Tis the Season for New Ads: Social Media Advertising for the Holidays

Written by: Marissa Bruette

We’ve all seen ads on our own social media channels go from Halloween Extravaganza to Winter Wonderland in the matter of a few days. It’s actually reported that one of the many things the pandemic brought on, was an earlier than usual holiday market. And, just as physical retail stores are planning to get the most out of their holiday sales, digital marketers are too. We’ve seen Facebook prepare for the digital holiday season with tools like facebook shops, and TikTok increasing their efforts for “TikTok Shopping” features. You want to make sure your strategy is keeping up with the evolution of digital retail.

Tis’ the season to strategize your holiday ad plans and we’re offering 4 ways to deck the halls, and your ads, with some holiday cheer.

Preparing Your Ads for the Holidays

1.  Make your platforms list… and check it twice.

As a social media manager, I remind my clients everyday that we don’t need to be everywhere. The “but what about tiktok” phase for clients who have no business being on TikTok is still haunting me.

Choose the platforms that your target audience engages on. Looking for ways to identify where your target is? Here are the social media demographic bullet points:

  • Facebook: While Facebook has the largest and most varietal audience-keep in mind there is plenty of competition here. Use it to showcase various types of content and reach large amounts of people. 
    • 43% Female- 57% Male 
    • 31% of users are between 25-34 years old 
    • Time spent per day on average is 33 minutes 
  • LinkedIn: Mainly for B2B businesses. Ideal for attracting new talent, showcasing company culture and great for lead generation opportunities. 
    • 25-34 years make up a majority of the user base 
    • 63% of users access the platform weekly
  • Instagram: Ideal for companies with the bandwidth to create engaging video/photo content. Can create reels, guides, stories and highlights. 
    • Largest age groups are 25-31 followed by 18-24 (a HUGE jump compared to last year’s user base. 75% of users used to be 18-24)
    • 48.4% female / 51.8% male
  • Twitter: Text based content is best used on Twitter. 
    • Largest age group is 18-29 year olds 
    • 38.4% female / 61.6% male
  • Snapchat: 210 million daily active users with an even split of a male and female demographic. The majority of users are 18-30 years old.
  • Youtube: 73% of adults use this platform. 68% female and 78% male. 90% of people aged 18-24 use Youtube.
  • TikTok: The app is great for in-stream video ads and the fact that the average time present per day on the platform is 89 minutes. 
    • 40% of Gen-Z members say they are influenced by products seen on TikTok. 
    • 61% female / 39% male
  • Pinterest: Perfect for retail companies and businesses that can generate blog content. With an audience of 431 million people worldwide, 
    • 70% of its users say they trust the platform and use it for product research 
    • Sprout Social reports a pretty even split between age groups. Users vary from 18-64 years of age.

For further details, visit Sprout Social.

  2.   Experiment with placements

When advertising on social media, each channel has unique ad placements. On Facebook, you can place your ads on in-stream video, feed posts, stories, messenger, audience network, and more. When creating an ad, most channels have it set to automatic placements. But, I like taking control of where my clients’ ads go by letting the data drive the decision. Experiment with different placements, see which ones are driving the highest ROI, and change your strategy from there. Keep in mind that when advertising on multiple placements, design the ad for the specific purpose of that placement. For instance, your ad shouldn’t look the same when being served to Instagram feeds and Instagram stories.

3.    Expect results to vary

Depending on the objective of your ads, expect your ad metrics to be a little different than usual. This is the time of the year when lots of online advertisers increase their spending and the market becomes saturated. To ensure your ad doesn’t get lost in the mix, increase your ad spending if you can, or target a very granular audience to ensure you’re reaching the people who are most likely to engage with your brand. Most importantly, test your audiences and retarget when you can. Want to learn more about how retargeting can help your holiday campaigns? Check out our work with Delaware River Water Company.

4.      Bring Holiday Cheer to your page

During the holiday season, people like to be reminded that we are all in this together. Update your pages with holiday related cover photos. Additionally, use holiday related graphics in your paid efforts with a strategic mix of holiday content in your organic content. Creating a strategy to have your paid and organic social media efforts work together is what Slice calls- surround sound strategy. 

Need help with your holiday marketing?

When you find yourself relating to Cindy Lou Who and her yuletide doubts just remember – your audience is out there and there are ways to find them. Contact our team of experts to see how we can help your social media get into the holiday spirit!

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