- One of the great things about pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the amount of data you can use to inform your campaigns and decision making.
- While many of us would agree that the weather and seasonal trends have a significant impact on our mood and behaviour, many businesses don't capitalise on this when undergoing keyword research and creating ad copy for PPC campaigns.
- Read on to learn more about seasonal change and its effect on consumer behaviour and how effective weather-based advertising can be.
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." ― Albert Camus.
It's easy to agree with Albert now that we have started to get some nice weather. The pleasant change has reminded me to remind you to think about the effect of weather on our behaviour and more specifically, our customers' online behaviour.
In winter, I love to curl up with a good book, in spring I'm planting veggies and in summer I am at the beach (more).
During my time at ALDI, it was common practice to ensure the store managers had stocked up on lettuce and sausages should there be any opportunity for a BBQ on the weekend!
Do seasonal changes affect consumer behaviour?
The point is, changes in temperature have severe implications for consumer behaviour, including digital.
Since the weather and the seasons have significant effects on our mood and the choices we make, our marketing strategies need to adjust accordingly.
The benefit of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns is that there is no shortage of data to drive our decision making.
For example, let's take a shed and roofing company whom I provide Google Ads management for: the messages in the online form submissions switch from gutter and drainage in winter, to new builds and storage in spring and shade and airflow solutions in summer.
It seems obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people I see that do not capitalise on this. At the very least, this means budget prioritisation to relevant keyword searches; it also means adjusting the ad copy.
"Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not." - Anon.
How does the weather impact consumer purchasing patterns?
Not only do the products people buy change, but HOW they are purchased does as well.
In winter and on colder days throughout the year, people are more likely to jump online and use platforms like Google Shopping and let the product come to them.
When it's raining or blisteringly hot, we also see a change in willingness to cover distances. The value proposition swings to favour convenience as we are more likely to choose a nearby service if it means avoiding getting soaked or sunburnt.
Having a well managed Google My Business profile and some thoughtful geotargeting will make sure you get the online and foot traffic you need.
What brands do weather-based advertising (WBA) well?
McDonald's has WBA down pat. They will show ads for hot coffees in places with lower temperatures and McFlurrys in areas with higher temperatures.
Weather forecasts are updated consistently throughout the day so that you can target specific customers based on their location and the weather condition of that location.
Creating custom banners to match particular weather patterns like a rainy or stormy day is another form of WBA. Not many of us are going to have the budget like the Golden Arches has for in-day reactions, but following general seasonal trends is a must-do for even the smallest business.
Is weather-based advertising effective?
WBA advertising can be incredibly useful. Swimwear and lingerie retailer Bravissimo found their sales were higher when the sun was out and shining, regardless of the season and temperature.
Using this information, they launched a PPC campaign using a live weather feed to display ads in areas where the sun was shining. After three months, PPC-driven revenue rose 600%, and the conversion rate rose to 103%.
Another example is an increase in searches for "teeth whitening" during the summer months. The reason is simple: in fair weather, we are more likely to be socially motivated. It seems having a brilliant smile is a great first impression when looking for love.
In short, when advertisers alter and update their marketing campaigns alongside or pre-emptive of weather changes, they reap the rewards.
So next time you reach for a sun hat or an umbrella - question if your customers will be doing the same.
About the author
Steele Walster is an Expert Digital Marketer based in Perth Western Australia. He specialises in Pay Per Click and Strategy. He is the Director of Yikes! Marketing and the Founder of Surf Meal, a surfing nutriton company.
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