on November 24, 2020 Social Media Working in Social Media Social Media Tips

Everything You Need to Know About Holiday Marketing



 Believe it or not, somehow, the never-ending Monday that has been 2020 is finally coming to an end, and with it comes the Holiday season. For digital advertisers, the holidays can be both overwhelming and confusing, and this year is no exception- in some regards, it might be even more challenging. Because of COVID-19, marketers have seen more and more people heading online to do more of their shopping. A study by eMarketer showed that 47% of shoppers are more interested in doing their holiday shopping online compared to how they felt last year. eMarketer predicts that while there will be a 10.5 percent decline in total US retail sales for Holiday 2020, eCommerce will grow by up to 18 percent. With this much demand for online sales, you can bet that it will not be cheap to advertise in December. But just like a savvy holiday shopper, you can find ways to save money and get the most for your advertising dollars. 

First off, save the following dates. 

Make sure you are aware of when the competition will be the most strong and be strategic about your plans in these periods. These days will likely see very high CPMs (Cost Per Mille), and you may consider pausing your campaigns or lowering your daily budget (if you run daily budgets instead of lifetime budgets) if they don't NEED to be seen on these specific days. You can then save that budget and apply it to days that historically have seen lower CPMs.

Highest Probable CPM Days

December 2nd - Cyber Monday is the most popular online shopping day of the year.

December 3rd - Giving Tuesday.

December 9th - Green Monday, the second-largest online sales day in December behind Cyber Monday.

December 14th-17th - This is the shipping cutoff for many online retailers, with last-minute sales clogging up your newsfeed and causing your ads to be more expensive.

December 21st-22nd - This is the last weekend before Christmas, making it the most popular shopping period this year. 

Lowest Probable CPM Days

December 4th - Post-Cyber Monday & Giving Tuesday.

December 10th - Post-Green Monday.

December 25th - Christmas Day.

Second, make sure you set your objectives.

Take stock of past years' December performance. What worked? What didn't? Use historic data from Google Analytics to back up your strategy.

Be sure you have STRONG audiences built and establish clear targeting objectives (including geographically). With ad space being more competitive this month, now is not the time to be wasting your money on incredibly broad audiences; you'll want to maximize your dollars by targeting people that matter to your business goals. 

Could your business benefit from using a traditional winter or holiday focused audience? If so, consider using specific interests (such as menu planning and holiday decorating for party hosts) that you may not use in other months of the year. 

Establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) ahead of launch (a great idea any time of the year) and set clear guidelines for your business. By using data from past years' campaigns, you can reasonably prepare for performance expectations for this year. 

Third, think carefully about your messaging.

The way people celebrate the holidays this year will be vastly different than years past. Be considerate in your creativity and remember that for many people, getting together with family and other traditions may not be possible. Think of how people WILL be celebrating - there will be more opportunities for virtual visits, more presents shipped directly to their recipients, and even more unique ways to carry on the tradition. When faced with difficulty, people get creative and find ways to make things that are important to them happen. You should also get creative in your efforts and don't be afraid to think outside of the box. 

Before you launch, take a look at your landing pages and make sure they are the best they can be as well. It's a huge waste to have great ads, copy, and targeting set up only to have landing pages that aren't where they should be - which will cause viewers to bounce prematurely. 

Fourth, be prepared to optimize, optimize, optimize!

With CPMs rising and specific dates being hot for competition, be ready to optimize your campaigns daily. Be sure to break down your campaigns (probably by day for such a short period) to keep an eye on performance. If it helps, throw that data into a line graph as well to see trends visually. 

Watch your audience to make sure you're reaching the intended people and pay attention to your ad creative for fatigue. Don't be afraid to pivot and change things up. Consider having backup audiences, creative and copy on hand in case you need to implement it. 


By thinking ahead and planning for challenges in the holiday season, you can help your campaigns perform better and get more bang for your buck. And if you're tired of handling all this yourself, well, give us a call.

Mariah Black-Overholt

Mariah is a creative marketing professional with a passion for photography, design, and all things branding. Her savviness and curiosity to constantly learn new skills make her an awesome addition to the Chatterkick team. When she’s not launching social campaigns for Chatterkick, she’s a photographer focusing on love (and we love that).