The holiday shopping season is already here for many consumers. This year, an estimated 43% of American shoppers will begin their holiday shopping before the end of October, with a further 25% starting before Thanksgiving.
The pandemic continues to drive economic and behavioral shifts that impact on how you reach your customers this holiday season. Recent years have seen a major shift towards digital channels. Globally, retail e-commerce sales were up 27% in 2020 compared to 2019, with the figure for 2021 forecasted to be 14% higher than last year.
This overall increase in online shopping, when coupled with the fact that social media will influence 58% of all buying decisions this holiday season (and a whopping 87% when it comes to Gen Z shoppers), means it is important to keep advertising mistakes to an absolute minimum!
With more people shopping online, it’s all the more crucial for your brand to have a strong presence when it comes to social ads. That means having a solid strategy in place and spending your budget wisely. And with ad spend for the holiday season typically the highest it will be all year, the necessity of preparing early becomes even more important if you are to get the most out of your social ads.
Here are some holiday advertising mistakes to avoid this season:
1. Keeping your ads in silos
As marketers, we know the journey from inspiration to purchase can be a long one. In fact, the average online shopper journey now has 140 touch points. Your social ads strategy needs to take this complexity into account. Most of the time, advertising on one network, or thinking about your ads network by network without seeing the big picture, will seriously limit your ability to reach your customers.
For Black Friday and Christmas especially (remember, this is the most competitive time of year), your strategy should bring together several platforms to help ensure you’re capturing attention. If someone sees your ads on Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok, you’re more likely to remain top of mind. Certain networks—notably Snapchat and also have user bases that can be difficult to reach elsewhere.
On Paragone, we know how important it is to be able to visualize your ad performances at a glance. Having everything together saves you time, while helping you drive better strategy going forward. Check out how our client Socialyse was able to work smarter using reporting in Paragone.
2. Targeting too narrowly
During the holiday period, you should make sure you’re capturing a wide audience. It can be tempting—and seem more cost-effective—to focus on targeting high-potential users who have already manifested interest in your products. However, the holiday season is a period of the year when most people are on the lookout for new ideas and products. By targeting an audience that is too narrow, you run the risk of missing out on many new potential customers.
You should also have a strong retargeting strategy to stay top of mind for users who have manifested interest in your brand. Have a strategy that makes the most of each touchpoint and keeps potential buyers engaged.
3. Neglecting mobile shoppers
In 2021, your marketing should be mobile-first, and that includes your social ads. Already consistently on the rise year over year, smartphone use has skyrocketed in the last several months. With more people working from home and limiting in-person social interactions, many of us are more dependent on our smartphones for social interactions, shopping, and more.
With this in mind, your ad creatives should be designed for mobile. How do your images look on a smartphone? Does your ad copy read well, or does it get cut off in a weird place?
You should also make sure your website works perfectly on mobile. Basically, you want to create a seamless, user-friendly advertising and shopping experience.
4. Starting too late
The time to start running your Black Friday and holiday ads is now. This year in particular, brands are starting their holiday promotions early. That means you should do the same to stay top of mind for your customers and improve your odds of beating the competition.
Starting early also gives you time to adapt should things not go according to plan. If you find certain ads are underperforming, or you see great results on a particular network, you’ll have time to see those trends and shift your budget and strategy accordingly.
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