7 Tips for running successful holiday advertising campaigns

The holiday season is one of the most important times of the year for small businesses, accounting for the majority of sales and a large portion of annual revenue. 

But while the season brings tidings of great discounts and sales, it also brings its fair share of challenges to the local market. New target audiences altered shopping behaviors, and a flood of advertisements from competitors are just a few of the challenges small businesses face during this time of the year. 

In order to maximize how much your business gets to take home, you need to design your ads specifically for the holiday season. Here are seven tips for designing great holiday ads to capture your customers’ attention.

1. Your target audience may change during the holidays

One of the biggest seasonal changes happens within your target audience. Unlike the rest of the year, your customer isn’t shopping just for themselves during the holidays. They’re on the hunt for great gifts for friends and family, making them much more willing to purchase products from new brands.

Also keep in mind that your customers are trying to buy as many gifts as they can with a limited budget, so they’re more drawn to promotions and sales events. Make sure your ads emphasize the holiday bargains your business is offering to capture shoppers’ attention quickly.

Lastly, don’t forget about the entirely new group of customers visiting your store: the friends and family of your usual customers looking to buy them a great gift. Avoid creating ads with jargon or industry slang that would be hard for these new customers to understand.

2. Visually capture the holiday spirit

Did you know that about 65% of the population are visual learners? That means they remember information best when they can see it. 

The images you use for your ad will have a big impact on its overall success. We recommend selecting a few different holiday-themed images and publishing several versions of your ad so you can see which images perform best with your target audience. 

Some of the most successful types of images are those of people using the product, people doing an activity your target audience does often, and pictures of pets. Who doesn’t love a cute, furry friend showing up in their feed?

3. Keep it simple

Don’t make your ad overly complicated. Holiday shoppers are in a hurry because they don’t want to miss out on a good deal, so keep your text short and to the point. Few customers will take the time to read a bunch of copies to find out what you’re offering. Pairing a clever phrase with your call to action is enough to capture their attention and convey your message in a matter of seconds. 

Don’t forget to also have your ads match the aesthetic of the holiday season. This could be as simple as adjusting the text to be in holiday colors or throwing in a pumpkin or snowflake to the design. These elements help your customers quickly know which holiday the ad is for and when the sale or promotion is taking place.

4. Offer something special

Everyone loves to feel special! One way to help your ad stand out from the crowd is to offer your customers something they don’t usually get the rest of the year. This could be limited-time savings for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, a special discount code given exclusively to shoppers who click on your ad in OfferUp, or a promotion where they show your ad in-store and get something for free with their purchase. 

Offering your customers a little something extra around the holidays can help push them to complete their purchase now rather than holding out for a better deal later in the season.

5. Highlight items at impulse-buy price points

During the holidays, shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases rather than risk missing out (FOMO) on a great deal. Take advantage of this and highlight products at price points that are impulse-buy friendly. You could run mini-campaigns advertising the “best holiday gifts under $20” or “gift ideas for dad under $50.” 

Customers are much more likely to see a $20 product and buy it on the same day than they are to shell out several hundred dollars on a big-ticket item.

6. Create a sense of urgency

Don’t forget the sense of urgency in your ads! Do you have a limited supply? Say so. Is your store closing early for the holidays? Point out that it’s a limited-time sale.

The holidays are a busy time of the year, and your customers have a lot on their to-do lists. Adding urgency to your ads by highlighting sale end dates and limited quantities can help move visiting your store higher up on their to-do list, making it a priority instead of just a nice thing they would like to do soon.

7. The best ads are stagnant

Avoid having a stagnant ad by updating it throughout the holiday season. Ads aren’t often perfect the first time they’re published, so it’s important to keep tabs on your ad’s performance and make adjustments as needed. You should always be testing out new text options, images, and colors, then optimizing your ad based on the results. 

Remember, great ads are created through trial and error, so keep adjusting until your ads are achieving their maximum potential.

Reach holiday shoppers with OfferUp Ads

Holiday shoppers are starting their search earlier each year, so it’s best to start designing your holiday ads as soon as possible. 

As a small business, you’ll find the most success by focusing on shoppers in your local market who are willing to travel to your store to make a purchase. 60% of customers are looking to shop more at local businesses this holiday season. What better way to reach them than by advertising directly to local customers on OfferUp?

Contact the OfferUp team today to learn more about how we can help you with your advertising efforts this holiday season. S