Occasion-based marketing is nothing new, businesses have been using traditional marketing to promote themselves on special occasions for years but how can a marketer or business owner translate this to the web and in particular to search?

Search Marketing for Occasions

The first challenge with occasion based search marketing is timing, since Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can take weeks or even months to achieve high results in search it simply cannot be relied upon to deliver a prominent search result at exactly the time you need it to.

Also with traditional SEO there is little opportunity for measurement and correction if you get aspects of the keyword content wrong.

Pay Per Click Marketing For Occasions

Many business use pay-per-click for occasion based marketing instead, with instant placement in results and achieving top of search at exactly the time you need it to.

Unfortunately, since Adwords is already a popular tool for this type of search marketing, for many the challenge they then face is then competition. Using PPC also means that you are likely to have to give away a lot of margin to secure sales and worse that if your budget gets eaten up quickly in the process of getting conversion rates improved out you could end up significantly out of pocket with little to show for it.

Finally, since Adwords only accounts for around 20% of search clicks, you are still missing out on a large proportion of the potential market.

Outside of the above challenges businesses need to also consider how they can market to locations they can actually serve, plus deal with regional and language variations e.g. Mother’s day in the US being different to the UK.

Occasion Based Trial Demonstrates Opportunity

In a recent trial it was shown that occasion based marketing using Google places consistently delivered over 100% improvement in search impressions and up to a 400% improvement in click-throughs from the listing.

A retail multiple or hotel chain for example could use this technique to create a very effective national or global marketing campaign for specific occasions that take account of regional variations and more importantly can be accurately controlled from a timing perspective, is not restricted by budgeted clicks and at present, since so few businesses currently use any form of Google Places optimisation has little or no competition.

Occasion Based Marketing Recommendations

Here is a list of key elements you should consider when putting together your own occasion based marketing plan:

  • Build your Calendar. Identify all potential dates relevant to your potential customers and product range to enable you to plan timings effectively
  • Keyword Research. Use Google insights to identify the most relevant terms in search that are influenced by key occasions
  • Site Content. Consider what aspects of your website will need to be amended to ensure that visitors arriving from occasion based searches can find relevant content in your website and can be directed to where you want them to be
  • Tie-in with Traditional Marketing and POS. Make sure that you support your occasion based search marketing with any relevant traditional marketing and point of sale materials to ensure that potential customers are not confused.