Buying online ads on social media and digital platforms is a highly recommended strategy in the lead-up to Christmas however it comes at a big price. For those new to the game of holiday advertising, you may be caught off-guard by how much costs increase at this time of year.
Nearly all online advertising platforms, such as Google, select and deliver ads based off of auction. This equates to the more brands that produce ads, the higher that prices become for all stakeholders in the system.
The holidays are a notorious time for buying ads because brands know that the audience is there for it. Arguably, there’s no time of year where consumers want advertising more than at Christmas. That said, the same ad clicks that you may have paid $1/click in the summer may now cost as high as $5/click or above.
To combat these big increases in cost for Christmas online ads, here is what we think your approach should be.
Maximize Organic Engagement
Unpaid social media posts with a strong organic reach are worth gold at Christmastime. Due to the nature of many ad platforms, organic reach can sometimes be as low as 1% though. If you’re not convinced your organic reach is strong, began engaging more people on these sites. Ask them questions, thank them, and seek active brand engagement with willing consumers.
Don’t Rely on the Newsfeed
The Facebook Newsfeed is a busy place with constant turnover and competition. There is limited space and relying on appearing here is not going to net you the results you want. Instead, seek lower bid advertising on other places, including the Messenger home screen, in videos, and on Instant Articles, among other areas of Facebook you may want to look into.
Warm up your Audience
Do what you can to qualify your audience before actively advertising to them on social media. For example, tap into your email newsletter or past customers, and advertise specifically to them.
Examine new Ad Channels
Within the past couple years, social media channels have gone out of their way to create new advertising opportunities. Examine what might work best for your brand. There may be better ways to spend your advertising dollar if you know where to look so do your homework.
Go above and Beyond in your Testing
Testing ads and paying attention to metrics is key to ensuring maximum ROI. If tapping into the usual social media advertising channels is the way you want to go, it doesn’t hurt to run a small budget test to gauge how much it’ll cost when you do a full roll-out. Test images. Test messaging. Find what you think is working for your targeted consumer base and what isn’t.
Christmas online ads are going to cost you, either in time, effort, and/or financial commitment. It’s highly likely it will cost you all three. To many businesses however, this is more than worth it as businesses that are able to reach consumers during the holidays can win big on small to medium sized budgets. Leveraging engagement is still going to be a must and a brand’s ability to extend their organic reach is still the most inexpensive way to ensure you get the results you need.