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    Christmas. Ah, the holiday season – that magical time when the entire UK shopping community flocks to the high street in search of the perfect gifts.

    Or do they?

    In a world where over 80% of the population can be classified as e-commerce enthusiasts (that’s more than four out of every five UK consumers), businesses are aware that optimising their online presence and marketing is the key to a prosperous Christmas season in 2023.

    But how do we master those paid media campaigns? Well, consider yourself lucky because here at Arke, we’re bona fide maestros of e-commerce advertising, and we’ve cracked the code for an unforgettable Christmas 2023 and beyond.

    Who can I target now?

    The golden question of when, where and how. Well what if we told you that you could be on Santa’s good list if you targeted your campaigns to last minute shoppers and those who love to grab a deal in the January sales.

    40% of shoppers leave their Christmas purchases until the last minute, so wouldn’t it be great if your product was in the forefront of their minds when it comes to those who leave their shopping to the eleventh hour.

    Remarketing is where businesses can reap the real awards here. With a surge in online shopping during the festive December season, users tend to wander away from their carts as they explore gift ideas and compare prices across various sites. This underscores the critical need to rekindle connections with these potential customers who haven’t yet made a purchase.

    It’s essential to keep your brand and irresistible products at the forefront of their minds, ensuring they don’t miss out on any exclusive offers you have next to Christmas and beyond..

    What channels should I use?

    Identifying the appropriate platforms where your target audiences are actively engaged is a pivotal element of optimising your Christmas strategy. While Google unquestionably remains a cornerstone for advertising, it is imperative to explore niche platforms as well.

    Social media channels such as TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram are not merely supplementary options; they function as independent discovery tools. Particularly within the demographics of Millennials and Generation Z, these platforms have become influential channels for uncovering trending holiday offerings and should not be overlooked in crafting a comprehensive seasonal marketing approach. With in-app shopping features taking social media by storm, its easier than ever for shopaholics to get their spending spree fix straight from their socials.

    We’ve broken down the core channels you should be advertising on and how to use them.

    TikTok

    For brands looking to tap into the influential market of Generation Z, representing 40% of global consumers, TikTok stands as the most ingenious solution.

    TikTok has recently introduced search ads to its platform, enhancing advertising opportunities for brands. These TikTok search ads will be distinctly marked with a “Sponsored” label. Their positioning on the search results page is determined by several factors:

    • Relevancy: The alignment of the ad with the user’s search query.
    • User Intent: The ad’s placement is influenced by the intent behind the user’s search.
    • Informed by User Behavior: Insights drawn from broader user interactions also guide ad placement.

    Intriguingly, according to research conducted by TikTok HQ, it’s evident that the TikTok community has a special fondness for the holiday season, particularly Christmas. A staggering 82% of users express positive sentiments about the holidays and are 20% more inclined to engage in holiday planning and celebrations. Moreover, even after the festive season, 40% of TikTok users exhibit a greater likelihood to maintain their engagement compared to users of conventional social media platforms. This data underscores the unique potential of TikTok as a holiday marketing platform.

    49% of TikTok users say the platform helped them make purchasing decisions as well as 55% of TikTok users have actually made a purchase after seeing a brand or product on the platform, making the platform a perfect marketplace to reach potential customers.

    How to make it work

    Last year, TikTok’s trending holiday hashtags focused on consumer intent for using TikTok for gifting or wish list inspo before making their purchase decisions.


    The holiday season is the perfect time to infuse your ad copy with festive cheer. Incorporating Christmas-related references and seasonal language is essential to not only boost your click-through rate but also to ensure your ads remain pertinent to holiday-related searches. Terms like ‘present’ and ‘gift,’ when seamlessly integrated with your products, create a holiday-themed context that resonates with those seeking gift ideas for their loved ones. 

    But the journey should still continue from your ads. Optimising your TikTok shop for these keywords is crucial for improved rankings and increased relevance in search engine results. For example, targeting keywords like ‘Christmas gift ideas for men’ can encompass a range of products from technology to culinary items, sports gear, and experience days. Additionally, instil a sense of urgency by highlighting the limited-time nature of your Christmas offers and tailor your messaging to appeal to your specific target audience, ultimately maximising your budget and impact.

    Pinterest

    Just like TikTok, Pinterest is used as a visual search engine by many users. Nearly 500 million people use Pinterest each month, with 46% of weekly users discovering a new brand or product on the site.

    Ads are regular Pins that you pay to be placed where people are most likely to see them. These Pins will surface in your desired audience’s home feed, category feeds, and relevant search results.

