As we officially usher in summer this month, it might be tempting to slow down your advertising efforts. While setting the cruise control on your marketing strategy may sound appealing, it’s an easy way to drive your customers to the competition. As the seasons change, your customers’ habits change too. School is out, vacations are scheduled and the warm days stretch out late into the evening hours. All of this means your target audiences — whether they are kids, teens, professionals or retirees — aren’t going to follow the usual rules of engagement. They aren’t likely to be parked in front of the TV every night or logged into their email account all day, as outdoor fun and time off from work dominate their free time during these months. Even if you aren’t in a seasonal business, you can tap into these changes in online behaviors and shifts in schedules to adjust your ad budget, campaign messages and media approach. Here are a few summer campaign tips every marketer needs to start doing now to build brand awareness and boost sales through Labor Day.
MAKE MOBILE A PRIORITY
During the summer months, on the go doesn’t necessarily mean your customers are out of touch. They’re just using their mobile devices more frequently to answer their “I want to know” and “where do I go” questions. According to a recent study from Facebook, mobile device usage grew by 26 percent from May through September 2015. Now is the time to put your mobile ad strategy into high gear and switch to a cross-device advertising plan. Also, make sure that your landing pages, videos and web forms are made small screen-friendly to confirm successful conversion of your ads post-click. Once you’ve covered the mobile basics, consider other unique approaches, such as a mobile app strategy. With over 2.75 billion apps downloaded to tablets and mobile phones to date per eMarketer, it should come as no surprise that marketers can use mobile apps to drive product discovery and motivate user engagement.
PICK UP YOUR PAID SEARCH
You are likely to see searches spread out across multiple devices during the coming months. Ninety percent of searchers switch between devices throughout the day, according to Google. To help target these users on the go, location-based and cross-device search marketing tactics are great starting points for those needing foolproof summer campaign tips. Real estate agents typically see a boost during the summertime. Advanced programmatic geotargeting can take advantage of a geofence to target customers searching on their phones within a few blocks of an open house. Similarly, the demand for restaurants with patios are higher than ever in the summer. Restaurants and QSR businesses fitting this bill should consider geotargeting solutions with personalized outdoor seating messages to help drive foot traffic within a certain radius. As temperatures climb, so do automotive sales, which often reach annual highs during the warmest months of the year. According to recent research by Experian Automotive, 2015 sales of new non-luxury vehicles began rising in May and peaked in August at nearly 20 percent above the monthly average for the year. So, it’s not surprising that automotive dealers will want to pick up their paid search campaign efforts from Memorial Day to Labor Day. These industries aren’t the only ones consumers are searching for in the summer. Travel, health and fitness, and entertainment are just a few of the additional verticals that can take advantage of an enhanced paid search campaign during summer months.
INCREASE SHARABILITY WITH PAID SOCIAL
Just because consumers will be out of sight from their computers this summer doesn’t mean their social networks will be out of mind. According to Facebook, there was a 46% spike in posts tagged with travel during the summer of 2015, and the sharing of video content increased by 43% in that time. From road trips across the country to gardening projects, people increasingly share summer activities on Facebook and Instagram. The top five summer topics with the most posts in 2015 included running, beaches, parties, parks and forests, and movies. So whether you’re marketing energy drinks or festive decor, building an active paid social campaign is critical. Consider incorporating video creative, dynamic creative and cross-platform promotions to ensure you maximize relevance and reach while content peaks on social during summer months. Some strategies just work better in the summer. But the momentum gained from these summer campaign tips shouldn’t slow down as you turn the corner to the last quarter of the year. Continue to update your media plans so that your brand stays in front of your audience all year long. For help on maximizing your media budget for the coming summer months, contact us today.