The Christmas bells are already ringing

The Christmas holiday season is noisy, so brand awareness exercises online won’t necessarily make the most of your advertising spend – maximise on your ad campaigns by delivering them to people likely to purchase.

If your business is retail-focused, you have one singular goal each holiday season – to drive sales. November and December can account for 20% of annual sales for businesses, and for those that adopt online advertising to achieve this, every campaign launched, tracked, and optimised works holistically toward this goal.

What businesses don’t always grasp is just how early this process needs to begin.

Businesses need to take advantage of the increase in retail sales and the surge in mobile usage in the pre-holiday period. According to Marin’s mobile usage data, 62% of shoppers look into holiday shopping options as early as October. Data reveals activity ramps up three months before Christmas, peaking between 25 December and New Year’s Eve.

Strategies that develop customer loyalty in the months prior will see brands remain competitive in the biggest shopping season of the year.

The most efficient way to target mobile users is to approach those who’ve already demonstrated an interest in your brand. To sum it all up in a single directive – people who are familiar with your brand are more likely to turn their attention to you come Christmas if you’ve developed loyalty over time.

Choose the right audience. Build your campaigns around high-intent customer segments. This could be recent purchasers, loyalty members, past holiday purchasers, or cart abandoners. Plan for a specific conversion path for each of them.

Ad formats. Focus on ad formats that’ll drive traffic and allow you to showcase your products and services. Rich content works best, so consider options such as Video Link Ads, Carousel Ads and Instagram Ads.

Use your creative to drive sales. Showcase your best sellers. Often the best-seller endorsement is what converts a purchaser, particularly one who’s buying a gift they have little knowledge about. Highlight your brand’s point of difference and create urgency for the potential buyer with limited-time offers, personalised discount codes, shipping deadlines, or time-out countdowns on online shopping carts.

Optimisation. Optimise ads with conversion in mind. The holiday season is noisy, so brand awareness exercises online won’t necessarily make the most of your advertising spend. Maximise on your ads campaign by delivering them to people likely to purchase.

Keep in mind that shopping doesn’t end after the holidays – 65% of holiday shoppers plan to keep shopping in the immediate period after Christmas. Use this time of year to convert them to loyal customers.

Jay Revels, Managing Director APAC, Marin Software

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