What can you expect to see occur within your social media digital marketing campaigns in 2020 Q4?
Your organic reach will drop off. Most eCommerce brands save the bulk of their ad budget for the Q4 to capitalize on holiday shopping. This means more ads will take over social media newsfeeds leaving very little opportunity for organic posts from brands to get any visibility. Put simply, there isn’t enough ‘space’ in the newsfeed to show your everyday posts; paid promotion will take priority.
The cost to run paid ads will increase, more than it ever has before. Depending on your industry and niche, the average CPC typically increases more than 4X-6X between October and December. In some industries we’ve seen it rise more than 13X. When you advertise on social media, you are not just competing against your core-competition, you are competing against any brand, product or idea your target audience finds more interesting, entertaining or useful. With more businesses selling online, and more consumers shopping online, we forecast this increase in costs to be even more pronounced in 2020.
What can you do to plan for a successful 2020 Q4 season?
Start your holiday campaigns early. This is the most important tip for a successful 2020 Q4 marketing strategy. Nearly 40% of holiday shipping happens in the four weeks leading up to Black Friday which takes place this year on November 27th and Cyber Monday on November 30th. In previous years, 50% of holiday packages shipped over the week of Black Friday and into the first two weeks of December.
The Full Blast Creative digital team forecasts that 2020 holiday shoppers will shop earlier this
year, most likely online, and savvy brands should start seeding their Q4 campaigns in early
September to begin to capture a full-funnel of sales all quarter long.
Plan promotions to incentivize sales. Over 50% of Canadians expect retailers to offer discounts when shopping for the holidays. With an accelerated shopping timeline, increased ad demand, and slower restocking and delivery, your promotions could be an important differentiating factor.
Adjust your shipping deadlines and expectations. With increased online sales, we’ll also see an increase in delivery demand affecting your absolute last day to ship. In addition, if you ship to the U.S., the ongoing political attack on the United States Postal Service, along with common points of delay with U.S. Customs and Immigration may impact your delivery windows. Holiday shoppers want their gifts to arrive well ahead of Christmas and communicating to your customers when they can expect to receive your packages will be key.
Adjust your expectations and KPIs on what a good click through rate or conversion rate
is during the Q4. If you’re not willing to increase your ad spend, you’re going to have less traffic on your site, and less engagement over social media. For some brands, it may make sense to pull back on ads during this season and save your ad budget for immediately after Christmas where we see the cost per click and CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) drop back to “more normal” costs. Note, this advice might be more ideal for real-estate, insurance, and financial services who can use the time to invest in improving their SEO and content marketing strategies.