Keep your normal campaigns running, or pause them at this time of year, but its a good idea to have a separate campaign. As you’ll be putting a lot of effort in for the season it’s recommend you create this as a separate new campaign. This will allow you to have a specific budget allocated for the period, and will let you use this campaign the next year if it performs well. You'll just have to reactivate the campaign in a year's time.
2. Use Historical Data
Hopefully, when you’ve run campaigns for seasonal events in the past you’ve recorded every conversion and page view! Go back and review that information. Did you have specific times of day, or areas in the country that converted better than others last year? Why not add in specific location targeting and/or enable ad scheduling, and implement bid adjustments to give those places and times a boost! What did you spend last year, and what was your return? You may want to consider this information when setting this years budget.
3. Shopping Campaigns and Mobile Bid Adjustments
The AdWords landscape changes so much in 12 months. Last year you might have ran a successful Search campaign, and maybe even a Display or Remarketing campaign, but this year make sure you are taking advantage of Mobile and Shopping Campaigns. Target those last minute shoppers with mobile campaigns, and get them into your store (think Location Extensions, Location bid Adjustments and Call Extensions). Shopping campaigns are a great way to get your products infront of people who are looking for them with rich appealing images. New to Shopping Campaigns? Get started here.
4. Consider your Budget for this time of year
Short term investment for long term gain? While it may seem crazy to raise your budget above what you normally spend, remember that, if you have put the time into creating a well structured campaign, the return on investment could be great! A smart way to control your budget is to set up an automated rule to increase your budget based on a certain condition, such as daily conversions. If you have a target cost-per-conversion and you see that some campaigns are doing better than expected, you may wish to allocate additional budget to these campaigns. An automated weekly rule could do this for you: for example, you could create a rule that any campaign with over 10 conversions and a cost-per-conversion under $5 should receive an additional budget of 10%. Note that setting a maximum budget is recommended as a precautionary measure. Read more about automated rules and setting them up here.
5. Customers might be searching differently, and looking for different results!
Lets say you are a restaurant. On any normal time of year you probably have a campaign that has keywords like ‘fine dining’ or ‘italian restaurant’, which is exactly what your customers are normally looking for. Consider changing your keywords, or creating a new AdGroup/Campaign to target those customers looking for ‘romantic restaurant’ or ‘set dinner for two’ or ‘three course champagne dinner’. An online retailer might normally have keywords that describe their products such as ‘ladies jacket’ or ‘mens watches’, but at this time of year people might be looking for ‘romantic gifts’ or ‘valentines day present ideas for my girlfriend’.
Also consider your ads! Every-day ads might not cut it in terms of drawing the customers eye at this time of year. Try ads that read “Romantic Setting”, “Now taking Valentine's Day reservations” or “Complimentary champagne with dinner”.
6. Don’t wait until the last minute!
Never leave things to chance. Get that seasonal campaign created, and the ads approved. Have everything ready to go with a future start date in place. Using remarketing for the first time? Don’t wait for the day before launch to place the code on your website, get it on your site in advance. Using Google Analytics or Conversion tracking to measure the results of your campaign? Make sure its set up and recording well in advance. Cross all your “t”s and dot all your “i”’s well in advance to enjoy that special day with your loved one!