Three Tips for Optimizing PPC Campaigns for Seasons

How retailers can make seasonal social ad dollars push further.

Preparing paid social campaigns well ahead of your peak periods – whether seasonal, holiday or promotional – help safeguard goal achievements. Michelle Stinson Ross, marketing operations director at Apogee Results, provides tips on how advertisers can get the most out of seasonal social ads. Focus was on digital commerce marketing, and ways social commerce and shoppable media are transforming the way online retailers approach digital marketing.

Be what people are thinking about

“Paid social sits much higher in your sales funnel than paid search does. Just think about it… Are human beings really able to search for something they’ve never heard of before? No, probably not,” said Stinson Ross.

It’s the reason why paid social advertisers need to be thinking about social in the same vein as “old school” forms of mass media: newspapers, radio, or television. “These are all exposures to audiences that may have never heard of us,” she added.

Social media as a marketing channel may not present an “intense moment of buying,” Stinson Ross said, but it could deliver a chance to remind or familiarize consumers with your brand and its highlights for their industry.

Early exposure provides the opportunity to build up audiences to remarket to when your seasonal periods hit. “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn – all of them have retargeting options that allow brands to remind them – hey, there’s a sale coming up,” she said. Effective retargeting works best when advertisers can slice top-of-funnel visitors from those already familiar with your brand and tailor the messaging accordingly.

Channel seasonal activities

Timing is everything and focusing channels for seasonal behavior is key for online retailers. Surf board ads during the winter or snow ski ads in the summer aren’t likely to ring true with the audiences most are hoping to make purchases. That said, the trends and consumer activities can be surprising to many. Studying search trend data and your own analytics to be able to get ahead – and anticipate – market seasonal upticks.

Follow cues from brick-and-mortar retailers, suggests Stinson Ross. “We can pay attention to competitors and other retail outlets as to when is that signal going out to customers that it’s time to start thinking about the next holiday. We can begin to target that in social.”

Connecting during the course of the customer journey

Retargeting becomes especially important when advertisers can return to audience pools produced through broader campaigns, Stinson Ross said. Commerce advertisers can increase social retargeting efforts by building lists of social visitors to connect with during Search campaigns.

When it comes to measurement, marketers should beware of measuring paid social’s impact based on last-click attribution.

“While you may get them to go to that page and consider that product, they may not buy in that particular moment. But that’s where PPC can pick them up, finish the process and get them to the sale in the end,” Stinson Ross concluded. If you stay on top of your customers’ journey, trying to connect with them will not only be easy but pay off in the end.