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How to Get In Front of Your Audience without Being Annoying

Posted January 28, 2013 by fran @ 12:19 pm

Don't be an annoying advertiser!

Don’t be an annoying advertiser!

When it comes to online advertising, companies need to strike a balance between being seen and being annoying. If you’re too subtle with your advertising, or if you’re not advertising enough, you risk being overlooked or being invisible to your customers. However, if you’re too brazen with your ads or if you use the power of advertising for evil, then you could end turning off your customers.

The key is finding the right type and frequency for your ads. Each target audience and demographic is different, and how to implement your online advertising campaigns will depend on what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to.

In any case though, there are few effective pointers that you should take into consideration:

Avoid being obtrusive – Steer clear of ads that disrupt user’s browsing experience as you might end up annoying or scaring off your audience. This is why flashy pop-up ads get such a bad rep—they show up unannounced and interrupt what the user is viewing. It’s best to run ads that naturally fit in the environment, without being invisible.

In-line text ads for instance, work great because they don’t disrupt the flow of the website’s content and only appear when users hover over them. Overlay ads are another great example because they show up on top of images or videos that are already on the page without having to appear as a different window. You can also try pre-roll ads that play before a video rolls, so your users’ browsing experience isn’t disrupted when they’re in the middle of watching an online clip.

Be cute, funny, or witty – Want to stand out without being a pain or an eyesore? Then be something that you audience actually wants to see. Distractions can sometimes be welcomed—as long as they’re the type of distraction that will amuse or entertain your target.

Be witty on your ads. Don’t be afraid to crack a joke or be a little crazy. Remember what Pringles did to keep users clicking on their ad? Or what about what Samsung and A&F did to spruce up their ads? Look into what’s hot in pop culture or find some industry jokes in your field and inject those elements into your ad campaign. Not only will you be able to entertain your target audience, but you can also be able increase the chances of the ad going viral. If it’s funny or memorable enough, people will share it and your brand can enjoy the great exposure.

Be relevant – Last but certainly not the least, is relevancy. No matter how fancy your ad is, it won’t matter if it isn’t relevant to your customer’s needs, what they’re reading, or what they’re searching for. It’s important that you select the websites and other advertising channels that your audience is into. What are the websites that your customers often visit? Make a list and see if you can advertise on those sites.

When it comes to search, do thorough keyword research before you start bidding. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and find out what they’re searching for. Want a surefire way to be relevant to the needs and interests of your customers? Then try remarketing, which targets users who have already visited your website. Remarketing is especially effective because it zeroes in on people who have expressed their need or interest in what you have to offer which means that their chances of converting are exponentially higher.

Image credit: theogeo on Flickr

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Job Seeker Uses Billboard Ad to Find Employment

Posted January 23, 2013 by fran @ 11:23 am

Here’s an interesting use of billboard ads. Unemployed grad, Adam Pacitti buys a billboard ad where he claims that he spent his last £500 (on the said billboard) in an attempt to get people to hire him. The billboard displays a URL to his website, EmployAdam.com which hosts his Video CV detailing his experience and accomplishments.

According to Mail Online, he got the idea “after sending off at least 250 CVs and only getting two interviews.” He told reporters that he “called in favours from friends and asked studios, and made the video, and decided to post the billboard in London, because that’s where most of the jobs are.”

About Adam

Cheesy? Absolutely. But as gimmicky as his efforts are, Adam’s work isn’t half bad. He graduated with a degree in Media Production (First Class Honors) from the University of Winchester, and was behind a number of viral video campaigns including “The Girl of My Dreams” which got featured on worldwide TV and had over 4 million unique hits, “Pinefall” a documentary that garnered more than 100,000 eyeballs on YouTube, and “Everything’s Bigger” which raked in more than 80,000 views on YouTube.

Adam’ employment campaign went viral, practically overnight. After publishing a photo of his billboard online, Adam said that he “ten re-Tweets in an hour”. That led to more than 7,000 RTs and media coverage from some of the biggest sources online.

