Is Paid Search the Right Channel for Your Brand on Black Friday?

Image Credit: Alyssa Powell/Business insider

The giant Paid Search (PPC) platforms, Google and Bing, have already started preparing advertisers for one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday.

Microsoft advertising published new statistics earlier this month, indicating that 45% of the searches in the build-up to Black Friday are non-branded (generic) terms, showing how important it is for advertisers to use generic keywords  in order to capture those audiences interested in their products. These audience lists can then be utilised in remarketing campaigns closer to Black Friday.

The stats, based on last year’s consumer behaviour during Black Friday’s shopping peak also show that 33% of purchases online were made on mobile devices, indicating the importance for your website to be mobile friendly in order to complete the user journey to conversion. Naturally, research on products by consumers goes up during the Black Friday period/Cyber Monday, and as searchers shop for the Christmas season we expect to see even higher demand during this time.

While knowing consumer behaviour helps advertisers to plan ahead and have the right set up in place for campaign management and audience list building, don’t forget that demand for generic keywords rises too. As a result, these keywords become more expensive, requiring greater budget investment from brands. So key a question for advertisers to answer is: should they invest in their paid search channel and, if so, should they only focus on particular audience lists that are more valuable and loyal to them? That’s a crucial decision for any brand and especially for small businesses. According to Adobe Insights, based on last year Black Friday trends, 50% of revenue generated during this shopping peak was associated with marketing tactics that involved Paid Search directly in the users’ journey. In fact, this channel was the only channel among others with a YOY growth of 6%. This tells you that investment in Paid Search will be very likely to pay off.

If you made the decision to run a Paid Search campaign for the Black Friday sale, then you could work on a Shopping ads campaign to showcase your products on both Google and Bing search engines. See the iPhone Shopping ads below, sponsored by different retailers appearing on Google.

Source: Google Search Engine

In addition, Dynamic Search ads allow you to target relevant queries automatically based on the content of your web pages. The figure below helps you to understand how this type of text ad works.

Source: Microsoft Advertising Masters

In this blog post, we have only given you a few examples of the many Paid  Search products available on Google and Bing search advertising platforms. Running a small or medium size business and working on a tight budget, we strongly advise you to choose the product that is right for your brand. Always test products before you launch them across your Paid Search account. It’s best to test them outside the peak season and stick to what you know generates the best return on investment for your business during Black Friday so your marketing budget is managed effectively. Lastly, don’t forget that the audience list that you build on people who have visited your website during the Black Friday period is a valuable list for remarketing during the Christmas campaign. Good luck & happy selling!

Don’t Miss Out on Free Exposure with Google My Business, Especially if You Own a Small Business

The free marketing tool, Google My Business, gives your business a sense of credibility when your existing or potential customers search for you on Google. This feature ensures that your business name with all its details such as location, opening hours, website, photos, customers reviews, your business social media profiles and much more appears in the right-hand side of the search engine.

Image Credit: Google Search Result

Don’t worry if you’re in a business that doesn’t require customers to visit your location, you can still create your business profile on Google’s listing. Google My Business allows you to hide your exact location on the map if your business address is the same as your home address. Google does, however, need to verify your location and your ownership in order to add a business onto its listing. This means you must provide them with the exact address of your business and they will send you a code via post or email for verification. Upon receiving the code, you need to enter that to your Google My Business account to complete setting up the profile.

As noted above, your business social media profiles from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc can be added to your Google My Business. To do this, you need to add a script for each of those profiles to the back end of your website. Remember to connect your business profile to your website so that scripts can do their job. If WordPress is your website hosting platform, this step by step guide will help you integrate the two accounts – if you have already set up your Google My Business Profile before this integration, you may see different Call-to-Action buttons from what’s in the guide.

Certain business categories can benefit from specific features available on Google My Business. For example, bars and restaurants can have links for online reservations, orders and even menus added to their business profile. There are also options available for adding events information or special offers to your profile, depending on the type of business you’re in.

And finally, something exciting for those who love details and numbers. There is an Insights section on Google My Business that provides data concerning visits to your business profile. For example, you could learn how customers searched for your business, what queries they searched to find your business, what actions they took on visiting your business and much more! If you integrated your WordPress website with your Google My Business profile, all these stats would be available in your website dashboard too.

We hope you found this article helpful. If interested in setting up your business profile on Google My Business, here is where you can get started.

Running a Small Business? Let Your Potential Clients Know You’re Available for Business on LinkedIn!

Earlier this week LinkedIn, the networking provider helping professionals to socialise and find new career and business opportunities, launched a new product aiming to help freelancers and small businesses to reach potential new clients. Already launched in the US market to Premium Business subscribers, the new LinkedIn feature allows users to update their profile with the type of services they offer so when someone searches on LinkedIn to find the same service, their profile will appear in the search results. Members can then message the service provider directly to find out more.

According to Business Statistics by Chris Rhodes, published by House of Commons Library in Dec 2018, there were 5.7 million small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK in 2018, which accounted for over 99% of all businesses – SME is any business with fewer than 250 employees. Moreover, of those, 5.4 million were micro-businesses (0-9 employees), accounting for 96% of all businesses. This illustrates the significant role that SMEs play in the economy and it’s great to see LinkedIn recognising the help they need to market and put their name and services in front of the right clients at the right time.

Another great thing about the new product is that users can show a location for the service they sell and even express an interest in working remotely. Below, are some screenshots showing the form you need to fill in for the feature to appear on your profile, when the new service becomes available in the UK market.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

So, if you’re a small business owner or doing freelance work, here is a great way for you to advertise your brand and shout out about your skills and expertise. You can currently show your interest in gaining access to the service on LinkedIn by signing up to be added to a waitlist here.