Falling in line with the rest of 2020, this holiday season is going to be different than ever before. Typically, Black Friday is the kick-off for holiday shopping, complete with lines queued around the block, massive amounts of crowds, and in some extreme cases, full-blown stampedes.
With much of the year having been defined by Zoom calls and social distancing, the holiday shopping season will follow suit. Consumers have dramatically shifted their shopping online over the past six months. In fact, eCommerce sales in the U.S. are projected to increase by 18%, with Americans spending an estimated $710 billion online this year.
The stakes are high for retail giants and small businesses alike. Take Walmart for example. The superstore has already announced some major changes when it comes to holiday shopping. In addition to upholding social distancing practices, Walmart will also offer more online deals and will keep these deals available for longer than just Black Friday to avoid a rush of large crowds. The retailer also announced that they will not be holding extended in-store hours on Black Friday.
For many other retailers, eCommerce sales have historically made up a relatively small part of overall business. But that percentage has grown dramatically from 10% to 30-40%. It’s important to note these changes and to adapt your marketing plan accordingly. To help, we’ve compiled some helpful holiday marketing tips to help your business have a successful season.
Like any marketing strategy, it’s always a good idea to set goals ahead of time. Having a clear, measurable, and attainable goal helps keep you and your brand on track. The holidays can be overwhelming and stressful for everyone, so whether you’re focusing on sales, brand awareness, or anything else, focusing on one end goal will make you less likely to sweat the small stuff.
Create your holiday marketing campaign
Once you have a goal in mind, it’s time to launch a campaign to bring your desired results to life. Some steps to include in this process are:
Think of creative concepts, plan a holiday-themed photo shoot, and/or schedule out social media posts and holiday newsletters ahead of time. Having a cohesive aesthetic is important for your brand throughout the year is important, but it’s especially crucial for a specific campaign.
Once you have a plan, make sure your campaign is staying top of mind for your followers. There are only a few viable months to be able to run this holiday-themed campaign, so make sure you’re promoting it across all applicable platforms.
In digital marketing, you don’t have to be left guessing if your campaign was successful. After your holiday campaign draws to a close, follow up with your analytics. There are a variety of different numbers to pay attention to that range from clicks to likes to purchases. Taking notes on what worked well for your campaign this year will help set you up for next year.
Update your holiday hours
As previously mentioned, holidays are stressful for everyone, not just businesses. Your clients, customers, or followers crave stability and consistency each holiday season, but especially during the whirlwind of 2020. While it may seem like a no-brainer, make sure you’re advertising your holiday hours. If you extend your business hours, let your audience know by sending out an e-blast, or by posting on your social accounts to ensure you’re making the most out of your extra time spent in the office. On the days that you’re closed to enjoy a well-deserved break, make sure your audience knows that as well. Keeping your customers up-to-date during the holiday season will let them know whether they need to reach out to you immediately, or if you’ll be available for them to pick up a last-minute gift.
Use Instagram Reels
If you’ve been wondering how you can make Reels work for your business, the holiday season may be a great place to start. You can put Instagram’s newest feature to work by showing behind the scenes footage, sharing holiday tips and DIYs, or anything else that your business does for the holidays. Everyone loves some good holiday content, so join the fun while you maximize your social presence.
Run a digital giveaway
The holiday season is the season of giving after all, so if you’ve wanted to incorporate a giveaway in your marketing strategy, there’s no time like the present! Giveaways are a great way for your brand to gain exposure and to increase visibility in other markets. If it seems a little daunting going at this alone, join forces with some other great brands to up the prize value and to allow for some valuable digital facetime in front of a new audience.
Set up Instagram Shopping
In a digital world impacted by pandemic, it’s not enough to just have an eCommerce site. People are relying on online shopping in order to give gifts this year, so in order to make your products as accessible as possible, it’s time to set up Instagram shopping. The latest updates for Instagram’s shopping feature make it possible to checkout without ever leaving the app, making it as convenient as possible for your audience. In order to begin, there are a couple of steps to take:
1. Make sure your IG account is a business account, and that your business primarily sells physical products to ensure you’re eligible for this feature.
2. Connect your Instagram account to Facebook Catalog by either adding a “Shop” section on your business’ Facebook page or by using a Product Catalog on your Facebook’s Business Manager.
3. Once your account has been reviewed and approved by Instagram, you’ll be able to start adding product tabs to your posts.
It’s never too early to start formulating your marketing plan, and with 2020 being anything but typical, it’s important to stay flexible, focused, and prepared. If your business needs help preparing for this unprecedented holiday season, click the get started button below.