The Ultimate PPC Guide To Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021

Connor O’Hanlon
Connor O’Hanlon

Director of PPC

The Ultimate PPC Guide To Black Friday Cyber Monday 2021

Black Friday is only a few weeks away, so here are our top tips on how to make the most out of your PPC spend over this holiday season.

It’s that time of year again and no, I don’t mean the time for bomb cyclones (apparently it is though). Time for everyone’s wallets to get a little bit lighter and pants to get a little bit tighter. Massive TVs bigger than anyone could possibly need, the hottest toys, top fashion trends, workout equipment (which you’ll probably stop using two weeks into January) and so much more will be on sale like Black Friday & Cyber Monday are almost here. 

While the hottest deals of the year in the past have forced people to show their truest selves trampling others, physically fighting for the last Xbox, and skipping their Thanksgiving dinners to wait in lines, the pandemic has changed that… now more and more people are skipping the stores (and freezing temps), sitting comfortably in their pajamas (after engorging themselves with turkey, stuffing, and 10 flavors of pie), and loading up their online carts. 

This means, it truly can be the most wonderful time of the year for all eCommerce store owners. It’s true, the pandemic has fundamentally changed how people shop and work (as I write this sitting in my living room) and these changes are likely here to stay. 

In a report by McKinsey, it was estimated that the pandemic spurred 10 years of eCommerce Penetration in the US in only 3 months while a global survey by Shopify, showed that 84% of consumers shopped online during the pandemic! And it’s not just millennials and Gen Z causing this growth, older shoppers have migrated too and it’s estimated that nearly 150 million people shopped online for the first time during the pandemic! 

So, what does this mean for you as an eCommerce store owner? More and more consumers will begin to shop online, these shoppers will have higher intent and more retailers will begin spending more on digital channels, pushing costs higher and higher. This means adopting & optimizing a clear digital strategy will be more important than ever this holiday season and beyond.

So now that you understand how important digital marketing, especially PPC, will be this holiday season and beyond, here are some tips on how you can maximize profits and revenue for your store.

Feed & Store Health

Google Shopping, Facebook & Pinterest Catalogs, and Amazon Stores are the lifeblood of many eCommerce stores during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all of the holiday season. If you don’t already have these set up already, you are a bit behind the 8 ball, but there is still time as these platforms recommend getting your feeds/stores running at least 2 weeks before these dates. Not only do we want to advertise on these so we can show our ads at the top of Google and other great placements, but we want to make sure we are doing it correctly with optimized product titles, descriptions, SKUs, Product IDs, and more. 

A great way to identify the best titles and descriptions is to experiment with multiple variables for each and see how your product placements are impacted on Google and the other top platforms. Ensuring feed health also makes sure, your product feed has no disapprovals, suspensions, or outstanding issues that can prevent your products from showing on this ever-important long weekend. You still have time to fix all of these issues, so get to optimizing your feeds and stores ASAP!

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is more important than ever as consumers have so many brands to choose from when it comes to most products in the market. Ultimately, if you have a brand image or message that they agree with or resonate with their personality (whether it is by focusing on product sustainability, convenience/fast shipping, or something else), the chances of them becoming a customer of yours compared to your competitors is extremely high. 

Brand awareness isn’t just about posting on social media 5 times a day with the latest memes but should be an important part of every marketing campaign, targeting users on multiple platforms with a true omnichannel strategy. Building a brand is important, so creating one cohesive message for audiences to experience on multiple platforms is the key. An example could be running a Search Ad On Google, a similar display ad on the Google Display Network (using in-market and retargeting audiences) + Facebook, and a brand video to promote on youtube and social media. Integrating and optimizing all of these can be the final push to get someone from the consideration stage to the buying stage. 

Show Off Your Deals

It’s the holiday season, you likely have some deals, so start showing them off! Google and many other platforms make it very easy to display your promotions and discounts utilizing extensions and feed-based promotions.

Black Friday

You can also add countdowns to add some urgency to consumers shopping around with ads that show deals ending in only a few hours. Adding urgency and showing off your promotions are both quick and easy ways you can supercharge your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday PPC advertising efforts. 

Bring Your Top Customers Back For More

Now that we have learned some ways to acquire new customers, we must focus our holiday advertising on retaining our top current customers and keep them coming back for more. As we have all heard 100+ times, retaining a loyal customer can be 10x less costly than acquiring a new one, so we have to prioritize our retargeting efforts. 

Google, Facebook, and many other platforms make it possible to include this as part of your holiday advertising strategy through Customer Match Lists which can be added to nearly any campaign. By creating custom display ads for your current customers to see across the internet or increasing your bids in your search and shopping campaigns on these audiences, you can make sure these customers keep coming back by showing off your current promotions and even offering an extra enticing promo for returning customers. 

Make It Easy to Check Out

Finally, and most importantly, the final piece of the puzzle is making sure your site is easy to navigate and check out. You can do everything mentioned above, but if your site makes it difficult or time-consuming to check out or is slow and confusing to navigate, your advertising efforts will all go to waste. 

Optimizing your site for mobile also has to be a significant focus for every eCommerce advertiser, as more consumers than ever (especially younger ones) are browsing and ultimately buying on their phones. Another way to simplify your checkout process is to allow guest checkout and one-click checkout as convenience and checkout speed can help immediately reduce abandoned cart rates. Optimizing your site to make the easiest checkout experience should be a priority for every eCommerce site, but now has become more important than ever with more and more competitors popping up every day.

Final Thoughts

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday shopping season can truly be the most wonderful time of the year for all eCommerce shops if you are set up for digital success. Consumers are swarming online to buy more and earlier than ever to ensure their loved ones get everything they could possibly want and your store is only a few simple steps away from becoming the beneficiary of this. By following the tricks and strategies mentioned above, you can maximize the potential of your holiday advertising campaigns and drive record sales without a gigantic advertising budget. 

If you would like some additional insight as to how you can improve the strength of your eCommerce PPC efforts and grow your business in 2021 & beyond, we at SmartSites can help! We utilize our years of digital advertising expertise and omnichannel strategic planning to identify the right solution to help you grow your business. Schedule a free discovery meeting to see how we can help you today!