BIG MONEY, SMALL SCREENS: Christmas Advertising 2015

by Mike Tyler | November 30, 2015

Tis‘ the season for holiday shopping: is your business ahead of the Christmas Advertising trends?

Ahhhhh, that wonderful time of year. Egg nog, Elf, Home Alone…egg nog…and decorations galore; Xmas is fast approaching, businesses are getting ready for the whirlwind of Christmas advertising.

You’ve probably noticed the plethora of Christmas decorations littering the aisles in your local stores, but did you know that Christmas marks the biggest shopping season throughout the year, especially for online shoppers?

Seriously. In 2014, it was estimated that:

    • Shopping began long before Black Friday, and was certainly influenced by mobile shopping; nearly 28% of all retail sales in 2014 were influenced by mobile decisions.
    • Brand loyalties were up for grabs; over 1/2 of consumers were liable to switch to another brand if there was a higher quality, cheaper alternative.
    • YouTube was one of the biggest influencers for eCommerce decisions. Product reviews and online ratings are everything for the mobile-minded age!

    In terms of marketing for any business–whether small or large–Christmas advertising is truly can “make or break” brand success.

    If more than ever, this stresses the importance of optimizing your advertising efforts on all fronts; especially with online and mobile ad campaigns, where people are shopping the most.

    BIG MONEY, SMALL SCREENS. Now the main question is, are you as a business ready for the marketing whirlwind that’s about to hit?

    The answer 99.99% of the time is: NO.

    Not for lack of trying, but solely because there’s such a vast amount of ground to cover when it comes to advertising. Think about it; more people are spending their time on phones now than ever, stressing the importance of mobile advertising–down to the last detail. Additionally, on-the-go demands of modern life are causing people to shop across multiple platforms!

    That being said, we’re here to help, because this Christmas season, we’re here to give you A PONY advice on how to not only prepare your business for the marketing-storm to come, but how to optimize your Christmas advertising efforts to get ready for the holiday trends, and be one step ahead.

    Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

    Ho-Ho-LPO! Landing Page Optimization!

    Mobile-geddon aside (you can quote us on that one), the first thing desktop purchasers will likely see is your website–so you better watch out, and better not cry, when a slow-loading landing page is telling you why…consumers are quickly leaving your page, and your bounce rate is way up.

    In general and especially during the holiday season, a matter of seconds with a landing page load can lead to a catastrophic loss in dollars. Time is truly money in this case, so ensure that you resolve any server issues, hosting, or elements of your landing page that are slowing loading times.

    Web performance enthusiasts at Radware estimated that a whopping 57% of consumers leave a website if the page takes longer to load than 3 seconds. 3 seconds! For small businesses especially, this time is crucial.

    And on the subject of your landing page, ensure that it has an intuitive UX/UI, great headlines that contain a CTA (especially for mobile display ads), a solid design aesthetic and strong CTA that ups your conversion, leading to whatever goal you intended–signing up for an email newsletter, direct eCommerce sales, etc.

    To take the numbers a step further, try data-mining your analytics to determine what keywords performed best and not-so-well within your body copy and headline. Accordingly, you can prioritize on certain keywords and truly invest in SEO, leading customers directly to your site to find what they’re looking for Christmas 2015!

    Advertising.                        Native Advertising.

    I know it’s the holidays, and I know you’re used to seeing those cheesy holiday-esque Christmas advertisements, but let’s get one thing straight: people’s BS detectors are at an all time high and those ads won’t fly.

    If you think that 3 second statistic about LPO earlier is scary, try this on for size: according to SDL, millenials touch their phones 45 times a day. 45 TIMES A DAY. Five out of six millenials in the US alone connect with their favourite brands on social media, counting brands like Nike, Apple, Samsung, Sony and Walmart among their top 5.

    Also, here’s a random thought: Tivo. Why’s Tivo such a big thing? Because everyone, millenials especially, want to cut through BS advertising–according to Forbes, only 1% of consumers they surveyed would actually trust a company more from a compelling advertisement.

    An increasing trend among the 20-35 North American demographic is to refer to YouTube and other video/blog reviews on products or services, ie. from one consumer to the next–a no BS approach.

    Hence, the importance of video advertising–but aside from that, a no-BS approach with millenials that works is the modern marvel of native advertising.

    Native Advertising revolves around an editorial style of adverts that are unobtrusive, and appear as “Sponsored” or “Promoted Posts” within the interface of a platform. Think back to the sponsored ads you see on your Facebook or Instagram feeds, which naturally fit into the flow of information and aren’t nearly as obtrusive as a pop-up or banner ad to the regular user experience.

    Why does this work? Because no one wants to actually feel like they’re being advertised to. For more information, check out my previous thoughts on Native Advertising here. All in all, native advertising will be a key player for brand success during the holiday season!

    Start Early! Like, Black Friday Early.

    In 2014, Christmas purchases started as early as Halloween. Halloween. Like, October 31st–almost two months away!

    While most advertisers and businesses–small and large–think about advertising around Black Friday, you would be a lot wiser to start a lot earlier to maximize eCommerce success.

    Google estimates that in 2014, 48% of shoppers did their shopping on/before Cyber Monday–up from 40% in 2013. In 2015, that number is expected to rise, with almost half of shoppers making purchases well before Xmas.

    Be sure to optimize your landing page, mobile ads well before!

    Programmatic Advertising

    What on Earth is that?

    It’s your leg-up on Christmas advertising in 2015, son. Digiday defines it as the use of digital software to buy advertising in real time. Basically, machines buying ads instead of human buyers and sales people!

    It leads to one thing above all: efficiency. The one thing that you need during this holiday season for your advertising efforts to be ahead of the mark.

    This year retailers will reap the benefits of programmatic advertising. With its real-time ad buying technology, programmatic allows brands to adjust their bidding based on daily, weekly, and yearly patterns. Since this year is predicted to have a record for online purchasing, retailers should take advantage of being able to reach consumers at optimal decision making times.

    Video Advertising > Everything

    I mean, we could have told you that.

    Aside from Native Advertising, more consumers than ever are looking towards blogs and YouTube video reviews for their favourite products and services!

    Because honestly, a company might lie to you, but another consumer won’t when it comes to product features and benefits.

    To help with the 2014 holidays, for example, it was estimated that 80% of consumers surveyed by Google watched product videos to help influence a purchasing decision, and 68% watching video reviews from consumers who were like themselves. 45% of viewers, however, preferred video reviews from experts in relative fields.

    All in all, video advertising can be the tipping point from one brand, to the next!

    What Have We Learned?

    It’s time to get prepared for the madness that is Christmas shopping, which happens well before the holiday season even begins! With programmatic advertising, video advertising and mobile-ads on the rise, be sure to get ahead of the curve by adjusting your advertising efforts toward these 2015 holiday trends within the advertising world.

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