The end of the year is the strongest season for brands and companies to do a significant part of their sales. Though all the preps, planning and marketing starts way much earlier. When do you need to start publishing? Right now! According to several statistics, October is the best time to start, and social media continues to be one of the most important channels to talk to your customers. Check all the news, trends and possibilities offered by social media platforms themselves.
Merry Social Media Christmas! 🎄⛄
Let’s do some math firstly; the numbers are pretty clear ➡ social media marketing rules in the holiday time. According to research announced by Reveal Mobile (August 2018) over 36 % of holiday ad budget will be allocated to social media marketing for the businesses. Also, 68 % indicated some form of digital advertising was highest-priority, compared to 32 % spending on traditional channels like TV print and radio.¨
Those companies focusing primarily on digital advertising stated in the same survey that Facebook remains their most popular choice for reaching the market (41.8 %), followed by Google (28.2 %), Instagram (17.6 %) and Amazon (12.4 %).
According to changing the advertising messaging, October was found like the most popular to do so (28 %), followed by November (20 %) and September (19 %).
A different survey by Adroll’s 37,000+ customers says that over 40 % of consumers in the US begin holiday shopping in October. The timely communication is on the spot, but it doesn’t mean to skip the following months either. According to Adroll’s data, the average click-through rate (CTR) changes from August to December with the growing peak in December.
💡Tip: By December, we don’t talk just about the days until the 24th. Bare in mind the week between Christmas and New Year’s as well (also called Cyber Week II). This week people tend to feel more free to spend on themselves, even more, motivated by year-end deals, and inspired to spend the cash in the gift cards they found under the Christmas tree.
Last but not least numbers come from Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report from the end of last year. Its data shows that in the last quarter of 2017 82 % of all paid social advertising investment was spent on Facebook. Out of those Facebook ads, 83 % went to ads served on mobile devices and tablets (but about the mobile importance we’ll talk a little bit further later). In 2017 Instagram took only 8 % of paid social ad spend in the same period, and Pinterest has 7 %.
Holiday Marketing Wishlist 🎁
As you could see, festive marketing is spreading across the social media platforms, and even though Facebook is still the king (with its highly personalized targeting and users base), we can expect an increase on Instagram, especially with its new ads and shopping possibilities.
According to customers behavior, two formats seem to be the most powerful this year. And honestly, it’s nothing surprising – video and mobile interface.
Current users and customers are instant in the meaning that shoppers want to be able to find the products whenever and wherever they want. The trends are the same as the online behavior in general: mobile-first, always-on and hyper-personalized content.
A video is being super popular already for a couple of years; Google says that 68 % of shoppers visit YouTube on their smartphones to determine what to buy. Pretty surprising, isn’t it? Well, it makes sense that if you are looking for a new phone, it is easier to see two-minute video review rather than reading lengthy articles, especially in the time of Christmas stress when the time is worth gold.
Besides that, 72 % of internet users said in a survey (December 2017) that they choose to see a video to learn about a product or service rather than read text, both available on the same place.
Social Media Xmas Starter Pack
Social media platforms are acknowledged about their power in the festive season very well and they go towards the digital marketer’s needs. This year the biggest of them introduced their special holiday’s ad collections or improvements.
Let’s start with Facebook, which came with new tools helping businesses visually merchandise their products at the festive season. Last year the social media platform launched overlays for dynamic ads to add price and discount tags on creative assets for product ads. Now you can use unique themed overlays for example for Black Friday or Christmas (but also summer etc.). Facebook states that two major retailers tested the new decorative borders which increased their return on ad spend by 40 % each. Not bad, right?
New holiday-specific templates and stickers are also being added to the video creation kit (launched a couple of weeks ago) to help businesses more easily create video ads that showcase their products with holiday-specific visuals.
Are you aiming your marketing communication rather to the younger audience? No problem, Snapchat, the most popular app among teen users added this year new ads options. Snapchat introduced new Collection Ads for all advertisers allowing brands to feature a series of products that users can tap to get more details. Another news is Product Catalogs which can be used to create some Product Ads automatically – Story Ads, Snap Ads, and the new Collection Ads – through brand new templates in Ads Manager. Lastly, Snapchat enabled advanced pixel targeting (based on more specific actions that visitors take on their site) and added over 30 new performance agencies to help advertisers.
And finally, there is Instagram. With its more and more successful Stories, it makes perfect sense that marketers can newly use them to promote their products right there. After testing this feature called Shopping in Stories in June, since September it’s available globally. Second Instagram’s new feature is the topic channel (topic channels were launched in June to better browse across your interests in Explore) called Shopping dedicated to Shopping posts from the brand’s user follows and brands he or she might like. The Shopping channel will expand globally over the coming weeks.