Handling The Holidays with Adobe Media Optimizer
November has arrived, and it’s time to get those holiday ad strategies finalised and into action. Adobe Digital Index has realised its annual Holiday Online Shopping Predictions; and the insights are ones brands should definitely be taking into consideration as they manage this season’s digital advertising across Search, Social, and Display. Here are my top five picks from the report to apply to your ad strategy this year.
- Tried & True Messaging is Still a Winner
Between survey results and analysing past holiday seasons, low prices and free shipping messaging are winners, and will continue to deliver in 2015. It’s key to remember, though, not to just blanket your entire account with these two taglines. Keep your ad copy relevant and granular, especially from a Search perspective.
For prices, leverage dynamic parameters to feed in up to date low prices automatically without losing quality score. For free shipping, keep the copy product-specific, and add in a holiday twist – especially if you use this messaging year round.
In terms of execution, it cannot be stressed enough that ad copy is a pivotal part of your holiday digital ad strategy that should also take up the least amount of your time. The key to business success during this time is not only having the right messaging, but scaling and automating it. Your team has far more analysis and far more complex tasks to be executing than constantly changing ad copy manually. This is where an enterprise solution like Adobe Media Optimizer comes into play, where tools like Advanced Campaign Management** **can scale and automate the tedious holiday ad copy management process, saving time and increasing impact.
- Leverage Product Review Functionality
There are many social components to digital shopping, and this dynamic is forecasted to play an important role in 2015’s holiday shopping. 47% of respondents said product reviews are a key influencer in their holiday purchases. What’s more, 44% will look to Social media to find out what products are ‘the best’.
This means two things: First, make sure you’ve got product reviews running against your Search ads. This gives your potential customers a quick point of reference for the information they’re looking for – what other customers think of your products. Second, engage on Social media, because it’s where your customers are.
What ties all of this together from a paid ads perspective and turns this recommendation from tactics to strategy is having visibility over your conversion funnel cross-channel, so you can better understand the value of your ads at each step of the way, as well as how to effectively message for both Search and Social. Of course, having the ability to put your Display activity alongside both these channels gives further visibility, like in Adobe Media Optimizer, and delivers the insights needed to create a really tight messaging strategy to push holiday shoppers through your pipeline.****
- Make Mobile as Easy & Delightful as Possible
According to the Digital Index report, Northern Europe has some of the most mobile-oriented shoppers globally. Taking this as the context for the prediction that mobile sales are expected to break even with tablet this year and that online shopping on mobile is considered to be the most stressful of all devices, ensuring your entire mobile customer experience – both acquisition-side and conversion-side – is as easy and delightful as possible is a key piece of the puzzle.
Recommendations for tackling this from a paid ads perspective? First and foremost, Mobile Bid Adjustments have got to be optimised and automated based on hard data to ensure you’re spending the right amount maximising both performance and returns. Leverage mobile-specific ad copy across Search, Social, and Display channels. Measure mobile-centric metrics, particularly if driving clicks into your app. Pay attention to mobile click paths in your Mobile Analytics, and consider upweighting the relative value of orders placed on mobile versus your other mobile metrics during this period. All of these can be achieved granularly at scale through Adobe Media Optimizer on the paid media side, and through Adobe Analytics & Mobile Analytics on the tracking and monitoring side.
- Work Cross-Channel
The Digital Index report sheds a bit of light on cross-channel messaging strategy, alluded to earlier. According to the report, Social and Display are the best marketing channels for customers to find deals. In fact, Search Engines were found by ADI’s research to be the least effective, being over 3x less likely to deliver a discount to price-savvy consumers.
Given my first recommendation around price messaging, which is known to be highly successful in driving revenue during the holiday period and generates a high response rate by shoppers, knowing the discount angle performs exceptionally well on Social and Display is valuable in successfully tailoring and targeting your messaging in the right place at the right time. As mentioned earlier, using a multi-channel solution like Adobe Media Optimizer facilitates ease of coordination across all three channels, delivering scalable, effective messaging and offering the ability to target consumers as they engage with you on Search, Social, and Display.
- Keep It Local
Remember, peak days are regional, so plan your budgets and messaging strategies accordingly. As the Digital Index report shows, Black Friday is the biggest holiday shopping day in the UK and Norway, while the majority of the Continent and Nordics (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland) really get fired up shopping mid-December.
The key here is flighting messaging and budgets, as well as having a sophisticated tool that can cope with reacting quickly to increasing and decreasing spend to capture demand as it fluctuates throughout the month. This means having control over the reactivity of your bidding algorithm’s lookback window (or half-life, as we call it in Adobe Media Optimizer), being able to layer additional bid constraints at a granular, keyword level to layer in strategy over optimised bidding, and preschedule budget for a month down to the day.
With the core themes of cross-channel customer engagement, strategic messaging along the entire length of the conversion funnel, and quality mobile engagement, success this holiday season depends on having sophisticated technology as your disposal to scale and automate a granular and complex holiday digital advertising strategy. So take a look at your tech and ask yourself if there’s anything you need to put on your Paid Ads wishlist this holiday season.