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Tips for Health & Wellness Industry Advertisers: Prepare Now for New Year's Resolution Customers

The New Year is often thought of as an opportunity for a new start, a chance to create a new you! In addition to celebrating with parties, special foods, and fireworks, many cultures make New Year’s resolutions... and many of the top New Year’s resolutions are health related. [1]

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Learn something exciting
  • Quit smoking
  • Help others achieve their dreams
  • Fall in love

According to the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. [1] Seventy-five percent of people who make resolutions maintain them throughout the first week of the year; 71% past two weeks; 64% past one month and 46% past six months. [1]

New Year's resolutions represent a significant opportunity for marketers; this means you have a significant opportunity to engage with an invested audience for up to six months. Just what does that mean in terms of purchase intent? Thirty five percent of digital consumers plan to spend $25 or more per month, at least initially, on their New Year's resolutions.[2] An estimated $5.6 billion is expected to be spent on New Year's resolutions, or approximately 11% of Black Friday spending, which, in 2011, was projected to account for $52 billion in sales.[2]

In 2013, American consumers went online for help with their 2013 weight loss resolution.[3] A study conducted by a marketing firm focused on health and wellness suggests that 9% percent of people feel that sharing their goals with their social network would improve their New Year’s resolution performance.[2] An additional 17% said collaborating with or competing against friends, family or in online groups would boost their resolution performance.[2] In all, 39% of digital consumers feel that deeper engagement with their resolutions through channels such as sharing on social media, competing and coordinating with friends/family, and contributing to charities will aid in their New Year’s resolution performance.[2]

The increase in health-consciousness is not limited to Americans, Canadian consumers are numerous health and wellness trends including the pursuit of organic and naturally health foods.[8] Global sales of health and wellness products are expected to increase with continued growth due to shifting demographics, new regulations, rising obesity rates, and consumer demand for healthier products.[8] 

It’s no wonder that the Health and Wellness industry expected to grow to a $1 Trillion retail value.[4] The following list helps us understand who is spending what and where [5]:

  • $20 Billion – Annual revenue of the U.S. weight-loss industry, including diet books, diet drugs and weight-loss surgeries.
  • 108 Million – Number of people on diets in the United States. Dieters typically make four to five attempts per year.
  • 85% – Percentage of customers consuming weight-loss products and services who are female.
  • 1 Hour – Amount of time spent on daily exercise by people who lost and kept off at least 30 pounds of excess weight for five years.
  • 220,000 – Number of people with morbid obesity in the United States who had bariatric surgery in 2009.
  • $500,000 to $3 Million – Average salaries paid to celebrity endorsers of major weight-loss programs.

With an increasing focus on health, consumers are spending more on sporting goods and increasing participation in sports and related activities [6]:

  • In 2011, the U.S. Sporting Goods & Equipment industry was valued at $21M, projected to reach $23M in 2016.
  • In 2012, 33 million people aged 16+, participated in the sport fishing activity and spent USD $48 billion on equipment, licenses, trips and other fishing-related items or events.  

Again, online plays a pivotal role. Sporting equipment sites must have an online presence to engage with the 66% of Millennial Internet users who prefer to research or buy online.[7]

Advertiser Action Items

Knowing that there’s an engaged consumer base willing to spend their dollars on health and wellness and sporting goods, what should you do?

  • Revisit ad groups that have keywords and ad text related to your promotional items.  Be sure to leverage the most relevant destination URL per keyword or product target (for Product Ads).
  • “Call to Action”, “flash sales”, and “countdown promotions” in the ad title or description can improve the clicks.  Give time for engines to index and rank your terms and product targets to serve more actively.
  • Lean on ad scheduling and incremental bidding strategies.
  • Highlight “Free” and “Expedited Shipping” in Titles and Descriptions with contributing Keywords.
  • Bid Early and often during your promotional time period.
  • Utilize Ad Extensions, Sitelinks, Incremental bidding, Broad Match Modifier, and Dynamic Keyword Insertions.
  • And, if you're not doing so already, start building your reputation as a valuable member of social media communities relevant to your business.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or ping me on Twitter.


