PPC Chat Streamcap – Ringing in the PPC Holidays Part 2 of 2

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) hosted part 2 of a Holiday PPCChat with the theme of “Ringing In The PPC Holidays.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What were some Black Friday/Cyber Monday trends you noticed, whether it be keyword bids, ad copy techniques, etc?

  • Honestly, nothing different. Major thing I noticed/tried is using BF/CM in copy – consumer recognition of these days is huge now. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Lots of messaging around “Cyber Monday Deal” or “Black Friday Sales.” Basically, getting that sense of urgency out there. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Actually seeing terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” used much more frequently in ad copy. – Lerna Terpanjian (@Lerna)
  • If anything, I felt like it started a little earlier than Friday. Seems like Thursday had some decent activity. – Mark Kenndy (@markkennedysem)
    • Agreed, clients also extended deals all weekend instead of just these 2 particular days. – Matt Umbro
      • We SAID we extended in our copy, but they were always planned for the whole week. – Aaron Levy
    • Definitely saw sales start earlier and end well after Cyber Monday. – Lerna Terpanjian
  • Cyber Monday– Conversion Rate doubled, even quadrupled in some cases. Huge lift especially after doing major KW expansions etc. – Emily Las (@emlas)
  • In Canada, more CDN shoppers/retailers are participating in Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Huge YOY traffic/revenue spikes. – Joseph McConellogue (@DigitalMrktr)
  • On a side note, I felt the BF/CM emails were more evident this year than any year I can remember. – Mark Kennedy
    • I definitely thought the push for BF/CM in general seemed more evident this year — emails included. – Claire Remmetter (@cremmetter)
  • Compared to Xmas, Thanksgiving day itself is quiet. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Cyber Monday has been starting Sunday night. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • The amount of deals emails I got that weekend was frightening.. Deterred me from shopping if anything. – Emily Las
  • I had a feature run on QVC the sunday in between that definitely played into the mix. Unfortunately being a brand I see my CVR’s drop thanks to all you retailers out there undercutting me. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
    • Do you run any special PPC campaigns during the time your QVC portion is live? – Mark Kennedy
      • Nothing specific, more meeting the demand…luckily they sold out early, so we became a good 2nd option. – Chris Kostecki
        • Gotcha, that’s smart. I may want to implement that for a future campaign. – Mark Kennedy

Q2: Last week Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner) wrote about Post Cyber Monday PPC plans. How are you assessing data/continuing holiday PPC to get more value (ie: revenue, etc) out of your holiday PPC efforts?

  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday is just starting point. Holiday finish line = Last day for ground shipping. – Emily Las
  • This sounds quite simple but I think understand typical YOY trends for a client / industry is essential for planning. – James Luty (@jamesluty)
  • Our digital team has been planning this season for quite a few weeks, for a multichannel approach (email,soc,search,merch). – Chris Kostecki
  • Not just around bank holidays and peak days etc. But yes, seasonal changes and external events need to be planned for! – James Luty
  • Drop discounts, offer free shipping instead with guaranteed to get there notes. Prey on the “Oh crap gotta shop!” moment. – Aaron Levy
  • Anyone seen success with messaging such as “Cyber Monday Deal Extended to 12/12”? Or is “Deal Ends 12/12” more prevalent after CM? – Matt Umbro
  • We change a lot of the promo codes and offers in the ads for the specials during and post-BF/CM. – Mark Kennedy
  • How many people believe profitability suffered because of non incremental sales happening at lower margins? – Richard Fergie
    • Honestly I think retailers are too terrified to test this. Great idea though! – Aaron Levy
  • Also with Facebook PPC– Holiday makes for huge ROI. Lots of sales off of clients’ current fans. New buyers too! – Emily Las
  • As far as ad messaging goes, were seeing better success w/ minimal changes to optimized ad copy. Highlighting selling props more. – Luke Alley
  • We saw a huge dip in CTR when pushing seasonal promos too hard. Slow and steady wins the race. – Mark Jensen (@Just_Markus)

Q3: How are you utilizing Facebook PPC this holiday season to boost brand awareness and/or revenue?

  • Facebook Holiday PPC= 5 different messages across custom audience segments. Literally pairing targets w/specific promos. – Emily Las
  • I’ve had amazing results with FB ads using 60% off today only, sales that end at midnight etc. play the ‘fast’ card. – Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)
  • Holiday PPC on FB– CPCs shot through the roof. More than doubled. Apparently this Facebook thing is catching on. – Emily Las
  • With FB do you guide people to company pages where there is a coupon? – Matt Umbro
  • Target consumers with products they’ll actually like via Facebook PPC. – Statdash (@statdash)
  • I found that when we directed traffic to our company page, we didn’t see an increase in organic or direct traffic in GA. – Jasmine Aye (@jazaye)

Q4: What’s your PPC high and low for holiday thus far? (Brag, whine– let it all out)

