November and December together create a huge spend season, and this year started off strong during the Thanksgiving weekend. With a little more than three weeks until Christmas, there are several steps your small business can take to make the most of digital marketing tools, from advertising on social media to producing engaging videos for your customers.
Retailers Roll Out the Big Bucks on Facebook Ads This Black Friday
Despite the recent drama with Mark Zuckerberg and reduced app usage among young Americans, marketers spent more money than ever before on Facebook ads leading up to Black Friday 2018. Rather than going with the typical television ad spots, companies (especially retailers) flocked to Facebook for ads in News Feeds, Stories, and Messenger. One possible contributor to this shift is the midterm elections: TV ad spots were filled more than usual with political ads, forcing companies to turn to social media for their advertising.
Businesses also decreased emphasis on the “one-day-only” aspect of Black Friday, and instead offered deals Thursday through Monday, online and offline. In fact, retailers spent about 7% less on TV ads using the term “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” than they did last year.
The conventional timeline of Black Friday has morphed over the years so that many stores now start their special offers Thursday evening. A study by Kantar Media suggests that this format will continue to expand and include a whole weekend of sales, rather than just one day.
Takeaway: In order to stay ahead of the competition, businesses should plan to allocate higher funds specifically to Facebook ads in the weeks leading up to Black Friday.
Google and Disney Partner Up
Two of perhaps the most influential companies in America are teaming up in a “global strategic relationship.” That’s right, Google will now handle all of Disney’s digital video and display advertising through Google Ad Manager. This includes all of Disney’s brands and properties, including ABC, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.
This is larger than just pop-up or banner ads — it includes mobile apps, live events, and connected smart TVs. An industry executive even said the relationship would earn Google tens of millions of dollars each year, over three years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Takeaway: This partnership is one prime example of how corporations are starting to understand that advertising exclusively on TV (or any other medium) isn’t going to cut it. More and more people are dropping their cable subscriptions and watching videos online, either through streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu or on social media sites like Facebook, IGTV, and YouTube.
Important Video Trends to Keep in Mind This Holiday Season
Because of this move away from traditional cable subscriptions, it’s more important than ever to create compelling, action-driven videos that will move customers toward your brand. Many businesses spend high portions of their ad dollars around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this means nothing if they don’t use these spends to create and distribute effective videos.
When determining which videos to create or use in your advertising strategy this December, remember these tips:
- Take Advantage of Shoppable Photos and Videos – Instagram recently gave businesses the option to post shoppable images, where users can click on an image, see the different items that can be bought, and tap them to go directly to the purchasing website. Advertisers can also create different versions of ads that target specific locations or age groups (L’Oréal did this during their Giorgio Armani campaign and directed viewers to their nearest retailer).
- Don’t be Afraid of Full-Length Features – If there’s any time of year that someone will sit down and watch a one-hour ad, it’s during the Christmas season. This type of video isn’t a conventional ad, but instead incorporates the brand into a short film. For example, last year, H&M created a movie with Nicki Minaj that featured their clothing, but downplayed the whole-advertising bit and instead focused on connecting with viewers through emotion.
- Switch it Up With Short Bits – To vary your strategy, try incorporating 6-second ads that anyone can sit through (it’ll be over before they even realize it’s an ad). While this may seem counter-intuitive, it does the job of getting your name out there. Instead of using an emotional approach, focus on the theme of the holidays and having interesting but uncluttered visuals so your brand comes across clearly. Here’s one example from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats:
And here’s a simple but cute one from Airbnb:
Quick humor is another easy way to connect with customers when you only have six seconds:
Takeaway: This Christmas season, don’t underestimate the power of video.
If you want your business to stand out from others and make a lasting impression on consumers, contact the LeadBuilder team. From search engine optimization to social media marketing, our team is determined to get you the highest brand awareness and return on investment.
Liz MacLean is an Inbound Marketing Specialist with experience managing social media and creating content for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. She is an award-winning writer who has produced photographs and articles about cooking, clothing, nature, and fitness for local magazines and newspapers.
Image via iStock