The Result

So did Adam finally get hired? We’re don’t know, but we’re pretty sure it’s just a matter of time. But in the off chance that he isn’t getting any job offers yet, we highly suggest that he use Remarketing to bring employers back to his site. He should also consider using Cross Channel Advertising to serve up banner, mobile, video ads and more so he can really dominate the online ad realm. After all, he already has physical ad space covered, why not take it to cyber space as well? (Just saying.)

A Growing Trend?

Adam isn’t the first jobless individual to launch a viral “I need a job” campaign online. In 2011, unemployed product marketer Matthew Epstein launched the Google Please Hire Me campaign in an attempt to land a job at (you guessed it) Google. Like Adam, Matthew set up a website along with an  online video that spread like wildfire online.

This stunt did get him an interview with the search giant, and he was even contacted by other tech companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce, among others. In the end, Matthew didn’t get a job with the mighty Google, but he did land a product marketing manager position at a San Francisco-based startup, SigFig.

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5 Effective Channels That Can Put You In Front of Your Customers

Posted January 16, 2013 by fran @ 12:40 pm

Thanks to the wide reach of the web and technology, brands don’t just have more choices in terms of the number of channels to advertise on, they also have more targeting options that allow them to zero in on relevant customers no matter where they are or what they’re interested in. This is extremely good news for businesses that wish to put their name out there. And just in case you’ve forgotten about this little fact, this post will serve as a reminder of the many, many ways that you can get in front of your target audience.

Check out the following channels below. Are there items here that you haven’t tried? If so, why not? And if you have tried any of these channels, is there a way that you can optimize them further to get more effective results? These are just some of the questions that you should ask as you re-visit your online marketing and advertising options. Hopefully, the answers that you get will be enough to give you some insights on how you can jumpstart your campaigns.

Search results

Can you get in front of your customers at the exact time that they’re looking for you? Yes indeed, thanks to search advertising. By serving up ads through XML data feeds and search results, companies can display their ads based on the keywords that users are searching for. So as an example, if you have a flower shop in Los Angeles and want to reel in new customers, you can do so by bidding on the keywords that people are typing when they’re looking for a flower shop in LA.

Relevant websites

Find the blogs or sites that your customers frequent and purchase advertising from them. Just be sure to check the amount of traffic that the sites get, to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Some ad networks can take care of this for you as well, by displaying your ads on relevant sites that are part of their publishing network.

At the palm of their hand

Have you tried mobile advertising yet? If not, then it’s best to look into it as it could be the perfect opportunity to reach on the go consumers. Also make it a point to revamp your website to ensure that it’s mobile friendly, to cater to your visitors that are browsing the web using their smartphones and tablets.

Image and video overlays

Leverage the power of pictures by displaying overlay ads on relevant images. Doing so boosts the chances of your ad getting seen, because users are more inclined to notice photos and images on a page. Overlay ads can also be applied to videos, and they will allow you to get in front of customers without disrupting their viewing experience. (Overlay ads usually appear at the bottom part of a video and contain a close button.)

Wherever they are

Remarketing advertising gives you the power to reel in customers who have left your site without buying anything. If you want to bring users back to your site, you can implement a Remarketing (sometimes referred to as “Retargeting”) campaign that will display your ads on the other sites that users visit.

 

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Seeing a Spike in Sales? Thank the New Year

Posted January 14, 2013 by fran @ 2:02 pm

Adweek published a pretty interesting blog post today about how New Year’s resolutions can bring about new business for companies. It cited SocialVibe and mentioned that “Resolution-related spending is expected to reach $5.6 billion in 2013—this, despite the fact that only 28 percent of us actually accomplish our resolutions while 46 percent of us never even get started.”

Adweek then took a look at the four most common New Year’s Resolutions, namely, getting into shape, losing weight, taking charge of finances, and meeting someone; they did a quick survey and asked a major brand in each category if they’re seeing new business come in this time of year. The answer? An unanimous yes. All four major brands nodded in agreement that the New Year certainly brings in new business. Christina DeGuardi of Crunch Fitness and a Jenny Craig spokesperson both said “definitely,  while Ric Edelman of Edelman Financial Services said that his company “always” sees an increase very January. Amarnath Thombre of Match.com said that “the draw to Match.com is at an all-time high.”

