Ignite OPM's 3 Keys to Mastering Q4 Holiday Gift Guides

The most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching, which means holiday gift guides are already solidified for Q4’s marketing frenzy. The year’s marketing peak spanning from October 1 to January 1 requires extensive planning and negotiating, with ROAS typically being the largest of the year. Gift guides play a major role in holiday marketing, for both niche and brand-name clients. Read on to learn about Ignite OPM’s three major keys to Q4 gift guide success: understanding individual holiday quirks, promotional planning, and utilizing the target market.

Understanding the different holidays is essential to creating a successful holiday strategy. Mark your calendars for the Q4 holiday season including Halloween, Singles Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day, Hanukkah, Super Saturday, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Years. Aligning discovery and holiday-specific promotions with the days leading up to the holiday, as well as the day of, allows you to maximize exposure and results. By amplifying reach and frequency with discovery placements before the actual holiday and with day-of holiday placements, you should see a higher number of conversions on the holiday itself.

Planning for all promotions is important, but this is especially so for gift guides on a CPA (Cost-Per-Action) model. Flexibility with placements is pertinent as CPAs often require exclusive coupons, free product, a commission increase, or a hybrid. Publishers consider clients for gift guides starting in Q3, and once they’ve curated their list editorial cutoffs come into play. If you’re a brand trying to schedule last-minute placements during Q4, be prepared to pay more, whether that’s in the form of a commission increase or promotional payment. Aligning your products with relevant, targeted guides and high converting deals is a major key in holiday gift guide success. When possible, integrate the most important benefits of your product within the gift guide to help increase the conversion rate. Finding unique, targeted guides for your products takes time, but once you have the research completed and executed, it can be the primary source of your largest returns.

Identifying and utilizing the target market is crucial when it comes to gift guides and increasing your brand’s exposure with new audiences. By determining the most appropriate audience for each product, you can anticipate a higher return. Consumers looking at gift guides are typically in the discovery phase searching for something new and unique to gift their loved ones. Gift guides create the perfect environment for products in niche markets to showcase their fun offerings to an audience that may not have found the product otherwise.

Q4’s holiday season can be extremely successful if planned for and executed correctly. However, holiday promotions don’t end with Christmas. Q1 investments for “New Year, New You” placements typically launch December 26 and are a good way for health, wellness, and subscription brands to start the new year off strong. Remember to understand the caveats of each holiday, carefully plan your placements, and utilize your clients’ target markets to the nth degree. Applying these key points to your holiday marketing strategy can lead your brand to great success.