Spice your campaign up in time for Christmas

We know, we know. The children are not long back at school, Strictly and X Factor are only just getting underway, and it’s weeks before most of us will be thinking about half-term, Halloween or bonfires, never mind turkey and tinsel.

But, actually, you have less time than you think. After all, the final quarter of the year kicks off in early October. And you need several weeks to thoroughly test, adjust, optimise and really get your head round the new AdWords features ahead of the festive season.

You need time not only to come up with ideas, but to put them into action too.

Google’s research found that a quarter of shoppers begin making seasonal purchases in October, while around half get everything completely finished by Black Friday, falling this year on 23 November.

So while we understand the arguments about Christmas being over-commercialised, the reality is it’s a time of year you need to be making the most of. After all, your competitors almost certainly are. And this is especially important if you’re a small business competing with bigger brands.

So lay the foundations and start to find the ideal audience for your brand now, while decorations are still in lofts and carols not yet playing in supermarkets.

Tips for testing AdWords

When it comes to testing AdWords, clearly label your test ads, and don’t overwrite existing ads – use new ones for easy identification.

If your budget is limited, it may be best spent evenly across a week rather than being put into a single day.

Be patient, and let all the data come in before you make any decisions. Remember to take into account data for different devices, not just desktop.

With expanded text ads, remember each one can now have two headlines, with 30 characters apiece, alongside an 80-character description. Spend more time on headlines than anything else, and don’t just stick a second headline on existing ads – rethink them completely and creatively.

Equally, spend time on other AdWords features like dynamic responsive display ads, which help you target your audience, and price extensions, which give your product or service transparency with upfront pricing.

Here are our final thoughts on pre-Christmas digital marketing preparation:

  • Establish a budget for your festive promotions, covering organic SEO, Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaigns and promoted social media. Set clear targets and adjust things as you go.
  • Have a realistic time-table for all activities
  • Consider linking to a specific seasonal webpage from social media and AdWords-targeted campaigns, with a popular theme such as the 12 days of Christmas

Your preparation will pay off. If you have any queries on any aspect of your Christmas campaign, talk to us today – we’re ideally placed to offer advice.