Thanksgiving is set to kick off a busy 2022 holiday shopping season — and advertisers need to be prepared.
Just look at how Thanksgiving 2021 turned out: Nearly 180 million consumers shopped during “Cyber Five” — the five-day shopping period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.
This year, food marketers in particular will have to begin preparing their Thanksgiving campaigns as early as possible by taking the following steps:
- Understanding The Market Opportunity
- Researching News Trends
- Gathering Examples of Publisher Articles
- Implementing Targeting Best Practices
- Using Data-Backed Creative Strategies
- Pulling Inspiration from Successful Case Studies
Here’s what advertisers need to know to build more effective Thanksgiving campaigns and engage holiday shoppers in 2022.
Understanding The Market Opportunity
Consumers are expected to spend big over Thanksgiving weekend. As they face challenges like inflation, a potential recession, and supply chain issues, they’ll be on the lookout for seasonal deals and convenient shipping options. In-store shopping may also increase, since it rose during Thanksgiving 2021 — with roughly 105 million shoppers visiting stores.
As found, 28% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in November, with 18% starting as early as October.
As we look at the holiday season overall, eMarketer expects total spend to grow over 3% from last year, reaching $1.26 trillion. And they predict that e-Commerce holiday sales will increase over 15%, reaching $236 billion.
Researching News Trends
We dug into data from Taboola’s expansive network of publishers to find out which news topics are trending among U.S. consumers.
According to October 17, 2022 metrics, readers are engaging with content about:
- Thanksgiving. 4,786,960 pageviews in the last 90 days, up +36% vs. the last 45 days and +404% vs. 2021
- Turkey. 16,103,020 pageviews in the last 90 days, down -23% vs. the last 45 days and up +20% vs. 2021
- Black Friday. 728,630 page iews in the last 90 days, up +176% vs. the last 45 days and +3% vs. 2021
This means advertisers have an opportunity to create relevant campaigns around these topics and distribute them across premium publisher sites where consumers are already active and engaged.
Gathering Examples of Publisher Articles
Now let’s look at examples of how publishers are already launching high-quality content about Thanksgiving, turkey, and Black Friday.
Taste of Home published its best Thanksgiving recipes in late October 2022:
Southern Living spotlighted the best turkeys to order before they sell out:
And Food Network let readers know about Target’s biggest Black Friday deals this year:
Implementing Targeting Best Practices
While it’s important for advertisers to target readers by trending news topics, they also need to consider other strategies, such as targeting by content format, device type, and day of the week.
According to October 2, 2022 data from U.S. advertisers in the food vertical, brands should use these targeting best practices to increase clickthrough rates and lower spend depending on their goals:
- Performance by content type: Choose photo and video ad formats over text
- Performance by platform — leads: Launch campaigns across tablets instead of mobile and desktop devices
- Performance by platform — purchases: Deliver ads across mobile and tablet devices instead of desktops
Thanksgiving food marketers can also use advanced targeting tools like these to help ensure that they’re making the most of their ad budgets:
- Smart Bid. With this tool, advertisers can automatically optimize their bidding to maximize conversions. Smart Bid uses historic data and deep learning algorithms to bid on high-value impressions and reduce bids on impressions that are less likely to deliver performance results. So you know you’re not spending more than you need to.
- High Impact Placements. Taboola’s High Impact Placements allow marketers to generate brand awareness and reach audiences at scale across the world’s top websites and apps. Whether you want to launch video or image campaigns on homepages, mid-article, or in-feed, you know your ads will only be shown among relevant, premium content every time.
Using Data-Backed Creative Strategies
Taboola Trends gathers real-time data about the most clickworthy images, videos, keywords, and headlines across our network, giving marketers a first-hand look at which types of creative perform best. In fact, every week we analyze about 75 million clicks and 50 billion impressions so you’ll have the insights you need to build more effective campaigns.
For best results for your campaign, we recommend visiting Taboola Trends on the day you create your ads in order to see our most up-to-date data.
With Thanksgiving up ahead, let’s look at some of the most important image trends for food-related content among U.S. audiences on October 22, 2022:
Images without animals, taken indoors, and with people — particularly women — can help increase CTRs and engagement. Also, perhaps unsurprisingly, photos and images including food can drive clicks among U.S. audiences.
Meanwhile, we found that videos with winter landscapes, no illustrations, and no text drive higher completion rates:
Additionally, using videos with activities like sleeping, eating, and traveling can increase completion rates, ensuring customers engage with your content for longer periods of time.
When it comes to creating clickworthy titles, the Taboola Title Analyzer lets you put headline options against each other to see which ones will deliver the highest-predicted CTR.
Let’s take these three Thanksgiving-related titles, for example:
- 10 Mouth-Watering Thanksgiving Recipes To Try in 2022
- Black Friday Shopping on a Budget? These Cyber Weekend Deals Can Help
- 7 Thanksgiving Sales to Start Your Holiday Shopping
By plugging them into the Title Analyzer, we can see that “10 Mouth-Watering Thanksgiving Recipes To Try in 2022″ is most likely to drive clicks and deliver results.
Pulling Inspiration from Successful Case Studies
Thanksgiving advertisers can look to other brands’ successful campaigns for inspiration and ideas.
Customer-funded wine business Naked Wines wanted to drive new sign-ups to its service in the U.K., Australia, and the U.S. So the brand tapped Taboola to launch interactive, educational content targeted towards wine lovers across premium publisher sites. As a result, Naked Wines generated 8,000 new sign-ups in just eight months, and those customers had a 33% higher lifetime value (LTV) than others on average.
Meal kit startup Plated wanted to expand its customer reach outside of the usual acquisition channels like Facebook and Google. By partnering with Taboola, the business was able to distribute content-based ads on premium publisher sites across the web — reaching people when they’re already consuming relevant messaging and eager for more.
Plated also used Taboola’s technology to A/B test different creative options and optimize its campaign towards clicks and conversions. For example, the brand found that close-up product shots performed best on desktop and mobile. The result? Plated drove 1 billion monthly impressions and a 12% increase in customer signups.
Drive Campaign Results You Can Be Thankful For
Thanksgiving may be the start of a stressful holiday season for marketers, but high-quality data can take away a lot of the guesswork and help ensure that you’re building the most effective campaigns possible. So, with e-commerce sales set to boom again this Thanksgiving, be prepared with these proven best practices.