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Deck the Halls With These 4 Advertising Strategies For The 2016 Holiday Shopping Season

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

This article originally appeared on IBM’s THINK Marketing blog.

It may be September, but your competitors already have snow, Santa and holiday gifts on their minds. As you plan your holiday season ad campaigns, knowing how customers will be shopping this year will help you reach them most effectively and stay ahead of the curve.

Equip your campaigns to maximize sales and revenue with these data-backed recommendations:

1. Prepare For Weekday Purchase Waves

Audience purchase behaviors shift during the holiday shopping season. One notable (surprising) difference is Fridays — delivering the greatest increase at an average of 16% above non-holiday rates.

weekday purchases - Data backed holiday ad tips


Pay particular attention to early weekdays when planning your holiday ad campaigns on Facebook. Consider testing budget allocations weighted to the earlier part of the week, or incentivizing shoppers who are primed to purchase on these days with limited time offers.

2. Bid More To Get More

It’s no surprise that advertiser demand for inventory increases during the holiday season. Because there is such a huge opportunity for revenue during Q4, advertising prices increase across a wide variety of audiences. In Nanigans’ Q4 2016 Benchmark Report, average CPMs on mobile and desktop jumped significantly.

Q4 CPM - Data backed holiday ad tips

However, return on ad spend skyrocketed:

Q4 ROI - Data backed holiday ad tips

Getting your ads in front of customers who are more likely to purchase from your business over time will make up for this increase in CPMs. Ensure your ads are seen by these high-value users by leveraging Lookalike Audiences and optimizing toward Predictive Lifetime Value. This way you’ll not only increase revenue during the holidays, but you’ll also be acquiring customers who will likely drive revenue to your business throughout the entire year.

3. Think Mobile 

The holidays are all about mobile. In Nanigans’ report on Black Friday 2015, the year-over-year average increase in mobile share of ad spend from Black Friday to Sunday was 12%.

Mobile Ad spend- Data backed holiday ad tips

Because mobile is playing an increasingly larger role in holiday shopping, make sure you factor it into your holiday ad campaigns. Try using mobile-friendly ad units such as videocarousel or Canvas ads, and double check that your landing pages are aligned to your campaign and optimized toward mobile shoppers.

4. Retarget, Rinse & Repeat

Because both mobile and desktop play a part in the holiday shopping journey, you need to target users who are moving across both devices. If shoppers are researching products on mobile devices, but buying on desktop, your ads should follow them through every step of the path to purchase. Additionally, retargeting can help you reach out to people who may have added items to their shopping cart on your website, but failed to complete the purchase.

Dynamic Ad - Data backed holiday ad tips

Instead of letting potential revenue slip through the cracks, reach back out to these shoppers by serving them Dynamic Ads. This relatively new ad unit can contain items they have viewed on your site, in addition to related products that will encourage them to return and complete a purchase — or even buy complimentary or more expensive products.

Free Report: 2016 Holiday Ecommerce Facebook Advertising Preview

Data-driven insights on holiday marketplace trends seen by ecommerce advertisers using Nanigans advertising automation software.
Download the Report


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