Searching Beyond the Paid

Monday, November 13, 2006

Holiday Search Engine Marketing

No matter how hard you may want to try, you can't escape it - the holiday marketing frenzy is upon us. It began before the tricks or treats of Halloween were even finished, and it's gaining steam fast. "Black Friday," the big shopping day after Thanksgiving, is almost here, and retailers everywhere can't wait to cash in. Decorations are up, the ads are on TV... and search marketers are talking about Holiday Search Campaigns.

Elizabeth over at the Search Engine Watch Forums started a thread called What Does Your Holiday SEM Campaign Look Like?. It didn't get a ton of replies, which might seem surprising on the surface. I avoided responding, though - because I didn't want to give away my strategies to the competition at such a critical time of year. I suspect many other SEW forum members felt the same.

Seana Mulcahy had a good article in MediaPost's Online Spin blog, asking basically the same question. I suspect she might hear crickets on her request, too. I do like Seana's description of going to Wal-Mat on Black Friday 2005, though: "How was it being there last year? Well I was tired, froze my ass off in zero-degree weather, got even more tired from waiting in line to get in the store, was appalled by the aggression and sometimes brute force of the determined shoppers... you get the drift. " Ha ha! That's been my experience as well. I made that mistake 2 years ago, and it'll be a LONG time before I make it again!

I guess all of this is to say that, I do have holiday search marketing plans, and they're really pretty simple. I've looked at previous years' results, and based my strategy from there. I can say that I'm seeing bid prices starting to climb already, but that's not a total surprise.

Internally, I think we're better prepared than ever for a successful holiday campaign than in the past. Time will tell if that's true. Happy Holiday Marketing!


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