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Greetings Happy Readers! Host Julie F Bacchini and guest host Akvile DeFazio discussed the benefits of advertising during Q5, the tools PPCers use for motivating ideas for campaigns and marketing in Q5. how have their paid social efforts gone so far and more during this week’s PPCChat session.

Q1: Is “Q5” (December 25-31) a term you are familiar with? And if so, do you plan for it specifically?

Quick but sometimes mighty little Q5! We do plan for it specifically with some clients, but not all clients, depending on their budget, goals, and if it’s on brand. @AkvileDeFazio

BFCM gets the most attention/$, but if we can angle messaging w/ an end of year promo or kick start the new year with customer purchasing benefits, then we do. e.g. start your new year with x, improve your health/style/life/work, reduce energy bills with x, etc @AkvileDeFazio

Yes, I’m familiar, but it doesn’t apply to my clients. In fact, for most of mine, it’s actually Q3 right now. Public Sector Q4 is Jan-Mar just like B2B. @JuliaVyse

I will admit, that prior to setting up this chat topic, I was not familiar with the term “Q5”. But I don’t do much e-commerce PPC. For most of my clients, it’s actually a very quiet period! @NeptuneMoon

That timeframe is really fast, but I have a couple clients who do have things that happen during that period and can be very successful as well. @lchasse

We plan for it for some clients – especially if it’s an area where they might be able to close out the year strong or drive incremental sales. For a lot of gift-heavy brands, Q5 is the critical period to minimize returns + drive upsells from recipients. @DigitalSamIAm

Never heard of it until now. But I used to work for a company in the photofinishing industry that had extreme seasonality and those dates definitely strike a chord hahaha. @BorisBeceric

It’s interesting – we refer to “Q5” as carrying the previous year’s strategy into Q1 of the next year… obviously different for B2B than ecomm! @beyondthepaid

I haven’t heard of Q5 before. Most of our clients are in B2B, so the week between Xmas & New Year is usually very quiet. @adclarke10

Since it’s quiet that week, our agency focuses on completing our “punchlists” instead. Basically a To-Do list of things that got pushed back or we didn’t have time to do (like updating trainings/templates). This ensures we go into a new year w/o that extra baggage. @adclarke10

Hmm, Q5, that’s a new one to me, likely because we’re all B2B. @heyglenns

Maybe an interesting example… I’ve run this for B2B where there’s an assumption that buyers are on vacation — true, yeah — but not all of them anf some businesses have budget surpluses to consume. You want to be present. @mikeryanretail

Yes, I think I heard that term first used by a Google rep back in 2020. We do plan for it but sometimes that just means we plan to reduce during that time. Specifically, when vendors are gone for the holidays so we don’t want back orders to fill up too quickly. @timmhalloran

Regarding this, so not talking about just Media buying but different kind of purchases including personal and business. Not sure if it’s post covid effects but although I was predicting okayish sales, I see the volumes. @1tagupta

Yes. We talk about it with clients. Have an SOP written in Notion on how we think about and tackle this gift of high quality, low competition & CPCs traffic. @duanebrown

Q2: How have your paid social efforts gone so far this holiday season?

Overall, well, profitable. Analysis & reporting this week. It wouldn’t be BFCM if there wasn’t some craziness paired with excitement, even being overly punctual to begin strategy/asset dev, & some last minute changes. It keeps us on our toes & employed, right? @AkvileDeFazio

We ran ads across Meta (mostly), TikTok, Quora, Nextdoor. From day to day analysis, Meta TOF greatly outperformed BOF (retargeting) for the 1st time in my career. For ecomm, DABA & interest bundle targeting w/ static images = higher purchase volume + ROAS. @AkvileDeFazio

Not bad so far. Meta underperformed compared to plans, but overall it’s doing what it needs to do. @JuliaVyse

So far, so good — definitely seeing some stronger numbers vs. ’21 for some brands, especially health/wellness, apparel + experiences. Meta has been better this year than it was last year. TikTok has been up-and-down, but a solid secondary contributor. @DigitalSamIAm

I’ve dropped paid social from my portfolio to fully concentrate on paid search. So, nothing to share here. @BorisBeceric

I hate to jinx myself, but they have been great this year. Meta has done better than last year, which is really nice to see. @lchasse

There’s obviously a ton more to do – especially in maximizing the BFCM cohorts through the end of Q4 + reactivating into Q1/Q2. But that’s mostly a running up the score problem — we’ve stayed focused on 1st order profitability, even with BFCM offers. @DigitalSamIAm

Psst hey, anyone advertising on Twitter this season??? @JuliaVyse

What did you see working well for you this past weekend if you ran BFCM promotions? If you work outside of Lead Gen, how has November been for you so far? Any differences from prior years? @AkvileDeFazio

