Holiday Ad Pricing & Strategy Guide. Driving Holiday Sales Profitably With In-Feed Advertising

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Holiday Ad Pricing

& Strategy Guide

Driving Holiday Sales Profitably

With In-Feed Advertising

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2014 holiday spending is expected to grow 4.1% this year to $616.9 billion, representing almost 20% of the retail industry’s annual sales. Competition for advertising inventory and shoppers’ attention spikes around key dates as December 25th inches closer.

This guide highlights ad pricing and engagement trends on Facebook during key holiday shopping weeks as well as optimization strategies for achieving marketing goals profitably during the holiday season. Data in this guide is based on the advertising campaigns run through Ampush’s ad buying platform, AMP, during Q4 of 2013.

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Be aware of the key dates and events during the holiday season that drive fluctuations in ad pricing.

Key Dates for Advertisers

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Thanksgiving Day

Black Friday

Cyber Monday

Green Monday

Last Ship Date Panic Saturday

Post-Holiday Sales Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6

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CPM skyrockets in Q4 due to much heightened competition to reach both narrow segments and broad, general audiences of shoppers.

Retail and e-commerce advertisers will see CPM

spike between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, while mobile apps will see CPM continue to increase as the holidays draw nearer (note Ampush’s customer base skews toward mobile-first companies).

CPC drops below average during this time period

due to more people clicking more ads (see next slide for engagement trends).

Key Takeaways

CPM & CPC Trends in Q4

Holiday Pricing Fluctuations

160% 140% 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% -20% -40% -60%

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6

CPC Deviation from YTD Average CPM Deviation from YTD Average

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Key Takeaways

CTR / Engagement Trends

Holiday Engagement Fluctuations

With gifting top of mind, ads see the highest

engagement they will all year, with CTR jumping as much as 234% above the yearly average.

CTR notably fluctuates week-to-week, driven by

key shopping days and added urgency as the holidays draw nearer. 250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0%

CTR Deviation from YTD Average

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Week By Week

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• CPM and CTR are already far higher than average come early- to mid-November. Begin advertising early when competition is less intense.

• Set the stage for future purchases with ad

creative that gets people thinking about the upcoming holidays and prompts them to browse your product catalog or website.

• Use video. It’s more engaging, perfect for

driving awareness, and more targeted than a TV ad.

• Add image tags to your website early in the

quarter so you can track (and later retarget) as many people as possible.

Pre - Thanksgiving

Week 1 I November 17 - 23

Key Takeaways

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6

CPM Deviation from YTD Average CTR Deviation from YTD Average

250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50%

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• Consumer demand (specifically on mobile) spikes Thanksgiving morning and then again at dinner.

• Online purchases peak on Black Friday

(Cyber Monday is a close second). Allocate close to 25% of holiday budgets towards Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the weekend that follows.

• Target broadly to reach the widest

audience of potential customers at the most efficient spend.

• Incorporate holiday themes or offers

into ad creative from here on out. Ads with holiday themed-creative drive higher CTR than those without.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Week 2 I November 24 - 30

Key Takeaways

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6

CPM Deviation from YTD Average CTR Deviation from YTD Average

250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50%

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• CPM is the highest it will be all year, so raise bids significantly. Both CPM and CTR dip notably come Tuesday, but will remain high through the close of Q4.

• Retarget previous website visitors with

general or product-specific ads to drive them back to your site. Continue this through to Last Ship Day.

• Don’t forget mobile. Twenty five percent

of Cyber Monday online shoppers will place orders from mobile phones.

• Feature free shipping and low prices or

promotions front and center in ad creative.

Cyber Monday

Week 3 I December 1 - 7

Key Takeaways

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6

CPM Deviation from YTD Average CTR Deviation from YTD Average

250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50%

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Key Takeaways

• CPM and engagement creep up

as mobile apps boost spend. Spend remains high but flat for e-commerce advertisers.

• Focus retargeting efforts to reach the people that have not, but are highly likely to convert. Target shopping cart abandoners and people that have made product-specific searches.

• Exclude people that have already

made purchases to ensure budget is spent efficiently.

Green Monday

Week 4 I December 8 - 14

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6

CPM Deviation from YTD Average CTR Deviation from YTD Average

250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50%

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Key Takeaways

• Feature “Shipping ends (Date)” in ad

copy to capture the last of online shoppers (note CTR drops this week). Call out one-day or rush shipping if available.

• Bump up mobile ad budgets. Last-minute

shoppers turn to their phones to research products, prices, and places to buy.

• Drive shoppers in-store. Highlight

nearby locations or link ads to a website landing page with a “find your closest store” search tool.

Last Ship Date & Panic Saturday

Week 5 I December 15 - 21

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6

CPM Deviation from YTD Average CTR Deviation from YTD Average

250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50%

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Key Takeaways

• CPM and CTR drop dramatically

after Christmas.

• Capture post-holiday shoppers

looking to use

gift cards (the most requested holiday gift) with remaining budget.

• App installs spike Christmas

morning and the days that follow. Target new smartphone and tablet owners with mobile app install ads.

Post - Holiday

Week 6 I December 22 - 28

WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6

CPM Deviation from YTD Average CTR Deviation from YTD Average

250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50%

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L E A R N M O R E W A Y S T O G R O W Y O U R B U S I N E S S P R O F I T A B LY W I T H I N - F E E D A D V E R T I S I N G A T

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