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The merry months of online marketing

Make the most of your online marketing campaign during the holidays with these tips.
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The Christmas season in the Philippines officially begins when the “ber” months start. September 1 ushers in the yuletide with christmas carols hitting the airwaves, Christmas decorations adorning houses, and series of weekend sales offered at the malls.


But, the early start of celebration is not enough to urge Pinoys to buy gifts just as early. Google Trends show that from 2005 to 2011, the search for the term “gifts” spiked only at December of each year.


Days before Christmas, search for ‘gift ideas,’ ‘Christmas gift,’ and ‘best gift’ surge up, as many Pinoys go online for gift ideas, to shop and compare prices, or read product reviews. This seasonal online behavior can give marketers ideas on how to effectively use online marketing strategies during the holidays.


One of the more effective way is through search engine marketing, a cost-effective strategy where platforms like Google AdWords enable businesses to reach existing and new customers anywhere in the world by displaying relevant ads alongside search results. Businesses only pay when their ad is clicked, which means that every peso of the ad budget is cost-effectively used for qualified sales leads. There is also no big upfront cost, and businesses can set a daily or monthly budget to monitor and control their ad spend.



Here are seven practical tips on how to maximize marketing spend during the holiday season:


1. Know what your target audience wants. You know that your audience are the Christmas shoppers, but you must have an idea of the products and services they are looking for and when they look for them. Precision is the key to search engine marketing with programs like Google AdWords. You want to reach the right users at the right time with the right product.


2. Identify your goals. Is it to increase traffic? To convert customers to your product? Or to create brand awareness? Stay focused on your goal so you can measure your success. Structure each marketing campaign on a simple, overarching goal but be clear with your categories, product lines (coffee, tea, or machines?), and themes (seasonal or promotional?)


3. Choose useful keywords.  Choosing keywords is both an art and a science. Think like your users do so you can brainstorm on a list of keywords they may use. Use 2-4 keyword combinations instead of general keywords. Since it’s gift-giving season, you may want to look for related terms for ‘Christmas gift’ or ‘gift ideas for kids,’ to get more clicks from users. Understand which keywords work best for you and increase your bid on those words to maximize your return. With a carefully chosen list of keywords and a regular review of resulting conversions, the results reaped by an SME can be highly measurable.



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