Hey gang! Have found that in general whilst we’re seeing an increase in lead volume, from a quality standpoint this has died a little. From a reporting standpoint its great but obviously we actually want to be giving quality! @PPC_Fraser

It’s been great for my ecomm clients. The higher CPMs that lead gen clients saw was a bummer, but expected with the higher competition for those impressions. @robert_brady

Pretty well. Two small ecom/retailers I’m doing SEM for had good numbers on FB & Google. A leadgen client had really good numbers in Oct. and Nov. but we slow down right around now because it’s considered off season. No fires thankfully (except some disapproved ads) @timmhalloran

To answer your question about lead gen during BFCM @AkvileDeFazio I saw CPCs go up during this period, as others have also reported. @NeptuneMoon

Not boring. Trying to get clients to get out of their funk and make different creative is always our roadblock. Old habits die hard. @duanebrown

I would say quite profitable and more than expected, good traffic from long tail keywords with strong offers and creatives but I’m rather curious on post-sales season and looking forward to see the stats from the holidays time. @1tagupta

Q3: What are the benefits of advertising during Q5?

Leverage this period as costs will decrease closely back to pre-holiday rates. Less competition again, more impression-share, stretch your budget further, gain more reach & visibility. @AkvileDeFazio

Seize this opportunity to get in from of people that are on holiday, off work, browsing, might have more focus. Perhaps some of your audience members didn’t receive what they wanted as a gift, so use that as an opp to entice them to shop, guilt-free, for themselves. @AkvileDeFazio

If you have remaining inventory you want to offload, especially if seasonal, run a sale if your brand & margins support that. If you offer services, get a head start on getting to sign up/free trial/etc for the new year. Get in front of decision makers. @AkvileDeFazio

When competitors pull back and think they can save budget, it’s a great opportunity to sneakily get some more sales. @BorisBeceric

Well Boxing Day (the 26th) has been a tradition up here much longer than BF. It’s a great time to offer discounts and turn returns into profitable exchanges if you can. plus, everyone who got a phone for xmas is ready for your brand ads. @JuliaVyse

Lower competition and different consumer mindsets. After holiday, you will have a lot of gift card users, folks searching for healthy lifestyle stuff, and other things. If you have never done anything, it is a good time to test. @lchasse

Aside from benefitting from staggeringly low ad costs (yay!), it’s a great chance to capitalize on a money-in-hand audience (lots of people get $$ or gift cards for the holidays). Also, great chance to off-load your remaining inventory w/o excessive discounting. @DigitalSamIAm

I’ve seen sub-based or newsletter clients do well in Q5. Especially with a well-timed “New year” offer with a steep annual discount & sharp LP. Also, if your ecom client sells health products but you don’t normally focus on the category, Q5 is a good time to push it. @timmhalloran

Competitors might not be as active, so there’s an opportunity to be more visible. Also, even if search volume is lower, the people searching in that week might have a higher intent to convert. So we recommend all our clients keep campaigns running in Q5. @adclarke10

Usually, CPCs/CPMs are way lower as everyone else spent all their money. People have gotten money/gift cards and are ready to shop for themselves. Lots of opportunities. @duanebrown

You get the opportunity to monitor the data in still markets, influenced markets and post influenced that is when the market goes back to stability. It gives a heck ton of insights on how people behave with no external influence vs after getting influenced. @1tagupta

Q4: What type of messaging have you seen work well for Q5 advertising or do you plan to test?

For ecomm, if your brand discounts, run an end of year clearance. Easier to stand out in Q5 than during BFCM. Focus on inventory you want to sell, mention % or $ off – make it easy for people to shop. If you can skip promo codes and do site-wide sale, do that. @AkvileDeFazio

Use urgency in your copy. Mention it’s limited time, before the ball drops, etc. Work on closing deals with warm audiences but don’t be shy in also sharing the value of what you’re selling + year end promo with prospecting/TOF audiences, too. @AkvileDeFazio

Another effective messaging tactic is to focus on prospective customers that may not have received what they truly wanted/or everything they wanted for the holidays. This is your time to make their day so they can treat themselves. @AkvileDeFazio

Use this period as a way to entice people to stock up on certain products, signing up for services that will improve their life, personally and/or professionally. If you sell services, promote them as an investment in someone’s life. @AkvileDeFazio

If you don’t discount and your product is truly of higher quality, angle your copy and complement your creatives in ways that someone may want to splurge on it for themselves. Maybe they’ve had their eye on this product/service all year. Test that approach. @AkvileDeFazio

I think there’s two questions here: (1) what kind of Q5 advertiser are you – basically: what are you trying to accomplish in Q5? (2) how do you do it? @DigitalSamIAm

With many people looking into personal development with incoming New Year resolutions, if your brand can help others, this is the optimal time to encourage your audiences with messaging about a better you, a better year, because of (insert value props here). @AkvileDeFazio

