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November and December are crucial for advertisers, brands, and publishers. After months of belt-tightening, consumers showed up in-store and online for the year’s biggest five-day shopping event: Cyber Week. Adobe Analytics reported that shoppers loaded up their carts and dashed through online checkouts tune the record-breaking tune of $35.4 billion.
Obviously, holiday shopping was a major trend this month, but what’s really important for advertisers and publishers to know is which products and verticals ‘sleighed’ and which news-worthy topics ‘reigned’ supreme. As usual, we turned to Skimlinks‘ November publisher data to unwrap readership trends and see what content drove consumers to click.
For a last-minute sales push, advertisers can use the insights to deck out their campaigns and boost engagement with relevant messaging, while publishers can create content that ‘shepherds’ users towards Santa-approved trends and gifts.
November’s top three search and readership trends were for:
- Tinsel-worthy artificial Christmas trees
- Merry and bright Black Friday Sales
- Taylor Swift Concert Tickets
There’s snow time like the present so let’s get into the details!
Ho, Ho, How About an Artificial Christmas Tree?
In the battle of faux versus fir, plastic Christmas trees are winning, hands down. Over 60% of American households opt for an artificial tree. Budget-conscious consumers can spend as little as $65 or up to $1,700 for more luxe ones. According to Nielsen Research, 39% of consumers snag their trees from major retailers like Target or Walmart, 10% make their purchases at home improvement stores, and another 10% buy from department or hobby stores.
Fake Christmas trees are appealing for many reasons. They are a better long-term financial investment, and there’s no need to water them or constantly sweep up pine needles. There are fake trees to fit any aesthetic, from natural looking to hot pink ones and upside-down trees to those with built-in, app-controlled rainbow lights.
The Takeaway: There really is an artificial tree for everyone, and based on readership data, people are searching and purchasing the ones they want to trim year after year.
Advertisers, there’s still time to make a few more synthetic tree sales. When structuring your creative, point out the advantages of artificial trees, promote the best-selling ones, and target younger shoppers as they are more likely to buck the traditional tree.
Publishers, if you rely on ‘evergreen’ content, make sure to light up those articles with a few of the latest, trendiest trees being offered. With consumers trying to stretch budgets further this festive season, include faux tree options at every price point and ones that can be purchased at popular mega stores.
This article celebrates the season by rounding up a wide range of real, fun, and funky options.
Black Friday Sales Rake in the Green
Sure, there are various holiday sales all year long, but none come close to the eye-popping discounts retailers offer on the sacred shopping day known as Black Friday. According to NRF, over 87 million people logged onto one site or another to score presents for everyone on their nice list. By midnight, consumers had shelled out a record-breaking $9.12 billion (2.3% more than last year).
Skimlinks data revealed that the top-selling items fell into two categories: fashion and electronics. Consumers couldn’t resist the incredible sales from stylish brands like Vuori and Coach. Plenty of people should expect to find large-screen Vizio and TCL TVs along with Sonos speakers stuffed under their (artificial!) Christmas tree. The sales were so good that one TCL TV sold out in just one minute!
The Takeaway: The shopping season is far from over, and consumers are still searching for great deals on everything from stocking stuffers to big-ticket items.
Advertisers, as we noted in a previous post about holiday campaign strategies, your December ads should include messages about convenience, phrases like ‘still available,’ and visuals that show off product features.
Publishers can capture additional revenue from last-minute shoppers by using similar language in article headlines (think: Last Minute Gifts that Will Arrive in Time). Also, call out retailers that have extended their Black Friday deals or offer attractive Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options.
Check out these two examples:
‘Swifties’ Search High, Low, and Across the Internet
When Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour, her loyal followers (‘Swifties’) could hardly contain themselves. Fans of all ages scoured the internet to find out how to register for presale tickets. Those that didn’t get a coveted spot on that list searched for info about when general admission tickets would go on sale.
As we know now, Ticket Master is in hot water for the disastrous debacle that unfolded when some 14 million fans (and bots) tried to purchase tickets. The site couldn’t handle the traffic overload and crashed, leaving most Swifties frustrated and upset to the point of filing a lawsuit against the ticketing giant.
The Takeaway: Performers are hitting the stage once again after a few concert-less years, and fans are ready to rock out at live performances. Swift fans love to emulate her style and beauty, so advertisers should create campaigns featuring concert-worthy looks. Make sure you adjust your targeting to coincide with tour dates and locations to connect with local consumers at the right time.
Publishers can also feature Swift-approved fashion and beauty finds to help concert-goers dress to impress for the big event and point fans to second-hand ticket sites such as StubHub and Vivid Seats. And don’t forget to prepare content for 2023’s most highly anticipated concerts.
Take your cue from articles like this one:
Deliver Joy in December
November is all wrapped up, but ‘yule’ be delighted to know that consumers are only halfway done with their holiday shopping, and 12% don’t even start helping Santa prepare until December.
That presents an excellent opportunity for advertisers and publishers to stuff their revenue stockings with additional last-minute sales. Apply the trends and insights we’ve covered in this post, and you’ll be able to jingle your way right past your Q4 KPIs.