Are You Taking Advantage of Digital Advertising for the Holidays?Katie Pray
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Schools are back in session (somewhat), the nights and mornings are getting cooler, and the sun is setting earlier. Personally, I like to get every last bit out of summer that I can and consider summer to begin on Memorial Day weekend and go until midnight of the first day of Fall, but once September 22nd rolls around, we are officially into Fall. With the change of seasons, it creates for great scenery with the leaves changing, going to the apple orchard and carving pumpkins, and it also is a great opportunity for digital advertising.
If you haven’t started, now is the perfect time to start planning for all that is to come in 4th quarter. While we are still a bit away from the big holiday rush, that particular time of year is approaching pretty quick! Halloween is right around the corner, and then we start looking at Black Friday which then catapults us right to the holy grail of digital advertising which is holiday shopping. With more people doing more online shopping now because of stores closing or changing the way they operate by offering curbside pick up, digital advertising is a great way for businesses to get their name and story out to the masses.
Halloween may not exactly be considered a formal holiday, but it is a market that people spend a good chunk of money on. Last year there was about $8.5 million spent on Halloween and that money is coming from Halloween costumes for adults, kids, and pets, Halloween decorations, Halloween parties, Halloween candy, Halloween movies, and even activities for people to do like haunted houses and hayrides. Using digital advertising is a great way to capture that audience and show them targeted ads for what your business is selling. For example, you could utilize behavioral targeting with Facebook and Instagram and show ads within the news feed of users that have shown certain behaviors that you are interested in targeting. You could also use carousel ads to showcase a series of popular costumes or other Halloween products that you might carry. More than one in three people get their inspiration for a costume from an internet search. The biggest online sources of ideas were Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook’s and Instagram.
Here are some of the targeting categories that are available to target people for Halloween on Facebook and Instagram:
Facebook & Instagram Targeting Categories:
- Haunted Attraction
- Haunted House
- Halloween Costumes
- Halloween Horror Nights
- Horror Movies
- Parents of Young Children
Native/Behavioral Display/Pre-Roll Targeting Categories:
- Halloween Candy Buyers
- Halloween Costume Buyers
- Halloween Super Shoppers
- Halloween Products
- Halloween Party Supply
- Halloween Decorations
- Halloween TV Specials
- Halloween Enthusiasts
- Holiday Entertainment Lovers
- Horror Enthusiasts
- Horror Movie Fans
- Parents of Young Children
The nice addition to these different strategies is that you can target not only by categories, but you can also target by Keyword, using Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Retargeting
With Keyword Targeting, we are showing ads to people that go to webpages that contain the keywords related to your business. For example, if Spirit Halloween is doing a keyword campaign, some of the keywords they might target could be “Halloween”, “costumes”, or “scary costumes”. If I were to Google something along the lines of “homemade Halloween costumes” and click on the link in the organic listings, I have the potential to see the Spirit Halloween ad on that website because that article contains the keywords they are looking to target.
With A.I., we are using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad. One way to think of artificial intelligence is like a funnel; the targeting starts wide and gets narrower as the machine learning algorithm gets more data about who/what is causing clicks and conversions. Another way to wrap your head around A.I. is to think of it as a broom; it “sweeps up” the people you might have missed with Behavioral Targeting because they aren’t showing that behavior yet, or the people you might have missed with Keyword Targeting because they aren’t searching for that information yet, and then it finds more people like those that show interest in the ad. The machine learning technology is looking at overall pacing to make sure the impressions goals are being met and it is optimizing towards when users are online and engaging with the ad.
The final strategy that comes along with Native, Display, and Pre-Roll is Retargeting. Retargeting is a great strategy because if someone has already been on your website, they have shown that they are interested, so we want to continue to target them, which is exactly what Retargeting does. If I am looking for a 101 Dalmatians costume for my chunky 2 year old and I go to Spirit Halloween and poke around but don’t buy anything, I can now be retargeted with a Spirit Halloween ad when I go onto other websites. Retargeting is really the foundation of any digital advertising campaign because it allows for the advertiser to have frequency with that consumer; people need to be brought back multiple times before they take the action that we want them to take.
Another product that offers Behavioral Targeting categories for Halloween is Mobile Conquesting. This is a great product to use because we can target the categories listed below, but we can also target people by where they have recently been. Maybe you want to target people that have been to a haunted house or a pumpkin patch. Continuing with our Spirit Halloween example, they could target by behaviors, but then could also geo-fence competitors like Party City or Target and serve Spirit Halloween ads while people are at those locations. After people leave those locations we can continue to serve them Spirit Halloween ads with geo-retargeting, and then also target their neighborhoods with geo-retargeting lookalike. Using this particular product we can also show how many people saw the Spirit Halloween ad, and then physically went into one of their locations- spooky!
Another really neat feature with Mobile Conquesting is Cross Platform Targeting. What this means is that we can serve someone an ad on their mobile device, but also then start serving ads to them on other devices like their desktop or laptop. You can utilize Cross Platform Targeting with Social Media, Native ads, Display ads, or Pre-Roll ads.