[1] University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, December 13, 2012

[2] Social Vibe, New Year’s Resolutions Study, 2013

[3] Pew Internet & American Life Project, January 2013

[4] Euromonitor International

[5] John LaRosa of MarketData; National Weight Control Registry; American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

[6] Reuters.com

[7] eMarketer, May 2013

[8] Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health and Wellness Trends for Canada and the World, October 2011 

 

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Key Dates and Tips for Managing Your Bing Ads Budget Throughout the Holiday Season

You and your elves have worked hard to prepare for a successful holiday selling season – reviewing last year’s ad campaign performance, launching and testing holiday keywords, creating your festive seasonal ad copy, and maybe you even came up with some new promotional offerings.  Or, maybe your business workshop is filled with procrastinating elves, still committed to delivering a successful holiday season.

Whether your holiday plans were locked down months ago or not, no amount of planning will matter if you don’t manage your budget effectively.  If your budget is depleted, your customers aren’t able to see or click your ads, much less buy your products.   Timing is everything – anyone who says otherwise never accidentally went dark on Cyber Monday.\

Bookmark these key dates to ensure your budget doesn’t deplete during peak shopping periods before the day ends:

 

NOTE: If you are in Canada, be sure to add Boxing Day to your key dates since post-holiday spending will surge on December 26!

Thanksgiving: 11/28/13

Apparently the whole US eats dinner between 2 and 4pm – then we all get back on our computers to finish shopping until 11pm.  It’s important to note here that if you’re running a Daily (or Daily Accelerated) budget, ensure that your daily budget is robust enough to support the spike in shopping activity in the evening.[1]

Black Friday 11/29/13

Black Friday shopping starts before the sun comes up.  Ensure your daily budget is flush enough that it has not been depleted first thing in the morning, before you even arrive to the office.1

Cyber Monday 12/2/13

The good news is that Cyber Monday hits after the first of December, meaning monthly automated budgets will be renewed, and ready to hit hard.

Recommendations for successful budget management during the holiday season:

  • Switch your Budget Type:  Consider using “Daily Standard.”   At some point during the month of November, switch from a Monthly Budget to Daily Standard so you can get in the habit of checking in daily to gauge your spend and be prepared for Thanksgiving, the first of the peak selling days.
  • Set reminders:  Set a reminder to check your budget in your Outlook, cell phone, or on your team’s calendar.  Check in around noon on peak selling days - if things are going well, consider increasing your ad spend.  Or, if Cyber Monday has depleted your budget when you check in at noon, you have an opportunity to replenish the budget before peak selling hours end.
  • Increase your budget: In general, a 20-50% increase in budget would be a good place to start on the key holiday dates noted above.  Test your budget level on Thanksgiving – if your budget is depleted prior to day’s end, consider increasing budget as Black Friday and Cyber Monday may deliver even higher volumes of peak holiday shopping traffic.

A quick refresher on Bing Ads budget types:

1. Daily – Standard
Typically, we recommend starting with the “Daily – Standard” budget type when you initially create a campaign. This will help spread your ad impressions across the entire month, based on daily limits that you define. Your ads are also shown evenly throughout each day. This is a great option when displaying your ads all day long is important, like during the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

2. Daily - Accelerated
This budget type, similar to “Daily – Standard” distributes your ad impressions (An ad that is served to and displayed on a user's browser.) across the entire month, but delivers your ads as frequently as possible each day until your daily budget is depleted. This means your ads may stop being delivered before the day is over since delivery is not spread out or metered throughout the day. With this budget type, you need to monitor your budget more closely so you can make adjustments if necessary.  During holiday, you don’t want your budget depleted in the morning on peak shopping days, so Daily Standard may be a better option during the key peak holiday dates.

3. Monthly
The monthly budget type will serve your ads as quickly as appropriate (based on your keywords and bids), without spreading those impressions over the entire month; there is no daily cap. Similar to “Daily – Accelerated”, this means that your ads may stop displaying before the end of the month.  It’s important to note that your monthly budget is not pro-rated if you set up a budget mid-month. For example, if you set up a budget for $1,000 halfway through the month, your campaign will run until spending for the month reaches $1,000.  A monthly budget type does not offer the most effective way to manage and monitor budget levels during the holiday season.

