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A century of celebrating Mom: smart ad strategies for the mother of all holidays
Want to make the most of your paid search campaigns this Mother's Day? Columnist John Cosley of Bing Ads shares Mother's Day insights for digital marketers.
In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday. A century later, the holiday has become much more than a celebration of more than 85.4 million mothers. Mother’s Day is now the third-largest retail holiday in the US, with total spending at $21.2 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
No one likes to skimp on Mom. The NRF reports that the average shopper plans to spend $173 on their mother this year, with gifts ranging from consumer electronics to jewelry to flowers. And a new favorite gift is on the rise: the gift card. The NRF estimates that 44.2 percent of shoppers plan to buy Mom a gift card, with total spending expected to reach $2.2 billion.
How do you make sure your ad campaigns are working as hard as possible for you this Mother’s Day? Here are Bing Ads’ top tips for Mother’s Day success.
Timing is everything
Mother’s Day searchers begin a month in advance and are most active the week prior to the holiday — particularly those in search of flowers, gifts and greeting cards (Microsoft internal data, 2015).
Make it mobile
Mobile searches continue to grow; last year, within the Bing Network, Mother’s Day mobile searches saw a 39-percent increase. This year, smartphones are expected to play an even bigger part in Mother’s Day shopping. According to the Retail Insight Center‘s Mother’s Day Overview, here’s how they will be used:
- Researching or comparing prices (43 percent)
- Purchasing gifts (28 percent)
- Looking up retailer location, store hours, directions and so on (25 percent)
- Using apps to research or purchase gifts (16 percent)
Pay attention to click-through rate (CTR) by category
Click-through rates and volumes trend by gift category, so make sure to identify when CTR is high and cost-per-click is low for your category so you can capitalize on this opportunity.
Choose words that work
A recent Microsoft Internal Data study (April 1, 2015–May 15, 2015) shows that specific word combinations make a big difference during Mother’s Day campaigns. For instance, a Flowers/Cards/Gifts/Candy ad highlighting “Online” in the title and “Cards” in the description has high ad quality.If your category is Flowers, top-performing ads should include the words Online (“online,” “official site,” “order online”) and Gifts (“apparel,” “bags,” “baskets”). For mobile devices, use % Off (“%” or “save %”) in the ad title, combined with Online in the ad description.
For Cards, include the words Delivery and Shipping (e.g., “day delivery,” “fast delivery,” “free shipping”). On mobile devices, Price/Pricing (“cash,” “affordable,” “price”) works best in the ad title when paired with Cards (“gift cards,” “cards,” “postcards”) in the description.
Align your Gifts category ad copy to what your audience is searching for by using Brand terms in the ad title and using Dynamic Keyword Insertion in the ad description.
For the Candy category, Brand names rule once again when it comes to driving performance in the ad title. For PC, combine Gifts in your ad descriptions with Free; for mobile, use Flavor (e.g., “vanilla”) in your ad titles.
And finally, the Jewelry category ad copy performs best when there are Style/Type details in the ad title (e.g., “unique,” “colors,” “styles”). Pair this with a Call to Action (“buy,” “order now,” “get free”) to increase ad quality. For mobile devices, make sure you use a Call to Action in the ad title to boost ad quality.
Product ads: a compelling picture
Use high-quality images. Use images with a white background to make them pop. Do not include any text within your images (e.g., promo messaging for free shipping). Test different images of the same product to determine which image performs best
Put as many relevant keywords in the product title and description as possible. Also important, add negative keywords to prevent ads from showing on items you do not offer. Test multiple promotional text options to determine which one is resonating most, and then apply larger bids to best-sellers.
Make sure you optimize your data feed for Mother’s Day, and validate your data. It pays to ensure your product feed is properly formatted.
Product discoverability is of the utmost importance. Use the SKU column and unique identifiers to help differentiate product titles and descriptions that may only differ in size or color. Make sure all unique identifiers are consistent between data feeds, and use descriptive titles with all the relevant information as possible. Go beyond the required attributes and populate your feed with as many recommended attributes as possible for each product offer. The more information you make available in your title, the more likely your product ads will be shown for relevant searches.
Create at least one campaign that targets all products in the feed. This will help you gain insights about products that may deserve attention but are not currently captured by other product groups. Target specific products in your feed beyond “all-inclusive,” and include specific brands, product types or individual products that align with your business goals
Create custom labels that can help you group your products and target more successfully. For instance, labels can be created specifically for high-margin products, items with low or high return on ad spend and so on.
And, last but not least, given that Mother’s Day is a very short seasonal event, refresh your feed daily.
Happy moms, happy customers
Remember, Mother’s Day is a big retail holiday, one that warrants a solid strategy.
So plan accordingly, and start your campaign planning early. Depending on what you sell, consider timing for your ads, your device strategy and word combinations, and include enough information to make sure your Product Ads are shown.
After all, when Mama is happy, your customers will be, too.
For a closer look at these insights and more, check out Mother’s Day Insights for Digital Marketers from Bing Ads:
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.