Holiday 2022: How to Develop a Successful Paid Search Strategy for Your E-Comm Brand

December 5, 2022
by Joanne Rodrigues

Winter is coming. The leaves are changing color, our boots are out, and it’s only the beginning of seasonal heating disagreements or ‘thermo-spats’! E-commerce brands have plenty to keep them on their toes as 2022 comes to a close. There is not much time to breathe between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the holiday season. The time to finalize your paid search strategy is now.

Each year, the competition to stand out among the sea of holiday sales only increases. 2022 is no exception. There’s great news for e-commerce outlets in 2022: Deloitte has predicted that more consumers will be shopping online compared to last year. They estimate e-commerce sales to grow up to 14.3% across the 2022-2023 holiday season. 

This guide will help e-commerce brands nail down their digital marketing strategy to keep shoppers happy, generate the maximum amount of buzz and skyrocket their sales. 

1. Look Back on Last Year’s Performance

One of the best things you can do in preparation for this year’s holiday season is to use last year’s mistakes and achievements to improve things for the future. Look at your paid marketing budget between 2018 and 2021. Note down what worked and what didn’t. You should be able to identify your most lucrative marketing channels, platforms, and campaigns. 

Review last year’s search impression shares during important dates of the holiday season. Maybe your competitors outbid you. Perhaps some of your ads yielded a greater return on spend. While you might not want to fix what is not broken, there is always room for improvement and optimization in digital marketing. 

Throw away plans that seem outdated or haven’t aged well. Recycle successful campaigns by using new creatives and updated keywords. 

2. Start Early, Like Yesterday

If you haven’t started your holiday paid search campaign yet, you’re already running late. Half of all shoppers start their holiday shopping in September and October. Online customers today are always on the lookout for deals and extra savings. This means incorporating an early-bird marketing campaign is crucial. 

While starting your holiday campaign so early can get tiring and saturated, think of the volume of sales you can get during this period. Almost 50% of shoppers conduct online research before going through with a purchase. Targeting them with your ads is a great way to capture their attention while they’re actively looking. It also ensures that your brand name sits at the top of their list when it comes down to completing a purchase. 

3. Be as Specific as Possible

There are all sorts of shoppers during the holiday season, and it’s your job to cater to each and every one of them. Don’t forget that a majority shoppers are looking for and purchasing gifts for others. At the same time, many are also shopping for themselves and their homes. Several put off their annual shopping spree just for this once-a-year event. With such a vast range of demographics and purposes, you must create individual funnels for each.

Include precise keywords in your campaigns. Go beyond ‘Gifts for your spouse’. Be creative and target the most niche, yet lucrative, customers in your audience. 

Here are examples of keywords you can think about incorporating:

  • Gifts for children under $100 

This speaks clearly to those under a tight budget, and those who have trouble finding appropriate gifts for children.

  • Order now for delivery by Christmas Eve

This shows the customer that they will get their order in time and provides a specific date so they won’t have to worry about it later. Don’t forget, always stick to your promises as much as possible.

  • Stocking fillers for women

Again, this speaks directly to someone looking for small gifts and caters to a large demographic as well. 

4. Have a Plan B Ready

We get it, sometimes things go wrong or not according to plan. Always have a backup strategy ready just in case. Inventory running low? That means your products have done so well! Manage expectations and use ads to push other low-performing products instead.

The holiday season is your time to get creative and challenge boundaries. Many forget that a paid search strategy can be extended beyond the Google universe. Google ads and Google search are definitely kings, but there’s another market out there that you could tap into this year. Pay-per-click (PPC) across Microsoft’s ad space (Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo) is growing steadily and is available to people across the globe. If less competition, lower costs, more reach, and unique demographics are part of your marketing goals, then consider this option. 

5. Use the Right Tools and Features

The holiday season is the perfect time to amplify your retargeting efforts. Many online shoppers add items to their carts, and then step away to compare or think about the purchase. Invest in retargeted ads that nudge these cart abandoners. Use A/B testing to see which campaigns work early in your strategy. Implement changes based on your test results.

If you haven’t looked at Google’s Performance Max yet, then this is a good time to start. The goal-based campaign type allows you to access customers on Google’s complete suite using search campaigns. This includes YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and even Maps. This is a great tool for conversion objectives, but if you need help, we can help you navigate this.

Implement the Best holiday 2022 Paid Search Campaign 

While the concerns about COVID have receded in 2022, shoppers still enjoy the convenience and ease of online shopping. E-commerce brands have the potential to shine this holiday season if they execute their marketing plan properly. Customers might be worried about inflation and the increase in expenses over the holiday season, so using the tips outlined here will help take the edge off. 

The holiday season and end-of-year are chances to start anew and embrace the return to normalcy. Providing a smooth and personalized shopping journey is a crucial step in standing out from your competitors. If you need more help in actioning your paid search strategy during this busy time, drop us a line, and we’ll help you find the best way forward. The holiday season should be an exciting time for all, and we’ll make it as enjoyable as possible for your e-commerce business too.

About the author: Joanne has lived in five countries and is always on the hunt for a new city to explore. After a Masters in English Literature from the University of Leeds, she landed an internship at Google that ignited her passion for all things digital. She has 10 years of experience in content writing, reads 2 books a week, and loves ‘90s pop culture.

More Articles