Search marketing “stocking stuffers”: 5 festive strategies to lighten your workload this holiday season

Running top-notch digital campaigns for the holidays can be a lot of work, and your to-do list can seem never-ending. On top of the festivities of the season, you’re juggling fleeting promotions, revising stale ads, and trying to balance your budget -- all in hopes of reaching holiday shoppers at the moment they’re looking to buy. So how do you succeed online during one of the busiest times of the year, and reach the right people with the right message, at the drop of a (Santa) hat?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared some best practices to whip your campaigns into shape, just in time for the holidays. Today, we wanted to recap a few of our favorite search marketing “stocking stuffers” to put the cheer back in your holiday and help you go faster, smarter, and better than ever before. With tools to scale and streamline your seasonal campaigns, find some extra time to sit back and enjoy your toasty apple cider -- while we take care of the rest.

Deliver just the right gift with inventory-aware campaigns.
Admit it: Manually managing your product inventory to stay on top of changing products, new promotions and seasonal search trends can leave you feeling like a Grinch. To lighten your load this holiday season, inventory-aware campaigns let you use your existing Google Merchant Center Feeds to automatically update your search campaigns -- showing the right product to the right customer, when they’re looking to buy. To get started with inventory-aware campaigns, check out some tips and tricks here.

On our “nice” list: ATG Stores. Search advertising is the primary driver of traffic to ATG’s website and is key to helping ATG scale their online marketing across a breadth of products -- spanning four million SKUs from 3,500 different manufacturers. Using inventory-aware campaigns, ATG Stores expanded their reach with 160 new campaigns containing over 6 million new long-tail keywords -- resulting in 3x higher ROAS for their business. “Inventory-aware campaigns help our customers by showing them how many units we have in stock, and at what price. It’s going to be a much more compelling experience for our shoppers,” says Tom Heffernan, Search Marketing Manager for ATG.

Do the work of a team of elves with automated rules.
Stay up 'til midnight waiting for Santa -- not your campaign updates -- with a little help from automated rules. Schedule changes to specific ads and keywords, based on criteria you specify, to ensure that your holiday campaigns are in tip-top shape (which means you can spend less time on repetitive tasks, and more time setting up those reindeer traps!). To get started with automated rules, check out some tips and tricks here.

On our “nice” list: Media Experts. As Chris Sylvestre, Manager of Search Marketing at Media Experts puts it, “Using automated rules this season, I’ll be more focused on what ingredients to put in my eggnog than I’ll be about our campaigns launching on time!” Maurice Revah, Senior Search Marketing Analyst, continues: “Automated rules allow us to activate and pause time sensitive promotions for our clients, regardless of the time of day. This enables us to operate outside of regular business hours, increasing productivity beyond measurement.”

Solve the cross-channel puzzle with display remarketing from search ads.
It’s not a miracle on 34th Street: you can get your search and display campaigns connected and performing this holiday season, and beyond. Display remarketing from search ads will help you close the loop on those last-minute shoppers who searched for your product or service but didn't convert. With this feature, re-engage your audience with display ads across exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or across Google Display Network -- and do it all with an easy, tagless workflow. To get started with display remarketing from search ads, check out some tips and tricks here.

Race to the top of the search page with real-time bid optimization.
Looking for a solution that’ll help you go as fast as Rudolph? Put your best bid forward with our Performance Bidding Suite, designed to drive campaign performance through speedy, data-driven bid optimization. DoubleClick Search uses instant conversion data to update bids in near real-time, to more closely track to your seasonal goals, and help you get the ROI the size of a holiday feast. To get started with display remarketing from search ads, check out some tips and tricks here,

Get a full view of your online advertising with more data integrations.
To capture sales that occur after the inevitable rush to the malls, our Conversions API allows you to upload and edit conversions automatically so you can factor in purchases that started with your search ads, but resulted in transactions outside of your website. With this feature, you can upload new conversions to account for in-store transactions, or edit existing conversions to account for discounts and exchanges (...let’s face it -- we knew you didn’t need another pair of snowman pajamas).

On our “nice” list: ymarketing. With the DoubleClick Search Conversions API, ymarketing easily and automatically integrated their call tracking information (as well as data from other outside data sources) into DoubleClick Search. Steven Hellbusch, Performance Media Supervisor at ymarketing, says: “With the Conversions API, we can attribute calls to the specific keyword by search engine in almost real time. The ability to then optimize off of both online and offline conversions has allowed us to better meet our clients’ goals. With all of our data in one place, we have a more accurate picture of what’s happening from a user experience, and more importantly, we have ability to unearth new opportunities for our client.”

Do you have a DoubleClick tip or trick that gets you through the busy holiday season?
Email it to us at [email protected] with your name and title. We’ll feature the best tips here on the blog!