Additional Resources

Retail Holiday Guides

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below, or ping me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading,

Pruitt


[1] Time zone is PST. IBM Core Metrics, 2012

 

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How a Higher Quality Score in Bing Ads Can Mean More Clicks and More Sales

Retailers are optimizing their holiday campaigns to cash in on holiday spending. Since the holidays account for about 20-40% of revenues for many retailers, getting your ads live and running optimally is essential!

You may be tempted to run on every keyword variation and synonym you can think of, but unless there is a relevant connection between that keyword, your ad and your web site, you run the risk of managing keywords that may not serve.

Relevancy is critical to getting your ad live and your Quality Score will give some insight into the relevancy of your ads. From time to time, you may also notice that your Quality Score can fluctuate over time, even though you haven’t made any changes within your campaign. This is where understanding the auction-style marketplace becomes important; just because you haven’t made any changes or optimized your account doesn’t mean that your competitors haven’t optimized their accounts. In fact, it is quite likely that your competitors have updated their ads and improved their relevancy, leading to higher CTRs and higher Quality Scores for them.

If you want to improve your Quality Score, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Keyword Relevancy
    • How relevant are the keywords I’ve chosen?
    • How well do my keywords compete against my competition and other advertisers buying the same traffic?
  • Landing Page Relevancy
    • How relevant are my ad and landing page to the search queries potential customers will use to find my products, services and web site?
    • Does my site offer valuable content of use to users?
  • Landing Page User Experience
    • Is my ad highly relevant, accurate, and well written in relation to the relationship between my keyword and landing page content?
    • How does my site navigation and functionality affect users?

The below chart will help explain the various Quality Scores you may see and offers a few quick tips on improving your Quality Score.

 

If your Quality Score falls within the 1-5 range, don’t despair. Quality Score is a dynamic evaluation or prediction of the user experience. Actions such as applying negative keywords and creating more specific ad groups with unique landing pages can help increase relevancy and your Quality Score.

Of course, your ad could be disapproved because of style and guideline violations. We’ve create an easily accessible overview of our style and guidelines policies for you.

Learn more about Quality Score: High quality scores start with great ad experiences

Retail Holiday Guides

If you have any questions about Quality Score or any of the information in the resources linked to above, feel free to leave them below, or ping me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading,

Pruitt

 

 

 

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Ring in Seasonal Sales with the Bing Ads Holiday Guide for Search Marketers

If you haven’t kicked off your holiday retail campaign, it’s not too late. Learn more about consumer holiday retail behaviors, the Yahoo Bing Network audience and how both can drive revenue for your business this holiday season. With a projected 15% increase in spend over last year[1], you can’t afford to wait any longer to get started.

With a shorter retail season this year (25 days in 2013 versus 31 in 2012), it’s more important than ever to start the season off strong. Launch promotions and sales early to remain competitive and entice online shoppers to your website and storefronts. Free shipping, free in-store delivery/pick-up and free home delivery for in-store purchases are promotions worth considering in addition to sales and discount pricing. Another growing trend is the willingness for consumers to shop on the actual holiday. This year, you will see more stores either offering more online discounts for Thanksgiving Day shoppers or even opening their brick and mortar stores earlier than in years before.

The Yahoo Bing Network offers you access to 31 million unique retail shoppers who are not using Google[2], 22% of all retail paid clicks[3], and an audience who spends 18% more[4].  Flip through the presentation below for more insights to help make the most out of his year's holiday shopping season.

 


 

[1] eMarketer Holiday Shopping Preview-Omnichannels Blurred Lines, Sept. 2013

[2] comScore Explicit Core Search, June 2013

[3] comScore Explicit Core Search (custom), June 2013

[4]comScore US Search Categories Report (custom), June 2013  

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Upcoming Webinar: The Procrastinator's Guide to PPC Optimization - Holiday Edition

The sound of ringing cash registers and the swiping of credit cards should resemble a holiday caroling song for retailers … if you are prepared and promoting your business in a way that is relevant to your target customer

Many of you have your 2013 holiday campaigns up and running or are just about to launch your holiday campaigns. If you don’t, there’s no need to despair! Join us this Thursday, October 10th at 12 p.m. EDT for a webinar co-sponsored with Acquisio just for you: The Procrastinator's Guide to PPC Optimization - Holiday Edition.

