3 min.
The holiday season is a great time for discovering brands
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The holiday season is a great time for discovering brands


Are your holiday promotions finally ready?

Is your product inventory up to date?

Are your customer service agents available to answer customers’ questions?

If yes, then that means you’re ready to tackle ad platforms and share your offers! The holiday period is an ideal time for introducing your brand to prospective new customers. Here are some recent data supporting this fact:

  • According to a major study by CNN in March 2021, 40% of respondents stated they discovered a product or service they weren’t aware of before they started shopping1
  • According to a study conducted by Facebook in 2020, 65% of online shoppers stated that the Internet made their shopping habits more spontaneous and impulsive2 
  • According to a study conducted by TikTok in 2021, 39% of the TikTokers surveyed discovered a product or brand through the platform that they were not previously aware of, 77% had purchased something they saw on TikTok and 47% said that TikTok might inspire a gift idea this year3


Inspiring new customers

Finding prospective new customers always has a cost. As we already mentioned in our article from 2018, during the holiday period, CPM climbs due to the high volume of competition and high advertising traffic on ad platforms.

When we look at the average CPM on Facebook based on Adviso’s 243 clients in 2020, between the week of November 26 and the previous week (in 2020, Black Friday was on November 27), CPM increased 24% and decreased the week of December 3 to 36%, then finally decreased even further after December 31 to 41%. Many advertisers are looking to share their offers during this key period, but the user base doesn’t increase proportionally, which is why prices climb—such is the law of supply and demand!

This is why you need to get to work as early as possible to secure your audience.


How to grow your audience at the best price

Whether it’s on Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok or any other ad platform, growing your audience before the holiday period will enable you to find new customers, secure your customer base and reduce your CPM.

For example, if you’re a company that sells women’s underwear and you usually target only women, don’t you think this would be a good time to show ads to couples, or even suggest to new potential customers that they indulge themselves and give themselves a gift thanks to amazing discounts? Of course it would!

Another interesting tactic is to offer a promotional sale in advance of the season. For example, a flash sale of your products lasting a few days would enable you to obtain a lower CPM during peak periods (and also benefit from a more interesting audience) while increasing your retargeting audience (site visitors who are interested in promotions but haven’t been converted) for upcoming promotions.


Build your first-party audiences and use available tools in ad platforms

We’ve been talking about this for a while, but with the recent update to iOS 14 (read about it here: iOS 14 disrupts the Facebook Ads ecosystem) and the disappearance of third-party cookies (read about that here: The impact of the cookie apocalypse on digital media), it’s becoming increasingly hard to retarget users and build retargeting audiences on Facebook.

Basically, in the U.S., 96% of Apple users have refused to be tracked by mobile applications after the iOS 14 update. Since the majority of ad impressions on social networks are through mobile, and particularly on the iPhone (see graph below), it’s important to adapt quickly.

Source: Impressions by device, 243 Facebook ad accounts (Advisoclients ), from October 1 to September 30, 2021.

So what should you do to ensure you have an interesting, relevant audience size for the holidays?

Build your first-party audiences and use the tools available on Facebook, such as video views or engagement, so that you don’t have to resort to audiences based on the Facebook pixel. Once they’re off the platform, it’s decidedly more difficult than before to track your audience through their journey on the web.

Here are a few tactics to think about to feed your audiences:

  • Keep your email audience up to date (newsletter subscribers, contest participants, recent buyers, etc.)
  • Create a contest before the holiday period, aimed at potential new customers, to harvest email addresses for retargeting with your holiday promotions
  • Create an audience of people who interact (through reactions, comments, shares, etc.) with your posts (strong engagement), without having visited your website
  • Prospect for new audience members with a video campaign—this audience can then be retargeted with your holiday promotions

As you can see in the chart below, for a campaign for an anonymous client, the reach obtained from first-party audiences (email lists) enabled us to connect with more people, with a lower CPM (-22%) than for the audience of visitors to the site.*

*Source: Adviso client campaign, September 12 to October 3, 2021. Reach obtained and CPM between different audience categories for the campaign.

In all situations, it’s always better not to put all your eggs in one basket and to test the performance of different audiences, leaving the algorithm to optimize results based on your campaign objective.


After good audiences, you need good ads!

In closing, it’s important to remember that even with good audiences, you first need to have good ads, both in terms of creative and messaging. To that end, we’d like to review a few best practices.

  1. Mobile first: Always keep small screens in mind! Since the majority of social network users are on mobile, you should avoid having too much text and be sure to get their attention quickly.
  2. Videos: If possible, add a video format (adapted also to work without sound) to your creative portfolio. The video will let you quickly capture users’ attention while allowing you to present more images and information. In an article on Black Friday published in 2018, Facebook demonstrated that 30% of mobile users (in the U.S.) who responded to a survey claimed that video was the best way of discovering new products.
  3. Hurryyyy!: Especially for retargeting, consider creating a sense of urgency in your message in order to incite FOMO (fear of missing out) in your customers.
  4. Emojis: A simple, easy addition to increase your ads’ click rates (here are the most popular emojis according to Hubspot in 2018).

Test and learn: Always test your campaigns by having at least three creatives per group of ads in order to let the algorithm optimize and test the various versions of visuals and messages. This will provide you with relevant information, which you can reuse for your upcoming campaigns!

The holiday period is a key time, and often stressful, for many companies. This means you should ensure you prepare in advance and respect industry best practices, both in terms of your audience and your ads.

With rigorous, thoughtful planning, you’ll definitely be ready to conquer the hearts of new customers!

Have any questions or need professional advice? Our team would be happy to help!