Many firms efficiently plan their digital marketing strategies to generate profit as the holiday season is around the corner. Pay-per-click is one of the most popular marketing strategies used by firms to promote products and boost sales. An essential element is allocating the budget for your PPC campaign without burning a hole in your pocket.
According to eMarketer, retail and e-commerce sales in the US peaked at 35.8% in 2020 during the holiday season as shown below.
If you haven’t planned your PPC strategy for the holiday season, now is the time!
In this blog, we will discuss the basics of PPC and the 8 best practices to ensure that you reach your targets.
Let’s dive right in!
What is PPC?
PPC or pay-per-click is an advertising model where advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their digital ads. There are various types of PPC advertising including paid search advertising, display advertising, social media advertising, affiliate marketing, remarketing, and price comparison website advertising.
Paid search ads are the most common type of PPC advertising. As the same suggests these ads appear when a user searches online using a search engine like Google, Explorer, etc. It could be a mobile search like a user searching for “restaurants near me” on their cell phone or a local service search for “dentist in my area”. The search possibilities are endless. All the search results trigger PPC ads. Your business is only charged when a user clicks on your ad.
How does it work?
PPC ads work on a bidding system. As an advertiser, you have to bid on relevant keywords that may trigger your ad. For instance, if your firm specializes in baked items then your keywords might include “Christmas cake”or “cupcakes” in order to target the right audience. When a user enters “cupcakes” in the search engine, it generates results according to its algorithm and Ad Auction to determine which ads are displayed first. Therefore, it is imperative to bid only on keywords relevant to your business to generate ROI from your ad spend.
Now that we know the basics, let’s explore the eight best PPC practices for this holiday season.
8 Best PPC Practices for this Holiday Season
1. Analyze Previous Performance:
Performing a post-mortem on your previous ad campaigns is a great initiative. Did your last year’s Black Friday campaign perform better than this year? Do you want to execute your Christmas PPC campaign successfully?
Evaluate your last year’s PPC results for the holiday season to discover which marketing components resulted in improved lead generation and high conversion rates. Moreover, determine keywords, channels, promotions, campaign type, ad designs that garnered high user engagement. This will reveal which practices you should continue and which ones you should stop immediately.
Further, it is also recommended to monitor your competitors and their marketing strategy. Not only does competitor analysis inform you about the marketing strategies that are a hit-or-miss but you can also track your performance in the industry.
2. Plan Your Keywords:
Picking the right keywords is essential for running a successful PPC campaign for the holiday season. These keywords can make or break your ad campaign. You can use online tools like Google Ads to generate a list of phrases and keywords with high search volume that can represent your brand.
After obtaining your desired keywords, conduct extensive research to monitor the performance and popularity of these words. For instance keywords like ‘Gift’, ‘Present’, ‘Holiday sale’, ‘Christmas’, Christmas sale’ and many more perform better in the holiday season. These keywords will effectively target your desired audience.
Research has shown that long-tail keywords may have low search traffic but a high conversion rate. Additionally, don’t forget to pay importance to the relevance and variations of these keywords to your product or service. Many variations have resulted in low cost-per-click (CPC) and can help you reduce your conversion cost.
3. Launch Your PPC Campaign Before Q4:
If sales maximization is your goal this holiday season then you must enter the marketing industry before the season begins. This is because CPC rates will sky-rocket during the holiday season. Bidding early for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, New years PPC will not only reduce your ad spend but will also increase conversions. Thus, seize PPC opportunities for the holiday season before its peak in order to reduce your conversion cost.
4. Understand the Functionality of the Attribution Model:
The Attribution Model is a framework that analyzes which marketing channels, touchpoints should receive credit for the conversion. Common attribution models include First Interaction, Last Interaction, Linear, Time-Decay, Last non-direct click, and Position-based.
