Preparing to Feast on Thanksgiving Pay Per Click

This week James Svoboda (@Realicity) guest hosts while Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) is on sabbatical his honeymoon. Today’s question set is titled “Preparing to Feast on Thanksgiving PPC.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Are you cooking PPC promotions for Thanksgiving & what types are you preparing for: b2b, b2c, ecom, local…?

  • Mostly ecom, lots of promotional ad copy and last minute deals. – Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
  • Planning some content promotions through a few Social PPC platforms. – James Svoboda
  • Well, not Thanksgiving, but Black Friday 🙂 Lots of ecommerce promos. Not best timing for B2B. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
  • Mostly lead gen clients so nothing specific to Thanksgiving. One e-comm client specifically said he did not want to do promos. Said he could get sales without it. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
    • Thanksgiving PPC is more ocmplicated for lead gen. Also, not a dependent on sales goals to meet this time of year. – James Svoboda
  • Ad copy modifications and email blasts. – Dave Rosborough (@daverosborough)
  • I’ve also found Ad Copy can he an easy and big win for holiday promotions. – James Svoboda
  • We worked on this video for 5 things I think are must dos for the holiday. – Michael Cestaro (@Vertical_MikeC)
  • Have had some… interesting lead gen-promos in the past for dating sites! E-comm is pretty obvious though. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)

Q2: How far in advance did you start planning for Thanksgiving? Last Year or Month, This Month, Right now! … Why?

  • Sooner the better, but that is dependent on clients mostly. We reach out to them a month in advance at least. – Jeremy Brown
  • We have some leftovers from last year that we’re going to reheat this year. Just add a few side dishes & presto. For the new content pieces, those are getting planned now. – James Svoboda
  • About 45-60 days in advance. If we have content/ads that worked from last year we just retool it. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
  • We’re also launching several Thanksgiving campaigns this week. – James Svoboda
  • Depends on the scope of your holiday strategy and how long it will take to implement. – Dave Rosborough

Q3: Are you changing any NON-Thanksgiving campaigns due to the holiday? Maybe pause, change Budget or CPC..?

  • Getting ready for Retargeting/Display CPCs to rise once holiday Q4 spend increases. More competition for inventory. – Jeremy Brown
    • Good point. It’ll be interesting to see how CPC’s react in an Enhanced world. – James Svoboda
  • Not unless it won’t be sold/provided at that time. Otherwise try to cross-sell. – Christina Hall
  • We’ll be pausing some over Thanksgiving to conserve ad budget. Also lead gen sales staff will be out and unable to answer calls. – James Svoboda
  • We crank way down in Q4 for our health clients. No one cares about losing weight during Nov/Dec. Mainly getting ready for Q1. – Jesse Semchuck
    • Great point. We see this every year when People put off items on their personal lists as they are busy holiday stuff. – James Svoboda
  • In one case turning it up as the client is related to finding ER/Hospitals! – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
    • To your point, went to hospital last Christmas Eve and Urgent care was closed. Had to go to ER. ER visits cost much more. – James Svoboda
    • mobile is prob an important ad choice for those campaigns I’m sure! People in a rush on the way with a phone. – Kirk Williams (@KECreate)
  • Not necessarily change, but most B2B we pre-set budgets to slow a bit based on expected volume. – Aaron Levy
  • Use existing campaigns with new holiday ad copy, and pausing existing ads. Holiday KWDs don”t help our products unfortunately. – Dave Rosborough
  • Thanksgivng is the end of season for most of our accounts. We ramp down significantly. – Andrew Bethel (@abethelga)
  • Working on Black Friday advertising now. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)

Q4: How does Ad Scheduling and Day Parting figure into your Thanksgiving campaigns?