  • High: Best week evar! Low: Having “Fa-la-la” rejected in Ad Copy. – Aaron Levy
  • High as definitely been being able to tell clients they are seeing such great results…everyone is happy. – Matt Umbro
  • Being able to listen to Christmas music as much as I’d like… While working on PPC. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • Conversions down across the board for 4 days around Thanksgiving. HATE that holiday 🙁 Makes for horrible reporting. – Jasmine Aye
    • Wow– that is unusual. I wonder if that has to do with PPC madness. maybe stealing away from organic. – Emily Las
      • I haven’t seen PPC stealing from organic yet. FB PPC is the last place I ever get great return. And it’s kind of expensive. – Jasmine Aye
        • FB Holiday return=HUGE. It’s a lot of work optimization-wise though. Use 3rd party tracking and you will see more $/visits! – Emily Las
  • Holiday High: Making it rain money // Low: Remembering the money is not mine. – Emily Las
  • Low = Seeing organic traffic at 0 for non ecomm clients on Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Ok, so that was SEO not PPC. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
  • Low- Google unable to fix product listing ad issue 🙁 High- Switching from Grooveshark to Spotify. – Mark Jensen
  • Having my client say “Sales are Exploding. You rock.” and having our 4 biggest days ever. – Lisa Sanner
  • Low, not being able to automate when ads start/stop showing (don’t have any 3rd party software). – Matt Umbro
  • Low: having to redo all my sitelinks for sales, and losing stats. high: the results they generated. – Eloi Casali
  • High – good results for clients. Low: lots of ad work in short amounts of time (bit worth it). – Mark Kennedy
  • Low = Call from @Realicity on Thanksgiving -“You got time to work on something?” Client had sale, but showed regular price in cart! – Paul Kragthorpe

Q5: Do you find your holiday landing pages (if you have them) to be driving much more significant revenue over regular landing pages?

  • Pretty much all I’ve ever seen/done is gift guides (not great) and santa hat/snowflakes on the logo (probably works?). – Aaron Levy
  • IMHO Holiday landing pages are code for clearance. – Matt Umbro
  • Gift Guide works but not for everyone. Noticing having a solid “Gifts Under $__” offering makes a huge difference. – Emily Las
  • Landing on product detail pages for special deals did gangbusters (conv rate). Landing on holiday gift guides, meh, not so much. – Lisa Sanner
  • Holiday landing pages do make for a nice sitelink, also, holiday deals make for good promotional text on PLAs. – Matt Umbro

Q6: What are the biggest differences between your PPC holiday strategy this year vs. last?

  • More ad enhancements to utilize. – Mark Kennedy
  • My AdWords communication strategy changed this yr– expect zero support, create ads in paused status 1-2 wks ahead! – Emily Las
    • LOVE that they reviewed them ahead of time this year! – Aaron Levy ++
  • Longer headlines make for much more appealing copy as they greater emphasize deals & promos. – Matt Umbro
  • Bid much more aggressively after the success of last yr (proven). Set up automated reports/dashboards, Used scheduled actions. – Lisa Sanner
  • Using topic and interest based campaigns for display ads. – Manoj Pandey (@_MAN0J)
  • The new product listing format influenced holiday strategy a bit this year, not so much w/ getting the feed setup, but raising bids. – Matt Umbro
  • @marinsoftware Reported a 34% decrease in CPC YoY for Thanksgiving wknd- they manage $1B+/yr – anyone here see CPC drop? – Emily Las

Q7: What promotions/ad copy will you be running directly after the holidays?

  • Will continue running promotional copy for after-holiday clearances. – Lerna Terpanjian
  • Anyone try running copy around “Easy Returns?” – Matt Umbro
    • “Easy Returns” is best for products targeting men- research shows men don’t like to return! – Emily Las
    • I don’t have ecommerce clients, but I would think ‘easy returns’ or ‘free shipping on returns’ could be good offers. – Claire Remmetter
  • Post Holiday is time for magical word/call-to-action = CLEARANCE. – Emily Las
  • New years resolution, “get what you really wanted,” gift card redemption, more fa-la-la-la. – Aaron Levy
  • Offers extended by seeing positive ROI. – Manoj Pandey
  • Free/Expedited shipping. Still have more deals and new promos, which I’m working on my other monitor as we tweet. – Lisa Sanner

Resources

Google AdWords Editor (version as of today’s PPCChat 9.7.1)

Bing Ads Editor

http://www.google.com/ads/answers/

PPCChat Member List (Twitter)

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

About the Streamcapologist

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe, Search Manager at WebRanking in Minneapolis, MN, #PPCChat Streamcap hunter & gatherer, rare SEO Blogger, Tweet maker @PaulKragthorpe, and Google+’er PaulKragthorpe.

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2 Responses to PPC Chat Streamcap – Ringing in the PPC Holidays Part 2 of 2

  1. Lisa Sanner says:

    Here’s working link for my post-CM blog.
    http://www.pointit.com/cyber-mondays-over-now-what/

    Great stuff once again #ppcchat’ters!

  2. […] paid search program. I find it interesting from an SEO an advertising perspective. One of their recent chats was all about using PPC for the […]

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