This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Christmas In July – Preparing for the Holiday Season.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:
Q1: Have you begun discussing holiday season promotions and initiatives with your clients? Why or why not?
- YES, we prep for holiday year round. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
- To Heather’s point, we should be preparing for the holiday season all year long, but it’s especially important to start now! – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
- Absolutely! The sooner the better so we can start writing ads, customizing remarketing audiences, adjusting PLA tags. – Matt Umbro
- Yes, with clients who rely on huge holiday seasons to promote their biz. Can’t start too early. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
- Yes! Sooner the better – need to consider traffic increases and budgets too so there’s more than just account work to be done. – Niki Grant (@TheNikiGrant)
- Mentioned it to most clients this month. Most aren’t ready w/promo schedules yet, surprise surprise! – Logan Durant (@THELoganDurant)
- Depends upon client, some small ecom sites are so disorganized it can be a struggle to get a Fall Promotion out of them. – Kirk Williams (@KECreate)
- Have brought it up but have to get thru product launches, site migrations, etc. first. Learnings there will fuel holiday plans. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
- It’s also helpful to immediately review Holiday Season in 1st Qu when it’s fresh to develop next year’s schedule. – Kirk Williams
- Gives needed time to prep for clients with a well planned sales season & time to coach those who aren’t as ready. – Sean Evanko (@sevanko)
- They might not have promotions but they should clearly have an idea what their strategy is for this holiday season. – Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
- There isn’t much holiday prep in my company (no PLA’s) but we’ve been creatively considering it in discussion this month. – Christine Eitel (@ECEitel)
Q2: What new PPC feature are you most excited about implementing for the holiday season? Why?
- Biggest benefit I found from starting early last year: setting up remarketing audiences early. – Logan Durant
- Offer extensions as well as site link descriptions to expand on Xmas delivery terms. Review extensions when possible too! – Niki Grant
- RLSA because I think this will be a nice addition in the research shopping phase. – Heather Cooan
- I’ve seen very little traffic with RLSA…but I could be doing it wrong. – Matt Umbro
- Remarketing for Search, Dynamic Remarketing because I can show different audiences different messages/promotions. – Christina Hall
- Dynamic Remarketing! – Matt Umbro
- Bing Product Ads. Assuming they can get their stuff together by then. Have my doubts. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
- I am looking forward to working with and seeing others work with sitelink descriptions! – Christine Eitel
Q3: How extensively are you writing new copy for the holiday season? For example, does every single ad group get 2 new holiday ads?
- Depends on client, promos, goals, etc. Sometimes not as much bump as you might expect from ad copy changes. – Jeremy Brown
- Yes – especially for ecom or anything particularly seasonal. Delivery times are extra important around Xmas so push them! – Niki Grant
- Yup. All creative gets overhauled for holiday. Text, image, vids, all. – Heather Cooan
- Specific new ads for high ROI products & options to exchange copy if necessary. – Christina Hall
- Yes. Though some of my best holiday ads are nearly identical to my non-holiday season ads. Maybe the vertical? – Luke Alley
- Usually go for “ad set optimization”- keep the regular “winner” in the mix with the new holiday stuff. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
- When I did ecommerce in-house, we tested holiday ad copy and it SUCKED. Regular copy did much better. But this was a while ago. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
- Ultimately, it still comes down to the sale – if it’s a good deal people will click, with or without holiday messaging. – Matt Umbro
- We’ve run a number of promo ad copy tests and in and out of holiday season and often they don’t perform much better. – Jeremy Brown
- Yes, I’ve seen similar. Dove in the first year with all out holiday copy, it sucked. Made slight changes, did much better. – Luke Alley
- It’s also heavily dependant on the advertiser. I use holiday/gift related SQR’s with conversions as my signal for use. – Heather Cooan
Q4: What PPC feature that you have never tried, or have done little of, are you hoping to work into your PPC holiday preparation?
- GA remarketing to make audiences as relevant as possible at the crucial points. Better than just ‘visited – didn’t convert’ – Niki Grant
- Advanced Remarketing Segments with Analytics Based RMKTing! – Andrew Bethel (@abethelga)
- Display image ads specific for holidays. – Christina Hall
- FBX will be an interesting addition this year. I’m curious to see how cost/comp. spikes at holiday. – Heather Cooan
- Bing PLAs. Again, if they can roll out in time for holiday season. – Jeremy Brown
- The Communications Extension. I would love tips, if any of you have worked with it! – Christine Eitel
Q5: What tools/features will you be using to improve efficiencies in preparation for the holiday season?
- Kenshoo. – Jeremy Brown
- I mentioned it earlier, but hopefully scripts. – Matt Umbro
- Good ol’ Excel! – Logan Durant
- Bulk bid changes mainly as we don’t really use any external tools. Also Response Tap for call tracking & measuring lead quality. – Niki Grant
- On call and frequent checks calendar. – Heather Cooan
- Outlook. – Matt Umbro
Q6: Have you begun preparing your PPC for after the holiday season? Especially for ecomm, how important is January for PPC?
- Yes, preparing to capture those GC dollars! – Heather Cooan
- I’ve been surprised with my clients how important January is for some. This is a HUGE part of our strategy. – Kirk Williams
- Some clients especially health & supplement January IS their Holiday season. Same for B2B in many cases, though doing good top of funnel in Nov/Dec can lead to strong January/February. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
- Specifically targeting people who got money / gift cards from family/friends for Christmas and are searching after it’s over. – Kirk Williams
- Jan is important to adjust budgets & strategies & to pause any holiday only products. – Christina Hall
- January is important for many clients. Also a time for new budgets,new CMOs, etc. – Jeremy Brown
- That is a brilliant question. I hadn’t considered it, yet…now I am. – Chrstine Eitel
- Cold weather clothing retailers are also smack in the middle of high season in Jan. – Heather Cooan
- For one client we advertised January Deals well ahead of time to pick up the Xmas Cash, Jan nearly beat out Dec in Rev for them. – Kirk Williams
- Jan is important month for retention. When clients plan next year’s goals, make sure cutting PPC mgmt costs isn’t one of them! – Logan Durant
Q7: What action item are you going to take out of this chat and begin immediately?
- Take a longer look at segmenting with Analytics Remarketing! - Kirk Williams
- Focus more on scripts,actually write down an action item plan. – Christina Hall
- Try to get clients into the “closed beta” for common sense. – Bryant Garvin
- Looking back into ad blocking issue on DCLCK cookie. GA team told me it was no long an issue. – Heather Cooan
- External management tools! Any good training sites for these? – Niki Grant
- Continue to get more clients on Dynamic Remarketing, RLSA, and FB retargeting. – Matt Umbro
- Def Scripts & GA RMKTing: 15-20% CR for most of my new segments! Helps to have tons of volume! – Andrew Bethel
- Reach out to clients for their holiday promo plans, and get the ball rolling on planning our own strategy. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
- Focus more on advanced planning with clients. Get them to think ahead instead of be reactionary. – Bryant Garvin
- Talk to Bing and see if Bing PLAs will actually be ready for holiday retail. – Jeremy Brown
- Google AdWords Editor (version as of today’s PPCChat 10.1.0)
- Microsoft adCenter Desktop
- PPCChat Member List (Twitter)
- adCenter Feature Suggestion
- Bing Keyword Research Tool
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.
Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.
Prepared for Holiday Streamcaps
This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.