The holidays are a time of year that can leave the PPC pro more stressed out than an elf with a December 24th deadline. Holiday PPC takes up a lot of time and energy, and it's far too easy to blow a budget quickly and unevenly.

John Gagnon, a Bing Ads Evangelist, will guide you with last minute tips and tricks for your holiday season campaigns:

    • Timing is everything - key dates and online holiday shopping patterns.
    • Should you test out “free shipping” or “coupons” in your ad copy strategy this holiday season?
    • Touch on mobile ad copy strategy and buying patterns on key dates.
    • Did you know using “holiday” in your search ad is a recipe for poor performance? Dive into a big data study from Bing Ads.

Marc Poirier, EVP & Co-founder at Acquisio will discuss some real case study experience. Learn how other retailers are cutting their cost-per-order in half and doubling sales within a few days without doing any additional work.

Space is limited, so sign up today!

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PPC Advertisers Should Start Preparing Now for the 2013 Retail Holiday Season

The winter holiday is the biggest retail season of the year with $61.8B in projected U.S. sales according to eMarketer[1]. That's a 15% growth rate from 2012 and the second straight year in a row with a 15% gain. Once again, November and December will see the highest spend levels, accounting for more than 1/5 of all 2013 retail spend.

Unique this retail season, compared to last year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will occur a week later compressing the 2013 holiday shopping season. Because both Black Friday and Cyber Monday generally offer aggressive promotions and discounts, retailers and online shoppers can expect to see some traditional discount much earlier. According to Baynote, 1/3 of retailers will begin promotions in early October[2]. These promotions will include free shipping, buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO), and flash sales.

Who exactly will cash in on the Thanksgiving weekend sales? Data from 2012 BIGinsight – Black Friday Weekend survey suggests 15% plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day; 37% on Friday; 34% on Saturday; and 18% on Sunday. Weekend spend will average $432.55. The percent of respondents indicating an intent to shop online during Cyber Monday is even greater at 54%.

In addition, Consumer electronics—newly released gaming consoles, smartphone models (including the new iPhone)—will drive significant demand. Spending on gift cards will also continue to grow while spending on apparel will see a modest increase.

Mobile traffic should continue to grow. In fact, according to IMB Core Metrics 2012, online sales and traffic from mobile devices on Black Friday 2012 increased by 65.2% and 67.8% compared to 2011. For Cyber Monday, these numbers were 96.2% and 71.4%; further evidence that advertisers must develop a mobile strategy to complement their sales channel.

What Should Advertisers Do?

How can you get started and capture your share of holiday spend? It's not too late ... the most important thing is to get your campaign up and running now, and then to optimize according to your target audience's needs and behaviors.

 

October:

  • Build out your Keyword and Negative Keyword lists if you haven't done so already.
  • Check out where your competition and partners are found and what's working for them.
  • Familiarize yourself with new features and available ad extensions such as click-to-call and Sitelinks.
  • Create seasonal ad copy and include special offers for early shoppers.
  • Consider device-specific ad content.
  • Launch your holiday campaign and check your account for any issues that may prevent the delivery of your ad (budget/bids, quality, etc.).

November:

  • Increase your budget for the Thanksgiving weekend, especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Update creative with any new promotions or special offers.
  • Check account and campaign status frequently to ensure maximum delivery.

December:

  • Update creative and consider shipping promotions such ad free shipping and guaranteed delivery.
  • Consider in-store pick up for late orders and to drive in-store traffic for incremental sales; in-store coupons can also be effective in driving brick-and-mortar traffic.
  • Queue up post-holiday ad copy and schedule it to go live so you can capitalize on consumer buying and gift card redemption after 12/25 (Don't forget about the upcoming New Year and healthy resolutions!)

Tools such as Bing Ads Intelligence and Bing Ads Editor can help you build out, analyze and monitor your account and campaigns. If you are pressed for time, don't worry ... you can quickly import your AdWords Campaigns and get started!


 

[1] eMarketer Holiday Shopping Preview Omnichannel's Blurred Lines, September 2013

[2] Baynote's Holiday Predictions Survey

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