Black Friday spending may have been more than $1bn lower in 2015 compared to 2014, but that meant one thing: plenty more shopping to be done.

To save marketers a headache during this busy period, we have created some top tips to help ensure your marketing campaigns are hassle free for the final burst of activity in December.

After all, consumers are ready to spend billions over the festive period (especially online!) so make sure you adjust your campaigns to make the most out of the opportunities available. 

1. Identify your target audience 

Identifying your target audience is key. This will vary across your range of products or services, but it’s essential you know what type of shopper each one is. Are they discount shoppers looking for online bargains? Or shoppers looking for a special present for a loved one?

Depending on what’s relevant to your business, focus your strategy into interest-based audiences. Such as:

  • Bargain hunters
  • Gift buyers
  • Cultural purchasers (buy what their friends buy)
  • Event purchasers (buy on the day)

For example, often people are only interested in a holiday purely because of the promotions. Instead of including the holiday name in your copy, prioritise your creative with what they’re interested in – money-off deals!

2. Convert early shoppers

By now, you’ll hopefully have sizable pools of potential customers who have been to your site, and who may or may not have already made a purchase.

This presents an opportunity to get those previous shoppers to come back and purchase when it really matters, especially during big promotional events. 

In some cases, customers will have made their Christmas shopping lists and are ready to buy, but are waiting to see if a better deal will come around. To increase conversions, marketers should create a sense of urgency and give customers a reason to buy now.

Push messages promoting events with discounts, plus “limited-time” and “lowest-price guarantee” messaging to counteract procrastination.

3. Create responsive copy

Creating ad copy for every holiday can become difficult to manage. But having a Christmas creative active on New Year’s Day can reflect poorly on your business. It’s important that you have a system in place to prevent this from happening.

Scheduling tools enable you to plot campaigns, groups, and creative at a specified date and time. So, if you’re planning on ringing in the New Year in New York, you can schedule your seasonal campaigns in advance and they’ll pause and re-activate while you’re out of the office. 

4. Use holiday landing pages

It’s an easy one but can have a real impact. Create landing pages and content on your site for the various festive events. If consumers are coming to your site looking for holiday deals, they are more likely to respond to a landing page that reflects that sentiment.

5. Exclude dates from bidding

Excluding dates from bidding allows you to leave out cost and conversion data for specified dates and date ranges.

This is useful during seasonal periods where accounts experience unusual performance, which can skew bid calculations. 

6. Retarget 

Your additional holiday marketing efforts will very likely attract new visitors to your site. These new visitors may have gone to several sites before and are certain to go elsewhere afterwards.

With so many online deals in December, it’s understandable how they could forget where they found that perfect product. Use retargeting to help jog their memory, bringing them back to the original page where they first saw your offer. Some marketing platforms don’t charge to sync retargeting lists you’ve built in AdWords. 

Each holiday attracts different search intent. Converting customers on Boxing Day could be listed as ‘Bargain hunters’, and customers converting a couple of days before Christmas can be listed as ‘Gift Buyers’. Building retargeting lists around your target audience will enable you to promote offers across audiences through display and search.

In late November, with the end of the year in sight, it’s well worth going back to your plan for the next month and making sure you’ve done everything you can to reach a range of audiences in a way which will capitalise on their specific intent.