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6 Ways to Win at Holiday Advertising on Every Platform

Tips & Tricks

October 27, 2018

“I just love last-minute holiday shopping!”

…Said no one, ever.

With bare shelves, long lines, and crowded parking lots, it’s easy to see why few people look forward to finding gifts when the holidays are rapidly approaching.

holiday advertising - santa gif
Image source: https://giphy.com/

Thankfully, online shopping exists.

E-commerce solutions are making crazed trips to the mall in mid-December a thing of the past.

This year, as many as 60% of customers reported that they’re planning to purchase their holiday items online.

That’s a 5% increase from last year.

And, it shows that shoppers are continuing to turn to online retailers over more traditional brick-and-mortar shops.

But this influx of online customers means brands need to do more than ever to keep their attention.

This is never more true than during the holidays.

In this post, we’re investigating the best holiday marketing campaigns for each major PPC platform.

We’ll explore how to optimize your holiday advertising.

Additionally, we’ll take a look at examples of holiday campaigns for those advertising on Amazon, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.

It’s time to spread the holiday cheer – the marketers’ way.

Here’s how to launch the best holiday marketing campaigns on every platform.

holiday advertising - gifts
Image source: https://www.shipstation.com/

1. Optimize Holiday Marketing Strategies for Mobile Shopping

Regardless of which platform you’re launching a holiday marketing strategy, one important thing to consider is the fact that we are living in a mobile-first society.

So, when planning your holiday advertising it’s important to make sure your optimizing your campaigns for mobile.

Last year, 56% of online sales traffic came from mobile between November and December.

Reaching customers where they spend their time is essential.

This means making sure your holiday marketing is mobile-optimized.

Obviously, this will automatically be the case when advertising on Snapchat or Instagram.

However, it should also be top of mind when advertising on Amazon and Facebook.

Thoroughly test your ads on mobile and continue to make adjustments based on performance throughout the holiday period.

To get started, you can take a look at mobile ad trends worth testing out this year.

holiday advertising - online shopping
Image source: https://www.hercampus.com/

2. Set Goals for Holiday Ads

It will be impossible to measure the success of your holiday marketing campaigns if you don’t establish what it is you’re trying to achieve.

Maybe you want to focus on increasing your adds to cart.

Or, your goal could be to generate brand awareness.

Regardless of what it is you decide to track, it’s important to know what the purpose of your holiday marketing strategy is.

The best holiday marketing campaigns have clearly defined goals.

This then allows advertisers to create highly targeted materials.

You can also consider a different objective on each platform.

For example, your holiday advertising on Amazon may have the objective to boost the “Total Sales” performance metric.

Meanwhile, on Facebook you could aim for the “Consideration” ad objective.

holiday advertising - Online, Shopping, Clothing, Mobile Phone

3. Amazon Holiday Advertising

Already, Amazon is an extremely competitive marketplace to begin with.

With 310 million active users buying over 12 million different products, it can feel almost impossible to differentiate yourself from the competition.

That’s why advertising on Amazon during the holidays is so important.

In Q4 2017, net sales were up 38% YoY – the biggest jump since 2009.

That number is likely to only increase this year.

Here’s how to attract holiday shoppers on Amazon:

holiday advertising - amazon gif
Image source: https://www.technologyreview.com/

Structure Your Holiday Marketing Around Peak Holiday Shopping Trends

The season for holiday shopping has already begun.

But, if you haven’t rolled out your holiday campaigns yet, you still have time.

The peak sales times correlate with traditional holiday events.

For example, the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday is one of the peak online shopping periods.

Same goes for the period immediately before Christmas (December 18-21).

It’s also a platform-based phenomenon.

For example, Amazon Prime subscribers get 2-day shipping.

As a result, last-minute shopping is much more of an option on the e-commerce site.

Try to optimize your holiday advertising efforts to match these peak shopping times.

Another thing to consider is increasing daily spends across platforms during these periods.

Considering the holiday season can account for as much as 30% of your annual sales, it’s worth spending a little extra this time of year.

holiday advertising - amazon shopping
Image: https://www.komando.com/

Leverage Your Amazon Advertising Console

Your Amazon advertising console (formerly Amazon Marketing Services) can be a big help when it comes to running your holiday campaigns.

You can pay to run Sponsored Product ads, which will be displayed on multiple devices and in a variety of different places.

When a customer selects your ad, they’ll be redirected to your product detail page.

It’s important that your product page is optimized for sales, too.

No one will want to buy if they’re directed to an empty page that features one image and the product name.

Be sure to include all pertinent product information and show customers how they can use your products.

holiday advertising - green gobbler
Image source: https://www.amazon.com

Green Gobbler – an eco-friendly cleaning company – used Amazon’s Sponsored Product ads to more than double their sales.

They used the feature to gain exposure which led to an uptick in sales.

Since using Sponsored Products ads, the cleaning brand’s monthly sales increased by over 170%.

In fact, Sponsored Products represents 30% of Green Gobbler’s sales each month.

It’s clear that advertising on Amazon with this tool can be an effective way in getting people to know your products and establishing a strong client base.

Leveraging Amazon ads during the holidays can result in even greater gains.

4. Engage Customers During the Holidays Through Facebook Marketing

Research shows that Facebook is still absorbing the majority of advertising budgets.

In fact, 42% of advertisers state that they’ll spend most of their budget on the social media platform.

Facebook recommends that business focus on driving sales between October and December.

The key to holiday social media marketing that boosts revenue is to promote products to users who are most likely to make purchases.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to use dynamic ads to engage your audiences and hold their attention.

holiday advertising - video ads gif
Image source: https://giphy.com/

Use Video Ads to Boost Holiday Spirit

Video is a great way to create dynamic advertising material for your holiday social media marketing.

