'Tis the season for joy and celebration! As the holidays approach, shoppers hit the web, and businesses everywhere gear up for the season, strategically planning their marketing endeavors for successful holiday campaigns.

But, let's face it, holiday planning is no walk in the park: it's a puzzle to solve. You want to reel in new customers and finish the year on a high note, but where do you start? What strategies will work best? And how do you connect with holiday shoppers?

That's where we come in. We're here to share practical holiday marketing ideas, promotions and strategies that will not only put a smile on your customers' faces but also give your holiday campaigns a merry boost. Let's dive in and make this holiday season your most successful yet!

Holiday Shopping 2023: A Current Status Report

As we step into the 2023 holiday season, it's evident that the shopping extravaganza is commencing earlier than ever, with mid-October marking the kickoff. This shift signifies a departure from the traditional November-December focus, extending the holiday shopping fervor well into the fourth quarter.

An interesting stat from eMarketer predicts US holiday ecommerce sales will return to double-digit growth this year at 11.3% YoY as growth rates across all retail channels return to pre-pandemic normalcy.

Here are some noteworthy insights:

  • Embracing the everyday: This year, there's a noticeable shift towards everyday essentials. High-ticket items are taking a backseat, as consumers show a preference for apparel and accessories. Additionally, products not typically associated with holiday gifts, such as consumer packaged goods (CPG), are gaining traction. Meanwhile, consumer electronics and furniture are gradually recovering from their pandemic-induced surge.
  • The battle of retail titans: As shopping behaviors recalibrate, the contest between brick-and-mortar and ecommerce for holiday supremacy intensifies. Ecommerce is set to resume its double-digit growth trajectory, widening the gap between it and its physical counterparts. Nevertheless, we must acknowledge that physical stores remain the primary driver of sales. However, the battle for the go-to holiday shopping channel rages on and will unfold prominently between industry giants Amazon and Walmart.

Takeaway: This holiday season, a new marketing approach is needed. Waiting until after Thanksgiving to focus on Google and Facebook won't cut it. To succeed, marketers must reach holiday shoppers earlier, grab their attention and keep them loyal without overspending.

Now, let's embark on a journey to infuse your advertising campaigns with a touch of holiday magic. These curated tips are poised to transform your approach, lending a festive flair to your marketing endeavors

Ignite Your Festive Advertising: 7 Tips for Holiday Success

Despite the earlier start of the holiday shopping season and changes in demand, consumers are prioritizing purchases, leading to more cautious spending.

In light of this, Meta's research highlights key trends to watch out for.

  1. Meaningful savings matter: Shoppers are on the lookout for substantial discounts and promotions.
  2. Exploring new brands: Buyers are open to discovering and engaging with unfamiliar brands.
  3. Relevance remains paramount: Users continue to value ads that are tailored to their interests and needs.

To navigate this evolving landscape, we have shared our tips to help you craft ads that resonate this holiday season.

1. The Race for Attention: Create a Sense of Urgency

In the competitive holiday market, grabbing your audience's attention quickly is paramount. Creating a sense of urgency in your advertising campaigns can be a powerful tactic. It compels potential buyers to act swiftly, knowing that the offer won't last forever. This sense of immediacy has been proven to boost conversion rates, making it an essential strategy for successful holiday marketing.

Our recommendations:

  • Create compelling countdown campaigns: Build anticipation by running countdown campaigns. Highlight the days remaining until the holidays, creating a sense of urgency for potential customers.
  • Alert about limited stock: Capture your audience's attention by signaling low stock levels or limited availability of products or services. Thus, you motivate potential buyers to make their purchases swiftly, ensuring they don't miss out on the festive offerings.
  • Offer exclusive early access: Reward your loyal customer base with an exclusive opportunity to access a special holiday promotion or get a sneak peek at a seasonal product launch. This creates a distinct sense of privilege and urgency.
  • Create limited-time offers: Generate excitement and urgency by introducing time-sensitive offers exclusive to the holiday season. Clearly communicate that these special deals are available for a limited duration.
  • Employ flash promotions: Surprise your audience with sudden, short-lived promotions during the holiday season, capturing attention and prompting immediate action. By emphasizing the fleeting nature of these offers, you encourage customers to act swiftly to take advantage of the special discounts.