Lessons for Advertisers

Even if your company doesn’t belong in any of the 4 categories mentioned above, try to find ways to use people’s “New Year High” to reel in new customers. Is there any aspect of your business that can be linked to New Year’s Resolutions? Perhaps you can unveil an ad campaign that centers on the topic of new beginnings, turning over a new leaf, or similar topics. People are obviously more engaged and energized at the beginning of the year, so be sure to take advantage of these high spirits.

What are the new year’s resolutions that your customers make the most? Is there any way that you can align your products or services with these resolutions? The key is to get creative with your online ads. See if you can relate any marketing tactics to the most common resolutions out there. Consider partnering up with relevant companies or websites so that you can get in front of your target audience.

Whatever your plan is, be sure to execute it fast. The New Year High will obviously not last forever, so you need you get in front of your target market before they lose interest.

Lessons for Publishers

January is a great time to write about New Year’s resolutions, for obvious reasons. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to publish a post on the topic (or anything similar) before the month ends. For example, if you made any resolutions of your own, be sure to share them with your visitors.  You’re bound to get more traffic since its a huge topic of interest for most people (at least for now), so don’t miss out on the opportunity!

Ask yourself what the most common resolutions are in your industry and publish something that will help readers stick to them.

In addition to posting your own resolutions, you should also try to be as helpful as possible. During the New Year, people will most likely be searching for how-to articles and tips to help them keep their resolutions, if you can, write up a helpful post on self-development.

Image credit:  MoneyBlogNewz on Flickr

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Video is about to get even bigger. Are you ready?

Posted January 9, 2013 by fran @ 1:20 pm

It shouldn’t be any question that video will be among the dominating channels in the online advertising realm. In fact, according to eMarketer, “US online video ad spending will nearly triple in the next 4 years.” So while video is a big deal right now, it looks like it’s going to get even bigger in the near future.

Whether you’re an advertiser or publisher, it’s best to see how you can take advantage of this rising medium. Video can give you the potential to reach an extremely wide audience so use it wisely and use it well.

Need ideas on how to incorporate video into your campaign? Consider the following:

PreRollStream

Advertisers: PreRollStream ads appear right before a video is played. This ad type proves to be effective because it gets in front of an audience that is already engaged. People that watch online videos respond positively to interactive ads as long as they’re relevant to what they’re about to see.

Speaking of relevance, when displaying video ads, always make sure that they’re geared towards the right audience. Consult with your ad network and ask them about how they target video ads so that you know exactly what types of users are seeing your message.

Publishers: If you aren’t placing ads on your videos yet, then you could seriously be missing out on huge revenue stream. By allowing (relevant) pre roll ads to play with your videos, you’re not only opening up opportunity to earn more money, but you’re also supplementing people’s viewing experience at the same time.

Also, if you’re worried about annoying your viewers with ads, then opt to place a close button that allows them to skip the ad and go straight to your video.

FooterRoll

Advertisers: If you’re looking for more out of the box ways to display your video ads, then consider looking into FooterRoll. This ad type appears as a horizontal toolbar at the bottom of the page. The toolbar supports an expandable advertisement that plays whenever the user hovers over it. Aside from the actual add, FooterRoll can also have social media buttons as well as a search box that allows people to have a more interactive browsing experience.

Publishers: Publishers on the other hand can use FooterRoll to add more functionality to their site while earning additional revenue in the process. The FooterRoll toolbar is customizable so you’ll be able to select the ad types and buttons that it displays. You’ll also be in control of how the toolbar behaves so you can ensure that it doesn’t disrupt the content flow of your site.

Additional Video Tips

Fancy video tools and platforms are great and all, but the fact remains that your video campaigns will only truly be effective if they’re reaching the right audience. If you’re an advertiser, always think about your target customers in every step of the video production process, from the storyboard, to production, to actually deploying the ads. It’s also best to collect data so you can improve future campaigns and be more targeted.

Remember, relevance is key.

The same thing goes for publishers. Only display videos that are relevant your content and target audience. Serving up video ads that your viewers don’t care about is a big turn off. On the contrary, if you display advertisements that are fun to watch and actually add value to your audience’s viewing experience, then you are helping to create a win-win-win experience for yourself, your audience, and advertisers.

