Advertising Tactics to Maximize 2021’s Holiday Shopping

Looking back to the trends that shaped 2020’s holiday shopping season is a good indicator of  what to expect in 2021. For example, the rise of e-commerce and flexible buying and checkout options are all likely to continue to be relevant this holiday season. The biggest lesson learned in 2020, however, was the importance of being prepared to pivot when planning campaigns. 

With a nimble approach and adaptable strategies, marketers this year can keep up with shifting consumer behaviors and find opportunities for innovation throughout the 2021 holiday season. Aside from being prepared to pivot, there are a few campaign tactics that will help marketers make the most of this e-commerce-driven holiday season. 

Forecast potential reach before spending a dime

Before running your holiday campaigns, be sure to use campaign forecasting. This demand-side platform (DSP) feature will help you understand how well your campaign will potentially scale and figure out the smartest way to spend your budget. Most DSPs have forecasting available so you can identify the highest-value opportunities, and ultimately, reach customers across an optimal media mix.

It’s best to use forecasting in the early planning stages of your campaign, because this feature is designed to help you understand how well your campaign will perform before it’s launched. 

Predicting your campaign results ahead of time during the holiday season will help you to ensure you’re selecting the parameters that enable you to reach the right audience and maximize the impact of your ad dollars. And you may also discover opportunities for ad spend that you may have not even realized were there for you.

Reach receptive shoppers with contextual targeting 

Contextual advertising is a targeting methodology that allows you to target online shoppers based on the content they are consuming, which ensures you can capture users in the right moments. During an unpredictable shopping season, this tactic is effective because the predictable consumer behaviors of years past may not hold true anymore. Contextual targeting allows you to reach users in their current frame of mind rather than based on past user behavior. 

Contextual advertising is a useful strategy for reaching new and familiar customers during the shopping season. During the holidays, people are open to purchasing new products and services. As they shop for gifts, consumers discover new brands and are more willing to give them a try. With contextual advertising, you can reach broad consumer segments to take advantage of this season of discovery. 

Use interactive creative formats to capture attention

Creative ad formats that are interactive can help you capture the attention of your target audience and build awareness for your brand. During the holiday season, when consumers are inundated with messages, an interactive viewer experience is a way to cut through the clutter and grab the consumer’s hard-earned attention.

An interactive ad invites the user to perform an action so that something is revealed within the ad itself, or it invites a user to navigate towards a specific landing page. This interactivity adds precision and complexity that isn’t achievable through static display ads. Some interactive ad formats that can benefit holiday campaigns include discovery ads, shoppable video, and dynamic countdown ads. 

Discovery ads ask a question to the user to determine their interests based on a specific topic. Clicks on the ad can be tracked to create retargeting pools, and products in the carousels can click out to unique product pages to shorten the path to conversion. With data privacy becoming more mainstream, information that is volunteered from shoppers can help you make educated decisions and improve the customer experience.

With dynamic countdown ads, you build awareness around your holiday sales. This ad unit helps create a sense of urgency for your audience to perform an action. You can consider adding an “Add to Calendar” button, which gives users the option to save the date from the ad to their calendar. That way, they won’t miss your holiday promotions. 

Interactive ads will boost brand awareness during this season of brand discovery, and they also provide much appreciated convenience for consumers. With product discovery moving online, interactive ads can be used to guide users closer to a purchase while also providing you valuable insights on the customer journey. 

Get ready for this e-commerce-driven season

This holiday season, use the above tactics to find opportunities to innovate in your campaign strategy. Combining these tactics with an ability to pivot quickly will set you up for a successful Q4. 
Vitaly Pecherskiy is co-founder and COO of StackAdapt.

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