If you are an ecomm business, the chances are that you are likely using Performance Max in Google Ads, and that this campaign type will drive the bulk of the revenue for your company during the Black Friday and Christmas season.
So, let’s focus on how to prepare these campaigns and make sure they are working at their full potential before the peak season kicks in.
This very much depends on the range of products you sell – which, in turn, will have an effect on the complexity of the product feed. The least you should be doing is splitting out high-margin from low-margin products in separate campaigns. If we assume that value-based bidding is the strategy that best suits your goals, you will need to establish a different target ROAS for each; the campaign with low-margin products would need a higher target ROAS than the one hosting the low-margin products.
You also want to create a separate campaign for your seasonal products alone, where the objective is to sell as much as possible. In order to do this, it is better not to use a target ROAS in the campaign settings, but to use the bidding strategy Maximise Conversion Value, which maximises the total conversion value of your campaign within your specified budget.
The importance of having strong creatives
It goes without saying, but the creative (or how the ads look) is the most important part of your campaign. You might have a well-structured campaign, your bidding strategy might be optimal, but if the images, video or text you are using are not up to scratch, it’s going to let everything else down.
According to Google, what contributes to a sale the most is the creative (49% sales contribution), more so than the Brand (15%) or the Media Channel where your ad is seen (36%). And for PMax, this is huge, since the ads will be seen not only on the Shopping channel, but also on Search, YouTube, Gmail and Discovery. This means that you are going to need a variety of assets to guarantee a strong presence on all channels.
Of all the different assets, I want to focus on video, because, in my experience at least, this is the type of asset that the client doesn’t tend to have, or if they do, it’s rarely in a format that works like an ad.
The ideal scenario is that the client can produce a high-quality video in-house. But if they can’t, we can use tools available on the Google Ads platform and create a video out of images and text (Video Creation). Alternatively, we can reach out to our Google reps and get their technical teams to edit existing videos into ad formats (Google Creatives Services), or they can also even transform social content into vertical videos for YouTube (Shorts Creation).
Watch out for the signals
Search trends under the insights feature in PMax is a really helpful tool to analyse trends within your catalogue, and identify which products are predicted to reach peak search interest and when. It shows that, for a specific category, searches are expected to increase by X% compared to normal search volume. It might be that you’re already capturing demand for this search trend, but there may also be more opportunity to grow.
The way to react to these signals is to push those products, since they are more likely to convert now. And you do so by creating a different campaign, bidding more aggressively on these products and by paying more attention to the creatives you are using around them – for example, by creating a video that focuses on this line of products.
Grow your brand
During peak season, it’s easier to get more new customers, since users are less brand-loyal and more product-focused at this time of the year. PMax allows you to do so by a) bidding exclusively on new costumers (New Customer Only Mode), where you might want to create a separate campaign with this objective around a category or a single product, or b) still serving the product to everyone but bidding higher for new customers (New Customer Value Mode).
And that’s everything! Remember to think in advance about what you want to promote and how, structure your PMax campaigns accordingly, and spend time and resources in producing the best possible creatives.