When it comes to marketing spending over the course of the year, all things are not equal. For many businesses, spending increases during the holidays. But for some small businesses, it’s not clear if higher holiday spending is warranted. If you aren’t already upping the ante around the holidays, learn why you should.
But don’t take my word for it. The numbers speak for themselves. Around the holidays:
- Ad impressions rise by 50 percent.
- Click-through rates increase by 100 percent.
- Direct traffic grows by 250 percent.
- Order value also increases by 30 percent.
- Conversion rates more than double, growing by 60 percent.
According to these numbers, you’d be out of your mind not to cash in on the increased activity. It makes sense that if there are significantly higher numbers of people clicking through to websites, visiting websites, ordering more product and spending more, your business should spend more than it does during non-holiday times of the year to attract these customers. But there’s more:
Retail spending reached the highest it had been in three years, with 2014 spending exceeding $53 billion – and that number doesn’t include mobile purchases. In that same year, spending increased 15 percent from 2013.
Here are some other insights related to mobile, paid search and sales that should inform your marketing and advertising budget.
Last year, about a third of all holiday purchases occurred on mobile devices. Content appearing on mobile often fits in at the top of the marketing funnel and consumers like to make purchases on their devices, making it a key to a successful holiday marketing strategy. On mobile, significant increases occurred with paid search sales (by 4x over the previous year), mobile impressions (520 percent), conversion rates (158 percent) and sales (284 percent).
Experts are predicting wildly successful sales for mobile this year, with traffic increasing by 56 percent, sales by 26 percent. Best practices involve using mobile marketing early on in the season, and then later as the holidays near. The platform’s sales peaked on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day.
Year over year, paid search sales rose by 13 percent in 2014, making it a hot ticket item for your marketing campaign. Mobile and search ads were wildly successful, outperforming other key factors like clicks and sales. Businesses should adapt their paid search ads to ensure maximum visibility over the holidays by employing effective sales copy and a competitive search strategy.
Cyber Monday holds the trophy for the best-performing online sales day around the holiday; however, paid search also grew on Thanksgiving Day in 2014. In general, businesses start promoting their products early to capitalize on the increase in orders, conversion rates and sales that usually occurs on Thanksgiving Thursday.
Consumers also perform searches for Cyber Monday and Black Friday early on in the season (in November). Over the month of November, queries for holiday-related searches like Black Friday continue to rise. Searches for Cyber Monday also grow incrementally, but take place in the latter half of November.
Once Cyber Monday and Black Friday pass, consumers start to use more generic search terms for holiday purchases. At this point, businesses can attract shoppers by offering educational content at the top of the funnel, product recommendations and shopping guides.
With so much riding on your business’ success, there’s no reason to ignore the holiday season’s potential. With more consumer activity — from search to traffic to conversions — your business can ride the tidal wave of holiday spending with a holiday marketing campaign that capitalizes on the much-anticipated season.