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Key summer activities to look out for in 2022

A man inside a car smiles while looking at his phone.

It’s that time of year, when kids start feeling antsier in school and adults start trying to log off early from their jobs to go enjoy the weather, which can only mean one thing—summer is (almost) here! We’re expecting this summer season to be busier than in the past couple of years as people become more comfortable exploring outside their homes. This means more parties, more shopping, and more travel! Make sure your brand is ready to reach consumers in-market for your products by leveraging Microsoft Advertising Insights’ top tricks and recommendations.

Celebrate summer in style with these backyard BBQ trends!

To many people, Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff for the summer season. This year, Memorial Day falls on May 30, and we expect it to be the second most popular day for backyard barbecue parties. According to our predictive forecasting model based on previous years, BBQ-related search trends begin ramping up in late April and stay high until after the 4th of July. For consumer packaged goods (CPG), we predict hamburgers to be the most grilled item and for beef-related keyword clicks to skyrocket +38% year-over-year (YoY). You can also expect to see many home-related categories spike as a result, including outdoor cooking equipment (expected +18% YoY) and patio furniture (expected +20% YoY) during the summer months. To gain access to all of the CPG and home categories with predicted YoY spikes, download the full insights.

Searches are expected to rise by an average of 12%.

Pro tip: Plan your campaign timing and spend accordingly to account for increased CPG search behavior during key seasonal holiday moments.

Summer travel is back and potentially bigger than ever!

As we all know, the travel industry was hit hard with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with vaccines and safety precautions in place, travel is back and is anticipated to soar this summer. According to third-party trends, 81% of American adults are predicted to travel this summer, and 58% are planning to take more trips in the summer of 2022 than in all summers prior to the pandemic. Of all the travel options, cruises are expected to grow the most, with an anticipated +195% YoY click growth in summer 2022 and a return to pre-pandemic numbers by 2023. As gas prices continue to rise, cruises are expected to continue to do well as an alternative to summer road trips. That doesn’t necessarily mean land travel is suffering, however, as queries containing “car rental” are up +21% YoY, despite the increase in car rental rates.

Make sure you maximize your ad spend with Microsoft Advertising by providing the right message to potential travelers as search volumes ramp. A great way to reach consumers early on in their journey is through the Microsoft Audience Network. Now is a great time to activate, as clicks have been rising over time, but CPCs have been steadily decreasing.

Microsoft Audience Network lodging CPC vs clicks graph.

Pro tip: Did you know that users who were exposed to both Microsoft search and Audience Ads saw better performance than those who were only served one type of ad? For travel specifically, users were found to be 5.1x more likely to visit a travel website when exposed to Audience Ads first and search ads second.

Summer activities are a go—let’s plan our outfits!

Now that people finally have places to go, they’re going to want to revamp their closets. Almost half (46%) of American adults are looking to replace or add clothes to their wardrobes, and an additional 19% want to take advantage of summer sales to do so. Activity for summer clothes and accessories started ramping up in April and is projected to remain high until after August (especially with back-to-school sales taking place in late summer). Some of the top trending items will be shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits, and dresses. But that’s not all! Make sure to visit the full insights for a list of all expected summer items users will be actively searching for both online and in stores.

Graph showing results of answers to the question “When do you plan to start shopping for summer apparel or beauty products in stores?”.

Pro tip: 77% of consumers have stated they’ll begin shopping in-store for summer items by the end of May. Make sure you’re activating Product Ads to showcase your products to online users who are in market for new gear.

Conclusion and resources

Now that we’ve covered off on the specifics of three up-and-coming holidays, don’t wait to capitalize on these insights. Adjust your bids and budgets now to ensure you’re prepared for upcoming spikes.

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