For many businesses, the holidays are the most important time of the year. Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and then into the Christmas rush, the majority of eCommerce companies will see this period as a make or break time. In fact, research indicates that up to 30% of all US retail sales are expected to happen on digital channels this year around this time which is why focusing on holiday content marketing ideas is so integral to success.
Knowing how to effectively drive holiday sales with content and even having a holiday content strategy outlined in detail is the difference between just keeping your business going and dominating the competition. The retail strength of the holiday shopping season is now felt throughout the globe and creating engaging content is a way to ensure that one-off Christmas shoppers become lifelong customers.
While many people look to slow down and wind up proceedings during the holiday season, for eCommerce businesses and marketers it is a time to capitalize on the multitude of opportunities out there. Despite the increasingly busy schedule at this time of year, marketers always need to find ways that boost their content marketing efforts and drive holiday sales. Having content marketing ideas that are easy to execute and effective throughout the holiday season and beyond starts with gathering the proper data and understanding the insights available to you. This is the first step in your holiday engagement guide as it relates to content marketing.
Acquiring insights and data into what shoppers are interested in and eventually buying will help you recognize which items to focus on and which content to prioritize. Research indicates that during the holiday season, people will most likely purchase clothing, food, and accessories, ethers as gifts or simply just to take advantage of the many sales available to them. Performing research to find this data as it relates to your own products and services means you can highlight these at the right time, in the right place, ensuring your marketing efforts provide the most efficient ROI possible during the most important time of the year.
This doesn’t just apply to the what, but also to the how and the why. Nowadays, 66% of Christmas shoppers will pay more for sustainable products and social causes have an increasing importance amongst customers so creating content that showcases and reinforces this element of your business increases the likelihood of a purchase.
By using marketing research which is already available to you online, you can find that 68% of shoppers pay more attention to emails from companies during the holiday season while just under half of all customers say they will only purchase something this holiday season if it’s on sale. Similarly, the data is also skewing towards a social media focus as 23% of Christmas shoppers in the US say they rely on this platform when it comes to making decisions while 20% say they first get their inspiration from Instagram before purchasing any products.
Having this data available to you leads to more informed decisions regarding your marketing efforts and approach, even the content marketing topics themselves, as you reduce the likelihood of any wasted finances or strategies. Your holiday content marketing needs to be led by the data you uncover, otherwise you are just hoping for a Christmas miracle to lead your customers to your eCommerce business.
Tips for Brands to Level-Up Their Content For The Holidays
Once you have this data though, you need to know who to properly implement a holiday content strategy to boost leads, traffic, awareness, and ultimately, conversions. Here are some key tips to adhere to if you want to drive holiday sales with content this year:
Review Last Year’s Approach – This year is different from any other, which therefore requires a new approach. The ongoing global pandemic brings with it a new wave of challenges to navigate during the holidays. However, while it isn’t exactly the same situation, there is still a great deal you can learn from previous campaigns to help prepare for the current strategy. Look back over your data and statistics from previous years to better understand where and how you won and, more importantly, where you can improve. Analyzing your previous strategies and campaigns will help you avoid making similar mistakes while you will also be able to better utilize available customer data. Understanding the key elements of your ideal customer will help you craft holiday messaging that resonates, something which is especially important given the current situation for most.
Focus on Your Specific Audience – Speaking of which, a one-size-fits-all policy will have many gaps with specification being the all-important focus point to build around. No holiday marketing efforts are the same and you shouldn’t just look to mirror your competitors’ strategies and hope for positive results. The key to a successful holiday marketing campaign lies in knowing how to speak to your customers, in your tone of voice, that highlights your unique brand identity. If you have younger customers, particularly those like Gen Z or Millennials, aim to increase your social commerce efforts and presence, sharing special offers or particular products on these platforms as opposed to more traditional ones. Just because your brick-and-mortar location may be restricted, you look to target other specific demographics with things like or buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) options. Know your specific audience, and target them directly to see the best holiday results.
Utilize Emails – The stats show that email content is one of the most effective marketing tactics at your disposal. This is because your subscribers are already a captive audience interested in your products and services, looking for you to provide them with more information. They’ve basically told you that they’re interested in what you have to say, so talk to them during this period. This can be to remind them of updates to your policies, highlight current and upcoming offers, give them unique discounts, showcase products or even just spread some holiday cheer. They are already a loyal audience, so you need to continue to repay this at every opportunity you get.
Instagram Giveaways – Social media, in particular Instagram, is the main port of call for younger generations when looking for information about your brand, so give them a reason to connect with you here. Running a giveaway on Instagram is a great way to boost brand awareness, get more followers, and promote your products while encouraging greater customer participation. The key to a successful giveaway is proper planning – you’ll want to define the purpose and goals of your giveaway well before you dive in. It isn’t just as simple as knocking up a post on the day and sending it out. If you’re launching a new holiday product this season, tie a giveaway into your larger marketing goals, such as raising awareness of it among your online audience. Another way to generate this desired success is to partner with an Instagram influencer who has a similar target market and audience to you, further increasing your reach to many potential new customers, all while ensuring it comes from a trusted source of information.
Partner With An Influencer – This content idea deserves further elaboration due to the incredible effectiveness it provides to brands looking to make an impact. Partnering with Instagram influencers is a great way to introduce your business to new audiences, raise your profile, and get customers into the buying spirit this holiday season. Influencer marketing is a great way to avoid all the extra noise out there and get your brand noticed. First, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, including the number of sales you’re hoping to make, how you want your product to be featured, and anything else you deem important. Most influencers will be getting floods of pitches from many brands at this time of year, so be clear, concise, and honest about what you’re looking for. This can lead to a content partnership that lasts and extends far beyond just the Christmas period.
Give Back – This year especially has been tough for a lot of people so acknowledge and reference this in your content. Brands should look to help out right now rather than cash in. After all, the holidays are not just centred on consumption, they’re about giving back to those in need. Many consumers don’t need special discounts or email content informing them of the great deals you have at the minute, they just want to know that your business aligns with their values and ideals. Create content that talks about the charity work or social causes you’ve been involved with, the sustainability of your business practices and ethical nature of your business, and your audience will thank you for it. This matters to modern consumers so embody. Look to give back or support a charity that reflects your business’s values and role in the wider community. There are many examples to take inspiration from, but Patagonia is unquestionably one the best at this.
The holiday season will make or break revenue goals for almost every retailer and marketer out there. An increase in customers shopping online due to the pandemic mixed with the growing competition makes it harder for brands, in particular SMBs, to succeed during the holidays. But your online content is your best friend. Holiday marketing campaigns don’t need to be overly complicated, or even overly festive for that matter, to deliver great benefits to your business. But whether you’re looking to do a few simple things to help your brand this Christmas or enact a large, sweeping campaign, these tips mentioned above, when based on the data you’ve collected, can help to generate holiday marketing ideas that truly benefit your business at the most important time of the year.
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