    Pinterest ads have demonstrated an impressive 32% higher return on ad spend (ROAS) when compared to various other digital platforms. Notably, this effect is amplified in sectors such as food and health and beauty. Amplify the impact of your advertising budget by harnessing the power of promoting Pins on Pinterest.

    When Pinners catch a glimpse of Promoted Pins, their festive spirits soar with 40% more awareness of new products. What’s even merrier, their purchase intent is jingling all the way with a 50% boost compared to Pinners who haven’t seen the ads.

    How to make it work

    Illuminate your holiday season with a comprehensive campaign strategy that spans the entire customer journey. Pinterest provides a diverse range of objectives suited for every stage of the funnel, complete with an audience that perfectly aligns.

    Here’s the holiday magic: those who encounter Pinterest ads at every stage of the funnel are more likely to convert. For brands that wholeheartedly embrace full-funnel campaigns, the rewards are grand, offering a gift of 3 times higher conversion rates.

    Pinterest recommends a different ad format for each stage of the funnel.

    Awareness:
    Standard ad, Standard video, Max-width video, Idea ad
    Consideration: Standard ad, Collections ad, Idea ad
    Conversions: Shopping ad, Carousel, Collections ad

    Create visually appealing, high-quality images or videos that are on-brand and optimised for mobile viewing, as Pinterest is primarily a visual platform. Craft concise, engaging, and action-oriented ad copy that complements your visuals. Utilise relevant keywords and hashtags, ensuring your content is discoverable.

    We also recommend leveraging Pinterest’s shopping features and rich pins for e-commerce products, making it easy for users to shop directly. Additionally, consider using audience targeting to reach the right people, and regularly monitor and adjust your ad performance for optimal results.

    Meta

    Last year, 56% of festive shoppers discovered brands and products on Meta during the festive season, with 75% of festive shoppers in 2022 who discovered Meta technologies made their discoveries through sponsored content.

    With over 3.96 billion people using at least one of the company’s core products, and 35% agree that brands and products discovered on Facebook or Instagram during the peak season are more relevant than those discovered on other platforms.

    Many shoppers will continue showing interest in your business after the festive season, especially if you’re offering promotions or discounts. In fact, 82% of festive shoppers say that they care about discount offers when making purchase decisions. Meta’s retargeting ads are perfect for this, as you can create a Lookalike Audiences based on website traffic information from the pixel dashboard. Going even further through the funnel, use Advantage+ catalogue ads and let Meta AI create ads using images and details from your product catalogue to show to interested shoppers.

    How to make it work

    Maximise the visibility of your advertisements by strategically placing them where your target audience frequents through Advantage+ placements. This innovative solution enables you to identify and capitalise on the most cost-effective opportunities within Meta technologies and various placements. With Advantage+ placements, the versatility of your advertising is enhanced, allowing seamless utilisation of existing creatives across a spectrum of placements such as Instagram Stories, Instagram feed, Messenger, and Audience Network.

    Diversify your assets by uploading distinct content, be it a product image or video for Facebook and a brand image or video for Instagram. Optimise your visual elements by adhering to recommended aspect ratios for specific placements; for instance, employ a vertical aspect ratio for advertisements within Stories.

    Enhance engagement further by tailoring your textual elements, adjusting text length, headlines, and links to suit the preferences of each platform; for instance, leverage concise copy for effective communication in Instagram Stories.

    And don’t forget to leverage their automation tools. The festive season is a particularly dynamic and competitive time for marketing. Automation helps businesses keep up with the pace of change with less budget, resources and time. By enabling automation tools with critical inputs, automation makes decisions based on real-time learnings and optimises festive campaigns through thousands, if not millions, of iterations.

    Google

    Christmas is a peak shopping season, and people are actively searching for gifts, decorations, and holiday-related items. Advertising on Google ensures that your products or services are visible to users actively looking for holiday-related purchases. Google handles around 99,000 search queries every second, equating to 8.5 billion searches daily and approximately 2 trillion searches globally per year. On average, individuals perform three to four searches each day.
    Unlock the potential of Google for your business by seamlessly navigating the expansive Google Ads ecosystem. Whether it’s reaching customers on YouTube, Discover, Search, or beyond, let Google’s AI strategically place your ads at the right time and place to maximise conversions.

    With a user-friendly interface, track and analyse conversion growth, leveraging Google’s budget-optimising automation for unparalleled audience insights and a high return on investment. Stay in control of your budget with customisable monthly adjustments, supported by Google’s technology to measure results and optimise your ad spend effectively.

