It’s nearly ‘that time’ of year again. So what are the key things to consider if you’re still putting the final touches to your digital marketing strategy for the holiday shopping season?

The pace of change in digital marketing means there are always new trends and opportunities to consider as retailers think through their plans to maximise sales at the busiest time of the year.

Digital Marketing for the Holidays

Look again at how you approach Facebook ads

Facebook knows that retail advertisers come to it to drive business goals, such an in-store traffic and website clicks, so it recently changed the definition of cost per click (CPC) to only include clicks to websites and apps meaning you don’t need to pay for ‘likes’, shares and comments.

The change will help retailers better understand how Facebook ads are delivering on their goals.

But bear in mind that social clicks can increase engagement and help future sales, so, dependent on your overall aims, brands should look at both sales and engagement clicks when it comes to Facebook advertising.


In paid search, start by looking back, then adapt

Shopping patterns can be unpredictable, so start with a paid search strategy based on analysis of historical seasonal data.

But don’t be afraid to adapt it as the season goes on in order to produce more optimal results.

Adjust bids to target emerging opportunities – whether from market trends, external events such as bad weather driving shoppers online (the weathermen are predicting one of the coldest winters on record) or activity by rivals.

At the same time there will be heavy competition on key dates, so set aside sufficient budget to ensure you are visible on these.


Integrate search and social

Understanding the links between consumer activity on social and paid search is a proven method of delivering results.

Running campaigns in tandem has been shown to increase ROI, while analysis of what is working on social advertising can be used to expand your paid search keyword targets.

At the same time you can use search intent data to refine your social advertising, for example, by using Facebook Custom Audiences to retarget consumers who click on paid search ads.

If you’re already promoting visual images of your products via Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to stimulate higher engagement in searches, you can then re-use the most successful PLAs by repurposing them as Facebook ads, spreading your resources wider.


Pay even more attention to mobile

Last Christmas mobile devices (phones and tablets) accounted for 48% of clicks and 28% of conversions across global retail paid search advertising last season.

All the figures show this trend is set to intensify this shopping season, so you should keep focusing on mobile publishers.


Every Christmas competition seems to increase in online marketing. However, by following these four tips, advertisers can ensure they have a successful Christmas, and a Happy New Year.