How to Maximise Ad Revenue This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us, and though there’s uncertainty around how consumers will react to ongoing inflation concerns, we can still expect growth this year. A recent report from eMarketer predicted that this holiday season will continue to be a strong one for UK retailers, further boosted by e-commerce. Indeed, marketers are eager to capitalise on the holiday opportunity: retailers are looking to invest £5.92 billion on digital ads this year

So how can you optimise demand and maximise ad revenue throughout the holidays and Q4? Here’s what you need to know about marketers’ plans and the steps you can take to win more ad spend. 

How are brands planning for the holiday season?

Ad spend is following consumer behaviour

As UK consumers are active on an average of five devices daily, marketers are focused on optimising their campaigns to engage audiences across every channel.

For example, connected TV (CTV) viewership continues to grow, with 50.6 million digital video viewers in the UK now. Expect campaign spend to closely follow these trends this holiday season to match consumer behaviour. 

Peak advertising days extend from Mid-November well into December

As in recent years, holiday shopping will begin earlier and last longer, and you can expect marketers to plan their campaigns accordingly. We looked back at 2021 and saw that brands across all industries began ramping up their ad campaigns throughout the fall, with peak ad activity during Thanksgiving week (starting November 21st this year)  and on Cyber Monday. The first two weeks of December also ranked high as consumers rounded out their shopping. 

The biggest marketers during the holiday season, retail and CPG brands, followed the same trend. We can see ad spend increased across retail categories ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales before returning to normal levels in the last week of December.  

2021 Retail ad spend by category

Source: Index Exchange platform data, global ad spend, October-December 2021

Three tips to attract more holiday spend and maximise ad revenue 

1. Help marketers win consumer attention on any screen 

With an ever-growing amount of content available across a range of devices and channels, consumer attention is more fragmented than ever. Not only are marketers challenged to seamlessly engage holiday shoppers across every screen, but they’re also facing unique economic challenges that are influencing consumer behaviour. This year is all about helping marketers improve performance and efficiency across every channel. 

Marketers understand that consumers shift devices throughout the day, and they’re looking to optimise their campaigns to reach the right audience, on the right device, at the right time. Connect with buyers and clearly communicate the value of your audience as well as the premium inventory you have available. 

For instance, as consumers spend more time on mobile, offering curated inventory by genre can help marketers reach holiday-specific audience segments more efficiently. Likewise in CTV, showcasing inventory around holiday movies and other themed programming provides an opportune way for marketers to engage their audiences while they’re in the holiday spirit.

You’ll also want to foster closer, more trusted partnerships to help marketers buy with confidence. While both the mobile and CTV programmatic markets have reached scale and attracted considerable investment from marketers, the truth is they’re still maturing. 

Providing detailed reporting with full visibility into transaction data, fees, and costs across the supply chain unlocks valuable insights into performance and helps marketers optimise against their goals and make the most of their working media. 

Complying with and correctly implementing industry standards including ads.txt and app-ads.txt, schain, and sellers.json will also help marketers trust that they can protect their brand and keep their campaigns fraud-free. 

2. Increase efficiency with deals and inventory packages

To optimise effectiveness and efficiency, more marketers are turning to direct deals and open market inventory packages to streamline access to curated inventory—particularly in CTV. 

Creating unique inventory packages or offering deals based on device, format, genre, viewability, and more provides you with more control over your inventory and will help marketers optimise their reach across channels. 

Applying targeting options based on variables like format, device, and placement means you can better merchandise your inventory, showcasing premium placements or holiday-themed content, to align to marketers’ needs. Enabling viewability targeting also allows you to showcase premium inventory and help marketers reach their brand awareness and attention goals during the holiday shopping season.

Using these targeting features can increase efficiency, helping you improve bid rates and ad server win rates to maximise ad revenue.  

3. Refine your approach to addressability 

Regardless of Google’s decision to delay cookie deprecation in Chrome, the industry is well on its way to a privacy-centric future that doesn’t depend on third-party cookies or device identifiers. There’s an immediate opportunity to improve monetization in cookie- and device-restricted environments to help you maximise ad revenue during the prime Q4 period. 

Investing in addressability in browsers that don’t rely on third-party cookies, such as Safari, Firefox, and Edge, can help preserve premium CPM rates and increase monetization as marketers can efficiently reach their desired audiences. 

For instance, Mediavine worked with Index and LiveRamp to connect its authenticated inventory with LiveRamp’s RampID and achieved a ​142%​ CPM lift in browsers without third-party cookies. 

Be sure to engage brands to demonstrate the addressable campaign opportunity in these environments to attract holiday campaign budgets.

Make this holiday season a successful one

The last quarter of the year is a high-impact opportunity to maximise ad revenue. Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to optimise your monetization and boost ROI?  

Connect with the Index team and we’ll help you evaluate performance and arm you with the guidance and action plans you need to prepare for a successful Q4. 

Index Editor

Index Editor

This post was published by the Index Exchange editorial team.

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