Top Tips for Publishers Looking to Unwrap Holiday Spend

Adrian Isoldi

October 3, 2021 | 4 min read

The festive season is set to bring some much-needed relief for Aussies after long periods of lockdown throughout 2021. As such, advertisers are looking to capitalise on the flurry of seasonal consumer spending while the country opens up. 

With e-commerce expected to play a prominent role in Australia’s holiday shopping this year, digital publishers are positioned well to maximise holiday traffic on their sites — but with such lucrative supply, how do they best match it with demand?

Here are some top tips on how publishers can best engage buyers and capture upcoming seasonal spend. 

‘ Tis the Season for Ad Spend

If this year’s ad investment falls in line with last year’s, there will be cause to celebrate. 

The Christmas 2020 retail season was the biggest on record, with consumers spending more than $55 billion in November and December. Digital ad spend also made a strong come back in Q4 last year, increasing almost 30% from Q3

Can we expect much of the same this year? Predictions indicate a resounding, “Yes.” According to Magnite’s agency clients, some brands have limited their ad spend in Q3 and pushed budgets into Q4, hoping to make a significant impact over the festive period.

It’s worth noting that seasonal spend is likely to see greater spikes in certain areas. For example, Q4 2020 biggest spending categories were in:

  • Retail, Tech and Finance across display, audio and online video (Source: Magnite platform) 
  • FMCG, Tech and Home & Garden on BVOD (Source: Magnite platform)

This year, most spend is likely to come from retail and technology categories. With advertisers eager to capitalise on consumer spending, there will be a holiday rush to invest and catch end-of-year peak shopping. As Flaminia Sapori, Head of Partnerships at Matterkind said, “At Matterkind, we’re seeing brands in the key categories of tech and retail looking to ramp up their ad spend in the last quarter of the year. With many of the lockdown restrictions set to ease around Australia, brands are ready to engage with consumers with renewed energy and confidence.”

How Publishers Can Unwrap Budgets in Q4

As buyers look to reach targeted holiday audiences at scale, publishers can keep several tips top of mind to best capture brand business.

For broadcasters, content will be king. With Australia home to a highly engaged BVOD market, spring and summer TV will be competing to win eyeballs as never before. Publishers will want to make buyers aware of the strong summer lineup on their BVOD services early on, so buyers can plan accordingly. Holiday specials and exclusive content may be ways to differentiate in a crowded marketplace. 

For media owners across display, online video and audio, it’s all about performance – reach, brand-safe content, high viewability, and completion rates for video. Publishers must also demonstrate to advertisers that they have highly valuable audiences that are motivated to spend in the run up to the festive period. 

There are also unique opportunities video publishers can offer brands in Q4. For example, the ability to target contextually around the streaming TV holiday verticals and genres such as summer sports, holiday-themed rom coms or seasonal cooking shows. 

Communicating this value to media buyers will be key for publishers looking to optimise demand through the seasonal period. Advertisers are looking for scale and the largest possible ROI on their seasonal advertising investments, so numbers and reporting matter. 

To make the most of the season, publishers should begin to prepare buyers now by providing informative collateral and clearly outlining the opportunities for advertisers to reach their seasonal marketing goals via their platforms and content.

Ultimately, this holiday season promises to be bright for publishers looking to monetise seasonal ad budgets. As lockdown lifts, Q4 is the perfect time to re-engage and connect with buyers – not just to discuss their advertising campaigns but for a friendly chat and some seasonal cheer. 

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