Somehow, we all know that singing Christmas songs between January 1st and Black Friday feels wrong. Due to Christmas seasonality, Christmas songs sung out of the Christmas season (no matter how hard you sing and invite others to sing) do not bring the same joy they do in the “most wonderful time of the year.”
There is a right time and place (Amazon) to invite people to purchase your seasonal items. You know what to do when search demand is high and sales are peaking, but what do you do in the off season to promote your products? How do you promote skis in the summer and ice cream in the winter? Read 8 off-season Amazon ad strategies below.
1. Turn off your ads
Starting with the obvious, budget seems to be an end-all constraint of off-season product promotion. Take a step back, if your annual Amazon ad budget is just enough to keep your ads live during the peak season, stick with that. You need to be strong against competitors when search volume is high. Ad spend is a only part of the strategy, and it turns out, turning ads off is in. However, I wouldn’t recommend you stop reading for other strategies.
2. Leverage off-season search demand
That said, one perk of off-season advertising is that consumers typically turn to Amazon to find products that are not in stores. During the off season, if budget allows, be sure to narrow your targeted search terms, set competitive bids, and focus ad spend on the bottom of funnel keywords—especially branded search terms. The off season can also be a good time to target competitor branded terms and get ahead of the game.
3. Don’t slow down—redirect your energy
It is tempting to hibernate on the off season but there are so many things you can do to foster your off-season ad strategy. While competitors may be hibernating, stay alert and use the off season to refresh your Amazon ads.
4. Implement negative keywords
This is a great time to review seasonal search terms reports, filter for high spend, low return keywords, and clean them out of your account. Implementing negative keywords will ensure that your account is efficient, locked and loaded to make the most of the next peak season.
5. Leverage different ad types
The off season is a great time to make new, fresh content for the next season. This includes ad copy for sponsored brand ads, DSP ads, and videos for those ad types, as well. Sponsored brand video ads are heavily unused, and yet video is one of the most effective forms of marketing! You can even film and schedule Amazon Lives to educate people on your product. Proactivity will enable you to have your videos uploaded and ready to go when the lead up season begins. Not to mention that this organic support could improve best-seller rank (BSR).
6. Build brand awareness year round
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising. Seasonal products can be memorable at the wrong time of year if done well, natively, with taste. Increasing brand awareness increases branded search terms and can decrease advertising costs. Seasonal products are not a matter of if the season comes, but when the season comes. Do what you can via organic and social channels so that people will seek out your product when the season comes.
7. Watch your competitors
Keep a close eye on your top ten target keywords, branded and non-branded. Search them on Amazon regularly. Are competitors there? Who are they, and what do they sell? How is your product better? Use this info to strategize, and then strategize some more. Remember, you don’t need the placement, you need the sale.
8. Don’t discount the lead-up season
There is a reason stores put out Fall products the day after the Fourth of July: because people will remember this and buy, buy, buy when the time comes. Stores also incentivize preseason buyers with discounts to buy now while stock is plentiful—implementing that strategy could be beneficial. Just be sure to keep Amazon’s deal rules in mind (Don’t run a deal within 60 days of when you plan to run a Lightning Deal—if you do, you’ll have to ensure your second deal offers a steeper discount than the first.)
The specifications around promotions is just one of the many reasons you need brand control through the holidays.
Amazon is a smart ad platform. Everytime a new advertising campaign is created, the campaign requires historical data to run efficiently—especially in the automatic campaigns. It is wise to budget for the lead-up season to build campaign credibility with Amazon. By doing this, you can gain and own placements before your competitors get there. It’s a lot harder for a Celtics fan to win in musical chairs if Lakers fans are already sitting in them.
Get expert help with off-season ads
An off-season ad strategy is not a one-size fits all solution. You may choose to leverage one or all of the above mentioned tactics to build your off season strategy.
Speaking of your off-season Amazon strategy, if you’d rather delegate the ad strategy to experts and gain back a little bit of your time and resources, we’ve got the partnership for you. Pattern is an Ecommerce Accelerator with an emphasis on data-backed decisions and profitable growth. We’d love to start the conversation and see if our businesses are a good fit for each other.