The holiday season marks some of the biggest shopping days of the year across the globe. Days such as Black Friday (Nov 25), Cyber Monday (Nov 28), and Singles’ Day (Nov 11) achieve hundreds of billions of dollars in sales, so they can make or break your Q4 sales and user acquisition targets.
In this blog post we go through why you need to make creators a part of your holiday season advertising strategy – and why you are failing to capitalize on a major opportunity if you don’t. So if you’re looking for marketing ideas for Black Friday and beyond, read further.
1. Social ads are insanely expensive during the holiday season, creators are not
According to studies conducted by different advertising providers, global social advertising CPM prices have typically increased by up to 50% around the key shopping days. The effect is likely even more pronounced in the US (and for Singles’ Day especially in APAC countries). It is also important to note that this increased cost affects all kinds of advertisers, from retailers to mobile apps.
Social ad CPMs typically increase up to 50% around Black Friday
Prices typically start rising on the Wednesday before Black Friday, and stay elevated for a week after Cyber Monday, then pick up again just before Christmas eve. However, even when advertising costs increase, so do sales. In the US alone, total online sales on Black Friday reached almost 9 billion dollars in 2021!
However, most of these studies were conducted before the global pandemic, which supercharged digital sales and marketing investments. This means it will probably be even more expensive to rely on social ads this year, even with the uncertainty affecting the global economy. In fact, uncertain economic conditions might make getting a good deal even more attractive than before.
YouTube creator marketing CPM does not increase to the same degree as paid social during the holiday season
YouTube creators are a far more cost-effective medium during these days. Creator prices do not typically increase to the same degree so it is extremely beneficial to invest some of your holiday season budgets on working with them. In fact, during the peak shopping days of the holiday season we’ve seen creator CPM prices typically stay at similar levels as in October.
When looking at data on monthly level, the median social ad CPM was around 22% higher in November and December compared to October. On monthly level, the median YouTube creator CPM was actually around 5.0 – 5.5% lower in November and December compared to October.
*Data based on average of multiple online reports on social ad CPM changes in the US in 2021
**Matchmade internal data on YouTube creators with majority US audience in 2021
The key thing to do is to remember to hire creators early enough to ensure their availability. Matchmade makes hiring creators fast and easy at scale, without manual work required from the advertiser. If you haven’t already started hiring creators for the holiday season, get in touch to see how we can help.
2. Creator marketing has less competition than social ads and enables a broader marketing mix
Working with creators around these key shopping days also diversifies your marketing mix without needing to create additional marketing assets. This can reduce the risk of overspending in a channel that ends up performing poorly.
With Apple’s IDFA tracking restrictions in place, mobile advertisers especially face massive risks here. If mobile advertisers overly rely on targeted social media ads during the holiday season, they run the risk of overinvesting because the far more limited targeting can seriously hurt performance when CPMs are increased.
With creators you do not have the same problem because the content very effectively defines who you are going to reach. For example, it is extremely easy to reach people interested in gaming culture by sponsoring gaming creators.
When you hire creators of all sizes at scale, you can reach a massive amount of people very cost-effectively, even during a competitive period such as the holiday season. In fact, for now creator marketing sees less competition than other mediums during the holiday season so it can be an extremely good channel for standing out from your competitors.
3. Creators let your brand stand out when customers are being bombarded with social ads
In the US alone, the average consumer is exposed to more than 6000 ads every day. Last year, the total digital advertising spend in the US was estimated to be over 297 billion dollars. Out of that, more than 15% (45.6B dollars) was spent during the holiday season so the amount of ad exposures during the holiday season is significantly higher still.
If your brand wants to stand out from this deluge of ads, the solution probably isn’t to just do more digital advertising. This is why creator sponsorships are extremely useful as they are an entirely different creative medium. For example, YouTube creator videos are far more engaging than any kind of digital advertising.
Many consumers do not even view creator sponsorships as ads, and seeing content from a creator they enjoy watching can be extremely efficient at converting them. In addition, creator sponsorships allow you to do significantly longer content than video ads, while still keeping the audience engaged. This allows you to present your unique selling proposition much more effectively.
According to interview research by Meta Foresight (formerly Facebook IQ), 79% of Gen Z-ers have bought something after seeing content made by a creator about it.
You have probably already started preparing for the upcoming holiday season. If you haven’t made creators a part of your marketing strategy during this period, think again.
Creators offer an excellent, cost-effective channel for reaching a broad audience.
Each creator’s unique style and dedicated audience allow you to stand out from the crowd of competing advertisers in this critical time period.
The best way to effectively leverage creators during the hectic holiday season is to work with a partner. This ensures you can focus on the broader holiday campaigns and do not waste excessive time on the manual tasks of managing creators.
With Matchmade, you can efficiently automate manual tasks (such as creator discovery, outreach, contracts and negotiations) and our expert team handles creator communication and other time-intensive tasks which can’t be fully automated. Get in touch here to see how we can help you succeed this holiday season.
P.S. If you have hired some creators already, that’s great! Matchmade can help you take creator campaigns even further. With our efficient automation, you can hire more creators of all sizes (from the very small to the very large) at scale. This will help you maximize your reach, engagement, and conversions.