10 Steps For Planning Your Holiday Campaign 2016

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Holiday 2015 non-store retail sales grew 9 percent to a total of over USD 105 billion. Cyber Monday was the leading Sales day, the sixth year in a row, with more than USD 2.2 Billion spent on Desktop Computers alone. According to NRF, “Holiday sales in 2015 increased 3 percent to USD 626.1 billion — solid growth considering the unforeseen weather events across the country and an extreme deflationary retail environment.” NRF forecasted total growth, including online sales, of 3.7 percent.

Adobe reported mobile devices accounted for about 25 percent of sales and 45 percent of visits to retail websites from Nov. 1-Dec. 22. According to MarketWatch, Adobe said online sales in 2015 holiday season were up 12.7% to $83 billion. More than 31 days during the period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 surpassed the $1 billion mark in sales, a record that exceeds 25 days in 2014. Online sales grew 56% year-over-year on Dec. 23, up to $920 million from $590 million in 2014. “It wasn’t until the very end of the season that we saw a significant surge in sales, which drove the 12.7% year-over-year growth,” said Tyler White, an analyst with the Adobe Digital Index. “Phone traffic exceeding desktop traffic some days was one of the drivers of that growth.” The buy-online-pick-up-in-store option was a growth driver in the week before Christmas. Adobe had forecast 11% overall growth for the season, White said.

According to Marin, for the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, smartphone clicks grew by 87 percent YOY almost equaling desktop clicks. This reflects a dramatic increase compared to 2014 when smartphone clicks accounted for only 28 percent of all clicks.

Clicks grew across smartphones, tablets, and desktops, with the large increase in smartphone click share being attributed to growing smartphone adoption. The increase in tablet and desktop clicks YoY shows that people are using their smartphones in addition to desktop and tablet devices, not instead of them.

Marin saw similar trends across spend, with the ad spend share for mobile growing by 66 percent YoY.
Overall ad spend for mobile was up 101 percent with spend doubling on both Google and Bing YoY.

Cyber Monday beat Black Friday in terms of clicks and ad spends for both 2014 and 2015 with cost per click (CPC) prices markedly higher than any other day over the weekend.

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Top Ten Tips for Planning Your Holiday Campaign 2016

Decide on your campaign theme and core campaign idea.

Start with analyzing the holiday data that is available to you from last year as well as Back To School campaign data. Highest priority is to make sure all budgets and metrics are aligned to factor in any changes in consumer behavior.

Allocate budgets to optimize your campaigns across channels and devices with a single customer view. Key days are Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Christmas.

According to an SEO firm,WPromote the best practice is to begin setting up heavily targeted paid ads, display (video/image ads) product listing ads, and remarketing ads in Google AdWords and Bing Ads at the earliest to coincide with seasonal days.

Plan your Mobile engagement strategy. Optimize your every campaign for mobile, with mobile PLAs, a mobile website, and accurate device tracking set up in your analytics. In case you have an app then planning an app engagement campaign within your brand campaign can increase your conversions. Native Social Media Ads are important for Targeting Mobile users. Mobile App Promotion Ads can get your app installed and downloaded before the start of the holiday season.

Develop content marketing and promotion initiatives as early as mid-October and launch content systematically during the downtime between holidays, instead of only in limited windows around the holidays themselves. Follow up your content marketing with Remarketing and Retargeting campaigns.

Create holiday-optimized content, including an infographic or holiday gift guide, hosted on a website page instead of a blog, and leave it on the main site navigation until launch in order to get indexed in Google and start building equity as early as possible. This could improve CTR for holiday related terms.

Embark on a campaign of social network posting about holiday gift guides, sales, wish lists, and other promotions as early as October but no later than the beginning of November; budget for paid/promoted social posts to increase visibility and audience reach, especially in the run-up to Thanksgiving.

Set up a new email promotion workflow specifically for the holiday season based on what holiday products, promotions, or categories a user visits on your site.

Personalize your promotions, in particular, mobile, social and email promotions; tailor specific offers to customers’ needs to increase CTRs and conversions and turn mobile, email and social channels into huge revenue generators. Look for the mobile moments that are right for promoting your offers with push messaging campaigns. Create a Follow through marketing plan to optimize ROI from your campaigns, by analyzing reasons for cart abandons and setting a remarketing or an email marketing campaign.

Bing Ads Key Insights For Holiday 2016

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The US retail sales for Holiday Season 2016 are likely to hit USD 868 Billion with a surge in e-commerce volume, that accounts for nearly two-thirds of the season’s Year over Year growth. According to Bing Ads Insights Report, Search Engine Marketing and Organic searches account for more than 50 percent of all sales and acquisition. Online Search is also termed as the “Preferred Channel” for Gifts Inspiration. Nearly 50 percent of the  planned budgets were allocated for Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization by Retailers in 2015.

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With the high search volume, during the holiday season advertisers need to be ready with their campaigns as early as the first week of October.

According to the Insights report, shoppers search categorically with terms like “handbags,” “dresses,” and “mens wrist watch”. Additionally, nearly half of the top searched keywords included gender keywords “mens” or “women.”

For Electronics and Electronic Gadgets, the top ten searched keywords, according to Bing’s Internal data for 2015, included: “TVs,” “TV,” “headphones,” “wireless headphones,” and “beats headphones.” Additionally, more than 80 percent of searches were non-branded, however 45 percent of clicks  are accountable to  branded keywords.

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The search volume for leading categories varies with Gift Cards and Clothing or Accessories  accounting for more than 50 percent of all queries for finding the right gift, according to NRF report.

