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Holiday Marketing Tips for 2020

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and both consumers and brands alike are gearing up for the busy season ahead. However, this holiday season will likely look a little different than those in past years - for a few reasons.

You might not have the last minute shopping run, the grumbling over missed parking spaces (or lack thereof) by your favorite store or even perhaps the in-person holiday markets that so many look forward to each year.

Instead, consumers are trading in-person shopping for its online counterpart as a way to skip the line  and keep themselves and their families safe this season. Online shopping made up a decent amount of holiday shopping last year - of the total $142.5 billion in U.S. e-commerce sales, $64.29 billion came from shoppers using a mobile device, according to Statista. Brands will need to pivot their holiday marketing strategies and become nimble to keep up with this shift - likely relying on influencers and online holiday marketing more than ever before.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know for holiday marketing in 2020. Let’s dig in.

Using Content Marketing for Holiday Campaigns 

Visual content is a powerful tool - it’s easy to process, it excites the mind with a clear, concise message and it can invoke emotions that allow your audience to resonate with your campaign. Social media remains a powerful tool for visual content marketing - especially when 90% of the information transmitted to your brain is visual. This is a key insight for holiday marketing. Another is this - online shopping has been around for nearly 25 years, meaning that consumers are more familiar than ever before with holiday campaigns. They say that while content marketing helps drive sales during the majority of the year - it’s especially true during the holiday season.

“Go a step further from general e-commerce, and incorporate a content/commerce approach to your holiday campaigns. Offer your customers some extra level of value, such as a gift guide for your various customer personas. This helps holiday shoppers get a full picture of your products and why they might be better suited for one persona over the other.” 

— Jessica Lago, Manager of Marketing & Partnerships, iMedia Inc

Content marketing is a benefit to your holiday marketing strategy in many ways - not simply just driving sales and brand awareness. Nearly 23% of consumers are turning to social media to help them with their holiday shopping, according to Deloitte. 

What does that mean for a holiday campaign?

A strong visual content strategy can bring in new visitors for your site, which is great for SEO, and can bring new attention to your brand. It can also build trust between brand and target audience, opening the door to influencer partnerships and expansion of your content creation abilities along the way.

Types of Content Marketing for Holiday Campaigns 

Every brand is different - and the saying, “what works best for one, may not work best for all,” certainly applies in content marketing strategies across the board. For some brands, their strengths may be in showing up for their audience on Instagram, whereas others may be able to connect and resonate with their audience through a beautifully crafted, visually appealing email sequence. The main thing to note, is that all of your content should work together - rather than separately - to create a cohesive holiday campaign.  

Here are a few types of popular content marketing examples:

Email Marketing 

Email marketing remains one of the highest converting forms of content marketing that’s widely used today. Why? Because it’s personal. It meets people in a very intimate space, one that brands can’t reach without an invitation - their inbox. Whether you’re opening up a conversation, sending out a visually compelling newsletter round-up or launching a new product, email marketing is a great way to connect with your audience in a way different from your typical interaction with your consumers.

Influencer Marketing & Guest Blogging 

Influencer marketing and guest blogging are on the rise - and their popularity is not slowing down. Especially when it comes to holiday social media campaigns. This can either take the form of longer written content or the creation of visual assets - usually specific to a branded brief for a certain campaign or ongoing partnership.

Blog and Website Content 

Blogging isn’t dead! Despite the rumors, consumption of website and blog content is still high, with readers often turning to bloggers or company blogs as a source of inspiration for their holiday shopping and every day product recommendations. Content can either take form as a blog post (an individual article hosted on a certain page within your website) or a landing page (a way to get information across in a direct, visually appealing way), both creating opportunities for your consumers to better understand and get to know your brand’s tone of voice and communication style.

Video Advertising 

Whether you choose to pursue the traditional route or not - many brands are turning to video advertising to showcase their newest products or services, a launch or a best-seller. This can be by way of television advertising, or as we now commonly see, ads on video platforms like YouTube - either standard ads or integrated paid-for advertising space within an influencer’s regular content. This is a powerful medium to showcase your brand - and the momentum is only continuing to build.

Holiday Marketing Tips 

Though this holiday season may look different to previous years - it’s still a good time for marketers and strategists to really lean into their digital holiday marketing plan. The key to any well-executed campaign is understand your audience, anticipate trending topics and to learn from last year’s successes and failures. Your holiday campaign should amplify your brand in a multichannel approach, supported by visual assets that capture the attention of your audience.

