Paid Ads and the Holiday Season: How to Make Yours Stand Out
It takes time to research, plan, and execute great ideas--and holiday ads are no exception. The holiday season offers a critical opportunity for businesses. In 2019, holiday shopping revenue increased by 13.6% from 2018, totaling the sales from U.S. shoppers at $138.65 billion. As a business owner, you want to make sure that you maximize your results during the holiday season by creating ads that stand out from the crowd.
In order to break through the noise of the seasonal marketing campaigns, you have to create unique materials that showcase your brand while making a splash. Paid ads are a great way to get your audience’s attention while they are browsing online, especially why they are looking for deals this holiday season. But how do you stand out and grab their attention? Here are a few key strategies to consider as you plan your seasonal advertising this year.
Analyze Last Year's Data
Take a look at all the data you collected during last year's holiday season. What did your ad spend look like? Determine what channels performed the best and what about them worked best. It’s important to know which offers worked well with your audience, and which fell flat. By considering last year's marketing efforts, you can shape this year's strategy more effectively.
You should also carefully consider what your competitors did last year. How did they interact with their audience and what offers did they provide? Think about what channels they advertised on. By analyzing this data you can determine if you are missing an opportunity to connect with your target audience that your competitors took advantage of.
Use the data you collected from last year to set goals and track results this holiday season. This can help you adjust your focus for the upcoming holiday season's paid ad campaign. For example, suppose you look at last year's analytics and discover that your sales increased substantially when you ran a campaign that highlighted your participation in a local charity. You might want to consider the benefits of cause marketing for this year's plan. Likewise, a look at your social media ad performance during last year's holiday season could show you what types of ads your consumers engage with most.
Build Your Target Audience Now
The time to plant the holiday shopping seed with your customer is now. Don't wait until the holidays arrive to start interacting with your target audience. Instead, take advantage of the current opportunity to engage them with messages of hope and joy of the holidays. Utilize your contact database to reconnect with past customers and those who are prospects.
You can also start targeting current orders. Consider how you can offer incentive for those customers to stick with your business and to come back to see what else you have to offer during the holiday season. For example, provide anyone who makes a purchase in the next month with a coupon to use closer to the end of the year.
You want to take advantage of retargeting now to prime audiences for the holiday season. The average click through rate for retargeted ads is almost ten times higher than regular display ads, and those who click through to the website are around 70% more likely to convert. By building your customer base now, you increase the odds that your business will be top-of-mind during the holiday season. You don't want to advertise to a general audience during the holidays. Instead, you want to target the specific consumers who are most likely to come back to your business.
Create a Special Offer
During the holidays, consumers are inundated with even more ads than usual. If you want to catch consumers' attention, you need to offer them something that will provide them with incentive to check out your business. This could be discounts for spending over a certain amount, a percentage off, a free sample with purchase, or free shipping: something that will help your business stand out from the crowd. Extra costs and fees, including unexpected shipping costs, are the number one reason why consumers abandon their carts. In fact, those costs account for 55% of cart abandonment issues. By giving consumers a free shipping offer, you raise your business above the competition and increase the odds that consumers will complete the checkout process.
Special offers are also a great part of your cart abandonment strategy. Retargeted ads can send an average 26% of shoppers back to your site after they abandon their carts. During the holidays, consumers may visit a wider range of websites than usual. They may quickly forget why they abandoned the cart or even what website they visited. A strong cart abandonment strategy, including reminder emails, can help bring them back and encourage them to complete that purchase.
During the holidays, it's even more important than usual to stand out from the competition. By taking the time to develop a strategy for your paid ads during the holidays, you can help consumers see your business amidst all the others vying for their attention. A close look at last year's data will help you get to better know your target audience as well as providing more information about what your competitors did with their advertising dollars for the last season. Working with a digital media partner is a great way to identify your goals, come up with a paid ad strategy, and win at the holiday season.