you make edits as quickly as possible without drastic changes in the structure of advertising campaigns. Examples of categories: pyrotechnics, festive costumes, baby products, elite food, caviar.
Mandatory monitoring of costs and conversion is required in order to avoid abnormal situations with both advertising and business processes. Examples of categories: sledges, winter clothes, festive illumination, New Year’s paraphernalia.
Preparing for an advertising campaign
1. We recommend first of all to clearly define goals of your promotion… Naturally, the main goal of a business, be it classic online retail, b2b or services, is to maximize sales while maintaining an actual share of profitability. But other options can be considered, for example, to maintain the historical ROI (ROMI) or reduce the profitability (if necessary) in favor of turnover and increasing the customer base.
2. After the approval of the economy and goals fix critical points… These are specific dates of growth, peak and decline in demand in your segment. We focus on the statistics of past years, but if for some reason our data for the previous period is absent or insufficient, we use popular tools:
The images show periods of active growth and decline.
3. Manage rates and daily budgets during periods indicated by critical points. You need to be prepared not only for an increase in traffic, but also for an increase in conversion rates. Better to determine in advance the limits of rate increases in order to properly balance profitability and turnover, calculate advertising funds and limit daily budgets. We pay special attention to the categories that sell best in your business. For example, the conversion rate of a client of our agency for a certain sample of phrases for accessories (men’s bags) increased by 2.5 times in mid-December.
On a note! We recommend running separate seasonal campaigns. This will allow you to quickly make a painless and quick transition to the classic settings after the seasonal downturn.
Contextual campaign launch checklist
Now let’s move on to the checklist. We tried to include the main points that need to be worked out or checked in advertising campaigns.
1. Semantic core
Checking coverage and completeness… Be sure to make sure that you have collected all the necessary phrases: not only targeted queries for search, but also important related topics. During this period, try to launch similar queries in near-topic areas both in the networks and in the search.
We check nested queries, duplicates and intersections. Important! If you have collected the semantic core and cleaned it up based on the accumulated statistics, do not forget to cross minus one more time to avoid problems with falling out of reach.
Don’t ignore special operators: quotation marks, fixation of word forms, etc. In a period of increased demand and competition, the size of the rate can grow significantly. We especially control broad match phrases.
2. Quality of ads and landing pages
The task is to put links in the ads in such a way as to shorten the user’s path to the information of interest to him on your site. Also, do not forget about the classics:
- the relevance of the ad and landing page to the request;
- the presence of all extensions in Google Ads and Yandex.Direct (quick links, clarifications, displayed link, business card, image, etc.);
- competent study of the proposal (offer) both in the ad and on the landing page;
- we separately monitor the relevance of prices, the availability of goods, etc.
3. Account structure
Each project has its own structure, but in general, we do not forget to divide the RK by the type of products or services (with an eye to the average bill and popularity), geo targeting, types of sites. The main task is to segment so that the categories or products-locomotives that bring the most of the revenue do not end up with a daily budget, and untested products or experimental campaigns are separated from the main ones. We also check if the strategies have been chosen correctly.
4. General settings
- Checking bids and bid adjustments.
- Audience search terms and remarketing.
- Do not forget about additional traffic from the audience based on phone numbers, email addresses or device IDs that are in your CRM.
- Also, don’t forget about Look-alike.
- We check all the basic settings: geo and time targeting, negative keywords for the campaign, indication of counters, etc.
5. Expanding coverage
In the hot season, there is every chance to quickly tell about a new product and generate interest in it, as well as stimulate sales of an existing one. To do this, help – display ads, audio and video ads.
Campaign scripts for three months
Below are examples of scenarios for launching ads, divided by stages of seasonal activity. Described options that you can use in addition to your current advertising campaigns.
Approximately 13% of users will buy gifts during this period. The task is to target an audience in the early stages of a purchase, so we create remarketing lists in all advertising channels:
- all visitors (for a classic multi-page site or online store, we create additional “no refusals”);
- visitors of a specific category;
- visitors who have subscribed to the discount newsletter;
- abandoned cart (visitors who added an item to the cart but did not complete the purchase);
- visitors who have successfully completed a purchase.
We recommend that you choose to track conversions for a minimum of 30 days (preferably 90 days).
Peak demand period. The challenge is to maximize sales.
- Applying bid adjustments based on the assembled audiencesfor example, in Google search remarketing or other campaigns and platforms.
- In the second half of December it is worth turning off some of the remarketing conditions for a while… Russians tend to plan ahead for gift purchases, but in fact, most purchases are made in time for everything in the second half of December, so broad-term remarketing may work worse during this period.
- Launching a product campaign… We recommend giving Google Smart Shopping Campaigns a try. According to the averaged data in our agency, the tool, with the correct settings, performs 25% better than classic campaigns.
- We launch a mailing list by email base and additionally we launch campaigns on the same base of addresses, base of phone numbers in all advertising channels… In Google Ads, this is advertising in Gmail, in Yandex.Direct – through CRM segments created in the Yandex.Audience service, there are similar mechanisms in social networks. It is important to choose an interesting and personalized offer here, since this audience is the most loyal to your business.
- Also launch campaigns targeting similar audiences… As initial audiences, we use those who placed an order, left an application, as well as a contact database from your CRM.
There is residual seasonal demand, about 3% of users did not have time to buy a gift on time. The task is to reach, among other things, this audience:
- We temporarily reduce the emphasis from previously configured campaigns in the networks (YAN, KMS) and product campaigns…
- Launching a search campaign with a countdown to the end of the sale…
- We launch campaigns in networks, remarketing and advertising targeting audiences with informing about the last opportunity to purchase your product at a discount…
On a note! Don’t forget about the handy COUNTDOWN countdown modifier that you can use to set an automatic countdown in your ad.
- Smoothly returning to standard settings…
- We analyze the received data, prescribing insights for working with advertising campaigns for the next year.
1. What should be considered when working with the target audience on holidays?
It is important to correctly calculate and account for periods of demand growth and recession. You need to structure your ad campaigns to reach all segments of your target audience, based on the readiness to buy cycle in the initial phase, the phase of active growth, peak and bust.
You can start preparing for the New Year by gathering a loyal audience back in November (remarketing audiences, a subscription base, etc.). We use these audiences in December to maximize sales as self-targeting or to adjust bids. In January, do not forget about the “latecomers” – the audience that did not manage to buy the desired gift. At the end of the holiday season, we must analyze the results and fix the insights for the next year.
2. How would you advise to work with semantics?
If you have worked a qualitatively semantic core according to all known canons, covered both direct and indirect requests, you should not dwell on this in any case. Experiment with the structure of your ad campaigns, clustering of queries by need, meaning, and ad formats.
Be sure to isolate a set of high-conversion phrases. If your advertising campaigns have received a sufficient number of conversions and goal achievements, do not be afraid to include conversion strategies.
3. Should I turn off ads after the New Year?
Every year, most customers are worried about whether to turn off ads in the first 7-12 days after the hype downturn? After all, you can save your budget, operators, couriers and other arguments do not work. But on the other hand, turning off ads can cause sales to fail in January.
We recommend building on your target audience. For example, in the b2c sector, it is better not to turn off campaigns. Alternatively, on the landing page, you can indicate that applications on the site are accepted, but the goods will be issued later and indicate exactly when. If the order was placed with such a warning, the probability of refusal will be much lower. And you can satisfy the existing search demand (and during the period when the competition is minimal).
If you are from b2b and understand that your audience is not active right now, it is better to refuse advertising.