Planning ahead can help your business stay is good position for your peak periods especially in this time of current uncertainty. Whether your company is having trouble keeping up with demand or experiencing a quickly decline in leads and activity, businesses are going to be confronted with unplanned “seasonal” event.
Last month at SMX West, Metric Theory’s Genevieve Head-Gordon discussed paid search strategies for preparing and optimizing for peak seasons that can help you be ready. “Gone are the days of just maximizing your peak period,” said Head-Gordon. “There is so much you need to be doing in your off-peak periods to make sure that you understand your target audience and the state of your account leading up to your peak season.”
Know your audiences. Building and targeting correct audience is going to be very important for seasonal success. Prepare ahead of your peak period so you can start bringing users into the funnel and be ready to remarket when the season starts. Long-term remarketing lists guarantee you can reconnect with people who engaged with your brand last season. Those lists then can be used to create targeted similar audiences and also take advantage of custom intent audiences.
Test any new campaign types well in advance of your peak and “work out the kinks of your core SEM components: ad copy and landing pages,” she says.
Frontload your budgets in advance to get ahead of your competion and “invest in window shoppers,” as Head-Gordon puts it. “You want to make sure that you’re bidding and budgeting early. Get in front of people and fill remarketing lists. If you wait to start prospecting until the beginning of your peak period, you will have missed a valuable window to gain awareness and loyalty.”
In particular on Amazon, Head-Gordon suggests ramping up your budget two to three weeks before your peak season.
Automated bidding – “During your peak season, make sure that you are leaning into automated bidding,” she says.”Machine learning is a huge benefit in a complicated journey. But you can make it smarter using tools and your historical data assessment.”
Google Analytics – “Google Analytics allows you to maximize your exposure because that data is real-time, so you’re not going to be missing out on really strong conversion rates and really strong performance.”
Budget monitoring – You want to set up “depleted budget reports,” says Head-Gordon. “These are really helpful because the worst thing that can happen during your peak season is your best performing campaigns run out of budget early.”
Channel reporting – Set up hour-by-hour channel reporting for your key days. This will show overall changes in spend in traffic and conversions, said Head-Gordon, “and make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success for next year.”