Mobile Conquesting Targeting Categories:
- Halloween Attractions and Events
- Haunted Houses
- Family Entertainment Centers
- Soccer Moms – People whose activities strongly suggest they are family focused moms. We could then use Cross Platform Targeting to reach those people when they go onto other devices with display, native, social or pre-roll ads.
- People that have recently been to Spirit Halloween Superstores
But wait! There’s more! Maybe Spirit Halloween has a loyalty program that you can sign up for so repeat customers can get deals. If they have collected physical addresses of people that have previously shopped at their store, they can use that with Mobile Conquesting Address Targeting. What would happen with this strategy is we would take that list of addresses and serve ads to people on their mobile devices while at their homes, but then continue to follow them with the Spirit Halloween ads when they went to the store, the bank, the park, etc..
The final product we are going to talk about is Amazon Premium Targeting. This is another product where there are so many different targeting options to choose from! The first is Behavioral Targeting where we would target people that have shown a certain behavior, and then show them ads on Amazon.com, Amazon owned properties, and other apps and websites that Amazon has partnered with.
Amazon Premium Targeting: We can target behaviorally with:
- In-Market Halloween Candy
- In-Market Halloween Costumes
We can also target specific Halloween products with Product Targeting and create an audience. So if someone has recently searched for a Halloween costume, Halloween decorations, Halloween lights, Halloween candy, or even Halloween makeup, we can create an audience and show them ads on Amazon.com, other Amazon owned properties, and other websites and apps that Amazon has partnered with. Amazon has so much data on its users and with 50% of U.S. internet users starting product searches on Amazon compared to Google, Amazon is a great platform to reach that target audience.
Once Halloween comes and goes, we are full steam ahead into Black Friday and Christmas shopping. For the 2019 US holiday season, retail e-commerce sales in 2019 topped out at $135 billion dollars, with $64 billion dollars of that being towards mobile retail e-commerce sales. Businesses can use the fact that people are moving more towards online sales as a way to target their core audience, and also get their name in front of the correct eyes. Here are some ideas on how to target Black Friday and holiday shoppers:
Display, Native, and Video Pre-Roll Behavioral Categories:
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shoppers
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday Online Spender
- Black Friday
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday Shopper – Consumer Electronics
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday Shopper – Apparel and Accessories
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday Movie Goers
- Black Friday Tech Hunters
- Black Friday Fiends
- Black Friday Shopping Enthusiast
- Black Friday Sportswear
- Black Friday Beauty Seekers
- Black Friday Fashion
- Black Friday Jewelry
- Cyber Monday Shoppers
- Small Business Saturday
- Affluent Christmas & Holiday Shoppers
- Christmas – Celebration Planners
- Christmas – Christmas Buyers – Christmas Buyers with Children
- Christmas – Decorating Enthusiasts
- Christmas – Gift Budget – $100-$199
- Christmas – Gift Budget – $200+
- Christmas – Gift Budget – $50-$99
- Christmas – Gift Buyers Shoppers – Mobile and Consumer Electronics
- Christmas – Time of Christmas Purchase – One Month Before Christmas
- Christmas – Time of Christmas Purchase – One Week Before Christmas
- Christmas – Time of Christmas Purchase – Two Months Before Christmas
- Christmas- Sports Enthusiasts
- Holidays – Hanukkah
- Hanukkah celebration planners
- Hanukkah decoration shoppers
- Holidays – Kwanza
Mobile Conquesting Behavioral Categories:
- Discount Shoppers
- Discount Department Store
- Christmas Lights & Decorations
- Christmas Lights & Decorations-Mfrs
- Christmas Lights & Decorations-Wholesale
- Christmas Stockings Christmas Trees
- Christmas Trees-Artificial (Mfrs)
- Christmas Trees-Wholesale
- Holiday Letters and Gifts
You can also utilize Mobile Conquesting for Black Friday by geo-fencing businesses and then continue to geo-retarget them for repeat business, or to drive foot traffic to your location. Maybe you have a list of loyal customers and want to get the word out about your Black Friday sales. You can utilize address targeting and address retargeting to serve ads on their mobile devices, and continue to serve them ads when they leave that location.
- Christmas Movie & TV Fans – Lifestyle
- Christmas Shoppers- Lifestyle
- Holiday Hosts- Lifestyle
- Holiday Books- In-Market
You can also use Amazon Product targeting to target certain products that you are interested in targeting. You could also use a list that you might have and create a custom audience on Amazon and serve ads to the address/email address that are matched with Amazon accounts.
While it is no surprise that most consumers will wait until the last minute to do their holiday shopping (did you see the category for “time of Christmas purchase” above?) you don’t want to be late to the holiday party. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to reach that audience before they start looking so that when they do, they will have already seen your ad and you will have top of mind awareness with that audience.