Continuing our Holiday Advertising Series, we’re walking you through each week of the holiday season and how to adjust your advertising strategy accordingly. From budgets to messaging, learn what to keep in mind this holiday season.
As the dust settles from the retail whirlwind that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, advertisers look back and measure the success of their strategies. However, time to dwell on the past is a luxury that few in the ecommerce world can afford to take—December, and the opportunities that accompany the run-up to Christmas, loom large. It’s more difficult still to predict consumer behavior in a rapidly changing world of online retail. If being past Black Friday and Cyber Monday has left you saying ‘Now, what?’, then use this article as a roadmap for Amazon advertising tactics during the month of December.
It is crucial to consider two elements when determining what the advertising strategy should be leading up to holidays—namely, the product category and historical performance.
The category will determine whether now is the right time of year to be pushing advertising for products. For example, it would be an unreasonable time of year to sell flip flops, and it wouldn’t make sense to advertise such a product aggressively when demand is low. Instead, categories like ‘toys,’ ‘jewelry’, ‘clothing,’ etc. generally see an uptick in sales going into holidays as these are viable gifting options. For proof of this, one only needs to look at the graph from Statista below, which ranks the most relevant holiday categories.
Next, if someone is unsure of the relevancy of their category in relation to Christmas shopping, they should look at historical performance for their brand and specific products to identify if there was an uptick in sales during December. If so, customers likely viewed the product as relevant to this time of year, which means it could be a winter-based product or a good gifting option.
Past performance as it pertains to advertising will be imperative as well. Review which products performed well in past years as well as what keywords drove the most qualified traffic. Utilize past metrics such as search impression share, click-through rate, cost-per-click, and conversion rate (to name a few) to have a benchmark going into this year’s holiday season.
This exercise will also help determine past mistakes, so they won’t be replicated this year. For example, if RoAS was high but the search impression share was low for certain campaigns, there’s an opportunity to be more aggressive by increasing bids and campaigns budgets on high performing products and keywords.
Now that the question of relevancy has been addressed, the next logical step would be to consider how to advertise specific products to maximize sales for a brand. Read a few quick tips below and apply these to the brand.
Build specific temporary campaigns that contain top performing seasonal products—not all products are created equal when it comes to the holidays. Select the top performing products that have established seasonal relevancy—these are most likely to perform well within campaigns. By separating top seasonal products from the remaining catalog, you also have more control over the budget behind these specific items. Make sure to set aside enough money to keep the seasonal campaign on 24/7, if possible.
Plan to create and use seasonal assets and content in campaigns. Seasonal ad copy like “Buy the Perfect Christmas Gift” in Sponsored Brands headlines can drive holiday purchases. These campaigns provide maximum visibility through their premium real estate property on Amazon’s search pages.
This time of year is also an opportune time to launch seasonal Sponsored Brands Video campaigns that feature the product being gifted to someone. This helps the customer to visualize what it would be like to receive or give the featured product to someone. You can also Include custom images in Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, and DSP campaigns that illustrate the product as a gift.
Include specific holiday keywords in the seasonal campaigns. Shoppers are likely to depend on Amazon to recommend them with gift ideas when they search for generic phrases like “Christmas presents for her” or “holiday jewelry on sale.” This is an opportune time to insert your product as the right gift choice depending on the relevancy of the product in relation to the keyword.
Last year, Pattern’s ad spend increased by 6% month over month on average in December. This signifies the competitive landscape during this time but also the opportunity seen by brands to capitalize on holiday sales. The result of this was a 3% increase in ad sales and 9% increase in total sales. Furthermore, impressions rose at the same rate as spend (3%) during this time but clicks increased by 11%, improving the click through rate significantly. All these metrics are signs that December offers more serious and interested buyers than previous months, and is worth the extra spend.
Product specificity and utilizing seasonal campaigns cannot be understated; however, there is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation for December advertising. Products that are off-season during Winter should avoid burning a budget when the chance of reward is lower, along with products that see excessive holiday cost-per-clicks for their product category.
By contrast, products that fit into a ‘gifting category’ should maximize the traffic wave of December to reach their goals. Similarly, additional budgets should be dedicated to campaigns that include seasonally relevant creative content and keyword/product/audience targets. Applying the concepts of this article will help bring you closer to your December sales goals as you learn to consider holiday trends and past performance that will allow you to make informed strategic decisions.
Looking for more insight? Pattern’s advertising experts are ready to partner with your brand and drive marketplace sales. Interested in learning more? Get in touch today.
For more holiday advertising tips, check out the rest our our Holiday Advertising Series:
Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.
If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.