While ecommerce businesses are in the midst of the Q4 craziness and rising CPCs of the holiday season, B2B clients are planning for their business to pick up at the start of 2020.
In this post, I’ll walk through a few things to consider and refresh before Q1 gets here.
1. Study the competitive landscape
One of the most valuable sources of knowledge from Google campaigns is the ‘Auction Insights’ report, which provides info on when competitors have come into and out of the auction during the year. It’s also valuable to look at competitors that might be newer in the space and have recently entered the auction. With this information, you can dive into new keyword research by using tools like SEMrush and SpyFu. I also recommend studying creative, offers, and copy that your competitors are using across their ads helping to inform potential creative and development and testing for the start of the year.
2. Reevaluate budgets for 2020
As the start of the year approaches, look to set budgets based on historical performance and anticipated seasonality. In order to have a strong plan in place, you should look beyond monthly breakdowns.
Some questions to consider
- Did you expand into new channels late into the year?
- Do you need to invest in more budget into certain channels?
- Are our remarketing campaigns fully funded across channels?
- Are you planning on investing budget into new channels?
- How much of the budget will you set aside for testing?
Answering these questions will help ensure you budget appropriately for both historically efficient channels and promising new channels that can get you some early-adoption benefits.
3. Refresh and rethink audiences
It’s important to review the audiences that you have been targeting over the past few months. Along with identifying new audiences to add and poor-performing audiences to pause, consider re-engaging qualified leads that went dark, bolstering account-based marketing efforts, and testing new lookalike audiences.
4. Map out new creative and content
Creative and content are some of the most crucial aspects of campaign development. While you are preparing for Q1, make sure to do an audit of your current and planned creative and content. Are you thinking about the full funnel? Users who haven’t engaged with the brand before are typically looking to download a piece of content that they find valuable. It could be a whitepaper, case study, infographic, or something else that could engage them.
As users progress down the funnel, they will be more willing to give their information to request a demo or get contacted by your company. It’s important to understand where a user is in the funnel and offer them content that aligns with that step. Make sure you’re analyzing content from 2019 and identifying your successes. Which can be spun forward, made into a series, or meaningfully refreshed? Give yourself a leg up by producing content you know to be effective.
Looking at historical performance will help you understand your successes and failures in 2019 and incorporate those into the 2020 planning. Creative, testing, competitive insights, and new audiences will be key efforts in driving growth and performance in the new year, so lay the groundwork now to get ahead of steam going into January.
Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.
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