  • We use Kenshoo to schedule promo ads. Very helpful. – Jeremy Brown
  • I do less day-parting than many people. Esp this time of year when “normal” patterns are out of whack. – Theresa Zook
  • Only matters when the doors are closed. Will probably increase during office hours for cyber Monday. – Jesse Semchuck
  • Prob a good idea to lower bids something like 10am-2pm for US campaigns. Tho mobile ads after lunch during couch football time pushing sales hitting on Black Friday! – Kirk Williams
  • We’ll using them to time a few campaigns to pause about 6 PM on Thanksgiving Eve, then start back up on Black Monday. – James Svoboda
  • Adjusting scheduling on call extensions is a good idea during holidays, unless you’re staffed for this. – Melissa Mackey
  • Analyzing YoY holiday trends and applying them accordingly. Also, consider call center and hours of operation. – Dave Rosborough
  • How do you see your campaign(s) changing and evolving over Thanksgiving? Ad Copy, Keywords, Bids…? – James Svoboda
  • Scheduling through Marin for midnight global releases. hand bid/monitor those CPCs, stock levels, and messaging. – Katy Tonkin (@katytonkin)

Q5: How do you see your campaign(s) changing and evolving over Thanksgiving? Ad Copy, Keywords, Bids…?

  • Ad copy will be specifically tailored towards thanksgiving: ad text, promotions etc. Keywords depending on company. – Christina Hall
  • If anything, our clients go minimal or turn off after Thanksgiving. – Melissa Mackey
  • We’ve seen good Conversions changing up messaging on Ecomm ads to match day… “Cyber Monday Sale!” etc. Good way to stand out. – James Svoboda
  • Bid sky high for ecomm, starting thanksgiving afternoon. In most cases conversion rates are so insane that sky high bidding pays off, but obv exercise restraint where needed. – Aaron Levy
    • Saw from Bing Ads team that search activity starts to spike starting around noon on Thanksgiving and goes until 9pm.- Katy Tonkin
  • Lifting budget caps on campaigns w/ positive ROI is a must to max out holiday campaigns. – 50onRed (@50onRed)
  • Should be some aggressive bids this year around Black Friday / Cyber Monday. 6 fewer shopping days this year. – Jeremy Brown
  • Pulling CO campaigns out of CO/DCO to hand bid. Taking advantage of some flexible bid strats, too (ROAS and position). – Katy Tonkin

Q6: How are you planning your Ecommerce campaigns to get “stuffed” over the Thanksgiving holiday?

  • Feeding Ecom PPC with themed promos, ad copy updates, increased budget and PLAs to loosen the belt on the sales jeans. – James Svoboda
  • No stuffing here. Close watch on spend to make sure it’s getting buyers and not just looky-look Turkeys. – Jeremy Brown

Q7: What tips & advice would you give to a Local business on planning a Thanksgiving PPC campaign?

  • Only advertise when you can service the customers. If you are open 9-5. Then run ads for 8-4:30. – Jeremy Brown
  • Know your customer buying habits and prep for those. Small Biz Saturday may be better for you than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. – James Svoboda
  • Remember people are often not familiar with where they are – add Geo terms to make it easy for out-of-towners. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Geo terms, geo extensions, phone numbers & biz hours. – Christina Hall
  • Ramp up your budget for three weeks so your ads get seen as often as possible. – Theresa Zook
  • Also, Facebook PPC can be a good option for Local Businesses to draw attention from local people with keen Interests. – James Svoboda
  • Consider offering incentives, no matter how small. Help your business stand out from your competition. – Dave Rosborough

Q8: What Mobile considerations do you have for Thanksgiving? -100%, price compare, device targeting, other…

  • Mobile use will be up and lots in-store. That could be good or bad depending on your pricing, inventory, etc. – Jeremy Brown
  • Use Mobile divice signals and Remarketing to capture the sale after the weekend. – James Svoboda


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.


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

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• 50onRed (@50onRed)
• Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
• Andrew Bethel (@abethelga)
• Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
• Dave Rosborough (@daverosborough)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Katy Tonkin (@katytonkin)
• Kirk Williams (@KECreate)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Michael Cestaro (@Vertical_MikeC)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)

Preparing Streamcaps about Thanksgiving PPC

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.

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