How the Holidays Affect Media in 2023

How the Holidays Affect Media in 2023

A wonderful time of the year – though not for media budgets. The holiday season brings a flood of advertisers to both the digital and traditional media spaces. This means more ads, more clutter, and more money spent to compete.

Here, the Élan team would like to address how the holidays affect two key digital media tactics: Paid Search and Paid Social.


Paid Social

Due to the large influx of advertisers entering the market around the holidays, the social media landscape can become extraordinarily competitive. As a result, advertisers need to pay special attention to their campaigns over the holiday season. 

One of the most common issues advertisers face during the holiday season is increased CPMs (cost per thousand impressions). As the auctions become more competitive, bid prices will start to increase. As a result, it is common for advertisers to completely pause over the holiday season, losing out on potential leads. 

During times of high competition, our team uses the Meta platform’s “rules” in to put a cap on CPM. Should the ads in your campaign continue to have low CPMs, the campaign will continue to run as usual. 

However, if competition is high for your target audience(s) and CPMs increase to a level that is uncomfortable for you or your advertiser, the campaign will pause for the day. This allows your ads to continue to serve at prices you are comfortable with. 

With increased eCommerce advertising and these CPM limits, paid social media advertising performance is typically lower for the month of December.

Élan’s overall goal is to drive value in the areas with the highest return on investment. Therefore, while some spend is capped for certain practice areas, a large portion of spend will be focused around high-value practice areas where accident/incident volume may increase during the holiday period. This includes practice areas motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) involving commercial vehicles.


Paid Search

Since search campaigns serve ads based on keyword search queries, our ads only show alongside advertisers who are bidding on the same legal keywords. This means that our legal industry marketing campaigns are not competing for impression share with ecommerce markets like they could be on social, video, and display platforms. Therefore, legal industry search campaigns are not affected by holiday CPM increases caused by an influx of ecommerce ads. 

Search campaigns can however see a slight drop in search volume over the holidays as people are generally searching less for legal industry keyword terms. Search trends fluctuate and are always changing. However, based on our historical data, you can prepare for a 7-10% decrease in impressions over a major holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.



As the media landscape shifts over the holiday season, Élan adapts to the changes to ensure media dollars are being spent when it truly makes the biggest impact. Overall, you can expect performance to dip; though know this is by design to maintain an efficient media spend. 

After the dip in results late December, you can expect to see a lift in media performance the following month – kicking off the new year with positive lead retention numbers due to revamped media spend and strategies.


Happy Holidays! – The Élan Team

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