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3 Questions to Ask Before Unveiling an Ad Campaign

Posted January 2, 2013 by fran @ 12:33 pm

In online advertising, no one can fully guarantee that your ad campaign will be a hit. Yes, you can (and should) run tests have creative brainstorming sessions to tweak and develop the ad campaign much as you want, but the fact is, you won’t really know if it’s a hit or miss until it is actually out there.

Fortunately though, there are few things that you can do to improve its chances of success. As mentioned above, you should test the components of your campaign to see which aspects are working and which ones aren’t. Split test designs or copy to determine the best ones. If you discover that’s something’s amiss, go back to the drawing board and brainstorm changes and revamps.

On top of this, it’s important to note that the success of an ad campaign doesn’t just depend on the ads and how they are deployed. External factors (acts of God, political and social shifts) also come into play and they certainly have to power to make or break your campaign. And while you don’t always have control of these factors, it’s best to always keep them in check before running your ads.

To help you assess the internal and external components that can affect your ad campaign, we’ve put together a few questions that can help determine if it’s the right time to unveil your campaign. Check them out below, apply the ones that are right for your situation and be sure to ask these questions before hitting the “Launch” button.

Is your product bug free?

Even the most brilliant of ads won’t do you any good if the product is faulty. Take Apple, for example. The tech giant recently unveiled an awesome new ad featuring the Williams sisters. The ad, which demonstrated the iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature was funny, witty, and effective. Too bad the timing of its release was terrible. As AdWeek pointed out, while the spot was indeed brilliant, it was “released for New Year’s—when, due to a glitch involving the rollover to 2013, “Do Not Disturb” suddenly stopped working for a number of users on Tuesday morning.”

Of course, trying to foresee problems in your products is a difficult task. (Evidently even the great Apple can slip in this department.) But do make it a point to give your product a thorough check especially when you’re planning to release a big ad campaign about it.

What’s going on in the news?

Always, always check the news and trending topics lists before launch. A poorly timed ad can give you a PR disaster faster than you can say “retraction” so do your homework before unveiling an ad campaign. For instance, if you released an ad for guns or bullets around the time when the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place, you’d certainly receive a lot of flak from the public.

To prevent your ad campaigns from backfiring, be sure to always keep tabs on what’s happening in your industry and in the public sphere in general. It’s one thing to ride on a trending topic, but being timely in the worst possible way is a different story.

If your website up for it?

Don’t forget to check the pages and features of your website / landing page before publishing an ad campaign. Ensure that your target audience will be able to perform your desired call to action by testing all the buttons and links on your site. Also ask yourself if your website will be able to handle the traffic that your ads may bring. The last thing you want is a site outage in the middle of your campaign.

Image credit:  Colin_K on Flickr

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4 New Year’s Resolutions Every Publisher Should Make

Posted December 26, 2012 by fran @ 10:21 am

Last week, we wrote about New Year’s resolutions for advertisers. This time around, we thought we’d go to the other side of the fence and talk about what publishers can do to make 2013 more profitable. If you have a website, app, or toolbar and you’re looking for more ways to monetize them in 2013, check out the following tips below and resolve to do them in the year ahead.

Produce only quality content – Getting more traffic (plus clicks and revenue in the process) doesn’t require sleazy click baits and annoying tactics. Instead of looking for ways to make a quick buck, focus on producing quality content. If you are able to provide immense value to your visitors, you’ll find that they will keep coming back and that there’s no need to “lure” them into your website.

Whether you’re publishing blog posts, shooting videos, and developing toolbars, remember to put user experience first. Always invest in the quality of your content or creations. Sure, this route will take longer, and there usually aren’t any shortcuts when putting out top quality products, but doing so is often much more meaningful and yields better results.

Be consistent – Don’t be one of those erratic publishers that produce content then disappear, only to sprout up out of the blue on some random day. Nothing confuses your visitors / users more, and it’s a sure-fire way to send the message that you’re very inconsistent. Users want to deal with publishers that are dependable and with proven track records of putting out quality content / products on a regular and consistent basis.

Most publishers fail to be consistent with content because they are having one of those days when they don’t have anything to write about or they “just don’t feel like it”. Don’t let this happen to you. Slow news or lazy days can be effectively combated with an editorial calendar.  Always plan your posts ahead and make a publishing schedule so you always know what to write about and when. Editorial calendars also come in handy for recording your thoughts and ensuring that no brilliant post ideas slip through the cracks.

