The holidays are fast approaching, and with that comes increased spending across the board from both customers and businesses alike. But how can you outpace the competition and ensure that your brand and your products are top of mind? Let’s break down 5 effective ways to be successful during the busiest and most competitive marketing season of the year.1. Brand Awareness Over Everything You know how everyone gets annoyed when holiday decorations come out on November 1st? Whether or not you realize it, the majority of businesses actually start their holiday marketing campaigns as early as September, which generally means that they had everything in the works as early as the summer. The reason behind an early push for holiday marketing lies in the importance of brand awareness. If your product, service, or brand is essentially unrecognizable or not relevant to your desired audience come November and December, it is unlike they will choose you over a competitor; especially one who has been flirtatiously feeding them ads and snackable content and nurturing a relationship for the past two to three months. Often times, the brand that spent 60% of their budget on brand awareness between September – November and 40% of their budget on conversion driven campaigns between November – December will almost always be more successful than the brand that spent only 10-20% of their budget on brand awareness and a lump sum of 80% on conversion campaigns – the latter of which is an attempt to desperately drive sales before the holiday buying fever is over. However, without a strong enough brand presence, your conversions will be harder to achieve than they should be.2. Leverage the Power of Video and EmotionsIt’s no secret that video outperforms virtually every other form of ad content. In fact, 50% of consumers prefer to watch video content of a product before actually visiting an online store to purchase it – only 28% of internet users would prefer to learn about a product via written information compared to 72% who prefer to watch a video (Hubspot, 2018). The key to utilizing video content effectively is to actively participate in sharing the holiday spirit while simultaneously promoting new products or services – the importance, however, is that the former supercedes the latter. The holidays are a great time to level with your audience and be a little bit more personal and heartfelt, and not to shove a product in their face; this is best achieved by focusing more on the emotional relationships that define the holidays, and less on the products themselves.3. Personalize The Marketing & Advertising ProcessThere are several ways that you can personalize your social media in order to connect more deeply with your respective audience. You can employ retargeting strategies by showing products to audiences that have already interacted with a product or your brand in the digital landscape; this is effective, as “79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer it has been personalized with their previous interactions with the brand.” (RR Donnelley, 2018). In this sense, the well-timed delivery of an ad with a promotional code can do wonders in boosting your conversion rates and driving sales. For example, if someone has been browsing your online store looking for the perfect sweater to gift to someone but has been indecisive, they are way more likely to actually convert if you eventually feed them with a code for 15% off and generate what we call an “impulse conversion”. Currently, retargeting ads are available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest.4. Social Media StoriesAnother key holiday marketing technique is to create social media stories on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, all of which “create a direct line of communication with followers that is more natural. Rather than seeing ultra-polished, on-brand marketing materials, you get to see a more human side of the company or peek behind the scenes.” (Pritful, 2018). In addition, by incorporating a URL that can be accessed by “swiping up”, you provide an easy entry point for your audience to view your online store. If you set-up your campaign correctly, you will only be charged when someone actually visits the store, giving you free brand awareness opportunities for those who don’t click, and a potential buying customer for those that do. So, what should you share in your social media stories? There are several options, but some standouts are teasers for new products, behind-the-scenes footage of your staff or your store, or general messages of holiday cheer.5. Mobile is the New BlackLeveraging the power of mobile will be more important in 2018 than ever before. With 2.54 billion global smartphones users, audiences are increasingly favouring smartphone usage over desktop, “rising from 5% use in 2011 to 30% in 2016” (Statista, 2018). With the rise in mobile ad consumption, users are actually less likely to listen to the audio content of ads since they are frequently on the go, or listening to music or podcasts. As such, it is an effective technique to add subtitles to your video to ensure that your audience isn’t missing out on any of the context of your ads. However, the key to marketing for mobile effectively is to ensure that your ad copy and creative are built in a way that best suits the medium and the lifestyle of mobile technology – meaning, creating ads that are optimized for smaller screens and for an audience that is generally ‘on the go’ while consuming your content.If you can leverage these 5 tips effectively, we are confident that your holiday campaign will be successful. But if you’re looking for someone to help manage your holiday campaign, contact us here!
Giving Your Brand “Presence”: 5 Essential Marketing Strategies for the Holidays