Q5 Advertising Tactics to Ensure a Big Start to 2021

While holiday marketing kicks off, don’t forget the opportunities beyond Q4

2020 has been tough, but you’ve made it to November and so have your customers. As consumers ­interact with ads everywhere, especially on social media, competition in the online ad space has ramped up as social distancing efforts have sped up digitalization.

Brands have moved their advertising dollars to digital and social in pursuit of people’s shifting attention. CPMs and CPCs are through the roof; not only are advertisers spending more money on digital ads, some also are getting fewer impressions for that spend. Social media advertising hasn’t been this popular or competitive in a long time. And things will only intensify as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holidays roll around.

That’s why Q5— the post-holiday period between late December and mid-January—is the time to advertise in the new year.

Though most brands pull back on their advertising spend during this time, it’s an opportunity to start the year big. The usual reasoning for the drop is that most consumers have already spent their money in the weeks leading up to the holidays. But that argument ignores a crucial shift in consumer mindset; one that, along with cheaper ad prices in Q5, creates countless new opportunities for brands.

Q5 is all about reaching the individual

While the holidays are focused on gifting, Q5 is a time for personal development and splurging. Wellness brands, for example, do well in Q5. Many shoppers in January are looking for new products and services that support their “new year, new me” goals. Sales for home exercise equipment, such as dumbbells or virtual gym memberships, see a significant jump.

But Q5 is not only for the brands that serve the disciplined and the ambitious. Money and gift cards from the holidays are burning holes in shoppers’ pockets in Q5, and many people make purchases that complete their new devices and other presents. A new iPhone 12 Pro, for example, will require a new case, new earphones, new screen protector and a variety of new apps to round out its user experience. Brands that advertise in Q5 can continue to rack in revenue from their Q4 marketing push or can center their entire holiday campaign around just Q5.

This is where careful planning comes in: Brands make huge wins in Q5 when they play to consumers’ shifting psychologies and lower the barriers to access their products and services. Digital ads in Q5 work best when they’re coupled with offers or bundles: free shipping, for example, or a complimentary first week free with a subscription.

Advertising tactics for Q5

When it comes to capturing consumers’ attention online, A/B testing is crucial. Leveraging automation and scalable designs, social advertising platforms like Smartly.io can help you quickly produce mobile-first Q5 social ad campaigns that generate real, tangible results. With automation, advertisers can refresh and diversify their ads across all platforms, at all times, optimizing for the best conversion rates.

Together, automation and optimization make sure that your ads take full advantage of lowered CPMs and CPCs in Q5 and incorporate language and visuals that speak to shoppers. These tools ensure that ads create more impressions with less spend. That, combined with the auspicious timing of Q5, is a unique window of opportunity for advertisers.

In 2021, we all could use a major win–some kind of morale boost after all the challenges and stress we’ve been facing. Q5 can be that for your company and team.

Corinne Demadis is the VP, U.S. East Coast at Smartly.io, a leading social media advertising automation platform. Corinne has worked in ad tech for 10 years helping predominantly retail and ecommerce brands enhance their digital marketing strategies.