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Seven PPC Industry Experts Reveal Their Top Holiday PPC Tips

Back in August, we released our Bing Ads Holiday Insights Report for 2016 which included research, data and tips for PPC marketers to get the most out of this holiday season.
While I’m sure many of you are already well on the way with your holiday campaigns, seeing as we’re racing into October, we wanted to give you some added inspiration from some friends of Bing Ads that many of you know and love from the industry.
We asked seven PPC industry experts for their top tip(s) for the holiday season and this is what they said:


Mona ElesseilyPage Zero Media
I'm all about the shopping feeds! Research competitors, find ways to differentiate and encourage people to buy from you. We love how we can take up space and show more than one product in the SERPs. We like ad annotations like price drop alerts, elite merchant badges and product ratings to grab buyer attention.

Focusing on feeds now will pay dividends in the future. Shopping feeds will likely appear in more places in the SERPs (think image search and local ad units) and feed based advertising will become more commonplace. Focus on nailing and understanding feed based advertising now and be ready to hit the road running when other opportunities come along.

Brad Geddes - adAlysis
There's two items we're focused on this year to add to our previous strategies developed year over year.

Users are window shopping early and then buying in a flurry as the holidays near. That means multiple visits to conversions are common and being in front of searchers more than once in the purchase cycle is a requirement. Early on in the holidays, we're building up remarketing list cookie pools, introducing the brand and products so users are familiar with the company and offers. While we're leveraging remarketing lists; the bid adjustments aren't that high yet since customers aren't on a shopping spree yet.

As the shopping season gets into full swing, it will be easier to raise bid adjustments based upon various previous behaviors to ensure our previous customers and interested buyers are finding our ads first when they are in full buying mode. Using remarketing to maximum effect from planning early to execution in the middle of a chaotic holiday season should be a requirement for anyone who wants to succeed in a competitive shopping environment.

The second tip deals with the new ad format. Our data is showing that companies who are creating Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) and have taken the time to really customize the longer description lines are out performing companies who are just 'upgrading' their ads and not fully customizing them to the new format. As Bing rolls out ETA support into the holiday season; we'll be highly focused on ensuring we take advantage of this ad format and using it as a competitive advantage.
JD PraterHanapin Marketing
With growth in holiday spending and impulse buying, savvy marketers will advertise where their audiences live this Holiday season. To capitalize on those most valuable customers, employ an integrated omni-channel advertising strategy to create awareness and excitement across social media channels and fulfill that demand with search and shopping ads.

Also, make the most of remarketing and ad copy. Start with segmented email lists and customized website audiences. From there, it's all about tailoring your search and social ad copy so the right audience sees the right message at the right time.

Melissa Mackey - Gyro
For B2B marketers, the holidays don’t usually mean ecommerce promotions and last-minute gift sales. But that doesn’t mean B2B advertisers get to take time off from smart marketing! B2B prospects often use the slower holiday time to research new solutions and large purchases that they intend to make in the new year.

Beef up your remarketing efforts in November and December to start a conversation with these prospects. Start building audiences of those who look but don’t become leads. Create a series of ads promoting informational content that will help them research their potential purchase.

Develop a special New Year’s promotion and use remarketing ads to promote it to the audiences you’ve built. And don’t forget about B2B decision makers who have budget to use up by the end of the year. Keep your regular campaigns running all year long – don’t shut them off in December like a lot of B2B companies do. You’ll find less competition, which means less expensive clicks from buyers eager to spend money with you now.”

Mark IrvineWordStream
SEMs spend a lot of their time on keyword research, building long keyword lists and consistently updating their bids for their keywords. In all this focus on keywords, it’s easy to forget that keywords don’t buy your products – people do. And during the holidays, your keyword lists may not change much – but the people searching for them certainly do!

Holiday shoppers may look nothing like the audience that your site typically attracts throughout the year. Family and friends often buy gifts for others that they would not typically buy themselves. Gift givers will require more research and take longer to purchase than your typical customer because they’re shopping for other’s preferences and may be less educated on your product. Because of this, managing your remarketing audiences becomes increasingly important throughout Q4.

Age and gender roles often play huge parts in the Holiday economics. Statistically, men start their holiday shopping later and spend more than their female counterparts. Older shoppers, aged 50 to 65, historically spend 75% more than those aged 18 to 25. Attracting these demos become increasingly important during the holiday season and as it turns out Bing users are tend to skew toward this older and more affluent market. Additionally, unlike Google, Bing Ads allows advertisers to adjust their bids for their valuable demographics.

Andrew GoodmanPage Zero Media
Across the board, our e-commerce clients are telling us this will be the most pivotal season in their history. With websites growing more responsive, consumers comfortable shopping across devices, shopping feeds capturing strong intent, and ad units continually changing to meet new information search habits, the PPC channel needs to be firing on all cylinders.

When the fun begins in November, it's pivotal for mid-sized to larger accounts to be in a state of full readiness. Accounts must be structured so that a smart manager can optimize logically and nimbly. Campaign structure plays a huge role in ensuring more relevant ads, and to help advertisers move nimbly in response to changing seasonal patterns, device types, seasonality, and yes, even demographics! To me, campaign structure is about as boring as architecture is to Frank Gehry!

David SzetelaFMB Media
Be sure to use all possible ad extensions. That’s important for several reasons. First, it allows you to include valuable, motivational messaging, so it’s always possible to include features, benefits and at least one call to action.

Second, ads with extension achieve higher CTRs, which helps increase quality score, which results in higher ad positions and cheaper clicks, which directly affects conversion volume and (lower) CPAs. Lastly, with ad extensions it’s easy to “holiday-ize” ad copy, calling attention to seasonal tie-ins and special sales.

If you didn’t download a copy of our report you can do so here, and if you’d like to share your top tip, Tweet us @BingAds using the hashtag #BingThere
Thanks for reading and happy holiday campaigning,
Frances Donegan-Ryan