From our partners at Microsoft Advertising.
The last few years have seen a monumental change in the retail industry. Specifically, technology has untethered the shopper from the store and allowed retail to take place anywhere, at any time. It should be no surprise that Search is a key driver in this.
A study carried out by Microsoft Advertising highlights that retail shoppers who use search not only purchase more frequently but are also more likely to become repeat purchasers.
For start-ups, this means that search engine marketing is indispensable when considering online marketing strategies.
As a new advertiser it can be challenging to get started. Doing it yourself directly with an ad platform introduces a huge learning curve and costly mistakes, whilst the cost of hiring an agency puts this beyond the reach of many. Fear not! We have assembled our best practices to get you started:
Start planning and preparing your online marketing efforts early and set your budgets and goals with an eye toward driving increased traffic to your website, sales or leads. Plan your budgets for periods of high costs, which occur during periods of increased competition, and consider shared budgets for collections of smaller campaigns to efficiently spend budget where the campaigns are hitting your performance targets.
If applicable, review the campaigns you ran last season to analyse what worked and what did not. Do remember to engage in AB-testing to test ad-copy and image variations to find out about what your audience prefers.
Double-check to make sure all relevant accounts and campaigns are active. If you have rejected ads, take the time to follow-up on them.
Think about strategies that will lead to an increase in your return on investment. Here we recommend equipping your campaign with multiple touchpoints. Use different ad products to engage with your potential customers in different ways and in multiple places. This way, you can make the most of the diverse and unique audience accessed through Microsoft Advertising and increase your return on investment.
Also think about using rich image-based ads. Visuals are key to capture the attention of your audience. Make sure to present your service and products in a diverse and authentic way.
And finally, the most important thing - stay on the ball! Things can change quickly during peak season. So whilst automated bidding can help you manage your bidding strategy across accounts, take the time to review performance manually so you can react and intervene quickly if necessary. Ensuring your product feed is accurate and up to date is critical to your success with shopping campaigns.
If you want to dive deeper into the world of search and native advertising and learn about Microsoft Advertising, you can find out more here. For inspiration on how other companies have scaled their business, take a look here.
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