How to Manage Your PPC Campaigns During Summer Vacation

For our northern hemisphere readers, you’ve probably noticed the temperature soaring, and yes, summer is definitely here. After the long year of the pandemic, which has not been an easy one, to say the least, we are all ready for a break. For those of us in regions fortunate enough to be able to travel and get out and about, the suitcases are packed and we’re looking forward to annual summer downtime. But as every marketer knows, there’s no downtime when it comes to customer engagement. So while you may be moving at a slower, more leisurely pace, that doesn’t mean you have to stop or slow down your digital campaigns.

One of the best things about digital marketing is that you don’t always have to be “ON” to keep being effective. You can be productive even over the summer and even while on vacation. How? Well, we’ve got some tips for you.

Here are the best practices for online marketers to keep your engine running even while taking some well-deserved time out:

Plan in advance

Like most things in life, planning ahead is going to save headaches down the line. This is especially true before heading out on summer vacation. You want to be able to close your laptop, clear your mind, and let go of all the marketing chatter while you swim, surf, shop, or otherwise enjoy your break.

For digital campaigns, that means preparing the content and creatives well in advance. This is not the time to be thinking about last-minute inspiration and ideas. Those can wait till you get back. For now, plan out the campaigns you want to run during your time off, and create the content and images accordingly. Take a look at our top picks for marketing and project management tools to help you do that (some are even free).

Make your content relevant

Summer or winter, campaign content must be relevant if it’s going to be effective, and you want your content to stay relevant, even when you are not available 24/7 to make sure. When going on vacation, it’s a good idea to use evergreen marketing messages that are not time-sensitive. That way, your campaigns will strike the right tone, whatever happens in the market while you’re busy working on your tan. 

You can also create content around summer themes, seeing as it’s a hot topic for your customers as well as for you. They might also be going on vacation or be interested in specific summer products and services, so it’s a good time to focus your campaigns on those.

Check what your competitors are doing

One of the best ways to make sure you are on point with your campaigns is to check the temperature of your competitors. What are they talking about this summer? What kind of messages are they sending to their customers and target audiences? This can be a great source of inspiration for your campaigns, and it can also help you stay on track with your messaging. 

Do not try something new

So we’re adding in a “don’t” to our list of “dos”. During vacation, your job is making sure accounts stay on course. This is definitely not the time for creative testing and experiments. Keep it safe and steady, and work on relaxing so your creative juices are fired up when you get back. Then you can go as wild as you want with your campaign testing.

Automation is your best friend – use it!

Today, all digital ad platforms have automated features, and while these are always beneficial, they are especially helpful when you are away on vacation. With automation, you can keep campaigns running and even optimized, and you don’t have to be there for it to happen. Outbrain Amplify has some awesome automation features for native campaigns. Let’s see a few scenarios about how you can use them to help manage your summer campaigns in absentia:

Schedule campaigns in advance

If you have native campaigns that need to go live when you are not going to be available to launch them, you can schedule ahead of time. 

Remember that your native campaigns must be approved by Outbrain before they can go live. By scheduling in advance, you’ve already undergone the approval process and fixed any issues in your content before heading out on vacation. So you can know your campaigns will launch on schedule, automatically.

Trigger automated actions based on campaign performance

If your campaigns are over or underperforming, you can use OB Code to create automated rules that trigger actions, such as: raising budget, lowering CPCs, or blocking sections. Learn more about OB Code here

These are all the actions you can implement automatically via OB code (which means you can do all these without disturbing your vacation):

  • Pause ads
  • Exclude Sources
  • Get notified when underpacing
  • Get notified when capping
  • Get notified when the campaign did not cap
  • Get notified when any of the above actions are made via OB Code
  • Get notified when there is a winning campaign on A/B testing

Automate campaign optimization in real-time

If you want to make sure you are reaching your KPIs, CPA, and ROAS, Outbrain Conversion Bid Strategy (CBS) will do the magic of automated optimization. CBS can help you optimize your traffic and conversions in real-time, without you even being there. All you need to do is implement the pixel and define the events you want to optimize. Learn more about choosing a CBS strategy here.

Automation is ideal for managing campaigns while you’re away on summer vacation because it is designed to do the heavy lifting for you, based on the parameters, budgets, and limits pre-defined by you. It’s staying in control while handing the controls to the system. 

So, keep all these points in mind, and don’t forget to make the most of automation. Then you can rest, relax and enjoy your summer while your campaigns do all the work! 

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