Nestled between the Valentine’s Day love fest and the candy-coated eggs of Easter is Presidents Day — a holiday weekend that can easily get lost in the shuffle. But, as the last major shopping holiday of Q1, Presidents Day sales are the best way to ensure you reach your quarterly marketing and sales goals.
Presidents Day falls on February 21 this year, but e-Commerce brands shouldn’t wait until the last minute to launch campaigns. Brands should release campaigns in the weeks prior as consumers look to Presidents Day sales to nab the things they didn’t find under the tree.
Due to the supply chain disruptions during Christmas last year, many people gave friends and family gift cards instead of physical goods. Americans spent $160 billion on gift cards. Given that almost 75% of gift card users spend more than the card’s value, Presidents Day sales are the perfect opportunity to encourage shoppers to use them.
In this article, we’ll review the trends that made strong showings last year, what interests consumers this year and targeting and creative strategies to help you launch the most effective, click-worthy campaigns.
2021 Trends: We Elected to Shop
Groundhog Day may have passed, but if you recall the movie, it’s hard not to relate to it at this moment. We all feel like we are living the same year over and over, thanks to the pandemic’s ongoing impact. With Presidents Day 2022 looking like it will turn out a lot like last year, it’s worth reviewing what happened so you can use those insights for your campaigns this year.
Most Presidents Day sales focused on products in the Home and Lifestyle verticals. An analysis of Skimlinks‘ data revealed a few more specific trends.
Top Performing Content
Three types of content generated the highest commissions and click volume. As we see with most holidays, those content pieces were centered around gift and buying guides, including deal roundups, category-specific deals, and store-specific deals.
Top Performing Merchants
As expected, some of the merchants that performed the best included home goods retailers Brooklinen, Saatva, and Wayfair, lifestyle brand Lululemon, and mega-retailer Walmart.
The only thing better than snuggling up with a furry friend during the pandemic was doing it in Brooklinen sheets.
2022 Predictions: Red, White, and Green All Over
To prepare for Presidents Day, you need to know what the media landscape will look like and how to address shifting consumer behaviors.
With the demise of the cookie looming on the horizon, many e-Commerce brands have been building up their first-party data, which they can use to strengthen campaigns and fuel their media plans.
eMarketer predicts retail media advertising will be one of the fastest-growing segments within digital advertising. In the US alone, spending in this category will reach $41.37 billion this year, up $10 billion from last year and accounting for 1 in 5 digital ad dollars by 2023.
In terms of consumer shopping habits, online sales are still promising, although they won’t grow as rapidly as they have over the last two years. Statista projects e-commerce sales will reach $875.2 billion, and furniture and appliances will remain the fastest-growing e-commerce category.
Spurred by both the pandemic and a renewed focus on environmental issues, Skimlinks found that consumers are acutely aware of the impact of consumerism.
What matters most to shoppers, and what will drive purchases?
Ethics and Sustainable Practices
65% of consumers prefer buying from purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability. Bonus: Merchants that focus on sustainability experience 40% greater order value.
Apply it: Popular brands built on sustainability include Cariuma, Allbirds, and Girlfriend Collective so see how you can incorporate their products into your Presidents Day guides.
Convenience and Speedy Deliveries
30% of online shoppers would rather buy online and pick up in-store or curbside (BOPIS) instead of waiting for deliveries.
Apply it: Brands that offer high commissions for you and BOPIS or same-day delivery for your audience include Bloomingdales, Anthropologie, The Home Depot, JCPenny, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Knowing Customer Preferences
70% of consumers will shop exclusively with brands that personally understand them. Bonus: Using personalized content and promotions results in a 20% uplift in conversion rates.
Apply it: Care/of, Proven, DailyLook, and Prose all know how to personalize the customer journey while offering you a substantial commission.
Current News Trends: Consumers Vote Yes for Sales
Leveraging trending news topics and the keywords that power them is critical if you want to make the most of your campaigns and get them in front of the right audience at the right time.
As of January 7, 2022, the data from our US publisher network revealed three emerging search trends you can piggyback on to maximize clicks and conversions.
Sale: 6,285,600 pageviews in the last 90 days
Deals: 2,494,710 pageviews in the last 90 days
Online Shopping: 634,490 pageviews in the last 90 days
How Publishers Apply Trends
Quality content always reigns supreme with consumers, and smart publishers know just how to build articles and guides around search trends.
Let’s look at a few examples that will spark your imagination and put you on the right content path.
Business Insider already put out their 2022 guide, sectioned by product type, so consumers can easily find product deals. Notice that most categories fall into the home and lifestyle categories.
As we’ve already mentioned, what was popular last year will be again. Recreating an article like this from TODAY is sure to be a hit.
