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Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns: Countdown to August

June 16, 2014 | Posted at 6:16 pm | By Bradley Hearn

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August is coming soon. You need to shape up.

You’ve probably heard about Google’s switch to Shopping campaigns by now. If not, here’s the deal: Google announced that all retailers have until late August to transition their current Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns to the recently released Shopping campaigns format. After the transition date, Google will automatically force all remaining PLA campaigns into the new format without optimization or input from the retailer.

To have a say in how your feed is optimised and which bids are assigned to which products, you’ll need to create the new Shopping campaigns yourself. Before August.

But don’t worry. This is actually a good thing.

Shopping campaigns will allow you to organise and group your products into more granular subcategories than ever before. You’ll also be able to analyze and export metrics based on this segmented approach, as well as gain access to valuable competitor landscape data.

Was your data feed feeling a little feeble recently? Were your ad sales drooping a tad more than they should this time of year, causing you to feel the extra weight of all those inefficient cost-per-click (CPC) bids?

With the clock now ticking, Google has given you a great excuse to dig deeper into your data, fine-tune it and give your PLA campaigns the shape up they need!

As we start our countdown to the August switch, we invite you to join us here on the blog, where we’ll serve as your personal trainer while you shape up your Shopping campaigns. We want to help your business transition to a healthier, revitalized version of itself, and we want it to be as painless as possible. (And if you bear with us, we’ll do our best to keep the fitness-related puns to a minimum.)

ChannelAdvisor is leading the field with full integration with Google’s Shopping campaigns. Our new Product Group Generator feature will help retailers save valuable time building, optimising and implementing their new campaigns.

 

Week 1: Educate Yourself

It starts today. Week one is all about learning everything you can about the journey ahead. What are Shopping campaigns? How do they differ from your existing PLA campaigns? How will this switch affect you? What are the benefits? These are the basic questions you need to start addressing if you haven’t already. We’ve already provided some initial materials to help you get started:

A blog post will kick off each of the next few weeks, detailing what you need to be doing at each phase, answering your questions, providing links to supplemental materials and more. We’ll help you get organised, as well as structure, test, measure and ultimately transition to the new campaigns. Your countdown to August looks like this:

Week 2: organise feed

Week 3: Develop campaign structure

Week 4: Build campaigns with the Product Group Generator

Weeks 5-6: Begin testing

Week 7: Set expectations, report findings

Week 8: Compare old and new campaigns

Week 9: Adjust budgets

Week 10: Finish transition

Sound daunting? It’s not. You can do it. Download our Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns roadmap, which breaks down each week of the countdown in greater detail. Use it early and often, both during your initial education and as a reference point after you begin the transition.

Like any goal, some of you may reach it more quickly than others. You may be finished with the transition in two weeks. You may have to pace yourself to finish by mid-August. The important thing is that you finish before Google’s mandatory switch and that your new campaigns and PLAs are working effectively for you by then.

That way, you’ll breeze into the autumn months with newfound strength, accuracy, speed and scalability for your digital marketing campaigns. If you fail to meet the deadline, you’ll be forced to play catch-up during the autumn months, and you’ll enter the holiday season with shaky, untested PLA campaigns. But don’t let it come to that. When it comes to the health of your business, procrastination isn’t an option.

If you have any questions along the way, please feel free to email marketing@channeladvisor.com, and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as we can.

It’s time to get excited and get motivated.

Because August will be here soon, and it’s time to shape up!

Blog post by Bradley Hearn, ChannelAdvisor Copywriter