As retail and eCommerce marketers race towards the holiday season, so do their online marketing campaigns. It’s a time of year that you don’t want to miss out on, and adding Taboola to your media mix is a must for campaign scale.

In this series, we’re releasing recommendations for you to build the best Taboola holiday campaign. We started with insights on planning and ad creatives—check back there if you’re just getting started.

When you’ve reached the point where you’re ready set-up your Taboola campaign for launch, the most important thing is to know how to optimize in real-time for the biggest return on ad spend (ROAS).

The Ultimate Holiday Marketing Playbook (Broken Down by 11 Industries)

Have the right expectations for your KPIs.

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There are two metrics that always stand out for marketers—cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA).

It’s tempting to just generalize your goals, and plan to optimize for the lowest CPC and CPA possible. Doing this from the beginning could actually hurt your campaign, instead of helping it.

Start with a healthy and realistic CPA goal.

A healthy CPA should be your starting point, because it will allow you to optimize for a higher CPC. Ultimately, this will open your campaign up to more people, allow you to collect more data, and later provide scalability.

Choose your CPC with conversions in mind.

CPC is a common performance metric that is often misunderstood. CPC is your key to increasing the amount of conversions for your holiday campaign—savvy advertisers use them to scale across the open web and bring in higher amounts of traffic at the outset.

You can later revisit, optimize and adjust bot your CPA and CPC KPIs for the best return on your spend across the Taboola network.

Cast a wide targeting net when you first start.

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With the same idea as CPC and CPA goals in mind, you also want to cast a wider targeting net at the beginning of your campaign. You’ll want to do this on three fronts—site, geography and device.

Start by site. Each publisher has a natural audience that they attract, and when you’re looking at your targeting options, look at each publisher’s average performance. Choose publishers with a significant amount of data, as those metrics will be most indicative of past success.

“When you think about optimization for your campaign, start by looking at the performance by site, not just simply region and spend.” – Sean Adkins, Media Account Manager, UK, Taboola

Target by geography. It might be tempting to start global, but this isn’t the best choice. In reality, the competitive landscape (and therefore, appropriate CPC) for every country is different. If you’re targeting multiple countries, try running different campaigns for each.

The same goes for device. By focusing on targeting specific devices—desktop, mobile and tablet—and countries, while also paying attention to which campaign is performing best, you’ll get the most amount of insights as you go. This makes it easier to optimize and pivot to reach your goals.

Once you’ve got the data, target for desired ROAS.

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You’ll likely be surprised by the audience you attract while you’ve spent the first sprint of your campaign collecting data. We’ve seen a very male-oriented client, for example, find that women were actually buying its product—men’s underwear—in droves.

Based on this data, they pivoted to targeting female audiences with Data Marketplace, and adjusted their creative and landing pages to suit their needs.

You can also take advantage of tools like retargeting to further adjust your audiences for better return.

Follow this guide for each of your holiday campaigns, and plan for a change in direction when promotions and shipping dates approach. The best Taboola campaigns are run by marketers who do one thing—they test as they go.

As a reminder, as you look to optimize your content as you go, eCommerce best practices take a deep dive into creative recommendations. With this series, we’ve set up you up for your best chance for success on the Taboola platform—from the team, happy holidays!

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