POPSUGAR capitalizes on popular keywords and the home goods trends in one article.
Marie Claire may have skipped the keyword trends in the article title, but they made up for it by tapping into the eco-conscious consumer interested in sustainability.
Targeting Best Practices for Presidents Day Campaigns
Our favorite past presidents knew that using the right strategies to get their messages out is what wins votes. That same mindset will win you clicks and conversions.
Let’s look at some general strategies you can use to optimize your campaigns regardless of your brand’s vertical.
Automate with SmartBid
Make the most of your ad spend with Taboola’s SmartBid, a semi-automatics bidding strategy that prioritizes conversions. Powered by historical campaign data, SmartBid knows whether to increase or decrease your bid based on the likelihood of an impression converting.
Spotlight Ads with High Impact Placements
Want to ensure your ads appear alongside professionally produced, brand-safe content on trusted publisher sites? Taboola’s High Impact will do just that, nesting your campaign in the most viewable areas, including the homepage, section front, mid-article, and in Taboola Feed and Stories.
Make Things Move with Motion Ads
In a sea of image-based ads, Motion Ads, which use short videos or GIFs, stand out from the crowd, attracting more consumer eyeballs. As such, they generate higher click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CVR), resulting in lower costs per action (CPA). Like with all campaigns, A/B test your creatives to find the campaigns which perform the best.
After analyzing US advertisers’ campaign data from the Home and Lifestyle verticals, we identified specific campaign settings that trigger higher CTRs and lower spend. This data was pulled on January 16, 2021.
Overall Content-Type: Choose Video-based campaigns over Text and Photo to see the most engagement at the lowest cost.
Performance by Platform – Brand Awareness: If your goal is awareness, go for Tablet over Mobile and Desktop.
Performance by Platform – Purchases: To sell more products, launch Mobile and Tablet campaigns, and skip Desktop.
Performance by Platform – Leads: Attract more leads at a lower cost with Tablet campaigns instead of Mobile and Desktop.
Creative Best Practices for Presidents Day Campaigns
To complete your campaign puzzle, you need to have all the right creative pieces, and that’s where Taboola Trends comes into play. The tool analyzes millions of clicks and billions of impressions to identify the photo, video, and headline details that make a difference.
It’s updated weekly, but here are the US-based insights across all platforms for the Home vertical as of January 15, 2022.
You can increase your CTR by 63% by choosing images without food. Close-up photos will boost CTRs by 35%, while photos without text improve CTRs by 29%.
Improve your video completion rates by showing people eating (+67%) or enjoying water sports (+60%).
Winter scenes will boost completion rates by 100%. Other video characteristics that improve completion rates include videos without people (+26%), without text (+20%), and without animals (+15%).
You can get a head start on campaign title optimization before you even launch with Taboola’s Title Analyzer. Just add the headlines you’re considering to see which ones will produce the highest CTR.
Out of the three campaign headlines we tested, “20 Can’t-Miss Presidents Day Sales” outperforms “Score Great Deals on Home Appliances with These Presidents Day Sales” and “These Are the Presidents Day Sales You Can’t Afford to Miss.”
Taking all of the creative insights we have, here’s what some example Motion Ad campaigns might look like:
Case Studies: Brands that Elected to Work With Taboola
To increase the visibility of its “Bosch erleben Magazin” and drive users to its site, Bosch Home Appliances Germany and its marketing agency, segmenta communications, partnered with Taboola. The brand’s native ad campaigns, which led to post-click editorial content from the magazine, achieved excellent results, including higher CTRs and lower CPCs, Costs per Visit, and Costs per Product View.
Furniture and home goods e-Commerce brand GAIA tapped Taboola to help it increase brand awareness and drive traffic to its website. Using its catalog as the basis for campaigns, GAIA increased CTR and reached its CPM and CPC goals. Additionally, the company decreased its bounce rate by 5% and increased average time on site to four to five minutes, far longer than traffic originating from social and search platforms.
When furniture designer and manufacturer American Comfort wanted to increase brand awareness and generate high-quality leads for its newly launched sofa, it used a combination of Taboola’s in-feed vertical video and sponsored content campaigns. After one month, the brand earned 130,000 completed video views, 7500 landing page entries, and nearly 100 phone calls inquiring about the product.
Make Presidents Day a Historical Moment for Your Brand
Now that you know what drives consumer action, you can apply it to your native ad campaigns. Remember these three key takeaways, and you’ll be well on your way to increasing traffic and sales:
- Partner with brands that appeal to current consumer mindsets and offer high commissions
- Create guides, use keywords in titles, and pick click-worthy images based on Taboola Trends data
- Implement targeting strategies that are proven to boost CTRs