5 niche contextual audiences to consider this holiday season

contextual holiday audiences

‘Tis the season! With faster-than-ever shifts towards ecommerce, and global supply chain issues causing potential delivery disruptions, holiday shopping is starting sooner than usual. 

The holiday season also marks a time when consumers are more receptive to advertisers’ messages, and even more likely to convert. With holiday lists to check off, parties to cook for, and gifts to give, advertisers have an opportunity to help shoppers find exactly what they need. 

In a frenzied season with competing advertising messages, how can you ensure you stand out?

The secret is to reach audiences based on context. By matching interests in a time when purchase-intent is high, campaigns (and conversion rates) gain more success. We wrote about the power of contextual targeting in our recent Back to Basics blog, and it’s especially relevant for making a big impact this season. 

To help, we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of five niche audiences you should consider reaching this year.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Enthusiasts 

This year, DIY is trending more than ever. In fact, according to a recent report, people will spend less on gifts this year. This may be driven by concerns over supply chain issues and delayed packages, or by crafters looking for an opportunity to show off creative skills learned in lockdown. Or, it may be a more budget-friendly approach to gifting following many months of strained wallets. Whatever the reason, many more gifts this year will be made at home.

This is also reflected in a growing number of monthly active Pinterest users worldwide. Globally, hundreds of millions of people are turning towards the platform to garner inspiration and make festive planning decisions.

Pinterest user statistics
Monthly active Pinterest users worldwide. Source: Statista

For brands that can help empower these DIYers, like arts and craft suppliers, home improvement companies, and even cookbook sellers, this holiday season is the perfect time to help create those homemade gifts and memories. Crafters and bakers start their holiday shopping and preparation sooner, since labors of love often take larger time investments.

Make sure your shipping timing estimates are accurate to further deliver a positive experience for shoppers and to manage delivery expectations. This is a perfect chance to leverage native advertising opportunities, too. You can deliver an unobtrusive experience for inspiration-browsers, and can offer messaging that aligns with DIY crafting goals.

Additionally, consider advertising digital gift cards: if that handknit sweater idea unravels at the last minute, your virtual gift card can arrive instantly, no shipping required.

Local Business Supporters

Conscious consumption has been trending for a while, but we’re really seeing it take off in 2021.Increasingly, US shoppers are putting their money where their beliefs are, by placing more value on brand accessibility, availability, sustainability, and supporting local businesses. 

Understanding brand values is greatly influencing purchasing decisions as consumption grows more philanthropic. In fact, more than half of US consumers intend to shop local and independent businesses in an effort to support and bolster their local communities.

This is an opportunity for companies who support artisanal shops, supply local businesses, or support local business owners with resources like website design, business cards, and marketing materials, to reach these businesses now, ensuring they’re ready for the holiday season. And, you can help promote community businesses to entice shoppers to spend locally.

DIYers may pop up in this category, too, as they hunt for the right kitchen tools or treat packaging, local craft shops, art supply stores, and more. As such, advertisers can consider using first-party data to help find lookalike audiences given the overlap in these categories. 

Home Chefs

While the holiday staples differ country to country, one thing that the world shares is a love of treats to make the season extra festive. 

Of course, food dominates the purchase intent category for Thanksgiving. For later winter holidays, baking, protein, fruit and veggies, and sweets all rank next in purchase intent after gifts, according to Numerator’s recent report, further solidifying consumables as an integral (and tasty) part of the holiday season.

From grocery delivery for the advanced chef, to meal kits for those who dabble, to CPG consumables (and other ingredient options), all options can help cooks, bakers, and edible gift-givers this holiday season.

This year, we’re seeing trends in more inclusionary cooking to accommodate dietary restrictions, lifestyle changes, and environmentally-conscious eating. Do you offer consumer packaged goods (CPG)? Consider content around inclusive recipes, easy substitutions, diet-friendly recipe options, and more. It’s easy to add inclusive examples, and it helps make your CPG products more accessible to cooks, gift-givers, and holiday party hosts.

Newly Engaged Lovebirds

Sometimes the most exciting gifts come in the smallest packages. Engagement season lines up with the holidays, as sparkling jewelry finds its way into stockings or rings in the New Year. In fact, in 2019 alone, nearly 20% of all proposals in the US happened in December — more than double the percent in any other given month.

Engagement statistics December
Most popular months to become engaged. Source: Statista

Could your product be an extra special part of a proposal story? From flowers to custom decor to meal kits that give even the least adept cooks a chance to deliver a romantic homemade dinner, how can your products or services create a memorable experience? Fine jewelry and department store brands can also help this demographic finish out the year in an extra romantic style.

Plus, we’re already starting to see the early effects of the Wedding Boom, as life continues to inch towards normalcy in the wake of COVID-19. As future couples begin to plan their weddings and registries, the right advertisers can help set these spouses up for success. From home essentials to honeymoon trips to new furniture or renovation supplies, to all things wedding industry-related, now is the time to ensure your brand is favored and considered for all future planning needs.

Seasonal Decorators

For those who love to deck the halls, holiday-related content is a welcome source of inspiration.

This holiday season, the trendiest color is going green. Increasingly, consumers want environmentally conscious sustainable light sources (like LED) to light up neighborhoods around the world. Smart home products can also help adjust power usage. Eco-friendly reusable products and decor are increasingly in demand, too, and electric-powered lawn care is on every conscientious home owners’ wishlist.

From scented candles, cozy throws, and fuzzy slippers to make homes hygge, and decorative accents to brighten any table, now is the time for advertisers to help the holidays arrive in style.

For home decor shoppers, markets, malls, and shopping centers are frequent stops. Consider a digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising campaign in or nearby these high-visibility spots. 

Get Started

Ready to explore contextual audience targeting across channels? Contact us to learn how to optimize your holiday campaigns and reach these niche audiences (and more). 

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