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Putting a Holiday Spin on Your Paid Search Campaign

  |  November 21, 2011   |  Comments

Three things any company, no matter what category you're in, can do to "seasonize" your online marketing campaign.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and along with it comes one of the biggest retail events of the year - Black Friday. And, of course, the gift-giving season is just around the corner. If you're a retailer, you probably have been planning for this season for a long time and have a robust campaign already in market, along with a strong marketing presence planned through to the end of the year. But retailers shouldn't be the only ones revamping their strategies for the holiday season. Virtually no matter what category you're in, it probably makes sense to attempt to inject some seasonality into your online marketing campaign. After all, the holiday season isn't just ripe for traditional retailers; it can be a potential revenue boost for many other businesses as well.

There are several things that any company with a paid search campaign can do to "seasonize" their campaign:

  • Seek out additional keywords. Chances are, users will be searching for a whole new host of terms this time of the year; even topics you may have not thought of previously. The solution is to undertake some focused keyword research to try and identify holiday-related terms. For example, a credit card company might add "holiday credit card debt" to their campaign, a salon/spa could add "new year makeover," a bar/restaurant/hotel may add "corporate holiday parties" or "holiday party venue," and a local pet store, kennel, or dog-walking service might add "gift idea for dog lovers."
  • Revise your ad copy. Using holiday-themed copy will increase relevance this time of year and open up your product/service to new possibilities/customer bases. For example, the salon/spa could revise their ad copy from a more generic message about their services to a compelling and timely call to action, such as "Get glam for the holidays" or "Create a new you for the new year." A bar/restaurant could entice patrons with copy such as "Join us for a holiday-themed menu and festive cocktails!" (Important caveat: these are for illustrative purposes only - I'd advise you to use an actual qualified copywriter for this task!)
  • Update your landing pages. Ensuring your landing pages reflect your ad copy is always a best practice, so it should be no exception in this case. Make sure that your landing page includes relevant holiday-themed copy and imagery to drive home your message/offer. Continuing with our examples above, the restaurant's landing page could feature a happy table of diners surrounded by festive decorations, and the pet store could show a person happily opening a gift by a roaring fire - with their dog nestled next to them of course.

Even categories that are not the first to come to mind around the holidays can stand to benefit from some focused holiday-themed advertising. Specifically, I wanted to use the pharmaceutical industry as a rather interesting example of how even a seemingly non-seasonal category/industry can still leverage the season.

The table below illustrates a few examples of how pharmaceutical manufacturers with medicines in certain categories could potentially "seasonize" their paid search campaigns.

CategorySeasonal KeywordsSeasonal Ad CopiesSeasonal Landing Pages
Anxiety, Depression "holiday stress"

"holiday depression"
"The holidays can be a particularly stressful time..."

"Get some helpful tips to help you through the holiday season"
Holiday gathering imagery

CTA: Download tips guide
Diabetes, Hypertension (high blood pressure), High Cholesterol "diabetes holiday diet"

"healthy menu for Christmas dinner"
"You can still enjoy the holidays while maintaining a healthy lifestyle"

"Get our free, healthy holiday recipes guide"
Holiday meal/dining imagery

CTA: Download/register for recipes guide/database
Arthritis, Pain "arthritis after skiing"

"back pain from shoveling snow"
"Don't let your [arthritis, pain, etc.] get in the way of doing winter activities"

"Learn stretches you can do to prevent pain after winter sports and activities"
Winter sport/outdoor activity imagery

CTA: Watch videos of stretching/exercises for winter activities

Those were just a few examples of how various companies could potentially better leverage the forthcoming holiday season. If you haven't tested seasonal strategies in the past, it might be a good time to start...you might uncover a market you never knew existed!

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Julie Batten

Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.

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