Continuing our Holiday Advertising Series, we’re walking you through each week of the holiday season and how to adjust your advertising strategy accordingly. From budgets to messaging, learn what to keep in mind this holiday season.
We are now less than a week away from Christmas, and with all of the last-minute tasks before the holiday break your advertising strategy may be stalling out. Since Black Friday, you’ve likely directed a majority of your advertising budget to capitalize on the massive increase in holiday traffic. As customers’ shopping journeys wind down to a close, what can you do to continue bringing your brand success before the big day comes?
In years past, Pattern’s brand partners have seen peak weekly sales for the year during the holiday season, and so far this year has been no exception. At the same time, the week of Christmas itself usually brings a sharp dropoff in ad spend, ad sales, and total sales. Sales are expected to fall starting the 3rd week of December leading into Christmas because most shoppers have already finished their shopping. In fact, studies show that consumers are getting their Christmas shopping done early this year to avoid stock shortages and shipping delays.
But even though the week leading up to Christmas is not the hottest for ads, there are advertising strategies you can implement to help your brand succeed. In this post, we’ll first go over the specific factors that impact advertising during Christmas and then give you tactics for making the most of your ad budget.
Gifts are bought: Sales generally drop in the days right before Christmas, but you might see a small spike from last-minute shoppers. People might suddenly remember a friend they forget to purchase for, or they might not find the right gift until the eleventh hour. You may also have last-minute shoppers who weren’t expecting a gift from a friend and now feel the need to reciprocate. Many turn to Amazon to take advantage of their same-day shipping for last-minute orders. So when it comes to your ad spend, Amazon has a competitive advantage over other platforms during this time.
Christmas Day is spent unplugged: As for Christmas day, don’t count on many sales. Most will be spending time with their loved ones, enjoying the gifts they already purchased. Keep your evergreen ad campaigns running, but don’t do anything extra. Your regular CPC ads will be enough to cover any potential Christmas day orders from shoppers who really want something specific from their wish list they didn’t receive, or from eager users wanting to add accessories and adjacent items to what they’ve received.
Gifts are received: Once Christmas has passed, you might see a small uptick in sales as shoppers look ahead to the new year. Last year, Pattern saw a 50% increase in sales from Christmas Day to Boxing Day, a holiday more important in Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand than in the US. So you can start ramping up your ad campaigns again at this point to set yourself apart from competitors who already used up all their December ad budget.
With those trends in mind, here are some specific advertising strategies you can use to get the most out of your ad budget.
Maintain typical ads: First of all, keep your regular CPC campaigns running. You don’t need to worry about overspending here since your ad spend will automatically drop when people start shopping less and clicks go down. Refine your retargeting efforts by focusing them on those who have searched for your products in the last 7 to 14 days.
Focus on giftable products: Then, keep in mind that your holiday advertising success will vary by product. Items that make for good Christmas gifts can do better than those that don’t. For example, ads for winter coats will perform better than ads for flip flops. If you have a gift product, try to capitalize on the Christmas traffic before the season ends as much as possible. Spread your ad spend across different ad types like Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Brands Video, and Sponsored Display ads. You can even refer to your product as a gift with customizable ad types that allow you to add your own ad copy and images.
Think about New Year’s resolutions: With the new year just around the corner, you may also want to start pushing products that help with New Year's resolutions. For example, our brand partners see increased sales around this time for supplements and other health products. If your product falls into one of these categories, this might be a good time to increase your ad spend.
Build awareness off-platform: If you don’t have products that make for good gifts or help with New Year's resolutions, this is a great time to focus on off-platform ads. By spending more on social media advertising, for example, you can build brand awareness even when sales are down. Last year, there was an 18% uptick in the number of social media messages retailers received during the holiday season. So focusing your ad budget here can help you make the most out of your ad budget and set you up for future sales.
Without a doubt, it can be hard to predict consumer behavior during Christmas. But if you leverage data-driven insights, seasoned advertising experts, and a vision for your brand, you can make sure your ad budget is optimized for the highest return.
Nobody should have to be on top of advertising all day on the holidays. So try using Pattern’s automated tech instead to get the best results for your brand. Get in touch today to learn more.
For more holiday advertising tips, check out the rest our our Holiday Advertising Series:
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