Mother’s Day is more than an opportunity to celebrate mothers, motherhood and motherly bonds. It is rapidly evolving into a significant annual retail event, powered by social platforms, online spending and mobile search. So in the countdown to this year’s Mothering Sunday on March 26, it pays for brands to strategise and plan ahead.
Last year, Brits spent £928 millions on Mother’s Day cards, flowers and gifts – equivalent to £58 per person. Not too surprisingly, digital commerce made up a significant part of the figure, as 38% of shoppers said that they were planning to buy the majority of items online. And the good news is that consumer interest in Mother’s Day is rising. Last year, 68% of UK shoppers celebrated the event – a 3% increase on 2015.
Almost two-thirds of Mother’s Day related searches were done via mobile in 2016; a figure which increased dramatically - by 48% - in the two days leading up to the event media activity also peaked around this time with users showing appreciation for their mothers on one or several of the major platforms.
Retailers, however, seem to be failing in inspiring shoppers for Mother’s Day, as research shows that 37% of Brits want more ads and promotions to fuel their gift buying ideas. This, combined with the fact that more than half - 55% - of UK consumers planned their Mother’s Day purchases ahead in 2016, suggests a wealth of opportunities for brands to create timely and compelling cross-channel content ahead of this year’s event.
So where to begin? While the paid social landscape is incredibly complex and quickly evolving, there are a number of core principles that advertisers should use to underpin Mother’s Day paid social activity.
As with any prime retail event, competition during Mother’s Day is fierce. Standing out from the crowd is key and the best way to achieve this is by presenting great offers, high-quality images, engaging videos and short and snappy copy. For maximum results, don’t limit yourself to activity on the day itself. Instead, run branding ads optimised towards reach and engagements before, during, and after the event, adding in traffic-driving formats with strong calls-to-action a couple of days prior.
Build consideration for your products by running a countdown-style campaign, simply by using different ad formats and varying your copy. However, make sure that your messaging is relevant and time-appropriate. Nothing screams bad planning more than an ad stating ‘Still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift?’ after the event.
Make sure to reach your core audience’s children and partners by using sophisticated keywords and interests targeting metrics. Don’t forget to personalise your messages by user – if you are targeting kids, for example, speak their language. And remember that parents of younger children often buy their Mother’s Day gifts for them so they too are an important part of your audience. Existing CRM data is great for re-engaging with customers who have purchased your products in the past and by creating lookalikes off this group, you will reach users who are similar to those who have already shown interest in your products.
Also important, however, is to understand the different strengths and opportunities offered by the various social platforms.
Facebook is where users go to honour their mothers through public declarations of love so carefully crafted campaigns sit naturally within the native feel and content of the platform. In addition, the social network offers tremendous reach – more than 32 million UK users –and is, therefore, an excellent choice for running cost-efficient campaigns at scale.
And brands don’t have to restrict themselves to only one platform when, through a single interface, they can automatically optimise to deliver ads across both Instagram and Facebook. This results in improved cost and reach efficiency and offers a greater opportunity to utilise the platform algorithms to achieve campaign objectives.
Twitter is where people go to discuss and share ideas about Mother’s Day activities and gifts, making it a good place for brands who want to join that conversation.
To maximise engagement, ensure your messaging is relevant and audience-specific by tailoring content to what users are tweeting about. Be clearly visible on the platform on the day itself by using specific targeting terms to piggyback current discussions and trending topics.
Pinterest, a catalogue of ideas, is where people go to plan for future purchases and events. 75% of content on the platform is posted by businesses and the majority of users visit it to actively search for brands. According to reports, 55% of Pinners say that they use Pinterest to shop for products, making it an excellent channel for showcasing gift-appropriate items as well as for bringing Mother’s Day activity ideas to life.
The ideas people seek out on Pinterest are often intended to be executed in real life. Make sure that your content is actionable and helpful to users, by offering tips, advice, or instructions in addition to showcasing your product.
Lastly, Snapchat is the ideal platform for reaching a younger audience – 51% of its 10 million UK users are between 18 and 34 years old.
This is where users go to share what is in the moment. Participate by running Snap Ads between users’ Stories, engaging them with creative motion and sound through high-quality video. Showcase products and experiences using the platform’s vertical video ad unit and personalise messages to be Mother’s Day specific. Refine your targeting by using Snap Lifestyle Categories to narrow in on those audiences most appropriate for your product.
Without doubt, the opportunities on social platforms on and around Mother’s Day are many and varied. And while the day is quickly approaching, there is still time to fine-tune paid social strategies in order to capitalise on the buzz surrounding one of the prime retail happenings of the year.
By Milana Saric, client strategy director EMEA at Adaptly
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