    During Christmas, people are in a festive and generous mood, making it an opportune time to promote your products or services. Aligning your advertising with the holiday spirit can resonate well with potential customers. 40% of shoppers leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute, and last-minute searches for gifts are common. By advertising on Google, you can capture the attention of those who are still looking for the perfect presents as the holiday deadline approaches.

    How to make it work

    According to Google, Christmas shopping beats Black Friday by 34%! People are even early bird Santas, buying New Year’s gifts on the day and after in preparation for next year. Online shopping sleighs the game, even on Dec 31 – so keep those holiday offers alive!

    Tailor your ads with creativity to catch the eye, and don’t shy away from multiple images. Google says that products that have more than one product image are likely to see an increase in impressions of up to 76% and 32% more clicks.

    Remember to optimise for mobile too, as thats where most people do their searching. Mobile searches for “open now” and “store hours” increase throughout December and peak at Christmas. This includes searches like “what shops near me are open on Christmas Day?” and “Which grocery stores are open on Christmas Day?”.

    On average, customers take 13 days to pick a present, but once chosen, they want it pronto. Late December sees a rush for same-day delivery goodies. Local stores save the day when the post office plays Grinch. Optimise for local searches, and you’ll be the holiday hero, as well as driving in store sales.

    Amazon

    Advertising on Amazon during Christmas is a strategic choice due to the platform’s immense popularity and increased online shopping activity during the holiday season. With over 310 million customers worldwide, including many Amazon Prime members, the platform provides a prime opportunity to reach a wide audience actively seeking Christmas gifts or decorations.

    Amazon’s advertising tools, such as Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, allow for targeted campaigns, optimising visibility and engagement. Additionally, the competitive landscape during the holidays means that leveraging Amazon ensures your products are part of the consumer’s consideration set. Amazon’s Q1 2023 data shows a 5% year-over-year ROAS increase for Sponsored Products.

    Moreover, Amazon’s user-friendly mobile app aligns with the trend of mobile shopping during Christmas. The platform’s emphasis on product discovery further benefits advertisers, as it facilitates the introduction of new and unique products to shoppers. The availability of data-driven insights and analytics on Amazon enables advertisers to refine their strategies based on real-time performance data, contributing to more effective and successful holiday campaigns. Overall, advertising on Amazon during Christmas provides a powerful combination of a massive customer base, effective tools, and data-driven optimization, making it a strategic choice for businesses aiming to maximise their reach and sales during the festive season.

    How to make it work

    Amidst the holiday shopping hustle on Amazon, let’s talk strategy! Sponsored Products are your secret to make sure your products steal the spotlight and land in the carts of eager shoppers.

    First things first – budgeting. Set a daily budget that’s robust enough to keep your ads shining throughout the day. Picture this: the shopping season is in full swing, and your regular budget might do a Houdini on you by midday. Let’s avoid that, shall we?

    Keywords are your bread and butter here, spread broadly to cast a wide net. Check out your performance reports to unveil the key searches from customers. Cue the phrase match – your ad shows up when a shopper’s search matches your exact phrase or word sequence. If you’re in for precision, opt for the exact match – where your keyword and the customer’s query have a perfect unity.

    Blend these tactics, and you’re on your way to reaching the right customers, making your season not just merry but profitable too.

    Retarget, Retarget, Retarget

    Shoppers tend to start their gift research well before Christmas, diligently seeking the best deals and options. Remarketing enables you to reconnect with past website visitors, ensuring your brand stays top-of-mind as they browse other online destinations. As part of your Christmas paid media strategy, it’s essential to construct Christmas-specific remarketing lists to capture the attention of these well-prepared shoppers throughout the holiday season, including the Boxing Day and January Sales period.

    Remarketing ads are particularly effective, as they target users already interested in your products, offering a chance to re-engage them with tailored ad content, especially impactful during the holidays using festive-themed messages such as ‘Don’t forget the gifts in your basket’ and ‘Still time to get that party dress for New Year’s Eve.’ In fact, retargeted users are 8x cheaper to reach per click and It can help improve your conversion rate by more than 150% since it reminds users where they left off and encourages them to follow through with their purchase.

    How Arke can help


    We understand that in the run up to Cyber week, Christmas campaigns can be daunting.

    Here at Arke, we control the heavy lifting whilst you sit back and relax as the sales roll in. Our Paid Media team are experts in record-breaking results, and know just the strategy to give you the gift of success this Christmas.

    If you’re ready to start optimising your Christmas campaigns for a successful holiday period, get in touch today and we will help level up your paid media marketing just in time for Santa.

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