It might seem early, but now is the perfect time to start planning your marketing campaigns for the 2021 holiday season.
While the season officially begins in November, consumers start planning much earlier. In fact, last year, there was an 80% jump in holiday searches on Pinterest, including a 3x increase in searches for “Christmas gift ideas” — eight months before December!
People are looking to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. They’re also avoiding crowds. And considering the lingering effects of the global pandemic and our new normal, people are also worried about potential issues including production shortage and delayed shipping.
According to the National Retail Federation, 59% of consumers began their 2020 holiday shopping before November, a 10% increase from a decade ago. With more consumers shopping earlier and earlier each year, businesses need to plan ahead and meet buyers earlier in the buying process. 66% of Pinners say the “inspiration phase” of shopping influences what they buy. So, starting your holiday marketing early will help you stand out from competitors, stay top of mind for the early bird shoppers, and set your business up for success this holiday season.
5 Holiday Marketing Tips to Consider
Now that you have an idea of when to start your holiday marketing, here are five quick tips to help you market your business – big or small – and increase sales this holiday season.
1. Take a Content-First Approach
Online shopping isn’t new, but the isolation of the past year and a half created a major shift in e-commerce and online sales skyrocketed. This trend will only continue as 76% of consumers said they’ll be doing their holiday shopping online rather than in-store this year.
No matter where they’re shopping this season, consumers will be researching their holiday purchases online. Maximize your sales by adding a content strategy to your marketing tactics. Creating relevant content such as gift guides, tips for first-time hosts, or decoration ideas will get your products in front of customers at the research stage, provide value and inspiration, and drive traffic to your website – especially if your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is on point. This content can also be used in other marketing channels: email, social media, and digital advertising.
2. Invest in Digital Advertising
With all the competition in the online space, businesses need to be prepared to not only do more with organic social media this holiday season but also invest heavily in ads. As people are spending more time on their phones and social media, it’s no surprise that a majority (71%) of consumers will be using Instagram to search for holiday gifts.
Consider using this opportunity to connect with your customers on social media in an authentic way by sharing your values and what makes your business special as well as your promotional offers. Create brand awareness campaigns and retargeting ads that’ll follow them throughout their online search and remind them why they visited your site in the first place.
3. Offer Discounts, Giveaways, & Free Gifts
Giveaways – online or in-person – are a great way to grab customers’ attention. It’s also a popular tactic to increase social media followers and gain new customers. But don’t forget your current customers! Offering early access, free services, or exclusive discounts for loyalty members is essential to retaining customers.
Businesses can also use this opportunity to leverage bulk shopping by offering a free gift or discount with a certain number of purchases.
4. Leverage Brand Ambassadors or Influencers
We all know people are more likely to purchase items based on word-of-mouth from someone they like and trust. According to Fohr’s 2021 Influencer Holiday Report, 82% of consumers stated that they trust influencers. Influencers and brand ambassadors are a great way to amplify your marketing and get your product or service in front of millions. As their content is usually personal and relatable to their audience, their followers are more likely to try what they’re promoting.
5. Consider Cause Marketing
The holiday season is a great way to share your brand mission with customers and make a positive connection. Consider adding a good deed element to your marketing by giving 5% of your business’s sales to your favorite nonprofit or local charity or donating items to a charity in need. You just may inspire them to support your business throughout the year.