Go mobile – Users are now consuming content through multiple channels, so as a publisher, you will need to keep up with them. Since most people are now accessing the web via their mobile devices, ensure that your content is also available on smartphones and tablets. Create a mobile-friendly site to ensure that your visitors will still be able to access your content even while they’re on the go.

Also remember that it isn’t just about mobile-friendly content. In order to effectively monetize on the go users, be sure to put mobile ads on your website as well to ensure that you’re able to earn revenue using multiple channels and platforms.

Be relevant – Is there breaking news your industry? Perhaps some trending topics that people just can’t stop talking about? Be sure to join the chatter and produce content that are in line with relevant issues. Doing so increases the chances of people finding your content, thus allowing you to gain more traffic, clicks, and revenue in the process.

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4 New Year’s Resolutions Every Advertiser Should Make

Posted December 17, 2012 by fran @ 1:22 pm

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for people or individuals turning over a new leaf in the coming year, they can also be applied to businesses who want to improve customer service and generate revenue.

On top of your own personal new year’s resolutions for 2013, consider thinking of some professional or industry-related resolutions that your business can also commit to.

1. Be more targeted – In 2013, resolve to put our more targeted ads. Remember that in advertising, getting 100 targeted and relevant clicks is better than getting 1000 untargeted impressions that don’t yield clicks or results.

Advertising platforms give extensive tools for companies to help them zero in on their audiences. Use them. Put out specific ads for users based on either their demographics or location (or both) and you’ll definitely see an improvement in your campaigns.

Aside from using the targeting tools of your ad network, ensure that the your ad text or graphics are targeted as well. Gather data on the audience that you’re trying to reach and use that research to create your ads. Use their language and incorporate their preferences into advertisements. Remember that the campaign should be about THEM, not you, so put out ads that they like (and not just what you like).

2. Use multiple channels and devices – Gone are the days when users only have to rely on one or two devices to get information. In this day and age, people are getting information from multiple sources and devices which means that if you want to put your brand out there, you need to do so using several devices and channels as well.

It’s not enough to just put banners ads on a couple of websites. Nowadays, you need to strive to be everywhere your customers are, otherwise, you risk getting lost in the clutter. Consider making use of Cross Channel Advertising to cover all your bases. As its name clearly states, this solution allows you to reach users across multiple channels, including search, display, social, mobile, video, and more. Taking advantage of Cross Channel Advertising ensures that you’ll be where your customers are and increases the chances of you staying top of mind.

3. Keep up with the times and trends  – In order for your brand to stick and resonate with customers, it needs to be relevant; and in order to be relevant, you need to keep a close eye on what’s new and what’s trending so that you can come up with ads that your customers can relate to.

Make it a point to keep yourself abreast with what’s happening in your industry. Subscribe to relevant blogs, pick up publications in your space, and follow your field’s thought leaders on social media. Speaking of, pay attention to the trending topics on social networks and use those to craft posts or even campaigns that you can put out there.

4. Get to know your customers even more – Did you do enough customer research in 2012? If not, then be sure to get on it in 2013. Gather as much customer data and intel as you can. Conduct surveys and track customer behavior through analytics. Doing so will allow you to serve them better, and put out more superior products, services, and ad campaigns.

Image credit: Joe Lanman on Flickr

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Inject Gives You More Ways to Monetize Your Content and Creations

Posted December 10, 2012 by fran @ 12:00 pm

Contrary to what others might think, online publishers aren’t limited to bloggers and website owners (at least not in this ad network). To us here at AdMedia, software, toolbar, and app developers are included in the publisher family too, which is why we give them tons of opportunities to monetize their creations.

If you’re a publisher who wants to make money off your downloadable items, check of Inject.com. Thanks to nifty platform, creators of toolbars and other downloadable products are able to earn extra revenue simply by adding a single line of Java Script. Inject lets you serve up different types of ads, depending on your program and you can even customize each ad to ensure that it fits in well with look, feel, and content of your product. Inject.com also provides a white-label version to ensure that it fully integrates with your brand.

