Memorial Day means different things to different people. Some observe the holiday with a serious attitude, taking it for what it historically represents: a time to remember brave soldiers who died fighting for our country. Others see the holiday as a long weekend that marks the start of summer and a chance to score hot deals as most retailers offer deep discounts.
That contradiction in approaches to Memorial Day makes marketing for the holiday a bit of a minefield, but if you walk the path carefully, you can reap the commerce benefits without upsetting anyone.
In this post, we’ll look back at last year’s trends and explore what’s in store for this year. We’ll also reveal data-backed insights about the creative and targeting strategies you should use to capitalize on readership trends, boost brand awareness and drive sales.
May 30 is just a few weeks away, so there’s no time to waste. Let’s get to it!
Trends That Triumphed Last Year
While Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with family BBQs and unbelievable sales, it’s also a top weekend for travel. Last year, some 37 million US consumers did just that, according to eMarketer. While that number is lower than pre-pandemic days, it certainly shows a significant rebound.
Those who weren’t on the move took a different approach: they shopped until they dropped, scooping up limited-time deals. Statista data shows US-based retail e-Commerce sales peaked in Q2, topping out at $222 billion, likely helped to that height by Memorial Day sales and the start of summer.
Coresight identified the top five ways people planned to spend their hard-earned cash during the long weekend. Dining out took the top spot (30%), while 21% of consumers had in-store shopping in mind, and 17% intended to shop online.
Data from Connexity (a Taboola-owned company) showed that online shopping traffic started to spike on Friday (March 28), peaking the following day when sales were in full swing.
So, what types of content attracted the most traffic, and which products drove users to break out the plastic? Let’s break it down by reviewing the data from another Taboola company, Skimlinks.
Top-Performing Content for Memorial Day 2021: Deals, Deals, Deals
Publisher articles about deals on mattress and sex toys as well as store-specific deals generated the most clicks and commissions.
Top-Performing Merchants for Memorial Day 2021: Mattress Mania
Four out of the top five top merchants were mattress brands Allswell, DreamCloud, Leesa, Saatva, while the fifth was the closely related brand Brooklyn Bedding,
Top-Performing Products for Memorial Day 2021: Dreamy Beds
Unsurprisingly, holiday weekend deals on mattresses and bedding attracted many customers, and all the top products fell into those categories.
2022 Predictions: One Nation Under Sales
According to a survey of thousands run by Numerator, 80% of consumers plan to celebrate or mark Memorial Day in one way or another:
- 13% have travel plans
- 59% intend to kick off the unofficial start of summer with a BBQ
- 30% will shop online
Here’s a crucial piece of data to consider when planning your advertising campaigns and content: 89% of consumers feel that inflation will impact their holiday shopping. What should you do with that? Focus your content and campaigns around great deals and discounts on coveted items.
If you’ve read any of our other holiday marketing guides, you’ll have noticed last year’s trends centered around products that renewed home interiors and self-care and lifestyle products. We have it on good authority (you’ll see in the data below) that home goods and lifestyle items will be top sellers.
Prioritizing a good night’s sleep continues to drive customers to invest in mattresses and bedding so they can create an oasis-like bedroom. We’ve also realized how valuable outdoor settings are. With summer days fast approaching, sprucing up the backyard in time for a holiday BBQ is on everyone’s mind.
Our advice is to create thoughtful gift guides that round up deals for indoor and outdoor home décor and furniture pieces that make spaces feel cozy and luxurious.
News Trends: Red, White, and New
Consumers turn to the open web every day, searching for answers, advice, and recommendations. When you incorporate current search and news trends into your campaigns and content strategy, you’ll be serving consumers exactly what they are most interested in at the moments when they are in the right mindset.
To help you prepare in advance, we looked at Skimlink’s data and trends from last year, as that’s the best predictor of what will be popular this year.
Taboola’s US publisher network shows the following search trends emerging as of April 8, 2022:
Memorial Day: 199,210 pageviews in the last 90 days
Mattress: 361,590 pageviews in the last 90 days
Patio: 399,800 pageviews in the last 90 days, up a staggering 278%
Publisher News Articles: Sun’s Out, Sale’s On
Publishers are already pushing out content based on the news trends above. Let these examples inspire your content strategy and ad campaigns.