Each model distributes the conversion value of each touchpoint differently. The First interaction model gives 100% of the credit to a single click/interaction while the Last interaction gives 100% of the credit to the last interaction your lead had before conversion. Conversely, linear attribution gives equal credit and time-decay plays attention to when each touchpoint transpired.
Note that there’s no “best” model. Every model has a different purpose along with its pros and cons. Many marketing managers fail to understand how the functionality of these advertising models directly impacts consumer’s buying behavior. For instance, Facebook’s attribution model gives itself more credit in lead generation than what they deserve.
Your firm might be overspending on Facebook Advertising without even realizing it. Thus, to generate maximum returns from your ad spend on PPC advertising, you should hire an experienced and budget-friendly digital marketing agency. Outsourcing experts will save you the hassle of designing an ad campaign, launching it, and measuring ROI while staying on a budget.
5. Retarget for Better Conversions:
Although maintaining a good relationship with your current clients through email marketing is a great approach, you should also target potential customers. In particular, it’s a good idea to target website visitors, regular blog readers, or those who engage regularly with your social media for better conversions.
This form of targeting individuals who’ve already interacted with your brand in some way is called retargeting. While these users may not have yet purchased something from you, they are likely to be interested in your products, and it can be worthwhile to double-down on these individuals by offering them Christmas discounts or gift cards.
Facebook offers effective retargeting due to its demographics features. You could add a snippet of the analytics tool, Facebook Pixel on your website. This code will track people’s actions on your website. Furthermore, Google’s remarketing campaigns helps you position your ads to audiences who browse on Google or its partner sites.
As stated earlier, a good approach is to retarget early in the holiday season to boost your customer base (repeat buyer of your product or service). Pre-holiday Christmas and Black Friday PPC campaigns are an amazing strategy for converting retarget audiences.
6. Create Interesting Landing Pages:
Landing pages and Ad creatives are essential for brand awareness. Not only can they help you inform your target audience about your brand but can also help develop brand loyalty. You must play your cards right to build your customer base.
For instance, posting user-generated-content (UGC) will help you generate customer engagement. If your brand is offering a surprise gift with purchase, your ad creative will be assuring and attractive. Additionally, you could promote this strategy on your landing pages and ad creative. This would improve brand engagement since customers could drop hints about the mystery gift or could share your ad in hopes of receiving your gift.
To gain maximum benefit you should create engagement campaigns that target your current customers, loyalists, and potential clients. You could incorporate countdown for promos, host giveaways during this season, add video campaigns, UGC to get in the holiday spirit.
7. Simplify Gift-Shopping:
Shopping should always be fun and easy for customers. According to Bain’s 2017 holiday trends, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) decreased due to dissatisfied customers. NPS is an index that measures a customer’s willingness to recommend a firm’s products or services to others.
Many firms adopt creative marketing strategies to prevent customer dissatisfaction and to increase sales including a gift, a coupon, or free shipping to name a few. Also, you can enhance your customer’s shopping experience by simplifying your inventory online through on-site purchase, same-day store pickups.
Next, promoting online shopping instead of in-store shopping is a great idea due to the pandemic. Moreover, control your ease of product navigation, checkout, product return policy, shipping cost on your website.
8. Increase Your Brand Engagement:
Building momentum around your brand during the holidays is the way to go. Your ideal gift-givers may include those that like to surprise receivers and those that prefer a wish list.
To target both these gift-givers you can generate UGC and wishlist creation tools. Not only will UGC create buzz around your brand but will also capture the attention of buyers with similar interest. Similarly, your wishlist creation campaign can target loyalty program logins, social media followers, repeat buyers. This campaign can propose products to be added to the wishlist according to the user’s browsing and buying behavior.
All these above-mentioned tips will aid you in achieving your expected targets.
However, if you are overwhelmed with campaign planning, you should consider hiring professionals. AdRush is a full-service digital marketing agency that provides Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you need assistance in your PPC campaign, schedule a FREE Consultation today.