To dig in a little deeper, here are a few of our best tips for your holiday marketing campaign strategy:

Start Early and Anticipate the Trends 

The key to nailing holiday marketing on the head is timing. Timing is key and starting early is always a good idea.  More and more people are beginning their holiday shopping early - often before December 1st, and certainly with a surge during CyberWeek. This year, as people are planning around socially distanced events and potential shipping delays, it’s a good idea to make sure you have your key dates in mind as to when campaigns need to be planned, posted and reviewed.

To get you started, here’s a few key dates to keep in mind as you begin your planning phase:

  • Halloween: Thursday, October 31

  • American Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 28

  • Black Friday: Friday, November 29

  • Cyber Monday: Monday, December 2

  • Christmas & Hanukkah: Saturday, December 1 – Wednesday, December 25

  • Boxing Day: Thursday, December 26

  • New Years: Tuesday, December 31

Audit Your Existing Content 

Before jumping into the planning stage of your 2020 holiday marketing strategy, it’s good practice to review previous campaigns and content to see what can be refreshed and what was received well. This is also a good opportunity to learn from previous mistakes - which we’re all prone to make (hello, holiday playlists!).

An analytics platform is incredibly helpful in this stage - aiding you in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the previous year’s content. Content engineering platforms like Cohley come as an all-in-one package. Not only can you determine which was your best foot forward from the previous year through extensive analytics, but you can also begin the visual asset creation process that can build off of the strengths of the last year, too.

Align on Key Holiday Themes and Build a Calendar Based on Timeliness and Priority 

Content creation can be an overwhelming process. There are so many types of content to choose from, and a growing number of niches every year. Cohley can help you cut through the noise, ever present during the holiday season, by using our data to identify content niches that will best suit your brand and your campaign goals. 

By identifying your key holiday themes and selecting content types that best fit your campaign, we can help you to fill any gaps - foreseen or not - to best set your campaign up for success.

Start Creating Creative Assets For a Multi-Channel Approach 

As social media platforms continue to grow and evolve, so should our holiday marketing strategies and planning for visual asset creation. Visual content assets, like outsourced photography or user-generated content, are becoming increasingly in-demand as the shift to online shopping through websites and social media becomes more popular. Try and utilize each of the features of social media platforms - Youtube Posts/Video, Instagram Grids/Stories/Reels. Your audience is spread across the platforms for which you have a presence, and it’s always easier to diversify your posting to meet them where they are. Cohley allows you to own all of your outsourced assets through our platform to solidify your multi-channel, creative marketing approach. 

Execute and Measure 

Measuring your success should be easy - especially if you’ve set strategic goals for your campaign. Knowing what your success metrics are before you launch is important to get right - just in case you need to tailor and pivot your messaging last-minute. 

Launching a campaign can be exciting - but as your audience begins to interact with your content, your KPIs come into play. Cohley makes reporting easy with the close guidance of your own dedicated digital strategist, helping you understand your key metrics like engagement rate, media value and overall ROI with our automated reporting system. This works for both long-term partnerships as well as performance breakdowns of individual posts.

It’s pretty much a win-win!

Examples of Great Holiday Content 

When it comes to successful holiday content, there’s a common thread that runs throughout each of the campaigns for which they were part of. Timing was a crucial element - getting in front of their audience when their audience was looking to shop. Creative assets and user-generated content were key in cutting through the noise of the holiday social media scene for Olly, looking to ensure that their audience were giving healthy gifts over the holidays. A brand like LARQ was strategic in their planning phase, choosing creators that were true to brand and relying on the previous year’s analytics to drive new content initiatives. And lastly, they partnered with creators that amplified their brand.

Clear formulas for success, and beautifully executed campaigns as a bonus. 

What could be better than that?

Using Cohley for Holiday Marketing and Content Engineering 

As you begin to jump feet first into your holiday marketing strategies this year, it’s important to keep in mind that this year is unlike any other. Consumers are shifting towards digital platforms for many reasons, and it’s up to brands to pique their interest and captivate their eye with intriguing visual assets that amplify their message in a multi-channel approach.

Here at Cohley, we’re helping brands reimagine the way they view content and the content creation process. By working with us, brands can have access to a high volume of stunning creative assets from third-party creators for a fraction of the cost. 

Unsure as to what type of content to create for this holiday season? We can help you with that, too. Learn more by scheduling a demo of our platform today.