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Flashy and expensive holiday campaigns are better, right? Making a huge splash will lead to bigger sales, right? Not all the time. High-end motion graphics, clever writing, and humor all help an ad go viral, which is fun, but may not necessarily rake in immediate holiday sales as desired.
Consumer-friendly brands on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Spotify have a clear ad and message leading to a clean site experience. Standing out this holiday means standing by the basics.
Focus on a key feature or category
When brands show a random smattering of items on Instagram or Snapchat, the ad comes off as disjointed and complex. Consumers don’t want complicated during the holidays.
Be specific when curating products. Think of how consumers search for gifts now that they have their giftees’ wish lists: Zip-around wallet. Waterproof shoes. Printed blouse. Handmade wreath. Leather boots. They use direct search terms.
Keds is luring in a new generation by mastering the enticing, tight ad on Instagram. The legacy footwear brand starts by showing groups of water-resistant shoes or ‘glamourous’ shoes, featuring a promotion, and offering free shipping both ways. Consumers can opt to shop within the app or go the website. The transition is seamless. The site experience is clean. The consumer can search by feature, size, gender, occasion, and more. And all the current promotions and offers are outlined along the side of the page.
Keep “gifts for” buckets in the product copy and generic search
Search phrases such as ‘stocking stuffers, gifts for mom, gifts for men, and games for families’ spike over the holidays—which means tons of brands will be plastering these terms all over their main messaging. We suggest, instead, placing these phrases in product titles and descriptions. Your products will still be found and will stand out.
When the product lineup and product pages are strong enough, brands may not even need to reference gift-giving in the ad itself. On Instagram, L.L. Bean showcased different ads with product assortments by category, such as winter coats, rugged boots, and cozy accessories. Without even stating the word “gift,” these items are clearly products intended to give and get.
Show, and tell
When it comes to YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, users are seeking inspiration. Think of ways to quickly illustrate how they or their gift recipient would use the product and record. Then, use the video or image both in the ad and upload into the product content.
Tarte cosmetics has a prolific YouTube channel. For givers looking to gift makeup, these videos help pinpoint the products by personality, occasion, skin tone, and more. The product names and features are clearly verbalized and listed in adjoining product content.
Make sure the placement makes sense
Spotify can be extremely targeted and specific by using music preferences to align ad messaging. Brands like Baby Einstein and Disney both have Spotify music channels year-round. Baby Einstein also has a Christmas music channel. When it comes to parents or caregivers shopping for their kids, these brands lean on their iconic and strong branding and forego the need for outright ads.
Caution: Ensure the placements are cohesive. Planting an ad for The Haunting of Hill House on the Baby Einstein and Disney channels is out of place, and certainly scares the little ones enjoying the channel (true story!).
Finally, include an enticing promo
When it comes to social media, go the promo route, not the sale price route. Promotions will lure consumers and helps track conversion sources, as you know. Showcasing sale pricing, however, portrays your brand as a sale brand, especially to first-time shoppers. Sale pricing over promotions runs the risk of consumers expecting prices to be slashed every time they shop the brand.
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