Winter holidays dwarf all the other retail seasons, combined. Your online advertising needs to make the most of them.
According to a recent study by AdRoll, winter holiday season sales are nearly 10x greater than the second-highest sales season of back-to-school. And even though retailers may feel that competition has lead to a rise in the number of picky shoppers, figures suggest that holidays sales are growing more profitable each year. That explains that there is an opportunity to grow your business with right moves.
Another fact that has us excited about making effective online advertising campaigns is the one that suggests higher click-through-rates around the season. November and December witness the highest traffic on e-commerce stores and websites of retail stores. And this audience is more likely to be swayed by advertising. (22% more likely to click on ads)
Long story short, it’s important to have in place an effective online advertising campaign to make the most of a busy holiday season. Though the bigger chunk of spending still takes place in brick-and-mortar stores, online spending is growing really fast. However, online advertising and presence as a tool to guide shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores is growing at an even faster rate. Burying your head in the ground like an ostrich and focusing on traditional moves is not going to work anymore. You gotta roll up your sleeves and dig out what’s not working with your online advertising, coz, it’s working wonderfully for those who are following the industry’s best practices and thinking fresh… It should for you, too!
To make sure your online advertising campaign or budget for the holidays is following the industry trends, here are some useful tips. Maximize your click through rates by employing these crafty tricks.
Tips For Effective Online Advertising In The Holiday Season
Refresh your ads, every chance you get
You should have one campaign for the holiday season. But your ads for Black Friday, Christmas and New Years will vary largely. Remember that most of your targeted audience will remain the same through the season. Especially if you are going to be remarketing, a person who has visited your website will be exposed to your ads repeatedly. Change your creatives at least twice to avoid any fatigue. Create a sense of urgency offering fresh deals and promotions. Create more creatives per ad set, as many as time allows.
Pump up the budget. This is it.
There is going to be increased web traffic, which means there is an opportunity to rope in new site visitors. Keep your wallet ready. Don’t let the high Cost Per Impressions (CPMs) intimidate you. Account for them in advance. This is the most important season of your retail business. If not now, then when?
Practice segmentation. Throw different parties for each group.
Gulp down your data from the last holiday season. Wherever possible, segment your audience. If you are using tools like MailChimp, Marketo or Hubspot, you can use previous shopping data to create different audience segments. Each segment will need a personalized approach. Think about the pages or products viewed, items added to cart etc. Have an extremely targeted approach and pick the carols you are going to sing outside each house!
Retarget your shoppers from the last holiday season
You are going to be investing money in your advertising. It makes sense to invest higher on those who have already shown an interest in your product. Set aside a budget for retargeting and increase the cookie duration of your conversion segment. Loyalty campaigns are mutually rewarding. Customers are always happy to be acknowledged as special and your business will benefit from their repeat purchases.
Plan your post-holiday campaign and budget, now
Post-holidays you will notice that Cost-per-clicks and cost-per-impressions drop suddenly. That’s a great opportunity because unlike popular notion, people are still shopping in January and February. Have your post-holiday ads ready and scheduled before Christmas itself.
Create different ad sets for mobile and desktop
We have various reasons to support this tip. But the top most being, you are talking to different audiences. A person searching for your product on mobile has an urgent decision to make. Your CTA might vary. The age group, browsing preferences and product choice might vary from mobile to desktop. You would want to say different things to each person, like adding Directions Map or Call now extensions to your mobile ads. That’s why we suggest keeping the ad sets separate. You will have a better-optimized campaign.
Take advantage of local awareness ads
Facebook has rolled out great local awareness ads this year. Along with investing your time in chiming in the local audiences with a great local content strategy, add some local facebook ad campaigns and you brick and mortar store will be on top of the online advertising this season.
Include a video ad in your campaign
Shoppers who view video are almost 2x more likely to purchase than non-viewers. Demonstrate your products in action. You don’t have to shoot a professional commercial (though that would be great). But even videos shot with your hand-held device or your Go Pro can work equally well. With tools like Snapchat, Instagram stories, Youtube live, it is so easy to share videos and let your ad campaigns roll.
Test different photographs
Don’t pick one image and plaster it to different sizes. Include some variety. Test different settings. Most of the time ad clicks are simply likes for the image you have used in the creative. So ake sure you test plenty and then choose the best.
Don’t ignore Pinterest
Pinterest drives a higher average order value than any other major social platform, including Facebook and Google. In fact, 59% of Pinterest users have bought something during the holidays that they saw on the site. This is coming directly from AdRoll’s recent study on holiday shopping behavior. And the best part is, Pinterest is very easy to manage and monitor. Your social media team will be able to do it wonderfully for you.
These 10 tips are coming from a lot of experience, friendly tussles and joyous results gained with online advertising. Your business is set to have a great holiday season if you ensure your online campaign follows these tips and if your website meets certain standards. Here’s some piece of extra advice. (We love giving it away for free, don’t we?) Be available at all times on social media. Put your customer service team in place and don’t let those comments and messages go unnoticed or unattended – even nights and weekends! Research conducted by the Social Media Examiner team shows that 42% of consumers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes —even if it’s not during normal business hours.
Most importantly, be creative and fun. Nobody wants to look at simple ads around this time of year, they are looking to be entertained. Give them those few seconds of entertainment.
We hope this list of tips helps you meet your holiday business goals. For further conversations about how digital marketing for your business can be improved and made sale-generating, just fill up the contact form here and drop us a word. We will get in touch with you, with a plan. Happy Holiday! 🙂