The onset of the holidays is an exciting and long-awaited time. But this is the anticipation of a well-deserved rest and pre-holiday bustle only for a part of people. For advertisers, this is a period of hard work and advance quality preparation. We will talk about what to look for and how best to act in this article.
The pre-New Year period is characterized by an increase in the amount of traffic in the b2c segment. The number of search queries related to “gifts” is steadily growing in the pre-New Year weeks:
Historical data will help to determine the start of preparation for this period: see if there was a moment of “seasonality” in previous years and when demand began to grow. If there is no such understanding, then pay attention to the services: Yandex.Wordstat and Google Trends. Yandex provides the history of requests for the last year, while Google provides data for the last five years. It is most advisable to use both tools, which will allow you to more accurately predict traffic growth and highlight the most popular categories of goods or services.
Traditionally, the categories in demand include:
- “Seasonal” services and goods (invite Santa Claus, buy a Snow Maiden costume, etc.).
- Gifts: from ready-made sets to branded items.
- Household appliances, electronics and others. Shoppers anticipating discounts often postpone such purchases until the end of the year.
- Services: restaurants, ordering flowers, food delivery, corporate events and more.
After analyzing the level of demand, you should proceed to direct preparation. And it is better to do this “the sooner the better.”
1. Take care of resources
First of all, make sure that you have enough capacity to handle all requests. It is difficult to think of a more annoying situation for the user than the failure of agreements, delivery times, for example. This is fraught with trouble, from unflattering reviews to negative brand perceptions. Perhaps it makes sense to invite “additional hands” for the pre-holiday period. A couple of couriers or sales managers can save a brand’s reputation.
2. Check the correctness of the site
Everything is important: download speed, operability of the mobile version, and so on. And especially – the work of the order forms. Loss of hits due to problems with the site or incorrect display on mobile devices is an unpleasant story, but it exists. It will not be superfluous to warn programmers about the need for prompt communication in the pre-holiday period to correct possible problems if they arise.
3. Consider promotional offers
Do free shipping, offer a gift bonus certificate or promotion. This will further motivate users to contact you.
4. Take the time to expand the semantic core
During the holidays, variants of keywords with reference to the name of the holiday, for example, “sets for the new year”, or to the words “sale”, “discounts” will be relevant. Do not forget about the variants with the indication of the competitors’ brand.
5. Review your bidding strategy
Competition in the pre-holiday period is usually higher, so the standard rate may not be enough for impressions in priority placement blocks, which will prevent you from getting the required traffic volume. Whereas for the period of holidays for some categories the situation may be the opposite: the rates will be lower than usual. The size of the bid will be determined by the expected amount of traffic, as well as the values that will remain profitable for the business. Therefore, it will be important to track the effectiveness and make the appropriate changes. If a bidder is used, then one should start from a specific value of the rate, rather than holding a certain position.
6. Update materials and correct ad texts
New Year’s banners and bright calls to action. For example, the option “Treat your loved ones with a gift” will keep users in a festive mood and promote conversions.
7. Segment your assortment and audience
You can identify the categories of goods that will be most in demand and prepare separate advertising campaigns with high rates for them. A good recommendation is to split your audience in order to personalize your ad message.
For example, separate users of mobile devices and prepare more concise texts for ads, as well as be sure to add a business card, which will allow them to immediately call and place an order. If divided by socio-demographic characteristics, try showing men the message “Gift card for your beloved is a great gift”. Conversion will not be long in coming.
8. Don’t forget about retargeting / remarketing
If there are contacts of users who made purchases last year, then it’s time to collect audiences based on them and, for example, set up adjustments. Also “catch up” with ads with accompanying offers from users who have already made a purchase now, and those who have not completed the transaction – with the offer of additional bonuses upon purchase.
9. It will not be superfluous to check yourself against the checklist of basic settings
Before running campaigns, double-check that everything is correct:
- counters are added, goals are configured, accounts are linked (to collect audiences), all links are relevant and there is markup (UTM tags or auto-tagging);
- the site is working, the forms are working, there are no problems with displaying pages, loading speed;
- campaigns were prepared accordingly: the required geo targeting regions, time targeting, language targeting, budget restrictions, bids, rate adjustments, negative keywords, prohibited sites and categories were set, all possible extensions were used (business card, clarifications, additional links with descriptions, etc.). ), and creatives are relevant and error-free.
And now we survived the first wave. The last weeks of December are coming, advertising campaigns are working in an intensified mode. How to proceed further?
1. Provide yourself with orders for the future
Even if your organization will not work on holidays, most users will want to receive delivery on the first working days. The main thing is to specify the conditions on the website and set up notifications with order confirmation if there is no employee who will call you back.
2. Announce your work schedule
If you work on holidays, notify users of this on the website and in the ads by adding, for example, “we work on holidays” to the ad text. This can be a decisive factor for the user.
3. Experiment with Bid Adjustments for Audiences by Location
Or create separate campaigns and target them. The idea is to gather users within a certain radius of your organization and prepare a special delivery offer for them within a limited time frame.
4. Delight potential customers with special offers
During the holidays, users are more lazy than on other days, and therefore will not spend a lot of time choosing. A separate “holiday” offer in your ad copy will encourage shopping from you.
5. Don’t stop!
And, last but not least, make sure that the advertising budget is replenished with a margin and that advertising campaigns will not stop early.
The holiday season is a great time to test new tools and offer formats, as well as gather audiences that can be used in remarketing / retargeting campaigns later. For example, offer users new products or inform about promotions. Don’t miss this opportunity! Try to understand your target audience, help them during this period, and the increase in conversions will not keep you waiting!