How to optimize your paid campaigns for seasonality?

13 Aug, 2022

1 min

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We’re in March and you just found the best idea for your niece’s Birthday present. You will offer her this dolphin swimsuit she can’t stop talking about. 

November comes and you’re so glad she will finally open your present but unfortunately, she’s not overjoyed. Guess why? In winter, people switch dolphin swimsuits for teddy bear sweaters. A mistake that could have been avoided, right?  

To optimize the results of your paid campaigns and make sure you won’t be wide of the mark each time you give a present, you should adapt your strategy according to seasonality. Want to know how? 
Today, we will discover everything you need to know to leverage seasonality on your paid campaigns and some exclusive tips to rock your strategy!

HOW DOES SEASONALITY IMPACT YOUR PAID CAMPAIGNS?

Let’s first make sure we understand the importance of seasonality. 
According to the NRF (National Retail Federation), holiday sales amount to about 19% of annual retail sales over the last 5 years. You think that’s a lot? What if we told you that sales increase by 663% on Black Friday compared to an ordinary day? 

The impact of seasonality on a company’s sales is enormous: holidays’ spendings, Christmas season, Black Friday, annual sales… But that’s not it! Some specific industries do not sell year-round; making it even more important for retailers to increase their efforts during the sales spike period.

But, what does it mean for your paid campaigns? Well, if you don’t tailor them according to the seasonality of your industry, you may make two big mistakes: overspending on ads that won’t convert (people don’t buy raclette in summer), missing the opportunity to boost the visibility of the trendiest items (if you don’t sell flip-flops in summer, chances are you won’t sell them in December either). 

You get it, right? Everything relies on the necessary optimization of your paid campaigns. Let’s see how it works.

How to leverage seasonality on your paid campaigns?

Step 1- Gather data from multiple sources 

This first step is crucial. Gathering data and monitoring seasonal trends will help you adapt your paid campaigns’ content to stick to your audience’s seasonal interests. 

At this point, you can choose various alternatives to collect data such as surveys to your target audience to know what they prefer or polls… But, we highly recommend you to take a close look at these two Google Tools, which are essential for seasonality planning.

Google Trends is a free tool that gives you in-depth information on specific keywords. It becomes your best asset whenever you want to compare the seasonality of different keywords to find the one that is the “trendiest”. Here is what your Google Trends dashboard can look like if you want to compare the seasonality of Adidas vs. Underarmour. 

google-trend

We also advise you to try Google Shopping Insights which gives you deeper insights into the search volumes of different keywords.

google-shopping-insights 

For instance, we can see that Google headphones research increased during Christmas break. It gives brands but also advertisers a great opportunity to focus their paid campaigns on the products that their customers are looking for. 

Step 2 - Make adjustments based on seasonality 

Once you’ve identified seasonality spikes, you can tailor your paid campaigns and adapt your budget to have your campaigns fit your audience preferences.

But technically, how does it work? To make a great first impression, Google Ad Manager advises you to develop a strong traffic strategy: to gain visibility on your paid campaigns, make sure you are advertising through the right media, that your keywords are similar to those people are searching for (thanks to Google Trends)... 

Want some tips to pick the right keywords? Read our dedicated guide.

But above all, stay reactive

Step 3 - Analyze to optimize

The results of your paid campaigns don’t lean on a one-week slot. 
Let’s take a look at this Google guide planning for the Winter holiday session.

timeline 

As you can see, there are 4 periods, and if the “peak holiday” will require all your optimization and reactivity efforts, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the others. 
At the end of the season, you should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your paid campaigns to learn some best practices that you will thus put to good use.

Remember: to launch seasonality-optimized campaigns, you should spend time analyzing the trends upstream and the results of your performance downstream.

3 TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR PAID CAMPAIGNS FOR SEASONALITY

Tip 1: try smart bidding campaigns 

Don’t know them yet? Google’s machine learning program runs these campaigns to automate paid search bidding and optimize your results. It takes many factors into consideration to adapt your bids to the industry seasonality trends. Want to know more?

Take a look at the Google guide for smart bidding campaigns.

Tip 2: track your performance thanks to
Google Ad Manager Insights

This tool is essential to monitor your performance. It will help you: 

  • Know what works best in your industry: see advertisers, countries, products… that perform well 
  • Compare your network to other publishers
  • Find opportunities
  • Spot anomalies

If you run campaigns on Google, you shouldn’t go past.

Tip 3: Adapt your strategy to local searches 

Yes, when it’s Summer in Europe, it isn’t Summer in Asia.

Spotting seasonal trends is good, but spotting local seasonal trends is far more interesting. It will help you drive more revenues and a better click-through rate as the more personalized your ads, the more likely you will find potential customers.

SEASONALITY ISN'T YOUR MAIN CONCERN YET?

Let’s change your mind! Depending on industries, the impact of seasonality on your results may vary a lot.

Taking seasonality into account when you create your paid campaigns is essential as it will be decisive for the results of your strategy.

Always remember that there is no perfect paid strategy that works forever. The best strategies have to be constantly re-adapted thanks to continuous data monitoring. Don’t know where to start preparing for the holiday season? We’d be glad to help! 

 

By Emma Jeanpierre

15 Mar, 2022