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PMG Digital Made for Humans

Black Friday/Cyber Monday: How to Achieve Triple-Digit YoY Growth

4 MINUTE READ | December 13, 2016

Black Friday/Cyber Monday: How to Achieve Triple-Digit YoY Growth

BF-CM blog header

Two of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a pretty big deal in the digital realm. As a veteran (Gabi) and a rookie (Emily) working together with our team, we developed and strictly followed a detailed plan of attack to make it through to the other side. Below is an overview of our approach, suggestions and takeaways from Cyber Week 2016.

  1. Plan. Schedule. Communicate.

    • THINK AHEAD. In travel, BF and CM aren’t typically as crazy as in retail, but you should still have all hands on deck and keep it top of mind for your internal team and the client.

    • Speaking of the client, engage in open two-way communication and involve them in the planning process (i.e. if landing pages need edits, say something — they want to optimize user experience and get the most out of their investment).

    • Scheduled edits are your friend. Period. Use them.

    • Have a schedule established with your teammates for who is checking performance when and what will happen if things aren’t going according to plan. Also establish clear check-ins with the client.

  2. Maximize relevancy.

    • Tailor ad copy to highlight holiday offers. Take advantage of the increased character counts of ETAs. Minimize standard ads to drive traffic to these customized ETAs.

      BF-CM blog ETA screenshot
    • Utilize new beta opportunities because your competitors might not and you’ll stand out if you do. Case in point: Google Promotion Extensions. From live checks we didn’t see any competitor ads with the extension and the results were amazing.

      • On Cyber Monday, ads in our client’s account that served a promotion extension had a 420% greater CTR than ads without a promotion extension.

      • On Black Friday we saw a 380% greater CTR on ads with a promotion extension.

    • Widen coverage and allow multiple opportunities for content to show. Simply put: Tailored ad copy + promotion extension/other beta opportunity + additional real estate (i.e. sitelinks, callouts, etc.) = holiday ad motherload.

  3. Keep a record.

    • Having references for landing page design, deals and strategy from previous years helps streamline the implementation process.

    • Take screenshots. They will be an incredibly helpful resource when you pull reporting for your client and will also provide a record of what things looked like (see bullet above and think about next year).

  4. Budget. Budget. Budget.

    • Determine which historic/current trends you want to use as a baseline to gauge your spend, and then watch it like a hawk. Hourly checks are your friend.

    • And if you know you’ll be checking hourly, why not automate the process? To gauge spend throughout the day you can compare to historical pacing or year-over-year trends to help best allocate spend throughout the day.

  5. Test.

    • We added A LOT of Black Friday/Cyber Monday keywords to our accounts. Was it overkill? Maybe. Did it hurt anything? No. What point are we trying to make? If you have an idea, try it and see what happens. (That being said, it’s important to not spend time on things unless the results will justify the effort.)

    • On that note, think outside the box. Go out on a limb and don’t be afraid to test. Sometimes we struggle with the word “test,” but it doesn’t mean we’re taking the client’s money and making it rain (we wish we could). Testing something always involves a certain level of risk, but when we prepare, strategize and watch things closely, it can be done successfully.

      • Disclaimer: This mindset requires a foundation built on client trust and a strong strategy. Only once those building blocks are in place can you can start creating your testing environment.

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With all this said, we recognize the holidays are a time for friends, family, food and of course, football. But in the digital advertising space, this is also a time for you to reach incredible business milestones for your clients. With the right amount of strategy, prep and dedication to execution, the end of Q4 will be filled with record-breaking success. Hopefully our tips and tricks are helpful. Now time to prep for next year!


Posted by Emily Denney

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