Like the previous year, the theme for this year’s holiday season is unpredictability. Marketers are going to have to remain agile to any challenges that may arise ahead, as experts are predicting that this year may be just as complicated as it was in 2020. Needless to say, we are all a little scared, but there’s nothing a little preparation can’t fix. The key is to remain neutral but hopeful this holiday season while staying aware of any pivotal changes that need to be implemented on the fly. These are seven of our most recommended marketing tips to implement during this holiday season.
1. Be transparent with your customers
It’s now more important than ever to be transparent with your customers during this period of unknowing shipping delays and stock shortages. Be transparent with your messaging so that your customer knows exactly when they can expect the product they purchased and/or when a product will be back in stock. Customers have been warned about stock shortages and shipping delays following last year’s delays, so customers should be more open to understanding any complications that may arise as long as you’re transparent with them.
2. Offer the best customer service
The holidays are a “joyful” time of year, but often the most stressful. Alleviate your customers’ stress by providing top-quality customer service to put them back into the holiday spirit. Great customer service will also make customers more opt to promote your brand and share your products or services on social channels. It also makes for good customer loyalty and long-term retention. For your business, you want to focus on producing content that relates to your products and services, as well as your customer needs. Before you develop any piece of content or marketing campaign, always ask how it will benefit your customers. You never want to be too sales-forward as forcing your products or services onto potential customers will steer them away from your brand.
3. Start your marketing campaign early
The pandemic’s rise in eCommerce has blurred the lines around the traditional timing of online shopping. Therefore, to comply with elongated buying season, companies should be starting their marketing campaigns earlier than they traditionally would in previous years to maximize sales. Starting your holiday campaigns early can also potentially alleviate the stress surrounding the stock and labor shortages. The holiday season always tends to bring shipping delays in one way or another, but planning far enough in advance will enable you to plan for any uncertainties that may arise later.
4. Always have a backup plan
With the ongoing uncertainty surrounding early shopping patterns, supply chain disruptions, and shipping delays, companies are now making multiple versions of their creative marketing assets to prepare for uncertain scenarios. Having multiple versions of your assets will allow marketers to be agile when it comes to having to change campaigns on the fly. Brands have been moving away from product-specific messaging following the stock shortages and shipping delays that have been a consistent trend since the rise of eCommerce during the pandemic. Using data-driven tools also can help to avoid any spending inefficiencies on promoting out-of-stock products which make for a poor customer experience. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for marketing during the holidays, it is all dependent on where you sit in terms of your customer base.
5. Embrace email marketing
During the holiday season, email marketing is more paramount than ever. Just as we learned above, it’s important that you start planning your campaigns early since online shopping habits drastically increase the holiday buying period. Shoppers are constantly checking their email inboxes during the holidays for offers and deals. When implementing a holiday email campaign, always include a promotion to entice viewers to check out your products or services. When it comes to holiday shopping, shoppers are always looking for the best deal so promotions are a great way to keep your subscribers engaged.
6. Utilize social media
Social media is an effective and cheap way to digitally market your products or services. With digital ad costs constantly on the rise, brands have been using social media now more than ever to increase their brand visibility. Using platforms such as Pinterest for personalized inspiration and recommendations. Investing in findability can help brands locate and target the right customers and aid customers in discovering the right brands and products for them. Using social media is also a great way to diversify your brand’s marketing channels, allowing brands to maximize the number of customers they are reaching across all channels.
7. Launch a video marketing campaign
Did you know that watching a video helps 90% of online users make their purchasing decisions? Adding a video to your website, emails, and/or social media page can help you share your company’s message in a stimulating way that entices customers to learn more about your products and services. Brand association increases 139% after watching a video. Not only does it help your conversions, but it also helps to increase your brand recognition as well. Videos are very user-friendly, and they can be the perfect way to add some creativity to your messaging.
Pro tip: When making a video marketing campaign, it’s highly suggested that you include closed captioning throughout your video. It’s never good practice to assume that all of your viewers will be watching with audio. This ensures that your video’s message will be received by all at the viewer’s convenience.