The Blog: SEM - Making The Most of A Craze 

The Golden Summer of 2016

It's June 2016, you are the owner of a small online business that sells second-hand clothing and merchandise with a cool/kitsch vibe, mainly to kids and young adults with a little too much disposable income. 

A local business owner is looking to cut their losses on an old stock that has been filling up one of their rented storage containers for years. All they want is 'five hundred and the stuff off their hands by the weekend'.

You have a good feeling about this; after all, this is what you do; it feels right to take a chance on this one, you pay the cash and moments later stand, key in hand, in front of the container. 

The shutters creek up revealing, to your delight, ten pallets stacked to the ceiling with unopened Pokémon merchandise from 20 years ago: the cards, the toys, the clothes. This looks like a good one, didn't you hear something about a Pokémon app coming out next month?

Cashing In On The Craze

A dream position for any store: to come across a wealth of cheap merchandise just in time for the next big craze.

Now, the question from a digital marketing perspective must be: how can the time be used as effectively as possible to maximise profits? 

We don’t want to be the next unlucky person who has to rent a storage container and wait another twenty years for the craze to come back around again, (if we’re lucky). Not all crazes come back, everyone knows this, except of course the people who still hoard Beanie Babies, I'm sorry to say it might be time to cut your losses on that one. 

Big Time Trending For a Short Time

The search data for Pokémon shows how narrow the window of time to make the most of crazes can be.

Before we get into the trends, it’s worth noting the unaccented 'e' in the term 'Pokemon' -  most people searching don't have the patience to use the accent. This is an important consideration for any digital marketing activities using keywords. 

Let’s look at the height of Pokemania: In the month of July 2016, the term 'Pokemon' reached a volume that was up to 30x higher than previous months. 

Then we have the 2nd major chance for business around the following Christmas with the peak for 'Pokemon Toys''. After that, with the exception of a much smaller trend the next December, it's all downhill from there.

The Digital Marketing Tool of Choice

With these two key peaks in July and December in mind, what kind of strategy should an SME be using?

Starting to optimize keyword specific SEO terms like 'Pokemon trading cards' or  ‘Pokemon original toy' in June could play a big role in driving business during the Christmas rush but it will be too slow to catch the height of the craze in July.

SEM: Got to Find Em All!

To make the most of the first few weeks we need to open up an additional marketing channel: Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The main part of this digital marketing is all about Pay-per-click (PPC). 

Unlike with SEO, where the placement of a page is determined by an algorithm, which chooses the site most relevant for the searcher, positioning with PPC is determined by a virtual auctioning process.

Those willing to pay the most for a Clickthrough on a term get to the top. This means that SEM is perfect for achieving quick visibility but that it also comes with additional considerations. 

SEM: making the most of every click SEM 

With Pay-per-click, each time a potential customer clicks on a website through the paid ad, the company is paying a price, which is set by the going rate for that term. 

This makes it vitally important that the people clicking on the links are actually interested in buying products the company is selling. Otherwise, the company's budget is being wasted one click at a time.

This also makes it important that the terms used in the wording of paid-ads are not too broad. For example, in July 2016, If our merchandise shop went broad and optimized just the term Pokemon, chances are that many of the people clicking through would be looking for the Pokémon GO App, not the toys. 

Pokémon GO was the number one search term of that year, so we are literally talking about millions of searches, that is a lot of money if we attract the wrong people and SEM budget is not correctly controlled.

What is required is a keyword targeted paid ads campaign with budget controls,  maximizing the likelihood of selling for each click and protecting the site owner from a high clickthrough and low purchase rate. 

rankingCoach ads is the perfect tool for this situation. It empowers the user to create a budget controlled targeted ad campaign in a few simple clicks. 

Premier Partners I Choose You! 

It doesn't matter if you are a small business selling merchandise or an enterprising restaurant with a creative take on hamburgers who is looking to get in on the fun! The principal is the same. Ensure that your products are visible while the craze is still hot.

Like with SEO, the most important search engine for SEM Ads is Google.  Businesses making the most of a craze must make sure that their ads are seen on Google.

To do this, they need an SEM campaign built from the ground up with an informed knowledge of Google Ads in mind. 

This is why businesses, this situation, should use a Google Premier Partner to create their Pay-per-click campaign. Certified providers like rankingCoach have specialised knowledge of paid ads. They know what works with SEM on Google. 

So, when the next craze comes around you will know just what to do: use targeted and budget controlled SEM to get your products seen quickly.

Monitor this campaign using tools like rankingCoach ads to ensure the campaign is as effective as possible. Then hopefully you won't be the one renting a container in a couple of years time! 

I hope you have enjoyed this article. For more great advice on digital marketing, check out the following articles.



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