4 insights on when are the best time to run Christmas ads
November 14, 2022
Christmas is one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year. If you're an eCommerce business or a marketing agency looking to get your clients' products in front of customers, Christmas is the prime time for it.
But when is the best time to run Christmas and holiday ads?
By timing your ads correctly, you can ensure they reach their intended audience and don’t cost you a fortune.
But with so many companies competing for market share, and all of them trying to capture consumer interest simultaneously, it's essential to get your timing right.
Let's look at four critical insights on the best times to run your Christmas ads.
1. Start early – But not too early!
The most common mistake business owners make is waiting too long to launch their holiday campaigns.
By starting late, you miss out on valuable advertising opportunities and may even find that competitors have already saturated the market with their ads.
Therefore, it's important to start running your Christmas ads early enough so that people can engage with your message before making their purchases.
We can see in the chart below, within one week from the end of Black Friday, most advertisers have started displaying Christmas ads.
In the first 6 days, you can benefit from a less crowded space on consumers' feeds.
Most advertisers will still be in the process of swapping out their ads.
Therefore, this brief period represents an ideal time where you’ll likely encounter less competition than further on into December.
But as we can see, by December 6th, Christmas content reaches its peak saturation.
Everyone who is into Christmas ads is already running them, but for how long?
2. When to stop displaying Christmas ads?
Typically, between December 6th and December 20th, Christmas ads are at their peak saturation levels.
It's during this period when virtually every other business is advertising its Christmas promotions.
But you don’t want to be running your Christmas ads forever, right?
We can see that most advertisers remove Christmas content in the days leading up to Christmas Eve.
At this point, most people have either finished their shopping, or there isn’t enough time left for shops to get their products into the hands of their shoppers before Christmas day.
Good time, to kill your christmas content and wrap up campaigns.
Advertising activity and impressions are nice, but it’s also important to consider costs when planning your Christmas advertising campaign.
3. What it costs to advertise in december?
Due to intense competition, advertising costs a bit more during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
In fact, according to The Globe And Mail, advertising can cost as much as 4 or 5 times more during the holidays than it does throughout the rest of the year.
However, our sources suggest that along with an increase in cost comes an increase in direct traffic (+150%), click-through rates (+100%), average order value (+30%), and overall conversions (+60%).
On that note, you’ll be glad to know that CPM (cost per mille) remains relatively stable throughout most of December.
As we can see in the chart below, throughout December, CPM price fluctuates between 10% and -10% without any significant spikes outside of this range.
But it’s interesting to note that CPM prices drop right around December 18th, which is when most advertisers pull their Christmas ads, likely because most consumers have already finished their online Christmas shopping.
4. When Christmas Ads Stop Working?
Similarly, purchase rates are closely correlated with CPM, remaining more or less stable throughout December.
It's interesting to note that during the first week of December, the overall share of Christmas ads is relatively low.
Yet the performance is there
This could represent a low hanging opportunity for businesses that started running their Christmas ads as soon as Black Friday ends, to yield early conversion in consumer feeds that have low christmas ads saturation.
Finally, just like with CPM, the average purchase rate declines dramatically in the days leading up to Christmas Eve, which tells us that this is precisely when Christmas ads start losing their secret Christmas magic.
The Best Time For Christmas Advertising
So to sum up what we’ve learnt from our data:
It’s important to start running Christmas ads early, but not too early–right after Black Friday is best.
Advertisers must be ready for heavy ad competition between December 6th and December 20th, which is when Christmas ads are at their peak saturation levels.
It’s also vital to not run Christmas ads for too long. Their effectiveness drops drastically in the days leading up to Christmas Eve since most people have already finished their shopping.
By analyzing past trends and tailoring your campaigns accordingly, you can ensure that your business stands out from the competition during this crucial period and maximizes its potential returns from seasonal advertising efforts.
More to read
Learn and optimize your Christmas advertising with the following insights:
The dataset from this article is based on 500m+ impressions and 8300+ pieces of individual content on Meta (Facebook) platforms. It takes into account data from all industries in all countries, with the campaign objectives of conversions only. The period is from 01.12.2021 - 24.12.2021. Numbers are looking at correlation only, not causation. Remember to check your own data: numbers for different brands, industries, and contexts will vary.If you were intrigued about a specific insight, you can go in-depth into the various dimensions and how data can be segmented in Confect, here.