Secret Marketing Santa: 4 Top Tips for a Successful Online Holiday Campaign

Posted on by Brian Quinton

With back to school over and the holiday season inching closer each day, many of us have already begun thinking about holiday campaigns. Even retailers have started to fill their storefronts with holiday decorations and are scouting out the best opportunities to increase sales and ensure that consumers come knocking at their doors come peak holiday season. Furthermore, with digital media’s influence on consumers at an all time high, advertisers are thinking about the best way to engage with consumers- given the digital age we live in- as they plan for upcoming holiday campaigns.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, let me  play the role of Secret Santa and share what I think are the top four secrets to driving a successful digital advertising campaign this holiday season, and why they are important.

1. Mobile & Tablet Advertising Are a Must

Mobile phones are this year’s in-store shopping assistants. With mobile devices, consumers have more content at their fingertips than ever before to help inform their purchasing decisions. While in stores consumers are searching for the best prices out there, accessing coupons and offers, reading customer reviews and product ratings, and sending photos of products to friends and family for approval.

But when it comes to mobile devices, the tablet could be this year’s superstar. According to data from eMarketer, tablet users have doubled since last year, smartphone users have increased by 23 percent and mobile internet users have increased by 22%. Additionally, Baynote’s “2012 Holiday Online Shopping Experience” survey concluded that 25% of tablet users and 22% of smartphone users made purchases on a PC after seeing a mobile ad, and shoppers sought out more information after seeing such ads. Therefore ensuring that your campaign incorporates mobile and/or tablet executions could lead to major sales this year.

2. Cross-Channel Advertising Is Essential

With consumers spending so much of their time online, it’s important to keep a cross-channel advertising experience in mind as it relates to your holiday campaign. Just last year the e-tailing group reported in research sponsored by MyBuys that 72% of consumers want an integrated marketing approach consistent across mobile, social, TV, etc.

Google and Ipsos OTX also ran a study earlier this year titled “Post Holiday Shopping Intentions,“ which found that 46% of respondents researched their holiday purchases on their smartphones and then used the devices to purchase those items. A cross-channel campaign execution is a sure way to connect with consumers on any device they’re engaged with while meeting their demands as well.

3. Make Your Campaigns “Pinteresting”

Pinterest is one of the hottest names in social media right now—perhaps the hottest. And it’s looking to be particularly effective for some retailers, as it provides opportunities to entice consumers with beautiful product images and has been shown to make some people feel like they just “have to have” a particular item. If you are a retailer, you should consider Pinterest as you’re planning for your next holiday campaign. The reason? A 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce study released by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group showed that U.S. consumers followed an average amount of 9.3 retailers on their Pinterest profiles. In the same study, 59% of users also purchased an item they saw on a retailer’s Pinterest page.

Retailers running a rich media campaign can use Pinterest to enable users to scroll through holiday products, choose their favorite items, pin those directly to their own boards, and of course follow the retailer’s Pinterest boards. This allows consumers to continue to engage with your brand, while allowing prolonged engagement with the ad, ultimately driving purchase intent.

4.Don’t Forget About Experience

The last and arguably the most important part of a campaign is the experience it provides to the consumer. To ensure your campaign creates a memorable experience and optimal results, don’t be afraid to use richer, more interactive formats for your holiday campaign. Last year the holiday-related ads that had the best results were rich media formats including compelling creative, product browsing, product details and dynamic creative. Some of these campaigns saw interaction rates and click-thru rates as high as 4x benchmarks.

And it doesn’t stop there. Be sure to think outside the box when it comes to the creative in your campaign as well. After all, this is where digital marketing will really allow your campaign to shine.

To sum up, the four secrets to a successful holiday campaign include: optimizing your campaign for mobile and tablet devices, creating executions for multiple channels/devices, including Pinterest ad integrations and creating engaging consumer experiences to make your adsmemorable and drive product purchase.

And with those holiday campaign “secrets” out of the bag, planning for this time should be a little easier.  Happy holiday campaign planning!

Kailei Richardson is director of marketing for digital advertising service provider PointRoll

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