As the holiday season approaches, one thing on most retailers’ minds is how to get their products in front of gift-givers. How do they set themselves apart in such a competitive space? How can then cater to customers’ needs? The obvious answer is seeing what they are moving towards and adapting to that, for instance, with so many people shopping online, brick-and-mortar stores need to ensure that they can also match up with this type of technology by looking into implementing equipment like EFTPOS Terminal machines to help with payments from a variety of sources, e.g. QR codes, contactless, mobile payments, etc. Customers want to feel excited about what they are buying, and they do not want to wait around, especially if they have to hit the pavement and buy physically.

As more and more brands rely on content distribution to earn trust and loyalty, I wanted to provide some of the top creative Native best practices that are not only trending but are also driving results for brands.

Retail is Booming

In case you missed it, the 2019 holiday season is supposed to be record-breaking. eMarketer predicts it to be the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season! Much of this increase is being driven by online sales provided by firms that offer on-time delivery (perhaps such firms take the help of software applications provided by Real Innovation Group and its likes). Since customers have been getting a taste of fast delivery services like one-day delivery or next-day delivery, online sales have been growing and becoming the more sought-after choice during the holidays.

According to several studies, millions of people are now opting to do their holiday shopping on sites like NoveltyStreet.com where there are plenty of badass things to buy for every member of the family. However, this doesn’t mean retailers can just sit back and wait for the shoppers to flock to them. In some ways, it’s now harder for retailers to grab a shopper’s attention, with fewer physical marketing opportunities to tempt people with. The key, therefore, to serving up a successful holiday strategy, according to experts and trends documented by eMarketer, is sponsored, branded, or native advertising, which offer the highest-value for advertisers and is easiest to monetize for retailers.

From Q1 to Q3, we saw a 443% jump in Bidtellect’s retail space in just one year. 443%. Consumers rely on brands more and more often to get informed, for inspiration, and for valuable content. This shift to Native proves that shoppers are more likely to click on a “Top 5 Gifts Your Dad Will Love” versus “Sock Sale.” Content sells.

This is why creatives are so important. They are the gateway to a retail product; they are the invitation to and a representation of the brand. This is more often than not, why companies hire a PR firm to handle all of their media presence, including social media and creatives for the website as well as other digital channels. From a heartwarming image to a compelling headline, our top creative practices for the holidays will ensure that customers will want to engage with you first!

Content distribution starts with the right creative. Simple as that.

Headlines

The first (and arguably best) way to catch a shopper’s eye? The headline.

Remember to provide value, solve a problem from holiday shopping stress, educate the consumer, and use listacles to imply a quick and informative read. If you have a special offer or a promo code, now is the time to inform your prospective shoppers.

Ask questions! Be punny! Invite readers without shouting at them. Anything too pushy or blatant will deter readers. Keep it short and sweet (no more than 60 characters) and in title case.

Bottom line: engage, educate and entertain.

Images

Actually, the image is probably the first and best visual cue – so don’t slack here! Images that feature people or animals are more relatable and draw more of an emotional response. And if you have been thinking about utilizing cinemagraphs, now is the time to test it out.

Think lifestyle, authentic, people in the moment and in the holiday spirit. Do not include text to images – otherwise you’re entering display territory!

Bottom line: be emotional, authentic.

Description

This is the copy under the headline – it gives a little extra information about what your product or content offers! Remember to include value-driven, relevant copy that is consistent with the message in your headline.

And (this should go without saying) the description should be longer than your headline. It’s a slight explanation if you will. Establish the connection, create a conflict, and your call-to-action (KPI) is the solution.

Bottom line: call-to-action, consistent with the headline

Video

Consumers are engaging with Native video – and not just autoplay. Bidtellect saw a 143% increase in completion rate of in-feed, click-to-play videos in one year, proving that consumers do engage. The most successful videos are those that convey a clear message immediately.

Long videos that require time (and sound) from the viewer will not work. Keep the videos short and sweet, with a clear message that’s conveyed with or without sound and use subtitles or text.

Bottom line: clear message without sound

Testing

Don’t forget to utilize optimization strategies! Test out different creatives combinations and personalization tactics based on your KPIs for maximum engagement. It is essential to use a platform that will optimize to your KPIs to find your sweet spot.

Bottom line: optimization is key

Missy Steiner is the Vice President of Marketing at Bidtellect.

She’s hoping for Phish tickets as a gift this year!!

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