With more people turning to online shopping and product research to avoid the in-store crowds this holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to consider new digital marketing channels to maximize holiday revenue. While Google and Facebook are obvious choices to create the foundation of a digital marketing mix, YouTube advertising should also be considered an integral part of your holiday strategy by more brands.

YouTube campaigns can provide many benefits for brands during the holidays, including increased awareness for gift options, growth of remarketing cookie pools, creating an emotional connection to your brand, and expanding the reach of promotional messaging.

Reach your consumer where they are this holiday season with YouTube ads. Image via Pexels.

Reach your consumer where they are this holiday season with YouTube ads. Image via Pexels.

Showcase Your Top Gifts

YouTube video ads are a great opportunity to build awareness about the gift options you offer. Past customers may be a fan of your brand personally but haven’t considered your products as gifts, or perhaps don’t know about gift-specific offerings. For new prospects, data from google shows that 70% of shoppers said they were open to buying from new retailers during the holidays last year. Compelling and engaging video creative can tap into that open-mindedness and generate new, lasting brand loyalists – not just with the recipient, but the gift-giver, too.

To improve relevance, you should create videos that feature gifts for different demographics, then match targeting with the video content. For example, a video featuring top gifts for men could be targeted using custom intent audiences for broad research keywords such as ‘gifts for dad’ or ‘gifts for husband.’

Grow Your Remarketing Cookie Pools (Or Take Advantage of the Ones You Currently Have)

Most retailers should put together holiday-themed ad creative and landing pages for gifting. Get even more use out of these resources by using YouTube to drive new research-oriented traffic to your website, thereby creating larger remarketing audiences. Though few it’s likely that few visitors will buy on their initial visit to the site from a YouTube ad, you can provide incentives for joining email alerts for holiday deals, or serve remarketing ads to them across channels, even on Facebook or Display.

YouTube Remarketing is also a fantastic way to take advantage of your current remarketing audiences that are likely growing due to a lift in traffic around the holiday season. In addition to re-engaging with recent non-converting visitors, consider advertising to last year’s holiday customers using Customer Match lists. We’ve seen YouTube Remarketing be one of the most effective drivers of direct sales, with an ROI/CPA comparable, if not better, than non-brand paid search!

Finally, don’t forget about making audience lists for Video Ad Viewers. People have been learning about your brand all year, and a simple reminder can kick-start your inclusion in a lot more gifting searches. These audiences can be used as an audience overlay in Google Search campaigns and as a remarketing audience in YouTube campaigns. Once your YouTube ads have been running for a few weeks, you will have a good audience of potential customers that give automated bidding strategies another auction-time signal for search keywords or that can be retargeted with another YouTube ad to close the sale. You’ll also get a bonus of directional data for how YouTube ad views affect the propensity to convert by looking at conversion rate data for the audience compared to the campaign or account average for your SEM campaigns.

Create an Emotional Connection With Your Customers

There are numerous studies that have been conducted to show how a consumer’s emotional connection with a brand impacts their likelihood of purchasing. According to an article from Psychology Today, “Advertising research reveals that emotional response to an ad has far greater influence on a consumer’s reported intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content.”

By its nature, the holiday season comes with strong emotional ties. Many people fondly remember the time spent with family and the joy of giving and receiving gifts with loved ones. By creating video ads around moments like these, you’re prioritizing your customer over your brand – key to the ‘Relate’ concept in our Captivate, Relate, Associate framework for effective video creative detailed in our Performance Marketer’s Guide to YouTube Ads.

In 2019, one of the top-viewed YouTube ads was Cost Plus World Market’s ‘Find Your Tradition’. The ad tells a heartwarming story about keeping family traditions alive, even though they may look a little different over time. This message is inclusive, expanding the number of people that will relate to it, and these emotional connections can create longer-lasting positivity with your brand.

Use Video to Feature Promotions

One of the hallmarks of the holiday advertising season is an abundance of sales and promotions. Early in the holiday season, you can build email lists with enticing opportunities to get special holiday offers, early access to deals, or gifts with purchase. Then, when sale periods hit, you can switch to direct-response ads meant to drive sales. With new tools like YouTube’s Video Builder, creating simple and effective promotional video ads is easier than ever. By simply uploading existing image content and writing copy to match, advertisers can create new ads in minutes.

As you’re starting to prepare your holiday strategies this year, don’t miss out on a crucial opportunity to engage holiday shoppers. Make sure to consider YouTube and the various benefits it can offer for your brand as part of your media mix this holiday season. If you’re looking for help, reach out to our team for a strategic meeting!