Perfecting your festive PPC strategy

By Wolfenden
26th October 2020
By Matthew Palmer


Even though we’ve been preparing for our clients’ festive strategies, we can’t quite believe Black Friday and the Christmas holidays are hurtling towards us.

In a strange year, we’ve seen more businesses than ever make the move to ecommerce as in-store sales struggle. If you’re one of those businesses, you might now be preparing for your first festive period where you’re relying on online sales.

With retail competition online set to be tougher than ever, I’ve put together 3 main tips I’d advise businesses to take on board with their PPC strategy as we move ever closer to the holiday season.

1. Be proactive not reactive

I know, it sounds obvious enough, but preparation really is key – audiences and their needs change around this period and you won’t stand up against the competition if you don’t change the status quo.

Even if you had a good strategy last year, remember that this year will be slightly different and you might want to alter your promotions, targeting and ad copy to align with this.

For example, sending gifts straight to loved ones is likely to be more popular with families and friends not able to get together, so do you offer a gift-wrapping service? Do you offer letterbox deliveries? Keep an eye on search trends and alter the focus of your ads to match this. Don’t forget to include gift-oriented keywords in your campaigns, too.

Change the focus of your ads as you move from Black Friday towards Christmas, too – around Black Friday, people are looking for deals and promotions. Towards Christmas Day itself – people will be looking for speedy delivery, if you can offer this, put it front and centre of your ad.

Work with other team members / channel owners to sit down and plan out week by week what you’re going to be pushing and who to, there might be activity planned on other channels – such as UGC or PR coverage – that you can feed into your PPC ads.

Whatever you do, don’t wait until the week before and change your ad copy on a whim.

2. Be as targeted as possible

With competition being high during this period, you want your spend to be as focused as possible, otherwise you could easily eat through your budget.

Take a look at last year’s data (if possible) and your data this year so far to analyse who your audience is, when they’re likely to convert, where your audience is strongest etc. to determine the ideal audiences and when to target them.

Again, remember that this year will be slightly different, for example people are being encouraged to do their Christmas shopping now so that retailers can cope with fulfilment.

Remember that your ideal online audience might not necessarily be the same as your in-store customers, so work with your team / your agency to really dive into your online data to understand who you should be targeting.

Customers over the Black Friday period in particular are likely to be new to your brand, so think about what to get in place to try and retain these customers afterwards, can you get them to create an account? Sign up to your newsletter?

Have a clear funnel in place for any prospecting campaigns and set the KPIs clearly at each stage, build out remarketing pools to continue engaging any new users and move them along to conversion – don’t waste spend on prospecting if you’re not going to re-engage with them.

Finally, take a deep dive into audience data from other channels – not just your paid campaigns – to get a full scope of your audience potential.

3. Monitor competitor activity

With this being such a volatile period, you need to know how your competitors are behaving – whether they’re being more aggressive or simply showing more often with higher budgets. Ask your team or agency to keep an eye on impression share more frequently throughout this period.

You need to be able to be responsive and make those necessary changes to improve performance if competitors are doing the same, don’t let things tick along when they could be improved.

Need help?

If this is the first holiday season you’re relying on online sales, let us know if you’d like any support or guidance on what your festive PPC strategy should look like. We can review what’s already in place and give our recommendations, or we can build you a strategy from scratch. Don’t leave it too late to take advantage of increased online demand.

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