TODAY created a guide that rounds up some of the best deals for outdoor patio lights and décor.
Tom’s Guide gives consumers exactly what they want – insights into where to find the best Memorial Day mattress sales.
Hunker complied a guide pointing readers to the best Memorial Day outdoor furniture deals.
Fire Up Your Campaigns with Targeting Best Practices
How can you make the most of your advertising budget and ensure more exposure for your campaigns? After analyzing millions of campaigns, we recommend using the following best practices.
Automate with SmartBid: SmartBid, a semi-automatic bidding strategy powered by deep learning and historical data, increases or decreases bids based on the probability of an impression turning into a conversion.
High Impact Placements: Use Taboola’s High Impact Placements to ensure that your campaigns are surrounded by brand-safe content and appear in the most desirable areas on publisher sites, including on the homepage, section front, mid-article, Taboola Feed and Stories.
Motion Ads: If you want to see higher CTRs and CVRs, and lower CPAs, consider using Motion Ads, which use GIFs and looped videos to attract more attention and stand out in a sea of static image campaigns. Like always, you’ll improve campaign performance with an A/B testing strategy.
In addition to those strategies, using the correct ad format and proper device targeting based on your objective is crucial.
As of March 27, 2022, our US advertiser data from the Lifestyle and Home verticals show you can achieve higher CTRs with lower spend with the following:
Performance by Content-Type: For your ad format, choose Video over Photo and Text
Performance by Platform – Brand Awareness: Target Tablet over Desktop and Mobile if your goal is brand awareness
Performance by Platform – Leads: Select Tablet over Desktop and Mobile for lead generation campaigns
Performance by Platform – Purchases: Drive more sales by targeting Tablet over Desktop and Mobile
Pay Homage to these Creative Best Practices
Instead of guessing which images, videos and headlines you should use in your campaigns, head over to Taboola Trends, where you’ll find data-backed insights to guide your decision-making process. This tool analyzes billions of impressions and clicks to determine what elements drive the highest CTRs, allowing you to launch campaigns with confidence.
Here are creative trends US advertisers in the Lifestyle and Home verticals should use in their campaigns as of April 17, 2022:
Lifestyle Image Trends: See increased CTRs by using colorful photos shot from a distance.
Home Image Trends: Drive CTRs higher with close-up images that include women and animals.
Taboola’s video trends can be filtered by platform, duration, completion, and viewability. Here’s what to boost completion rates for all verticals, all platforms, and all durations:
Video Actions: Use video footage that shows people eating, engaging in air travel, or marriage-related scenes.
Video Characteristics: Data shows you can increase video completion rates by including illustrations, men, winter settings, and footage overlayed with text.
Campaign Headlines: Using Taboola’s Title Analyzer is the best way to test out campaign headlines and identify the ones with the highest predicted CTRs. Here’s a look at how some sample headlines would perform:
Example Campaigns: If we combine the search and news trends with the creative trends we’ve covered, your Memorial Day campaigns could look like these:
Case Studies: Brands That Fought the Good Fight
Mattress brand OTTY partnered with Taboola to support their top- and middle-of-the-funnel activities. By implementing audience segments from Data Marketplace and adding view-through attribution, the company achieved a 7.8x average ROAS and earned 10x higher conversion rates.
A New Zealand solar energy company used Taboola’s advanced targeting capabilities to push its content on premium publisher sites while only bidding on audiences in the desired geographic area. This process generated 1,000 high-quality leads with a lower CPA than the original goal.
To reach new customers while they are in the researching and purchasing phases, Leesa, a mattress brand, used Taboola to show its content on premium sites, resulting in thousands of leads and sales with a 5.7x ROAS.
Serve Your Country (with Good Deals)
Even though Memorial Day is a somber day for some, the rest of the long weekend is sprinkled with fun in the sun activities, family get-togethers, and relaxation. And, of course, no US holiday would be complete without some shopping.
Make sure to keep your marketing messages respectful but don’t hesitate to push out content and campaigns that highlight the best Memorial Day and early summer deals. Consumers are hungry to snap up savings, especially for items that enhance their homes and lives.
Follow the best practices covered here, and you’ll be well on your way to boosting traffic and sales.