The holiday season can be one of the busiest times of the year. Being prepared for upcoming holiday digital advertising campaigns, and doing so early, can help brands and agencies capture the increased revenue opportunities that the season provides.
As we get into the rush of the season, we took a look at last year’s campaigns ran through within our platform, Choozle, to better understand how things could shape up for this year. Generally, the numbers show that there was a huge increase in spend (31.39%) which resulted in more bids (63.19%) and impressions (54.52%.) Digital shopping is becoming more powerful each year, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if these numbers increased exponentially in 2017. During the 2016 holiday season, our reports showed that there were more bids for advertising inventory, but it was increasingly more difficult to place the ads (5.31% decrease of win rates) while maintaining CPM costs (14.97% decrease in CPMs).
With that being said, going into this year’s increasingly popular and lucrative winter holiday shopping, marketers need to understand how they can make the biggest impact. Here are a few tips for optimizing your digital advertising campaigns this holiday season.
Start planning now
According to research, 40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping by Halloween, which means your campaigns should launch by mid-October. This allows for less expensive CPMs, increased reach, and both decreased competition and noise for your brand message to break through. This lets you take advantage of the Thanksgiving rush, but it also spreads awareness of your brand for Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season. It requires more forethought and planning, but also means you’re not setting up a campaign while Thanksgiving dinner is being put on the table and CPMs are spiking.
Adjust your bid strategy & optimize your budget
With any industry, one thing is true across the board: programmatic becomes more competitive during the holiday season. Because of this, it is important to understand that you cannot maintain your Q3 bid strategy. This is because bidding at a lower CPM, plus increased competition, will result in a lower win rate. A few inexpensive targeting strategies that you can incorporate include categorical targeting, site list targeting, and open geo-location targeting. All are free of any data targeting costs and will lower your overall CPM.
Get ready for Cyber Monday and Retargeting Tuesday
Nearly 75% of consumers say that sales or price discounts help them decide where they shop. Discounts are the most frequent Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales strategies; however, the bigger win is driving all those users back to your site on Retargeting Tuesday. Promote a deal whenever possible. No one wants to pay retail, especially during the holiday season.
Avoid creative fatigue
Ad fatigue happens when customers have been exposed to the same message one too many times and are no longer able to “see” the ad. Try to utilize variations to find out which creative is breaking through the noise. Having a few different versions live from the start will make for more agile optimizations and identification of the best performers by crunch time. Also, be aware that frequency cap and creative refresh needs even more attention than usual. Customers are going to be blasted with advertising all season long, and seeing your same creative eight times a day is going to lead to them tuning it out. Two options: Go more conservative with frequency or switch up the creative. Even a new background image works and can be approved by clients or stakeholders ahead of time.
Don’t forget about mobile.
Now, more than ever, people are searching on their mobile devices. Therefore, make a plan to be on mobile if you aren’t already; integrating these types of campaigns into your strategy will enable you to reach more consumers. Make creatives that translate to smaller screens and advertise on sites that are mobile-optimized to create a better user flow. Mobile-specific ad sizes are as follows: 300×50, 320×50.
Don’t let the warm weather distract you from setting up your campaigns for success this holiday season, and be sure to keep these four industry insights in mind as you do.