To get the most out of your advertising dollars, you’ll want to set up a clear and well-thought digital media strategy. What we’ve seen work over the years is starting to build the foundation of your strategy in early and capitalize in November and December.
Here’s an overview of what your digital media strategy might look like for this year’s shopping season:
Step 1: Acquire New Users
Take advantage of cost-efficient impressions in August, September and early October to reach new users through social media ads and programmatic ads to inform them about your product and grow brand awareness prior to Mega Shopping Days. Focus on sharing your personality and key differentiators through brand-focused ads on various channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and more.
Also, capture users’ attention with click-worthy ads. Once they’ve engaged with your website, they’ll be added to your remarketing pool, and you’ll be able to reengage them closer to the holiday season. Pro tip: be sure you set up audiences to collect and serve for long enough to take advantage of this time frame. Check your audience collection setup before it’s too late.
Media campaigns can also play a crucial role in acquiring new email and SMS subscribers. Try testing out lead generation campaigns on Facebook or/and use an on-site pop-up with an incentive to encourage users to share their personal information.
By collecting first-party data through a Customer Data Platform, you’ll be in a better position to retarget high-intent users later in the season and perpetually afterwards, and you won’t be so dependent on cookie-based remarketing.
Step 2: Nurture Prospects
Chances are, you’ve already made efforts to reach or convert consumers throughout the year. It’s crucial to nurture your current followers, email subscribers or past clients to let them know what you have in-store this holiday season.
- Generate excitement and stay top of mind with remarketing campaigns across channels. Keep frequency in mind, as you don’t want to burn out viewers before the big shopping days.
- Complement your media campaigns with email marketing, a very effective way to reach users that already know what your brand is about.
We’d recommend starting your nurture campaigns no later than early October. Every year, shoppers start looking around for holiday gifts and purchases sooner than the last. Data from Google is saying this year people have shifted even earlier, many have already bought for Christmas in June. So, you may miss out on a large pool of potential customers if you wait until late November to advertise your value proposition.
Also keep in mind that the final purchase is not the only thing we need to influence. We need to be sure we keep share of mind to ensure we grab the sale from the purchaser. If a competitor has been more present while you haven’t, you may have missed the opportunity to sell because they’ve been convinced sooner or more persuasively by a competitor.
Step 3: Convert Buyers
When November comes around, it’s time to double down on conversion-focused campaigns. Make sure your product feed is clean and operational way before the holiday season, as product-focused ads are known to be a huge success driver for e-commerce brands. Also, be sure you’re not planning any potential website-breaking updates during this time. You should also:
- Be present on search engines when users are actively looking for your products.
- Show your value proposition to users who are already familiar with your brand through remarketing campaigns.
- Drive conversions with shopping-focused ads like Performance Max on Google and Advantage+ Shopping on Facebook.
- Incentivize users to shop in-stores with BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-Up in Stores) initiatives or Drive-To-Store Campaigns.
- Continue your advertising efforts until January as consumers are known for spending time online and purchasing items for themselves between Christmas and New Year with cash gifts or gift cards.
These three steps are essential to creating a well-rounded media strategy for the holidays. Leaving out the first part will make reaching your target audience much more expensive when November comes around and competition for inventory spikes.
Here is a visual representation of how your media strategy could look throughout Q4. But, it is important to note that not every brand fits this mould, so your strategy should take into account your own brand’s particularities.
If you have additional questions on how to build a solid holiday campaign, reach out to our digital marketing strategists here.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vice-President of Paid Media @ Bloom