The 2021 holiday season is kicking off — is your business ready? Holiday shoppers are expected to spend 9 percent more on the holidays this year. That increase in spending offers a massive opportunity for online and brick-and-mortar retailers to grow profits and increase brand awareness.
How can you make the most of the increased spending? Here are a few marketing trends that will help your brand stand out in an increasingly competitive market.
Video Marketing is (Still) Hot
Video marketing isn’t new, but it continues to grow in popularity with new features, tools, and trends. In fact, the average person watches 16 hours of online video a week — a 52 percent increase in the last two years.
Looking to add video marketing to your holiday marketing lineup? Here are a few ideas to make the most of it:
- Go shorter: Social media sites like TikTok and Facebook are increasing the popularity of shorter videos with features like reels or reaction videos.
- Add video to content you already have: Add a short video to blog posts, product pages, or anywhere else you want to increase engagement and keep people on the page.
- User videos are all the rage: Ask users to leave reviews with a video or host a video contest to encourage users to create videos about your business or product.
Note: You don’t need thousands of dollars in equipment to create videos. Screen recording tools like Vimeo or even your iPhone can record high-quality videos, and there are plenty of free video editing tools.
Influencer Marketing Has Gone Small
Influencer marketing is a growing trend — but most smaller businesses have stayed away. That is changing with the rise in micro-influencers or small influencers with highly targeted audiences. They are more affordable and often have a stronger connection with their audience.
For example, a local boutique is unlikely to earn a solid ROI if they tried to hire Kim Kardashian to promote their clothing, but local influencers with an audience in their city could be a huge boon. Here’s why: Kim Kardashian’s audience is worldwide — how many of those millions of followers live or will visit your town?
Finding local, connected influencers isn’t just cheaper; it’s likely to be more effective.
Search Instagram and Twitter for hashtags related to your industry and see what users post content and who they follow to find micro-influencers. For example, a new bakery in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park might search #rogersparkresturants and look for users posting about their favorite eateries.
Then, reach out to those influencers and see if they are open to a partnership. You can also use influencer marketplaces, which allow you to sort through influencers based on cost, location, and followers.
Interactive Content Is Taking Over
Interactive content, such as quizzes, polls, calculators, tools, and interactive infographics, is one of the top-performing content types. DemanGen found that interactive content gets twice as much engagement as static content.
The truth is, we’re overwhelmed with content in the form of blog posts, emails, ebooks; the list goes on. Interactive content shakes things up and encourages users to respond to the content, making it an ideal way to engage your audience.
Here are a few types of interactive content to try this holiday season:
- Interactive infographics, like this one from BBC.
- Photo contests, where users can submit a photo for a chance to win a prize.
- Quizzes and polls related to your industry. (A quiz to find the perfect gift for a loved one may do well during the holiday season.)
- Dynamic content that adjusts headings, hero images, and even CTAs based on user behavior.
Artificial Intelligence is Growing Fast
AI is growing fast — and it’s not just for big brands. Small brands can leverage AI to take over repetitive tasks and give their teams more time to focus on growth.
Here are a few ways AI can streamline your holiday marketing strategy:
- Use Google’s Automated Bidding: This takes the guesswork out of paid ads by optimizing your ads based on your goals and spend.
- Use chatbots to handle customer service requests: While you can’t hand over your whole customer service department to a robot, you can use them to answer basic questions.
- Use an AI-powered CRM: An AI digital assistant can track customers, follow up with prospects, and enter data into your CRM so you can focus on growing your business (or building your post-holiday strategy.)
Augmented Reality Has Gone Mainstream
Augmented reality is not just for video games anymore. Marketers are using it to showcase products, create immersive experiences, and much more. For example, Amazon uses AR to see how a couch will look in your home before you buy:
Users can drag and drop the couch to see how it fits in a particular room or better understand which colors match their current design.
Smaller brands can use this same technology. For example, a shoe brand could use AR to allow customers to customize colors and materials. Or, a home goods brand could show customers exactly how a chair or mirror fits in their living room.
In addition to being cool, AR can help online shoppers feel confident enough to buy without seeing items in real life.
Shoppable Posts Allow Users to Shop in Their Favorite Apps
Instagram is one of the most engaging social media sites, but the limit on links made it challenging for brands to convert users.
Shoppable posts allow users to shop right on Instagram. Users can see, for example, a model wearing a shirt then click on a link to see pricing, sizes, and other information.
Even better, they can checkout without ever leaving their favorite app:
Big brands are already using this feature to convert social media followers, and the trend is growing. For example, TikTok is currently testing a similar feature.
Which Marketing Trend Will You Try?
This holiday season is ripe with opportunities for brands of all sizes to stand out and drive sales. These marketing trends are an ideal way to super-charge your strategy.
Not sure where to start? Consider where your audience spends the most time and what holds them back from buying. For example, if you struggle to convert social media followers, shippable posts and videos are a solid choice. Smaller businesses looking to grow should consider quizzes and polls to drive brand awareness and AI to take over tedious tasks.
Need help designing a quiz or contest before the holiday rush? Our team can help. Contact Woobox support from 9 am to 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday at 1-360-450-5200 and via firstname.lastname@example.org.