Historically, the cost of digital advertising increases at the end of each year due to retailers capitalizing on gift-giving holidays and major retail sales events such as Black Friday. Adding the effects of the pandemic to the mix in 2020, the cost may be higher than anything the industry has experienced.

 In the past six months, businesses have been shifting budgets online to take advantage of the surge in digital media consumption while people are quarantined. Retailers specifically are moving away from in-store specials and focusing instead on virtual sales events.

 If you’re planning to make similar strategic adjustments, the top five paid social tips below will set you up for success this holiday season.  

1. Be proactive.

While most retailers are looking toward Black Friday and Cyber Monday, getting ahead of digital advertising long before then is key. Pinterest reported that “gift idea” searches first spiked in April of this year, indicating that customers are starting holiday preparation earlier than ever. Timing your promotions with this trend could help you avoid inflated costs while also reaching your target audience with deals and messaging before competitors.

 2. Building brand awareness.

While many advertisers focus on driving sales during the holidays, brand awareness always plays a pivotal role. Awareness objectives are typically less expensive than lower funnel objectives like clicks and conversions, which means you can reduce costs here. Additionally, Facebook reported that 60% of shoppers are more likely to explore new products during the holiday season than any other time of year. In short, this means building brand awareness is crucial to your bottom line.

 3. Create mobile-first ads.

Creative designed specifically for mobile devices has been a hot topic for many platforms in recent history. Today, square or vertical images and videos are considered best practices as they take up more real estate on screens and provide a better user experience. Facebook saw major growth from 2018 to 2019 by users who make holiday purchases on their mobile devices. Even more interesting is that Gen X and Boomers showed the most growth in this category, signifying a substantial multi-demographic shift from desktop to mobile.

 4. Don’t be afraid to rely on an algorithm.

Social media platforms are becoming smarter and more automated every day. While some advertisers are fully reliant on algorithms to optimize the performance of their marketing efforts, many are still skeptical. By allowing these platforms to do what they do, you can reduce costs and increase reach. Try running small, short-term tests for a cost savings analysis as well as long-term viability.

 5. Keep creative light.

The holidays will likely look and feel different for many people this year. Keep your creative uplifting and lighthearted to contrast the increasingly negative news they see every day. Consider, too, highlighting your business’ philanthropic efforts and how they impact local communities.

To learn more about Mindgruve’s paid social strategies, contact us.