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How the Holidays Affect Your Digital Marketing


Many holidays throughout the year lead to disruptions to the typical media cycle but none more so than Black Friday and the December holidays, including Christmas. During the end of the year, consumers change their behavior and the cost-per-click on digital banner, YouTube, other streaming video and SEM ads can rise. While many businesses see this part of the year as their prime money-making time, just as many are unaffected by the holiday rush. With holiday offers creating a noisy advertising market, many companies are left wondering how to continue their marketing plans. Here are a few tactics that can keep your name in the minds of your target audience and not be lost in the holiday clutter.

Companies that don’t benefit from the holidays

While B2C retail and e-commerce companies see big bumps in business during the holiday season, there are other types of companies for whom December is just business as usual. These typically include B2C companies with more complex products with a longer consideration period before purchase, items that aren’t often gifted, or commoditized items with slim margins that make offering discounts difficult. Additionally, B2B companies can see a slowdown at the end of Q4 as business decision makers take time off for the holidays or are finalizing budgets for a new fiscal year.

Maintain awareness during the holiday season

If you’re one of these businesses that isn’t a holiday heavy hitter, here are a few tactics to consider to maintain your brand awareness during this noisy advertising season.

Find small ways to be festive

The holidays are on everyone’s mind during November and December and there’s no use denying it. Consumers look forward to seeing festive touches like holiday-themed Google doodles. Lean into the holiday spirit by adding small festive touches to your messaging, too. Share holiday-themed banners, images and posts on social media to grab attention and join in the festive mood.

Prepare for a cost increase

Auctions for digital ad space get crowded with B2C companies offering deals to holiday shoppers, and digital platforms like Facebook are going to prioritize the ads backed by big budgets. Set your expectations appropriately and expect to see your cost-per-click go up in November and December and your overall impressions decrease. If you’re running SEM ads, you can try to use more negative keywords to further narrow your audience to avoid unnecessary bids.

Lean in to your owned channels

When the cost of advertising rises, give more attention to your owned channels of communication, especially your email list. Email is a great tool for keeping in touch with customers and prospects during a hectic season. Send useful, seasonal content in your emails to provide a sense of connection in this busy time. Depending on your brand, you could offer holiday recipes, travel tips or mental health tips.

In this season of giving, share with your email subscribers how your company gives back to the community during the holiday season. Additionally, it’s a great time to express your gratitude to your existing customers and clients by sending a heartfelt note thanking them for their business.

If you’re looking to adjust your advertising and marketing strategy for the holidays (or beyond), B&Y can help. Start a conversation with us today to see how we help you meet your goals.