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Leveraging advertising this holiday season

OCTOBER 30, 2023

The holiday season is an important time for your business. This timeframe is a perfect opportunity to develop brand recognition, reach new and old audiences and highlight new products and services. The draw of gift giving brings excitement and changes in the buying behaviors of your customers. It’s time to capitalize on this energy and implement a comprehensive advertising strategy to get the most sales and profit possible for your business.

Understanding the holiday shopper

ADWEEK outlines four holiday shopper mindsets. The deliberate shoppers get a jumpstart and spread out their shopping. The deal-seekers are ready to buy, but want the best price. For determined shoppers, it’s about crunch time and quick decision purchases. Finally, the devoted shopper is your most loyal, often repeat customer. For all four, you should capitalize on shopping trends like offering early holiday sales which carry through January, keeping your inventory stocked and establishing a loyalty program.

There is a lot of emotion, sentiment and tradition built around the holidays and you should leverage this to connect with your customers. Hosting an open house, decorating your store front (or website) and holding drawings for gift packages are a few ways to make your shoppers’ experience memorable and increase the potential of creating loyal customers throughout the year.

Set the stage: pre-holiday preparation

Now is the time to determine your holiday goals to shape your advertising strategy. Review last year’s sales data. What was successful for you? What is new for this year? Identify your sales key performance indicators (KPIs) to help set goals for this year. These 7 KPIs will help you understand your sales.

  1. Conversion rate: Total number of visitors / Total number of visitors who made a purchase
  2. Gross profit: Total revenue – Cost of goods
  3. Net profit: Gross profit – Expenses
  4. Average Order Value: Total revenue / Number of orders
  5. Year over Year Growth: [(Current Year Earnings – Previous Year) / Last Year] / 100
  6. Sell-through Rate: (Total Units Sold / Units Received) X 100
  7. Product Return Rate: (Units Returned / Units Sold) x 100

Craft your holiday advertising strategy

Your advertising campaign should take an omnichannel approach so you can reach the most customers. Let’s look at some options.

Digital Advertising

Come in strong with holiday digital advertising which targets your customer. Because digital ads are so customizable, you can control what, when and where you’d like to advertise. There are multiple options to drive online and in-person sales including high impact, retargeting, geofencing and more. Keep your brand front and center to increase recognition and recall of your business and develop loyal shoppers. Showcase your products and services along with holiday offers and engaging content with a clear call to action to help drive holiday sales.

Mobile Advertising

As most people have a mobile phone and carry them everywhere, it’s important to reach your customers through mobile advertising this holiday season. Targeting them through their mobile phones allows customers to find information about your product and service and make an immediate purchase. Mobile advertising can also be used to geo-target shoppers close to your brick-and-mortar location to drive in-store sales. It is paramount to stand out from the advertising crowd with creative, engaging mobile ads. On an average day, a person remembers 100 of the ads they saw. Let’s make sure your ad is one of them.

Print & Direct Mail

Print advertising has a large reach to get the attention of holiday shoppers. As an added bonus, recall of print ads by your customer is over 75%. You can also look into special inserts in the fold of the newspaper to reach local shoppers. Overall, direct mail influences holiday purchases for 77% of shoppers. Whether it’s a “Buy One Get One” or “Bring in this postcard for a free gift,” make your call to action clear on what you want the customer to do next.

Social Media & Website

75% of shoppers note they use social media to find information and for Gen Zers, this figure skyrockets to 90%. But, you must frequently engage your social audience to keep them coming back. Your social media advertising is two-pronged as you have your business site, known as organic advertising, and the sites where your business places ads, known as paid advertising. Nextdoor recommends your holiday website landing page be an outlet for new marketing approaches like games or interactive site features or promotions with local social media influencers. Bottom line, your social media and website should be a resource for your customers so they return for more.

Develop a unique holiday message

With so many businesses vying for attention during the holidays, your advertising needs to stand out from the crowd. Invest in telling your story and making an emotional connection with your customer, two things video is known to help showcase. X (formerly Twitter) released the top 5 ways to use video in your holiday advertising.
  1. Share your business story to help audiences connect with you
  2. Take a moment to be grateful and say thank you to your customers
  3. Embrace holiday humor to give a much needed break from holiday stress 
  4. Create a gift giving guide video with impactful visuals and commentary
  5. Highlight individual products to get your customer excited to purchase

Measure and analyze your campaign

With the busyness of the holiday season, you might be tempted to hit go on the advertising campaign button and not look back. But you’ll want to track and monitor your ads for success rates and make adjustments when necessary to ensure you get the most return for your holiday advertising investment. You can even look at A/B testing. This is where you test two versions of an ad to see what performs better. And let’s not forget about the KPIs we discussed earlier. You’ll want to track their progress over time to ensure you hit your goals. 

Incorporate post-holiday strategies now

While it’s tempting to simply think of your holiday sales and advertising strategy as ending in December, you should also include post-holiday sales and clearance strategies within the campaign. A loyal customer is ripe for the long-term if you keep them informed and connected with your brand with deals and offers they can take advantage of during this time. Plus, it’s an added bonus to your sales during the post-holiday slump.

The holiday season is a critical time for your business, offering unique ways to attract customers. With the allure of gift-giving driving customer enthusiasm and transforming purchasing patterns, it is time to prepare for the season and execute a comprehensive advertising strategy.

Our advertising team can help you create a holiday advertising campaign that speaks to your audience. Email us at to get started.

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