⅓ of mobile shoppers saying they prefer to learn about a product via video rather than through a block of text. 

And, research from Google proves video boosts brand favorability, consideration, purchase intent, and sales.  

holiday advertising - video ad guide
Image source: https://adparlor.com/

Clearly, including this type of ad when devising your holiday marketing strategy is important.

When launching your holiday marketing campaigns, you could include video that explains what makes your product special.

You could also show users how to use your product, or even explain what makes it so unique.

Keep in mind, too: Your video holiday advertising material should reference the occasion and include festive imagery, music, or subtitles.

holiday advertising - sephora gif
Image source: https://www.marieclaire.com/

Sephora is a great example of video ads, which they used in their 2017 holiday campaign.

They segmented their audience so that the displayed video would be most relevant to people who had already shown interest in a certain category of beauty.

The beauty company formatted their content as Canvas ads.

Each of these featured a curated product grouping that customers were then able to click on.

Sephora’s targeted holiday video campaign led to the following results:

    • 32% increase in ROAS
    • 41% greater click-through rate
  • 30% higher reach.

5. Diversify Your Instagram Holiday Strategy

Over 1 billion people are active on Instagram, making it an essential platform for businesses to advertise on for the holidays.

There are multiple ways to share advertising content on Instagram.

You can post an Instagram ad via photo, video, carousel, or experiment with Stories.

holiday advertising - Instagram Ad Types
Image: https://blog.adstage.io/

Instagram Stories will appear in a user’s Stories feed and play just like content from a friend. 

Using any one, or a combination, of these methods can boost your ROAS.

Additionally, it can help engage customers and broaden your audience during the holidays (and beyond).

Get Customers Involved in Your Holiday Campaign

Another great way to encourage customers to interact with your products on Instagram is to incorporate user-generated content into your holiday marketing strategy.

Doing so will make customers feel valued by your brand.

It will also help them feel like they’ve built a relationship with your company.

A UGC holiday campaign can be anything that captures a customer experience with your brand.

With options to regram images, brands can seamlessly share their client’s photos or videos on their own feed.

It’s a great way to supplement your holiday social media marketing efforts and make your feed more inclusive and accessible.

Run Branded Holiday Contests

If you don’t already receive a lot of customer interactions, consider making a contest part of your holiday advertising.

Starbucks found a lot of success with this technique.

The coffee giant encouraged users to share artwork they made on the company’s iconic holiday-themed red cups.

holiday advertising - starbucks example
Image source: https://freshpress.info/

Customers uploaded a photo and used the hashtag #RedCupArt.

Then, they were automatically entered into a contest to win a $500 gift card.

This got coffee-drinkers and art lovers excited to visit their local shop and see what kind of holiday magic they could create.

Holding similar contests is a great way to generate excitement for and bring awareness to  your holiday products.

6. Entice Shoppers with Snapchat Advertising

To get started with Snapchat ads, understand the habits of those who use this platform.

Luckily, Snap has compiled that data so advertisers can build out their best holiday marketing campaigns yet.

The platform has revealed that active Snapchatters are 64% more likely to start shopping for the holidays on Black Friday than non-Snapchat users.

Those on the platform are also more likely to spend more money during the holidays.

It’s clear that marketers should take this into consideration when building out their holiday advertising.

holiday advertising - snapchat stories gif
Image source: https://techcrunch.com/

Find New Audiences

Snapchat gives advertisers access to untapped audiences.

With the Discover feature, users can tap through curated stories and collections.

You can place your holiday ad within a collection.

In doing so, your brand has the potential to be exposed to a huge number of users who may not have known about you before.

For example, let’s say your shoppers typically like things like ASMR or celebrity news.

You can choose to place your ad within one of those collections.

This will help you find new audiences and get more people excited about your brand.

Start Using Shoppable Snap Ads This Holiday Season

Snapchat offers opportunities for brands to sell their products on the platform.

Snap recently announced that they were making Shoppable Snap ads available to all marketers.

This news arrived just in time for marketers to include it in their holiday social media marketing.

These ads – also referred to as Collection ads – introduce a whole new way for users to shop on Snapchat.

Shoppable snap ads enable advertisers to display an array of products in each ad.

Snapchatters can then click on any product image to learn more about it.

This allows users to shop and make purchases directly within the app, in a more convenient and seamless way.

Leverage Unique Snapchat Marketing Features

The platform offers a few more dynamic ad options you can leverage in your holiday campaign.

One of these is the branded AR lens feature.

holiday advertising - Vodafone example
Image source: https://storage.googleapis.com/

Vodafone, a UK telecommunications company, found success with their branded Snapchat lens over the holidays.

Their Christmas cracker filter burst open to reveal the message, “Love from Vodafone”.

The filter was reached by 8.3 million users, and got 13.9 million plays during its one day run.

The holiday marketing filter was also sent over 1 million times to other users.

This led to a 30% increase in Message Association and a 10% jump in Brand Favorability.

Advertising on Snapchat during the holidays is obviously an effective way to spread brand awareness.

It can also help you reach a different and wider audience than you may on other channels depending on who your customer is.

If you’re still unsure about advertising on Snapchat on your own, consider working with a Snapchat Certified Partner.

holiday advertising - happy holidays gif
Image source: https://inphormnyc.com/

Building Your Best Holiday Marketing Campaign

Ensuring that you optimize holiday ads for mobile and set clear goals is only part of the equation.

When it comes to launching the best holiday marketing campaigns, it’s clear that marketers have to adjust their strategy for each unique platform.

As at any other time, your marketing strategy may need some tweaking after you get it up and running.

But, with these tips and considerations in mind, running your most effective holiday campaign is within reach.

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