2. 'Tis the Season for Flexible Payments: Implement "Buy Now, Pay Later"

Offering "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) options provides potential customers with added flexibility and can help increase conversions, as they don't have to bear the full cost upfront. eMarketer states that BNPL will account for 1% of total US retail sales this year, and it's expected to grow to 1.5% by 2027.

Our recommendations:

  • Clearly communicate the BNPL option: Ensure that the "Buy Now, Pay Later" option is prominently displayed on your website and checkout page. Use clear and concise language to explain the benefits.
  • Incorporate BNPL in advertising campaigns: Feature "Buy Now, Pay Later" in your ad copy and creative. Highlight its availability and benefits.
  • Offer exclusive BNPL promotions: Create special promotions or discounts for customers who choose to use this payment option. This incentivizes its adoption and encourages conversion.
  • Ensure seamless integration with payment processors: Work closely with your payment processor to ensure that the BNPL option is integrated smoothly into your checkout process, providing a seamless experience for customers.
  • Provide customer support for BNPL inquiries: Have a dedicated customer support channel or FAQ section to address any questions or concerns related to the "Buy Now, Pay Later" option.

3. Prosperous Pockets: Embrace Discounts and Special Offers

Discounts and special offers have long been proven to be effective in driving holiday sales. Consumers actively seek out deals during the holiday season, and for many, discounts can be the motivating factor that make or break a sale. The report from NRF confirms that 66% of consumers consider discounts to be the main factor influencing their holiday shopping decisions.

Our recommendations:

  • Reward your VIP subscribers: Extend exclusive discounts to your email subscribers or loyalty program members. Showcase the special treatment for your most engaged customers, encouraging others to subscribe for these rewards.
  • Maximize spending with tiered discounts: Reward higher spending with tiered discounts. For example, offer a larger discount for purchases above a certain threshold, incentivizing customers to add more to their cart.
  • Bundle up deals for added value: Create bundled offers with complementary products at a discounted rate. This encourages customers to buy more items while still feeling like they're getting a great deal.
  • Get more with BOGO (Buy One, Get One) deals: Implement "Buy One, Get One" promotions, offering customers an additional product for free or at a discounted rate when they make a purchase.
  • Highlight savings in your ads: Clearly communicate the savings and discounts in your ad creatives and copy. Use attention-grabbing visuals to emphasize the value customers will receive.

4. Gifts That Speak from the Heart: Highlight Personalized Gift Ideas

According to a study by Epsilon, personalized holiday marketing campaigns result in a 5.7% increase in transaction rates and a 6.8% increase in revenue per email, compared to non-personalized campaigns. So, help shoppers find the perfect gift by offering curated collections or personalized recommendations based on their interests, preferences or purchase history.

Our recommendations:

  • Utilize customer segmentation: Segment your customer base based on preferences, behavior and purchase history. This allows you to tailor product recommendations to each segment.
  • Implement user surveys for preferences: Conduct surveys or use interactive quizzes to gather insights into your customers' preferences. Use this data to generate personalized gift ideas that align with their tastes and interests.
  • Offer exclusive personalized bundles: Curate special gift bundles based on individual preferences. This simplifies the shopping process for customers while ensuring a thoughtful and tailored gift-giving experience.
  • Promote early purchasing for timely delivery: Encourage customers to purchase their gifts early to ensure their availability and timely arrival for the holidays, especially if there are customizations involved.
  • Use dynamic ad content: Include dynamic ad content to showcase personalized product recommendations in real time to tailor the ad experience to each individual user.

