How to Prepare for Seasonal Performance Shifts

By Tinuiti Team

Seasonal changes call for varying paid search practices based on shifts in customer behavior. As marketers and advertisers, we have recognized this with holiday shopping discounts and back-to-school ads. These seasonal occurrences are very predictable since they happen each year. But certain seasonal changes aren’t, making it more difficult to improve paid search strategies.

An example is how the weather changes throughout the year. Developing sustainable paid search techniques on this factor alone is almost impossible. On the other hand, linking this seasonal change to more predictable ones can yield better outcomes. For example, a dramatic drop in fall temperatures after an unseasonably cool summer would likely impact back-to-school shopping decisions of parents. Sensible parents would prefer warmer clothing for their children.

After a major toy recall, you may witness an increase in sales for a desirable alternative product you offer during the holiday season. All these situations highlight the need to prepare for seasonal performance shifts with your clients. This is especially the case for unexpected ones. Learn a few ways you can make this happen.

Can Your Paid Search Budget Keep Up With Seasonal Demand Shifts?

Ensure your clients are preparing an incremental paid search budget for seasonal demand shifts. Retailers may allocate less funds on current advertising efforts for seasonal products if a decrease in sales occurred the year before. Help your clients identify which products experienced sales decreases. Maybe these decreases are associated with an unseasonably cold winter or cool summer.

Extend the amount of time you evaluate YoY performance. If sales were down in Q1 2015, but were drastically higher in Q1 2016, did major shifts in weather patterns influence sales? Have any big industry announcements or new competitors had an impact? These are important questions to ask yourself.

How Future-Focused are Your Branding Awareness Initiatives?

Discuss branding awareness initiatives with your clients as early as possible to ensure business growth. This will help you create ecommerce marketing plans that can be utilized far into the future with reassurance. Doing this promotes certainty about the direction your business is taking. As a result, dealing with future setbacks will feel like a less challenging process.

For example, many resorts and cruise lines offer huge discounts during hurricane season. A large audience of bargain-shopping travelers would book a vacation if given the right deal at the right time. Overall, the key is to optimize seemingly negative situations in ways that favor your business as well as customers. Branding awareness initiatives can not only reach consumers who may be in-market, but it can reach consumers in the top of the funnel who may be researching vacations during peak seasons as well.

Effectively use social efforts to optimize seasonal lead generation.

Have You Allocated Enough Money for Social Efforts to Generate Sales?

Social efforts are needed to optimize seasonal performance shifts. It’s essential to get the word out about specific products or deals only available during seasonal periods. Get people talking about them with enticing social media advertising campaigns. For example, if you need to push excess inventory for a product you have a lot of because of extremely cold temperatures, promote the product at a reasonable sales price on all social media accounts and at all social events.

Also, the content you share on social media needs to be tailored to your audience’s needs and be of high quality. The more interactive this content is, the more power you have to gauge consumer interest. Encourage your clients to set aside a budget for these endeavors.

Consider yourself an advertising “prepper!” Discuss historical performance and previous strategic efforts with your clients to ensure you aren’t caught off guard by the unpredictable industry fluctuations. To learn more about upgrading paid search, read our case study: Gilt City Increases PPC Clicks by 16% While Reducing CPA by 20%.

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