How to Prepare Your PPC for Cyber Monday 2013
The refrain “time is running out” is something we’re all going to hear on a repeated basis for the next 45 days or so. As it applies to the PPC pros, time is running out to prepare for the digital shopping madness known as Cyber Monday, coming on December 2. That's just three short weeks away.
Cyber Monday is a term marketing companies created back in 2005 to hype online shopping the Monday after Thanksgiving. It’s a day of steep discounts and special offers to keep the momentum going after Black Friday, the major difference being you don’t get trampled by people on Cyber Monday like you might on Black Friday, and you don't have to search for parking.
What does Cyber Monday mean to you? It means consumers are in “extreme buying mode” on Cyber Monday, so it’s time to take steps to satisfying their cravings.
This Year’s Cyber Monday Predictions
Data supports that most online sites do experience a spike in sales on Cyber Monday. This year Shop.org predicts online holiday sales growth of 13 – 15 % compared to last year, with a total spending estimate as high as $82 billion. That’s a lot of digital dollars being thrown around, and a few simple steps can be taken to help you catch a few of them, especially if you have an e-commerce site.
Note: Even if your site isn’t e-commerce-enabled, you can still reap the benefits of Cyber Monday, “newsjacking”-style. Because media will be talking up Cyber Monday, most consumers are or will be aware that Cyber Monday means deals, so if you’re a plumber, for example, or you're doing any kind of lead gen, why not offer a deal on Cyber Monday?
I ran a simple search for “cyber monday” just a couple days ago. You can see already that the heavy hitters aren’t waiting until the actual Cyber Monday to get in front of consumers and their credit cards.
Here’s What You Can Do to Get Your PPC Ready for Cyber Monday
Let’s take a look at some actionable steps you can take for your own PPC campaigns this Cyber Monday. As with any special campaign or event, you should track your conversions to have them ready for next year’s planning or for supporting your case for that holiday bonus.
Copy, offer, and CTA tips
Use Cyber Monday in your copy. Did you notice how the actual words Cyber Monday appear in the ad copy of the examples above? That’s a strategy you should employ for your own ad copy because consumers are looking for Cyber Monday deals. By using it you’ve made it clear to searchers that you have a great deal for a limited time, and there’s an implied sense of urgency and scarcity. In short, you’re telling shoppers you’ve got amazing deals that won’t be around forever, so they must act now.
Pause or rotate existing copy. Pause your existing ads and run only your Cyber Monday ads or, if you’re hesitant to pause ads that are your top performers, rotate your existing ads with your Cyber Monday ads to compare performance. If you choose to rotate them, check in frequently on Cyber Monday to gauge performance. Remember, this is a one-day deal, so prepare to capitalize on the Cyber Monday bump.
Have compelling offers. Free shipping is one of the most compelling offers any time, but even more so during the holidays. If you can’t stomach paying for shipping, you can choose other options: Throw in a free bundled product, or simply offer a deep discount, like “30% Cyber Monday discount.”
Above all, you must have a truly compelling offer that’s unique and isn’t just an existing one that you’ve disguised.
Use a strong CTA. Yes, there’s already an implied sense of urgency by using Cyber Monday in your ad copy, but a call-to-action that drives it home can seal the deal. Phrases like “Today Only. Order Now!” and “Don’t Miss Our Deals. Today Only” can capture more clicks and traffic.
Create a Cyber Monday sitelink
You’ve heard about sitelinks, and now’s the time to use them if you’re not already doing so. You can see below how Target is using sitelinks to promote a full Cyber Week (hey, one day of shopping deals is never enough).
Make sure you have at least one dedicated Cyber Monday sitelink and ensure it runs with all of your keywords on Cyber Monday. Running this sitelink underneath an actual Cyber Monday ad gives you more real estate to let searchers know you have great deals.
PPC campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords for Cyber Monday
You can opt to (a) run a separate Cyber Monday campaign, (b) create Cyber Monday ad groups, or (c) take the easy route and just run Cyber Monday ads and offers within your existing campaigns and ad groups.
No matter how you do it, realize there are consumers looking specifically for Cyber Monday deals, and those people are using “Cyber Monday” as part of their search queries. If you’re in a highly competitive industry, such as consumer electronics, it’s a good idea to bid on keywords like “cyber Monday electronics deals” and so forth.
Use Cyber Monday landing pages
You should create specific landing page for your Cyber Monday deals if possible. This allows you to point your ads and sitelinks to thematic pages that will drive sales. Check out this landing page primer if you need guidance on implementing them.
For example, in the Target ad we looked at above, the landing page is all about Cyber Week:
That’s all for now, shoppers. Let’s hear what you’ve done in the past or are planning to do this year to crush it on Cyber Monday.