#12DaysofStrategy: Effective Messaging Timelines in the Run Up to Christmas

Now that the Black Friday week is over ad copy messaging is more relevant than ever, with the run up to Christmas being a key trading period for most retailers.

Ensuring messaging runs across all digital channels, such as Display and Paid Social, as well as offline such as print and storefronts, is crucial. It delivers a consistent message to consumers and reinforces brand recognition, especially when tied with a strong Christmas tagline.

Updating messaging as we move closer to Christmas helps to capture consumers at different stages of the buying cycle, from those still browsing in early December to the last-minute shoppers purchasing a few days before the holidays.

Early December

To show ads are current and relevant to the consumers shopping needs, include seasonal words in ad copy, such as Christmas or Boxing Day.

Bing’s 2015 Christmas analysis showed that including endorsements such as ‘As Seen on TV’ and ‘Recommended’ can have a strong impact. In addition, consider including payment options such as ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ or ‘Free Credit,’ if these options are available for big ticket items.

Alter messaging according to the keyword group or theme. For more generic gift keywords the call-to-action should be more focused on browsing the range of products available, as consumers searching using these terms may not have decided what they would like to buy. Emotional based ad copy is effective here and should be tailored towards the recipient.

Example: ‘Find The Perfect Gift For Mum This Christmas.’

Manufacturer or product keywords require a stronger call to action such as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Buy Today.’ Those consumers search for a specific product are more likely to have done their planning and now know what they would like to buy.

Bid multipliers now allow advertisers to split campaigns out by device. This makes it possible to tailor messaging for those exclusively searching on mobile. For consumers on the move use messaging to encourage store visits such as ‘Come Into Your Nearest Store Today.’ Additionally, including the price of products in headlines (if price-competitive) will allow consumers to make easy price comparisons and ultimately decisions.

The Week Before Christmas

In the final week before Christmas, use ad copy to highlight the urgency of making a purchase. This will capture those last-minute shoppers.

Messaging should include the last guaranteed delivery dates, and considering creating a countdown script to automate the process. After the last delivery dates have passed, alter the messaging to ‘Click & Collect’ if this option is available and the date is later than for last delivery.

Use device-specific campaigns to target mobile consumers with messages such as, ‘Still Available in Store,’ after delivery dates have closed. This will help to drive those final sales.

If you found these tips useful check out our first post What to do After Black Friday or check in on Monday for our third post in our ‘12 Days of Christmas Strategy’ blog series, “How to Maximise Audience Use.” We will be covering more topics over the series so stay tuned, and follow our progress on Twitter with #12DayofStrat!

12 Days of Christmas Strategy: What to do After Black Friday

Black Friday may be over but it’s just the beginning of the holiday shopping season. For many online retailers, we are now at the peak of trading, which can make or break your year.

This blog kicks off our ‘12 Days of Christmas Strategy’ series. For the next 12 [business] days we will be providing some of our top digital tips, and answering some of the frequent questions we received from brands.

To get you started, we have outlined 3 things you need to think about in the run-up to Christmas now that we’re through Black Friday.

  • Don’t Treat Black Friday as an Exception

There is a lot of work and custom analysis that happens purely for Black Friday, such as, when should you push mobile, when’s the best time to push bids, and which audiences to use. This analysis should apply to all your peaks over the next 2 months, not just for Black Friday!

  • Expect to See Your Sales Phase Change

Consumers may not be using the cyber weekend to purchase additional goods but rather redistributing sales from the Christmas period. Don’t isolate your performance by month, look at the period as a whole to deem it a success otherwise, December could be severely under index.

  • Keep Your Customers Engaged

The Christmas shopping period is getting longer and longer, and consumers are now saturated with marketing messages starting in October, so you need to be different. Change your messaging to prevent creative fatigue and keep consumers engaged with your brand through the whole period.

These 3 tips just scratch the surface when it comes to assessing performance and your approach to the festive period. We will be covering more topics over our ‘12 Days of Christmas Strategy’ blog series so stay tuned, and follow our progress on Twitter with #12DayofStrat!