October is here again, and one thing is for sure—everyone is starting to think about the holidays. All celebrations that take place in December seem to come earlier and earlier each year, which means digital marketers should really start thinking about their plan of attack for engaging ready-to-purchase customers who are full of holiday cheer.
According to Forrester Research, the number of online shoppers is expected to grow from 167 million in 2012 to 192 million by 2016, and in 2012 129 million consumers shopped online on Cyber Monday alone.
What do all these numbers mean? That your holiday content needs to stand out!
This call to action isn’t meant to instill anxiety in retailers or marketers; instead, it’s an opportunity for your team to bring their best ideas to the table. If you don’t already have a holiday campaign in place, consider these tips as a starting point:
1. Place priority on existing customers
This sounds like an obvious concept, sure, but what we are really talking about is reminding your existing customers of your brand. Dozens of other businesses in your space are fighting for your customers’ attention, especially at this time of year. Thoughtfully predict what your customers want, then work to bring your brand to the forefront.
Construct compelling, relevant content that engages your consumer base and also shows your appreciation. Exclusive emails with limited-time deals go a long way. Launch early holiday-themed posts on your social media accounts. Include coupons, tips, discounts. Think: What do they want for the holidays this year?
2. Know which keywords are most effective
Getting your content to connect to certain keywords doesn’t happen overnight. Start creating holiday offer pages on your website and conduct keyword research into commonly searched holiday-related keywords related to your industry. If you own a small business that specializes in home décor, for example, you probably already know about the high activity that happens in your industry this time of year. The next step is to break it down.
Let’s continue with this example. In the world of home décor, observing trends in Google show that “Christmas” terms generate more volume than generic “holiday” terms. What about your industry?
Visit Google Trends to find out.
3. Focus on the weekends
According to data collected by advertising platform OutBrain in 2013, consumers are 12% more likely to click on holiday-related content on the weekend than any other day.
The extent to which this is true depends upon your industry, but the general rule of holiday content marketing is to develop your content during the week so it’s ready to go for the weekend.
And as could be imagined, Cyber Monday is the day that consumer engagement and content consumption is the highest, as shown by OutBrain.
The Sacramento Business Journal reported at the beginning of the year that mobile traffic accounted for 17 percent of all online sales during the 2013 holiday season, with tablets alone accounting for 11.5% of all online sales. And according to Ipsos MediaCT, 4 in 5 shoppers will use devices simultaneously to help with holiday shopping.
Your holiday content needs to be mobile-friendly, as this trend is only likely to grow in each subsequent year. While you might be pressured to add flashy holiday-themed design to the mobile version of your site, approach with caution. Remember the basics of site load time?
5. Create content with a short life
The holiday season only arrives once a year, and the consumer’s mind tends to shift quickly from purchase decision to decision. Creating content that is meant for a 24-hour period can be a bit of a challenge, but displaying a sense of urgency is a necessity during the holiday rush. Pushing out “countdowns” or content that reminds the consumer that holiday deals only come once a year is more likely to encourage fast action instead of patiently waiting for engagement to occur.
But remember: Quick and to-the-point content shouldn’t be created as if it’s a throwaway.
By now most businesses have a holiday campaign in place, but if yours hasn’t come together yet, now is the time to pin all the details down. Sit down with your team, consider what your consumers need and want, what will be most effective, when you should roll it out, and how long the content should last.
If you need a boost with holiday campaign efforts, get in touch with our team today!