Unwrapping growth over the festive season | Meta | Open Mic – The Drum

There’s no doubt that we’re living in a time of transformation: from the way we work, to the way we connect and, crucially for brands, the way we shop – for ourselves and others. Here, Meta provides their top recommendations for brands to maximize growth over the holiday season, while meeting new consumer expectations.

Planning is critical for seasonal success. In Q3, brands need to act quickly to unlock Q4 growth. In the lead up to the festive season, strengthening consumer connections will be key. And, with 69% of media time across EMEA being digital, now is the time to embrace immersive technologies and captivating creative to bring customers closer than ever.

Maximizing the gifting season means building stronger foundations for brand loyalty and sales – particularly amid current economic conditions. Ultimately, there are big opportunities for brands to embrace shifts in consumer behaviors and spark joy for gift-givers this holiday season. Here, we give you key Meta insights to help you prepare for growth in Q4 and beyond.

Discovering the perfect gift

Personalization not only enables brands to delight existing customers with the products they’ll love, but, with the power of AI, it also allows you to find new audiences, wherever they are. This is essential considering that your Q4 shoppers aren’t typical shoppers.

For example, due to holidays with gift-giving traditions like Christmas and Hanukkah, 91% of holiday consumers are shopping for others rather than buying for themselves. Helping people find the perfect gift means capturing shopping motivations and uncovering new audiences: 89% of festive shoppers are likely to try new brands over the holiday season. Retargeting via Advantage+ Catalogue Ads Broad Audiences can help brands reach more than just prospecting customers but also audiences who are showing intent to purchase.

Strengthening data sources can also help you capture intent across surfaces, improving personalization. Meta’s Conversions API is a tool that can help you optimize ad targeting, decrease cost per action and measure results across our technologies. By uncovering festive shopping motivations, and refining their targeting strategy for broader reach, businesses can engage new audiences and convert customers over the season.

Create captivating campaigns

Avoiding creative fatigue at a time when sales messaging is high is crucial. It means captivating campaigns are key. And in today’s online ecosystem, it’s about mixing it up. In a recent Meta case study, creative diversification has been shown to drive 32% increased efficiency and 8% incremental reach.

Three of our growth levers are Spark AR, Reels and in-stream. These features are helping brands connect with customers and drive ROI. Over 2 billion people watch in-stream videos every month and 74% of in-stream ads are viewed to completion when our latest campaign recommendations are followed. More immersive technologies are also shifting consumer expectations: 71% of EMEA festive shoppers who watched or are open to using augmented reality (AR) agree it influences their purchases.

Whether it’s before, during or after the holiday period, we’ve found that immersive experiences act as multipliers for brand messaging. In fact, they’re 139% more effective at driving awareness, consideration and association across Meta technologies.

Inspire with creators

Creators have played a huge role in shifting consumer behavior: our research shows that creator marketing is twice as inspiring than traditional advertising, driving trust and authenticity. Creators defined Black Friday in 2021 across Meta technologies, in which we saw an 11x increase in branded content posts related to the mega sales day.

Branded content is fundamental to your holiday planning. Creators can help you engage existing customers and new shoppers with authentic content and a wider reach.

Offer seamless product discovery

For businesses, friction can be a significant threat during the holiday season: 80% of shopping carts were abandoned worldwide in March 2021 alone. Creating seamless experiences can reduce this friction and help consumers move from discovery to purchase.

Meta tools make holiday shopping easy: 68% of people surveyed say that Instagram ads with product tags provide a seamless shopping experience. Across multiple studies, we found that ads with product tags have a 33% lower cost per incremental conversion compared to business-as-usual ads. This means they’re a cost-effective way to help consumers find and buy the products they’re looking for with ease.

Prepare for the holiday season

This year, plan your holiday campaign for the most valuable moments, and capture the joy of gifting for your customers with captivating creative and a seamless discovery to purchase journey. By embracing shifts in consumer behaviours with personalized and immersive shopping experiences, brands can meet holiday expectations for a broader audience – setting themselves up for growth over the festive season and beyond.

Learn more about how to prepare for the festive season here.

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