5. Deck The Advertising Halls: Create Engaging and Festive Ad Content

Visually appealing, holiday-themed advertisements have a higher likelihood of capturing the audience's attention and generating positive responses. Imbue your ad creatives with vibrant colors and cheerful imagery to recreate the holiday spirit.

Our recommendations:

  • Incorporate festive visuals and imagery: Use holiday-themed visuals, such as snowflakes, ornaments and winter scenes, to create a festive atmosphere.
  • Experiment with styles and colors: Explore a spectrum of bright, vibrant colors that align with the festive season. Our AI image creation tool, combined with the expertise of our creative team at MGID, can streamline your experimentation process.
  • Tell heartwarming stories: Craft narratives that tug at heartstrings, focusing on themes like family, togetherness and the spirit of giving during the holiday season.
  • Include holiday-specific messaging: Integrate seasonal greetings, messages of goodwill and references to holiday traditions to resonate with your audiences.
  • Leverage rich media ads: Dynamic formats with multiple display options engage users with interactive elements like 360-degree views, panoramics and parallax effects, making them perfect for showcasing holiday promotions and boosting memorable brand experiences.

6. Trust in Voices: Leverage Social Proof and User-Generated Content

According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 76% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 46% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Showcase positive reviews, testimonials or user-generated content to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Our recommendations:

  • Encourage customer reviews and testimonials: Prompt satisfied customers to leave reviews and testimonials on your website or review platforms. Highlight these positive experiences in your holiday marketing.
  • Feature user-generated content in ads: Showcase photos, videos or testimonials from happy customers using your products or services. This adds authenticity and relatability to your holiday marketing.
  • Create a dedicated UGC campaign: Launch a campaign encouraging customers to share their experiences with your products during the holiday season. Provide incentives or run a contest to boost participation.
  • Highlight ratings and reviews in ad copy: Include star ratings and snippets of positive reviews in your ad creatives. This provides immediate social proof to potential customers.
  • Leverage influencers for UGC: Collaborate with influencers in your industry to create and share user-generated content featuring your products or services in holiday settings.

7. Sailing into the Season: Offer Free Shipping and Free Returns

Offering free shipping not only assures buyers of timely delivery but also boosts their confidence in making a purchase. According to Google's survey, 75% of global shoppers prefer stores that provide free shipping. In the mid-holiday season, focus on free express shipping and extended return periods.

Our recommendations:

  • Clearly communicate the offer: Ensure that the availability of free shipping and returns is prominently displayed on your website, in email campaigns and in advertising materials.
  • Set clear thresholds for free shipping: Clearly communicate any spending thresholds that customers need to reach in order to qualify for free shipping. This can incentivize larger purchases.
  • Promote membership programs: Encourage shoppers to sign up for a membership program that offers exclusive benefits, including free shipping and hassle-free returns. Highlight the value of membership.
  • Offer expedited shipping options: Provide the option for customers to choose expedited shipping for faster delivery, ensuring their gifts arrive in time for the holidays.
  • Leverage email marketing for communication: Send targeted emails to subscribers informing them about the free shipping and returns offer, and encourage them to take advantage of it.

Unlock Your Holiday Marketing Success

The holiday season is a critical time for marketers, and the strategies outlined here are your ticket to making a real impact. We’ve explored how a combination of personalized content, enticing offers and strategic ad placements can be the difference between standing out or blending in. To truly amplify your holiday marketing efforts, consider leveraging the expertise and support of a trusted platform like MGID.

With MGID's native advertising platform, you not only gain access to a wealth of experience and knowledge but also a dedicated team ready to assist you every step of the way. From tailored advice to creative development and seamless setup, MGID is committed to helping you achieve your holiday marketing goals.

Moreover, our cutting-edge contextual targeting capabilities offer a powerful tool for refining your holiday campaigns. By placing your ads in environments that are contextually relevant to the content, we ensure your ads are not only seen by the right audience but also at the right time.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to elevate your holiday campaigns — turn to MGID and embark on a season of marketing success.