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Black Friday Week saw click volume double on mobile, however the clicks declined by 21 percent in Cyber Monday Week. The Desktop/Tablet volume continued to increase by 42 and 8 percent for the two consecutive weeks. The CTR sees two distinct peaks. coinciding with online sales during the Black Friday Week and a in the preceding weeks accountable to the early sales announcement. The CPC on the other hand rises at a slower rate during the preceding weeks with a distinct peak during December, as per the Bing’s internal data for Toys Category.

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Holiday season shoppers plan their purchases early, making retailers plan for an extended Holiday Season Shopping.

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According to Bing Ads Insights report, Shoppers are by and large Channel Agnostic. The choice of channel depends on value, convenience and reassurance. Shipping, Price-offs and ease of return with an assured quality are key considerations. Though consumers who search on Mobile and Online, anticipate spending 75 percent more while shopping, in-store.

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To optimize your campaign for the Omnichannel shopper, here are the key considerations.

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Ad Extensions in Search Ads are proven to bring forth results over and above Organic search.

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Checklist For Your Campaigns

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The Anatomy Of Back To School Shopping

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According to research from NRF and Deloitte, Back To School Shoppers plan to start shopping earlier and Apparel and Electronics are the key shopping categories. The NRF survey estimates total Back To School spending of USD 75.8 billion in 2016. The key shopping destinations are Discount Stores followed by Department stores, while online is the preferred Go-To source for shopping of electronic gadgets and shopping research, with a surge of 30 percent in Online Shopping over last year. Online retailers who offer Free Shipping are preferred by Online Shoppers, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte.
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Social Media advertising serves as the primary source of information for users who use social media sites for Back To School shopping.

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Shoppers for electronics and electronic gadgets are likely to begin the shopping earlier, while apparel shoppers are likely to complete their purchases later.

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With insights that show the users are increasingly looking for information on their mobile devices, adding location to your campaigns can increase the ROI for your campaigns. 4 in 5 consumers want ads customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings.

  • 53 percent look up store locations
  • 37 percent locate a store that carries a particular product
  • 70 percent will make a purchase in-store
  • 60 percent have used location information in ads

 

Adding Location to your advertising can increase the ROI for your campaigns. Targeting content and Ads with Location of presence or Area of interest, can help you place your ads in a context that increases the local searchers interest. Here are some of the ways you can target users based on location targeting.

Target Users on AdWords based on Geo-location

AdWords allows you to specify whether to show your ads to users by their physical Location of Presence (LOP) or by their Area of Interest (AOI). Location targeting in your campaign can also be done with Radius Targeting that allows you to define your target audience for a select radius.  In one of the Case Studies shared by MOZ, the clicks from locally targeted campaigns increased by nearly 8X.

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Target Shoppers With Local Awareness Ads on Facebook

Facebook Local Awareness Ads target users based on geographic locations.  As high as 60 percent of shoppers turn to Facebook to look for information prior to visiting a store.  Creating a Location awareness ad is easy. You can create ads right from your Facebook Page via the Promote button on the top right-hand corner. Target Back To School shoppers with an engaging message to drive In-Store traffic in the target location. You can choose Local Awareness as a campaign objective in Power Editor.

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Target Users Based On Geographic location With Custom Audiences 

With targeting on Facebook, the additional fields on Facebook allow users to reach the target audience based on fields that allow advertisers to target Website Custom audiences based on Location. This can be used to create lookalike audiences in any region that you wish to target.

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With Advanced Matching Pixel, advertisers can retarget audiences effectively. Adding an Advanced Pixel, has shown during a beta,  an increase of over-10-percent  in attributed conversions and a 20-percent increase in reach. To add Advanced Pixel, here is a useful guide  for better match rates on the Facebook pixel.

Increase Click-through Rate with Location Extensions on Bing

 

 

Bing Ads insights shows that 60 percent of the mobile users are searching online prior to an In-store visit and adding Location Extensions increases click-through by 7 to 10 percent.

The Super Bowl 2016 Countdown

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SBCBS SB50Super Bowl 50 is on Sunday, Feb. 7, two weeks after the AFC and NFC title games are played  on Jan. 24, according to CBS Sports release. Super Bowl 50 will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers, and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Super Bowl will be televised live on CBS, with Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson calling the game. Also, ESPN Deportes will provide a Spanish-language telecast of the game. The other highlights include:

  •  the Super Bowl 50 pregame show with various guests and analysts.
  • CBS Sports Network’s Sunday pregame show — That Other Pregame Show — expands to the week leading up to the Super Bowl, airing live from Super Bowl City, an area of San Francisco, at the foot of Market Street.

 

According to NRF’s Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, average viewer spending was estimated to reach a survey high of USD 77.88 in 2015, up from USD 68.27 in 2014, with fans splurging on everything from game day food and new televisions to athletic wear and decorations. With total spending at USD 14.3 billion, millennials are known to have higher average order value purchases. The NRF’s 2015 Super Bowl spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Super Bowl. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,375 consumers was conducted from January 6-13, 2015.

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Super Bowl Commercials have a high purchase influence with nearly 20 percent stating commercials influence the consumers to either buy products or search online for more information, making search advertising a key companion for TV and Online advertising during the game.

In another survey by SOASTA  nearly 46 percent of viewers planned to use apps while watching the game last year. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from Jan. 21-23, 2015 among 2,057 adults, 1,496 of whom own smartphones or tablets.

“One-third (32 percent) of smartphone/tablet owners say they will use social media apps like Facebook and Twitter, followed by sports apps like ESPN and Sports Illustrated (20 percent) and games such as Candy Crush Saga and Trivia Crack (19 percent)”. Men ages 18-34 are more likely than their older counterparts to use video apps like YouTube and Vine (47 percent), food delivery apps like Grub Hub and Seamless (28 percent) and dating apps like Tinder and OK Cupid (14 percent). Continue reading