Ad Types

Question: So what exactly are the kinds of advertisements that you can serve up with Inject?

Answer: Whatever you like.

Inject.com allows you to use multiple ad type, so you have several ways make money. The platform doesn’t limit publishers from displaying ads . We put you in the driver’s seat, so you can steer your toolbars and programs towards any direction you want.

Below is a glimpse of some of the publisher ad solutions that you can access with Inject:

Display – Use the power of classic display ads to turn heads and grab people’s attention. Select from a variety of categories and ads to target relevant users.

PreRoll – Take display ads to the next level with video! PreRoll advertisements have the power to engage viewers and increase anticipation. Don’t worry; our system will see to it that the ads being served up are related to your product, giving more clicks and even more revenue.

Search – Incorporate Search XMLL feeds into your program to supplement user curiosity. Give them the ability to search for helpful and relevant information right from your toolbar or app.

Intext – Is your product heavy on text and content? Then Intextual ads could be for you.  These advertisements unobtrusively appear as underlined keywords in a body of text. When users hover over these words, a relevant ad and search box will appear to complement their browsing experience. These ads are also great space savers because they blend in perfectly with the flow of your content.

Overlay ads – Does your product have images in it? Then make the most out of them with image overlay ads. These adverts are displayed on top of images and are proven to get eyeballs and clicks. They won’t disrupt user experience either, since our overlay ads all come with a close button for users who aren’t interested.

Footer Toolbar – Tap into the power of social with FooterRoll. This product appears as a horizontal toolbar that contains an expandable ad, together with other features, including social links, a search box, and more. The FooterRooll toolbar is extremely effective both in earning you revenue and getting you more social fans and followers at the same time.

Image credit:  DonkeyHotey on Flickr

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5 Ways to Stay Relevant During the Holidays

Posted December 5, 2012 by fran @ 12:17 pm

The phrase, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” that we keep hearing during the holiday season doesn’t just apply to kids and families. It also rings true for business. Sales surge during November and December, thanks to Christmas shoppers buying presents and décor. In fact, according to a recent infographic by MDG Advertising, “In 2011, online sales increased by 74% the week before Christmas”.

Take full advantage of the season by optimizing your site and brand for the holidays. The following tips below are some great ideas that you can implement during the following weeks to ensure that you’ll be able to get as much business as possible:

Use holiday-themed ads – By now you should already recognize the importance of being relevant and targeted when it comes to online advertising.  This season, don’t just stop at targeting ads by consumer location or demographic; step it up a notch and inject your ads with something that’s related to the holidays. Whether it’s promoting your site’s Christmas sale, or showcasing products and services that you serve as great presents, be sure to include the holiday spirit into your advertisements to really entice customers.

Update your cover photos accordingly – Make sure your social media fans are in on the holiday fun as well. Switch up your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ cover photos to something that’s relevant to the time of the year. This will not only remind your fans to think of you during the holidays; it will also demonstrate your efforts to keep up with the times.

Sprinkle your blog with holiday posts – Publish holiday-related posts on your blog, every now and then. This season is rich with article ideas that you can use on your site. From naughty and nice lists to gift ideas, to holiday survival tips, you’re bound to come up with some significant and beneficial articles that people can use. What’s more, since you’re posting something that’s relevant to the season, your holiday posts are more likely to be shared and searched for online.

Keep running campaigns even after the holidays – Don’t be in such a hurry to close up shop after December 25. MDG Advertising further shared that “57% of Americans will be shipping the day after Christmas”, which means that you can keep your sales signs up even if it’s past Christmas day itself.  Accommodate these (very) late holiday shoppers by making sure that you still have some deals and promos in place.

For Next year: Vow to Start Early – If you started your holiday advertising early this year, then congratulations! You effectively maximized your chances of getting holiday sales and traffic. In fact it looks like more and more businesses are realizing that it pays to be early during the holiday season. According to MDG Advertising, in “2012, 42% of retailers started Christmas advertising in October.”

However, if you missed the boat on unveiling early holiday specials, don’t fret. There’s always next year. Besides, like what we previously mentioned, you can still accommodate late Christmas shoppers by keeping your deals up even after the actual holiday.

Image credit:  theogeo on Flickr

 

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