Ecommerce advertisers traditionally get to have all the fun. The holiday shopping season is the event of the year and about the only thing PPC folks can talk about in Q4. Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Buy, buy, buy!
As someone who manages a lot of B2B PPC accounts, this offends me! (OK, not really. Just play along.)
What about my B2B PPC compatriots? Well, I declare we take the whole month of January and name it, "Golden Opportunity Month!" Heck, some of you may even be able to claim the entirety of Q1 – the golden opportunity quarter.
We've known for a long time that December is a virtual black hole for B2B advertisers in most verticals. There's simply too much shopping and egg nog for anyone to be concerned with choosing services or buying goods for their business.
Seasonality can really make or break your campaign performance. December is awful for B2B. But January? That's a whole other story!
B2B advertisers need to embrace their oddball status and grab the New Year by the horns. Ramp up those campaigns in January and Q1 to capitalize on the other side of the seasonality coin.
Be a Budget Opportunist
Plan ahead. Conserve your budgets from Thanksgiving through the end of Q4. Then light those campaigns up in the first week of January.
Use your own historical data (look at all website traffic, not just PPC) or tools like Google Trends to get a better understanding of when you should spend big or be conservative with your budgets. Regardless of your specific data, one thing is unlikely to change: January will be big.
Beyond merely increasing your budgets, be mindful of the competition and test increasing bids on your top converting keywords, too. More search traffic means all of your competitors want a piece of that pie, too.
Don't spend just to spend, though. Maintain control of your conversion metrics, too. Services like Aqcuisio's bid and budget management algorithms can aid in this process of ramping spend to match seasonality while controlling CPA and ROI.
No Time to Use Boring Ads
Don't ever leave your ad writing fundamentals behind, but January can be the perfect time to make your B2B PPC ads bigger than life. If ecommerce advertisers can lace their ads with references to Christmas and Santa Claus, then you can absolutely reference the New Year and everything that brings to the B2B table.
Just like individuals, businesses make New Year's resolutions, too, in the way of goals. Fiscal calendars roll over. Budgets are reset. Services must be updated or upgraded.
In general, decisions are being made and you need to be front and center when those businesses are researching. Make your ads big, bold and directly relevant to the season.
Test, Test and Test Again
Traffic is potentially at the highest point of the year. Don't waste the opportunity!
Now is a perfect time to test. New messaging. New landing pages. New products or services.
Whatever the test is, B2B advertisers are losing out if they don't ride this wave of seasonality.
When Q4 rolls around later this year, all of us B2B advertisers can sit back and watch the holiday shopping insanity unfold. Let those ecommerce folks have their fun. You and I will just waiting for our turn and the next Golden Opportunity Month!
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!