person holding payment phone app while shopping in store

Why Your Holiday Ad Campaign Missed the Mark This Year

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder at Pedestal Search

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder

December 16, 2019 | 5 Min Read

Article updated on July 8, 2022

With major holiday shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday now over, many companies can see a pretty vivid picture of where their advertising efforts paid off.

In the last few weeks before the new year, current revenue numbers and lead generation figures can say a lot about what ads and campaigns were a rousing success. These same numbers can also show what campaigns or ideas fell flat with your audience and didn’t make an impact.

Unfortunately, the latter option of not seeing ads resonate with your users can be more common than the former option.

For some, the sheer competitiveness of the season is a component. But for many others, the strategy and implementation process presented many red flags that were either ignored—or more likely—just weren’t considered when rushing to get ads up and ready before November.

To provide some better luck next year, here are a few key points to ensure your next round of holiday ad planning works without a hitch.

Align Your Holiday Strategy With Your Year-to-Date Data

The holiday season may inspire you to get creative with your advertising. While this makes sense in regards to innovative messaging so you can stand out from your competitors, this is less logical when discussing the logistics or the technology around your ads.

The holiday rush is not the time to test new demographics or ad platforms that don’t have the data to support success.

Your digital efforts throughout the year should carve a pretty important niche of people and data you know as your target audience. This means you’ll have the knowledge and data to create a focused strategy to catch their eye on major holiday shopping events.

Data-driven ads and an emphasis on what you already know about your customers will be crucial to stay ahead of the curve during this advertising period; as well as generate the best return on investment for your ad spend.

Solidify Your Points of Conversion Before It’s Too Late

Quarrelled with a landing page throughout the year that saw a broken form fill button, or form field issue? Or, did a recurring website issue stop users from calling customer service or a direct sales line?

An inconvenience like this on other days of the year may cut it, but during the holidays when you’re doubling or tripling your digital ad budget, a broken conversion point can tarnish the efforts of a well-thought-out strategy and a successful ad.

The last thing you want is a user to click through your ad to your website, only to have a well-known issue create a bad experience for the user.

Ironing out any website concerns that could stop a campaign from showing optimal performance and skewing the data is necessary. The right agency team will not only be able to spot this problem but also action and test a solution before it is a critical performance concern.

Watch for Growing Interest in New Product Outlets

In 2019, Google Shopping ad spend increased by 32% for Black Friday and Cyber Monday ad campaigns. Google Shopping is an example of an advertising outlet many eCommerce companies may have stayed away from in earlier years, not knowing if their users would have the tech-savviness or interest in using this (once new) Google feature.

But, with data now supporting investment in this technology for eCommerce companies, it means a change has occurred among users and marketers. Google Shopping is an example of why having a dedicated team of digital strategists on your side paying attention to changing ad trends is more important than ever.

The right team will be able to inform you of new ad investments to increase user and product awareness. While also letting you know when to stay away from new or experimental ad technologies that may not show the best return on investment yet.

Watch for Important Insight from Ad Updates

google ads explanations screenshot beta

Understanding why your holiday campaign performed the way it did—positively or negatively— may require a deep dive into the data, ad creative and performance.

This analysis may require a level of sleuthing from a trusted digital marketing team or your digital marketing agency. But looking for ways to find this data yourself may be embedded in the ad technology already.

To save yourself time, always inform yourself and your team on how ad technology is changing to highlight better data analysis.

For example, Google’s most recent changes to add explanations into the Google Ads dashboard means you can now see reasons for big changes in impressions, clicks, and cost.

While this won’t provide a conclusiveness to explain everything that worked and didn’t work, keeping an eye out for these types of changes does help with the amount of time needed for your investigation.

It also helps build one piece of your analysis when reviewing the performance. This means you’ll have more time to discuss ad creative, website performance, and the other facets that made up your entire holiday campaign.

SEO Will Catch You Where Your Paid Ads Fail

We’ve mentioned this before, but we will say it again: finding a way to balance your SEO and PPC marketing efforts together will be very important.

The harmony of your organic and paid digital efforts means that if your competitors’ ads overtake your own, your audience can still find you through organic search. However, the potential of SEO means you should have the data to find your audience and tackle areas in your campaign your competitors may not think to look.

SEO is a bigger hill that requires your business to climb over a period of time. Yet a strategic SEO audit will help you find where the opportunities for growth lie, while also informing you of your best targets when building an ad strategy for November, December and the holiday season.

SEO can also leverage the natural strengths of your digital brand. It can also ensure the right users can find you. SEO is another layer of data that can only better inform your paid marketing efforts.

Don’t be caught off-guard by a lacklustre cost-per-conversion, lower-than-expected revenue projections, low in-app purchases or an unexpected increase in Cart Abandonment from users.

A strong marketing campaign for November and December starts on January 1st with the right digital team auditing your business. This way, you can discover how to win 365 days of the year; not just during the last two months of the year when spending is high and tensions are even higher.

Start 2020 right by starting a conversation with us today.

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder at Pedestal Search

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder

| 5 Min Read

Article updated on July 8, 2022

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Keyword research, PPC

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder at Pedestal Search

Aaron Levenstadt

CEO & Founder

Aaron Levenstadt completed his degree in Statistical & Data Science at Stanford University. That focus has given him an unparalleled data-driven approach to search engine digital marketing. Prior to founding Pedestal Search, Aaron worked at Google at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View California. At Google he worked on the Organic Search, Paid Search and Google Analytics products, which equipped him with extensive knowledge of the mechanisms driving Google’s algorithm and other internet search engines.