The need for earlier holiday marketing is growing as holiday spending rises, but it’s still not too late to get some good exposure. About 7% of people in the US will keep shopping until Christmas Eve. And a further 4% will do their holiday shopping between the 26th of December and the 1st of January. So, while you’ll want to get the jump on things next year, let’s focus on what you can do this year to boost your holiday marketing campaign.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a good advertising strategy, but there are some tried and true techniques to consider employing when jumping into the season on the late side, and to keep in mind for the future.
Adjust Your Target Audience
The number one thing to keep in mind during the holiday marketing season is to adjust the audience you’re appealing to. Without alienating your existing customer base, you must also inform and educate another buyer persona, a parent, spouse, or friend perhaps, who might be coming to you for a gift, rather than their own purchase. Implementing the following ideas will help you reach a broader range of customers and will help you speak to them in a way you may not be used to.
Some options for reaching this new audience include influencers that fit their demographic, video marketing with how-to’s and tutorials, and social media marketing on platforms where these gifters are most likely to live. Remember: they’re not your usual audience, so you’ll need to switch up your usual platforms and messaging in order to really reach them.
Put Your Holiday Spirit on Display
By now we know that it’s almost never too early for retailers to display holiday decorations. As early as Halloween, consumers are looking for that holiday spirit at their favorite stores. There’s an ambiance to shopping this time of year, whether it’s in person or online; a sense that this isn’t the same ol’ purchasing excursion but something special. When a customer walks into a store to the sounds of Christmas music overhead, and the sight of familiar decorations all around, they’re walking into an experience. And that experience sells.
But it doesn’t stop in person. Surveys show that in recent years 60% of consumers prefer to do their holiday shopping online. That means more themed social posting, a temporary change of your website design or logo to add a little snow and sparkle, and especially focusing on gift buying promotions. These discounts or once-a-year deals will grab the attention of more than just your companies target audience.
The best way to inform new customers and gift buyers in a quick and memorable way is with video. 55% of all consumers say they seek out videos on products before purchasing, and not only during the holidays. Most platforms have expanded to include features in short video format. Though they aren’t usually longer than around sixty seconds, these quick-paced videos can convey a variety of information, such as functions, durability, tutorials, and product/service reviews.
While paid ads are definitely helpful, video on your website or social media is a no- or low-cost tool that will build a fan base for your company to engage and educate no matter what stage of the buying process the consumer is in.
Utilize Social Media
Video and social media are not mutually exclusive, those platforms are where 33% of consumers find out about new brands and products, and they offer the tools to create eye-catching campaigns. Don’t be afraid to try different formats for different platforms, Twitter isn’t the place to focus on your video content as much as Instagram, while Facebook may fit your needs better to create a community.
Social media is built on user interaction, and that is exactly the type of face-paced and engaged advertising your company will benefit from. Keep in mind that current algorithms favor those who post consistently. Some tried-and-true ideas for building your social media presence in a crunch include posting holiday-related tips (bonus points if you can make it industry-relevant), showcasing gift bundles or discounts, holding a contest, and boosting post visibility with a photo. Don’t let your enthusiasm for this type of marketing peter out during the slower seasons, consistency in this area will keep new eyes on your business all year round.
Partner with Local Influencers
70% of American consumers said they prefer to “buy local” whenever possible. And this mentality often includes the influencers they listen to. Micro- and nano-influencers have the ear of those who identify with them as part of their community. There are several different levels of influencer marketing, and while mega-influencers and celebrities may charge a large sum for single posts, smaller local influencers are more open to product reviews, collaborations, and service trades.
Building a strong relationship with recognizable online figures helps your audience to feel connected and valued. Allowing these professionals to do what they do best—create content in their own personal style—broadens your reach and shows another side of your brand that consumers may not have seen before. This can be especially helpful during the holidays when a lot of influencers participate in giveaways, events, and photo opts.
Engage Your Audience
All of these marketing ideas have one thing in common, engaging with your audience. Asking audience opinions, getting feedback, and any ambient conversations that are had about your brand are all part of an overall advertising strategy that creates user-generated content. Not only is this the best bang for your buck, but it also creates a community around your brand. It helps turn a one-time gift purchaser into a loyal return customer.
Don’t assume that being late to the game means you’re already out. The holidays are the perfect time to revamp and renew your marketing campaign, jumping in hot with surveys, giveaways, gift promotions/discounts, influencers collabs, picture contests, and more.
If you need some help putting some of these last-minute marketing ideas into practice, we’re here for you.