The 2020 holiday season is going to be different; that much is clear. The long lines for Black Friday and jam-packed malls may be a thing of the past — at least for 2020.
But shoppers are still expected to spend an estimated $1.147 trillion between November and January. This means if you are slacking on 2020 holiday marketing planning, you risk missing out on a massive amount of revenue.
So, what can your brand do to improve your 2020 holiday marketing campaign, especially in the face of so much unknown? Here are five tips to help your brand make the most of holiday spending.
Reexamine Your Buyer Persona
Buyer personas ensure you understand what drives customers to like, comment, and buy. But, if you rely on last year’s buyer persona, your 2020 holiday marketing campaign could fall flat. Customer behavior has shifted drastically due to COVID. For example, RIS predicts that 70% of shoppers will take advantage of buy-online-pickup-in-store options — which was not really a concern in years past.
Before creating goals and defining holiday strategies, gather data about who your customers are today. Here’s a step-by-step guide for reexamining your buyer persona:
- Collect a list of customers from the past 6 – 8 months
- Create a spreadsheet with demographic information: age, income, location, name, etc.
- List out behavior, including the type of content they like/dislike on your site, average order size, what type of customer they are (enterprise vs. B2C, premium plan vs. free plan, etc. — this will vary by company and industry.)
- Add details about acquisition, spending habits, churning, and so forth.
- Use a data visualization tool like Tableau or Google Charts to analyze data and look for trends.
Pay special attention to trends from customers who spend the most. Where are they finding your brand? Where are they spending the most money? Use that information to inform your 2020 holiday promotions.
Get Creative with Holiday Sales and Promotions
Campaigns that worked last year might not work this year. Flash sales and doorbusters may not work in a post-COVID world. Instead of focusing on in-person events and sales, look to increase digital traffic and drive online sales.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Focus on buy-online-pick-up-in-person options.
- Use contests to increase user-generated content and drive brand awareness.
- Make the digital experience fun with online games and contests where customers can win coupons or freebies.
- Get creative with contest prizes. Offer tickets to a drive-in movie, online escape rooms, or digital subscription gift cards rather than prizes that focus on in-person experiences like tickets to concerts or theme parks.
- Adjust sales to focus on items that are popular now. Sales on cocktail dresses are unlikely to drive much traffic, instead, focus on lounge pants or comfortable but stylish dresses.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media is nothing new. But COVID increased social media popularity, especially features like live streaming, video chat, and gaming. A poll conducted between March and May of 2020 found that half of US adults reported using social media more since the start of the pandemic.
For brands, that means focusing more resources on social media than ever before. Consider readjusting ad budgets, increasing the number of posts, and trying out new social media features like Pinterest’s Story Pins or LinkedIn’s Stories. These newer features have the potential to drive high levels of traffic due to low competition.
Photo contests, trivia quizzes, and brackets can keep users more engaged on social media — and keep your brand top of mind when doing their holiday shopping.
Streamline the Online Shopping Experience
Consumers have more options than ever before when it comes to online shopping. If you want buyers to choose your brand over your competitors, you need to attract buyers and make the shopping experience as smooth as possible. Even if your brand normally relies on in-person shopping, online sales may be critical to thriving in the coming months. Here are a few ways to improve the online shopping experience:
- Improve site speed: A slow loading page is a death sentence for your site, so use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see where your site stands.
- Don’t forget about mobile: Experts expect Mcommerce (mobile commerce) sales to increase drastically this year. So make sure your mobile shopping experience is fast and smooth.
- Use high-quality photos and videos: Images and videos are immensely reassuring to shoppers trying to find the perfect gift.
- Highlight customer reviews: Customer reviews impact 93% of purchasing decisions. Make sure customer reviews are easy to find and encourage customers to leave reviews with email reminders.
- Make checking out easy: Avoid making customers log in to complete a purchase and use a streamlined payment system like PayPal or Stripe.
Personalization is Key
Gone are the days of blanket ads targeting massive audiences. Today’s consumers want — and expect — personalized marketing. What does that mean when creating a holiday marketing campaign in the middle of a pandemic?
Brands need to focus on segmenting and targeting more than ever before. Take a look at your email marketing segments — can you send more relevant emails by further segmenting your audience?
If you use social media ads, consider using lookalike audiences to target new people similar to your most loyal customers.
Instead of creating a single 2020 holiday gift guide, create several guides for different buyer personas. For example, one for parents, one for college students, and one for the person who has everything.
Increasing the relevance of holiday campaigns will increase their effectiveness.
What can you expect in for the 2020 holiday season? While there’s no marketing crystal ball, customers are likely to focus on convenience, online shopping, and digital experiences. 2020 holiday marketing campaigns should focus on:
- Reevaluating buyer personas
- Getting creative with holiday campaigns
- Being active on social (and trying out new features)
- Improving the online shopping experience
Quizzes and contests help drive traffic and engagement year-round. Create a free Woobox account and start designing your first campaign today. Need a hand? Woobox Support is available to assist from 8 am to 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday at 1-360-450-5200 and firstname.lastname@example.org.