Autumn is well and truly here! The days are getting shorter, the wind is colder and Black Friday will soon be upon us. Over the years, Black Friday has become an increasingly important event for retailers and marketers alike. For PPC marketers, this means higher budgets, higher targets, and higher returns. But with this increase in performance comes competition – So how do you ensure your brand holds its voice and drives the best performance in the run-up to, and during, Black Friday? 

The answer, of course, is with a strong Google Ads Marketing campaign. Black Friday is an excellent opportunity to run your campaigns in conjunction with a wide range of Google tools to maximize the efficiency of your retail goals. Below we have outlined our tips for preparing successful PPC campaigns.

1. Plan Early

This year, Black Friday falls on November 26th and, if you listen to the forecasts, the ongoing pandemic could once more lead to surges in online sales. Even now, many shoppers avoid crowded stores choosing instead to shop from the comfort of their homes. These shoppers are far more likely to begin browsing early – in fact, according to McKinsey & Company nearly a third of shoppers say they will start earlier compared to last year, and according to ThinkwithGoogle, queries for Black Friday are anticipated to start in October, and span 10 weeks, into December.

For PPC marketers, this means starting to build out your strategic approach to Black Friday early. Highly organized shoppers will browse sites, sign up for deals and make lists on where to find the best prices. Therefore, it is wise to lean on any customer insights you may have, particularly customer intent to help reach new users who are actively searching. Great places to start looking for these insights include Google tools such as Audience Manager and Google Trends.

Use Lead Generation in the run-up to build out a comprehensive CRM list to target users and build hype around your Black Friday offers. Then use Remarketing Lists to ensure you engage with your previous shoppers. 

Bidding Strategies are always important, but even more so in Black Friday preparations. With high competition from various brands comes more expensive auctions and higher CPCs. Using automated value-based bidding ensures your campaigns target the searches that will bring the best return through historical learnings. The two Google bid strategies we recommend are: 

  • Maximize Conversion Value: to drive as much revenue as possible for the budget assigned.
  • Target ROAS (tROAS): to drive a maximum volume of revenue at a targeted return on spend.

To optimize Google Shopping we recommend using these bid strategies in conjunction with Shopping Feed segmentation consisting of high to low-profit margins. This then gives marketers greater visibility on returns and flexibility with budgets, as well as the ability to tailor optimizations and campaign strategy to different profit margin groupings. 

2. Investment Planning

Implementing the correct bidding strategy is only part of the battle. To ensure your campaigns have the best space to optimize and perform, you need to ensure you allocate the correct budget. 

If you are working to certain targets, running budgets ‘uncapped’ can help to accommodate increased volumes, however, we recommend scaling up spend in the run-up to Black Friday to slowly acclimate your bid strategies to the higher volumes. Other recommendations include: 

  • Having at least 30% headroom in Search and Shopping budgets to allow for higher bids.
  • Ensure campaigns are not running with any automated rules that could increase budgets.

3. Content and Coverage

This Black Friday Tip Ends In 3, 2, 1…

Countdown ads are just one way to experiment with PPC copy this Black Friday. Get creative with new engaging copy that promotes your USPs, trial new CTAs, and drive urgency and FOMO into your ads with the use of countdowns. After all, Black Friday only happens once a year and you don’t want to miss out!

Make the most of your Search Ads by ensuring you are running RSAs and DSAs in every ad group to catch additional traffic and don’t forget about Display Ads! These are great ways to effectively target shoppers who have previously engaged with your brand.

Other ways to enhance your content are by using promotion extensions across Search and Shopping, better known in Shopping as Merchant Promotions, to highlight the brand’s best deals, and image extensions to bolster your presence on the SERP. 

In addition to this, ensure your keyword coverage is at its best by using resources such as Google Trends, Keyword Planner, and Demand Forecasts to not only get insights into growing trends but to predict demand spikes and prepare accordingly.

A Holistic Approach

PPC Campaigns are one cog in the great wheel of Black Friday Marketing. To ensure you have the best strategy possible a holistic approach is key. This means making sure each of your channels is working together under one cohesive message and strategy. Shoppers might see a handful of ads across different platforms in their conversion journey and inconsistency across messaging can cause your overall strategy to become disjointed.

Closing thoughts

There is a lot to be aware of when preparing PPC campaign strategies for Black Friday, but with the right tools and implementation you can ensure your brand voice cuts through competitors to drive the best performance possible, all with the help of Google Ads.