Am I the only one noticing random retail advertisements across social media? You can really tell that the pressure is on to nail those final Christmas sales. In case you hadn’t noticed, the inventory available for digital ads comes at a premium price this time of year and it can cost a lot more to serve your ads up to your ideal audience! To make the most of your online marketing, here are a few ideas to consider:
Don’t waste your time on a crappy offer or promotion.
You read that right. You’re competing in a saturated marketplace; if you don’t have a competitive offer don’t waste your ad dollars advertising it.
Market to the right audience.
Digital marketing across networks has gotten more sophisticated, there is no excuse for ‘spray and pray.’ If you’re watching your budget, don’t serve up ads to cold audiences. Use retargeting to get in front of people who are already familiar with your products and services (e.g.: have visited your website in the last 30-60 days.)
Use designs that work.
Back in the day, when we used to do A/B testing for mail outs (yah, you read that right) we learned that just because an advertisement or flyer is pretty, does not mean it will perform well. If your focus is sales and not brand awareness, put your creative ego aside and go with what works. This doesn’t mean you need to totally compromise the consistency of branding (I know what Brand Police are like) but you need to find a middle-ground.
Think hard about your headline and copy.
Your ads are competing against not only competitors in your space, but other retailers. Put some real thought into the copy you will use. Think about your audience, benefits and highlights. What kind of problem does your product or service solve?
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” -David Ogilvy
Advertise on appropriate platforms.
After you put together your digital ad and are breaking down which networks to advertise on, oftentimes they’ll want you to do a blanket ad across all of their partner networks. (e.g.: Facebook will throw your ad over to Instagram; Google AdWords to Google Display Networks) however, if your people aren’t on Instagram, don’t waste your budget advertising there and likewise for Google. This is not to say you can’t be effective using the networks, just be aware of it so you can ‘check’ or ‘uncheck’ those options!
Watch your ads!
This deserves an exclamation mark because unlike the days of Christmas billboard advertising and mail outs, digital and social advertising allows you to pause, pivot and change at any point. So if you’re watching your ads and see that things are not moving in the direction you had hoped for, you can pull the plug. Don’t waste your advertising dollars on results that won’t get you to your sales goals.
One final point is to remember not to reserve your paid posts and advertising just for the holiday season, spread it throughout the year. Take the time to build awareness about your product or service well-ahead of the holiday season to make the most of your budget.
p.s.: Make sure to change your holiday hours and let your customers know!
Merry Christmas 🙂
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