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Taboola New Year's Resolution Christmas

The overlooked quarter: How to drive sales after the 2022 holiday season ends

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November 25, 2022 | 6 min read

As the year draws to a close, all focus is on holiday campaigns, with Black Friday and Christmas presenting the biggest shopping opportunities of the year

As the year draws to a close, all focus is on holiday campaigns, with Black Friday and Christmas presenting the biggest shopping opportunities of the year. Still, there's a valuable but oft-forgotten shopping quarter that's easy to overlook: so-called "Q5", running from the 26th of December until the middle of January.

It's understandable why Q5 slips under the radar. It doesn't quite fit in with Q4, yet exists in that strange limbo before Q1 really kicks off. But while everyone eats their body weight in mince pies and takes extended leave over the holiday period, retailers still have a major opportunity to drive sales.

In fact, Q5 creates a perfect storm for savvy advertisers: reduced competition as many brands turn off their campaigns after Christmas, coupled with increased engagement as consumers spend a lot of time online consuming content and shopping Boxing Day sales (both online and in-store).

That means — if you plan for Q5 accordingly — you can harness just the right moment to scale campaigns at a cheaper cost-per-click.

Here's how to make the most of Q5 this year.

Boxing Day: Promote clearance sales and final offers

While Boxing Day revenues fell significantly in 2021 due to concerns about the Omicron variant hampering in-person shopping, they may experience a resurgence this year. That's because the cost of living crisis and potential recession will drive people to seek out deals and sales.

According to YouGov, two-thirds of Brits say inflation will affect their holiday shopping this year. In fact, many may even wait until Boxing Day to make large purchases in an effort to cut costs.

Skimlinks data from 2021 shows that electronics are especially popular Boxing Day purchases: TVs, washing machines, hair dryers and electric toothbrushes all appeared amongst the top 10 most purchased items on the network last Boxing Day. Overstock seasonal items such as skincare gift sets and beauty advent calendars were also popular, as people treated themselves to heavily discounted products in post-holiday sales.

So, as Christmas shipping deadlines pass, retailers can shift to promoting their end-of-year deals and final seasonal offers. For example, brands might use campaign language such as “last chance" or “final clearance" to create a sense of urgency and motivate shoppers to convert.

Take UK furniture retailer Danetti, for instance. The brand offered 15% off all beds and mattresses to drive sales after Christmas:

Retailers can also use retargeting methods to reach consumers who previously engaged with their content and products, but didn't take the plunge to buy at full price. For instance, you might launch an ad that says, "Still Have Your Eye on [Product]? Get It Now at 20% Off."

New Year's Eve: Feature your products in end-of-year roundups

Even after Boxing Day, the season for celebration isn't over. There's still an opportunity to create festive campaigns centered around New Year's celebrations. For instance, you might launch sponsored content about New Year's Eve outfit inspirations, gift guides, or party recipes.

The period between Christmas and New Year's is also a good time to publish end-of-year roundups featuring your best-selling products. If you're not creating your own content, you can partner with publishers to get your products featured in their e-commerce-focused end-of-year posts. A skincare brand, for example, might team up with a trusted beauty publisher to be included in their “Best Skin Care Products of The Year" list.

There's no need to start from scratch either: according to Skimlinks data, only three of the top 10 most revenue-generating articles on the 26th of December 2021 actually featured "Boxing Day" as a keyword. The rest were evergreen content such as buying guides, repurposed for the event.

Marie Claire UK launched a similar article in 2021, including affiliate links from brand partners:

New Year's Day & January: Speak to New Year’s resolutions

Heading into the new year, advertisers can share content with themes focused on refreshing, resetting, and getting organized for 2023. The Taboola Creative Shop — a global team of expert analysts, copywriters, and designers — found that the most successful ads during this time period included bright images, aspirational messaging, and a focus on home goods, winter cleaning and organization, DIY and fitness products.

Brands whose products align with these themes might find success promoting how their products can help customers fulfill their New Year's resolutions. This can even apply to finance products like insurance: people may be looking to insure new items acquired over the holiday period, or simply get more organized with new life, health or car insurance plans.

A great example of a brand using this type of strategy is VAHA, a German maker of smart fitness mirrors, who used sponsored content to drive sales in January 2021. Looking to expand beyond search and social, VAHA worked with Taboola to launch native campaigns across premium publisher sites, targeting consumers looking to get fit in the new year. They used retargeting tools to reach people who'd already engaged with their content on other channels to drive them to convert. As a result, VAHA drove a 2x increase in conversions, 338% increase in engaged site visits, and 112% lower CPC than on search and social.

When building campaigns for Q5, it's also important to consider that customer behaviors are different at this time of year, as people shift from their regular routines. Based on Taboola data from January 2022, brands have an opportunity to run ads later in the day — between 8pm and midnight — when spend is lower but clickthrough rates and engagement are still high.

Use Q5 to keep driving conversions

The festive season isn't over after December 25 — or even January 1. Through Boxing Day, New Year's, and the following few weeks, advertisers can launch targeted campaigns that match customer behaviors and interests at scale, and take advantage of reduced competition as most marketers take the opportunity for a break.

Especially amid growing concerns about inflation and a recession, shoppers will be looking for deals so they can purchase gifts without breaking the bank. With the right data and creative strategies, clever retailers can meet these customers with relevant content in Q5 — and set themselves up for success in the New Year.

Taboola New Year's Resolution Christmas

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