OK, before I get going let me first apologise for the ridiculous title, everyone loves some good alliteration every now & again and I couldn’t help myself.

I’ve recently been reading a few of the Black Friday & Mega Monday posts floating around and as everyone who works in the online industry knows during the run up to Christmas you need to have a strong plan in place to deal with the inevitable traffic/ conversion spikes. Both Amazon & Apple have put strong messages & promotions in place this year, with the aim of taking advantage of the trend and, if you don’t you and your business/ clients will definitely miss out.

(Also, if I’m completely honest there has been enough data going around over the last few years that you can’t really blame ignorance for missing out.)

What I want to talk about is how once you get through these two days although you may think that you should be able to sit back and relax with a mince pie and reap the benefits of your strategy; you would be wrong as you’d certainly miss out on the next wave of online events.

January Sales are no longer in January:

When I was a kid the sales used to start in the new year, then as I grew older they moved forward onto boxing Day, however, this has changed again over recent years with the start date continually creeping forward, earlier & earlier into December with many retailers now starting their sale early enough for those of us who leave it ‘til the last minute to do our Christmas shopping can bag ourselves a bargain (and saving us from a mad dash to a petrol station on Christmas Eve & rubbish presents like motor oil or a Chamois leather)

Interest in Travel Increases:

The early start to the boxing day sales are not the only thing advertisers need to be aware of, especially those who work in the Travel sector, historically along with July, January has been the one of the strongest months for these businesses with traffic peaking. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Google trends graph below. I think you’ll agree that January is a key month for those who want to have a strong year.

Google Trends- Travel

So How Do You Plan?

Well, for those in retail & planning for the sales, first make sure that your stock lists & shopping feeds are up to date & that your messages are enticing, there will be a lot of competition out there and so you need to make sure your ads stand out against the crowd. What deals can you offer? How much can people save by coming to you? After that, make sure that your landing pages are correct and that they contain the messages visitors will want to see. There’s nothing worse than getting a great ad with a strong CTR only to see visitors land and then not convert, so make sure that what you’re advertising is available & whatever the message was that you use in the ads is carried over.

For those, who are more interested in the January peak, use your budget wisely in December, as you can see from the graph above, interest is lower during this month and so if allocated correctly any budget savings made during this time can go straight back into the pot for January when you’ll need it most.

You may hear people telling you to turn off your campaigns entirely during the quieter December period, however, this is not something I would personally recommend as you may find that when you come to turn them back on you’re playing ‘catch up’ with those advertisers who kept their campaigns running (although at a lower cost). Keeping campaigns active during the quieter time may also give you added benefits as the landscape could be quieter as people turn off their campaigns, thus causing competition to drop and hopefully giving you the chance to shave some money off your CPCs.

Now I know that I’ve only really given you a couple of tips there on how to deal with everything, but I’m sure that you’ve all got your own ideas, and if I’m honest I’m not going to give you all the tricks of the trade am I?

Enjoy the next couple of months; I’m sure if you set everything up properly you’ll really see the results you want!

Disclaimer: I have never, ever bought anyone some motor oil or a chamois leather for Christmas, honest.

Matt Hopson (21 Posts)

Matt has managed PPC campaigns for over 5 years for a large selection of clients including large travel companies through to retail & a number of charitable organisations.