Brand and Drive Thru for my restos actually work really well at this time of year. habits are disrupted and ppl have permission to indulge. on a personal level, I will see any movie at that time. No matter the trailer or marketing, it all works on me at this time. @JuliaVyse

So many to list here. It really depends on your market, but some common ones: – Free Shipping – $ or % off orders over $ – Category discounts Try to push AOV or create urgency. @lchasse

Travel tends to work well also. the 26th-2nd is a time off work when plans can be made more easily, choices can be made in a row, and tickets/cabins/activities booked. @JuliaVyse

Specifically for ecom, the best hook is free shipping right now – across the board that’s what I’m seeing with my accts. But that’s difficult for most retailers to do bc it cuts into margin significantly so we’ll usually pad the margins by “On orders $$ or more”  @timmhalloran

I guess usual messaging strategies that I have. However, this holiday season, I’ll be working with omnichannel search, social and natives for different industries with multiple-step conversions for each funnels, so I’m super excited to explore this. @1tagupta

Talking about treating yourself, improving yourself and all about being a better version of yourself. @duanebrown

Q5: What tools do you use for Q5 campaign and messaging inspiration?

If you’re looking for ideas & haven’t see, Meta launched a Campaign Ideas Generator last year:… There is quite a bit of overlap with copy suggestions between annual events & industries, but it can be a good starting point to get inspired. @AkvileDeFazio

You can select industry, e.g. auto, ecomm, edu, health, retail, travel, & more as well as the holiday/event (Q5!) & generates copy recommendations, allows for creative asset downloads, provides data, and other resources that can help inspire and inform your strategy. @AkvileDeFazio

Another favourite bookmark-worthy tool for inspiration I often use is the Meta Ad Library:… See what competitors & other verticals are doing. See if you can mold their creative and/or copy to work similarly for you but adjust to be on-brand. @AkvileDeFazio

Oftentimes, I’ll look at what big brands are doing & find creative ways of how we can use it for another brand that is unrelated & smaller. Save time, resources, & budget if you don’t have much to work with and try this out. @AkvileDeFazio

I mostly lead with the offer. if there isn’t one right now, it’s about time for yourself. anything more detailed is product/client specific. @JuliaVyse

Yes to this, also my answer. A great tool to get some inspiration. Also just talking with your customers and hearing what they are asking for, what problem they want to solve, etc… Sometimes the best inspiration is just listening to your customers. @lchasse

I’ve been using this AI copy generator tool the past 3 months and it helps with inspiration a lot. Especially when I’m not in a “copywriting mood” $ 59-lifetime cost on appsumo:… @timmhalloran

You all know I am an old school gal… So if you visit competitor sites you will also see their retargeting ads AND on social you will see competitor ads cause your interest in product X or service Y will put you in their audience targets! @NeptuneMoon

I’ll tell you a new stuff I explored. There are ads as well as industry spying tools for looking at the volumes, usually in arbitrage and I was exploring it while the other day I was talking in communities of sales & marketing where these people were exploring… @1tagupta

How to train tools like GPT-3 for predictive analysis of market trends and performance and I was thinking how to connect all of these if that makes sense. @1tagupta

Read customer reviews and tap into people’s why for buying the product. Also great to test messaging you think will hit. @duanebrown

There was a way you could see all the ads from any brand Julie. You gotta look for the sponsored stuff and when you click at the 3 dots or explore sometimes, you can see all the details from the advertiser Julie. @1tagupta

Q6: Have you run Q5 campaigns and ads in prior years? What worked well (or didn’t) for you?

We have! Copy that worked well: – Kick off the new year with a fresh look. – Skip resolutions. Get results. – Get ready for the new year to step out in style and comfort. – Start the new year with x, x, and energy savings. @AkvileDeFazio

What hasn’t worked well, was a gift with purchase. From a consumer standpoint, seems like it’s leftover from BFCM, which admittedly, is often the case. If people buy, add it in if you need to offload and let it be a surprise. GWP alone isn’t likely to lift sales. @AkvileDeFazio

Well, as an older Canadian, what I’ve run is Boxing Day or Week campaigns, not Q5. and yes, they absolutely work. A lot has worked, from content to travel to drive-thru. @JuliaVyse

Yes, a lot with companies who focus on health especially. Also, companies who do a lot of business with gift cards. The copy is going to be more about them vs. gift giving. Get in touch with the customer and what they want/need. @lchasse

I have a few times. The most successful one was for a toy brand that timed the release of a new product at the same time its movie hit theatres. Another time we pushed a client’s health products with a free shipping discount over X amount and that did really well too. @timmhalloran

We’ve run a bunch…the stuff that tends to work (IMO) is a bit more authentic (vs. the fancy holiday offers) and/or transactional + solution-oriented (for B2B angles). But for retention? Mostly cross-sells + up-sells. @DigitalSamIAm

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