One of the more challenging hurdles to surmount for digital marketers is simply choosing the right time to execute campaigns for their industry vertical (niche); essentially, when they should spend their time and financial resources to market their products and/or services. If you are already planning your digital strategy for 2013 (here's to hoping you are) then check out Website Magazine's insights on the seasonal trends of top marketing verticals and some strategic guidance to help in your yearly planning. For this study, we're using Google Trends exclusively. Keep in mind that any number of variables can influence search volume so use the following as more of a general guide rather than specific advice for a particular industry category. That being said, you'll likely find some insightful digital gems for your paid search, natural search and even social media campaigns for 2013 below.
Arts & Entertainment: Anything related to celebrities and entertainment including movies and music, the category has a consistent upward trend in December (perhaps due to the holiday shopping season), with search volume trending down in mid-to-late summer months including September and October. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Early Novmber
Autos & Vehicles: The category includes everything from cars and trucks to bikes and SUV's. Search volume tends to peak and plateau starting in late March and early April on through August, declining rapidly starting in September and ending in a digital valley around December. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late January-Early February
Beauty & Fitness: One of the few categories included in this list to not have any discernable seasonal trend, the vertical is experiencing dramatic growth over the past few years (with search volume in two of the last three years peaking in June through August). IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Mid-May
Books & Literature: The category has a rather obvious seasonal trend, almost matching the school season here in the U.S,; search volume tends to accelerate starting in August all the way through May, with an immediate and dramatic drop starting in June with some regularity the past few years. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late July
Business & Industrial: Every trough in this industry vertical comes in December, but picks back up in the first three months of each year (at least for the past eight), likely as companies are flush with yet unspent budgets. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late December
Computers & Electronics: Another category heavily influenced by the annual holiday shopping seasons, the computers/electronics category has a discernable search volume trend - consistently climbing from a low point in June and July to a peak in December. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late September
Finance: A broad category including banking, credit and investing, this category also has a rather easily discernable trend. Search volume peaks after the end-of-the-year shopping bonanza, as consumers deal with their financial holiday hangover and new year's resolutions. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late December
Food & Drink: The holidays are defined by food and drink, and search volume trends seem to reflect this notion. Traffic leaps starting in October, peaking in December and falling off a virtual cliff for the remainder of the year (from January through mid-summer. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late August
Games: One of the more interesting seasonal trends, there seem to be two significant peaks in the course of a year - December and July. This is likely due to game purchases for Christmas and school-aged children looking for related content and products in the summer when out of school. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late October, Early May
Health: Another very broad category, from health-related news to medical equipment and seemingly everything in between related to wellbeing. After a drop in search volume in December, the category returns to normal volume levels in the early spring and declining again in the mid summer months. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Late December
Hobbies & Leisure: This category is must influenced by the seasonal shopping trend occuring in December. As you can see in the chart below, the spike/peak is significant and dramatic. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH DATE: Early November
Home & Garden: Few categories are more consistent performers than that of Home & Garden. Obviously, search volume tends to platuea throughout the warmer summer months, accelerating in late March and dropping consistently starting in September. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH DATE: Early March
Jobs & Education: This category definitely has discernable seasonal trends - apparently, noone is searching for new jobs in latter months of the year. Search volume drops in November very consistently, ending in a trough in December. The two noticeable peaks are in June and August. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH DATE: Early May, Late July
Real Estate: Another likely category influenced by weather, real estate has had a consistent search volume over the past few years - accelerating in January and February to a July Peak and decelerating starting in August to a valley in December. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH DATE: Early January
Shopping: Hopefully, the shopping category won't need any explanation. Merchants in particular should begin their formal holiday sales and marketing campaigns in mid-October.
Travel: Another category mirroring the change in weather to warm, the search volume peak for this industry category is in July, from which it falls dramatically through December, where it picks up and grows again to the peak. IDEAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH DATE: Late April
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.