As retailers brace for an economic hit, holiday marketing made a record early start. However, what worked in advertising a few years ago is no longer a guaranteed success today. As many brands have already started their campaigns, indie retailers need to effectively communicate the key points that set them apart from larger companies.
2022 Marketing is Looking a Little Different
“2022 will be the first holiday season where shoppers will feel safe gathering in-person in several years. However, it will not be like the holidays before 2020 because consumer patterns have changed,” Chris Stiner, Senior Executive for Account Services at Media Culture, said. “The consequences of increased pricing and fewer orders due to inflationary pressures will endure and inflation rates will significantly surpass the increase of U.S. retail sales.”
Price increases are at the forefront of shoppers’ minds, but many consumers also want to prioritize holiday presents and celebrations, even if it means reducing spending in other areas or purchasing early. According to Inside Intelligence, 25 percent of shoppers have already begun their holiday shopping, another 25 percent expect to begin in October, and only 40 percent plan to start shopping in the final two months of the year. To suit customer demand, Stiner advises retailers to modify their promotional techniques and marketing calendars.
3 Steps to Stand Out From the Competition
Stiner offers some key tips for retailers to follow in order to optimize their holiday marketing:
Evaluate Previous Marketing Efforts
Examining the effectiveness of prior holiday advertising enables you to comprehend the behavior of your target audience. This will allow you to have a deeper understanding of previous patterns and their influence on the expansion of your business. Collecting all relevant data will aid in defining objectives for a more effective holiday marketing campaign. It is sensible to consider prior successes and failures when preparing your holiday marketing strategies. You should also concentrate your budget on tried-and-true strategies.
Maintain a Social Media Presence
The holiday season is not the time to disconnect from social media. You must be active on all of your social media, prepping your audience for the upcoming holiday and priming them to purchase. Encourage your Facebook fans to share your videos, and post many quality images on Instagram.
Offer VIP Clients Early Access
Before the holiday rush, brands should give early access deals to their customers. This helps to encourage shoppers to make purchases before the holidays. You can reward your loyal clients by sending them:
- Black Friday or holiday marketing emails with a substantial discount reserved only for them.
- Special awards for participants who share their stories, images, and reviews.
- Early-bird sales on social media to build buzz before the holiday season officially starts.
As an additional tidbit, Christena Garduno, CEO of Media Culture, says “Multichannel marketing allows marketers to cater to potential customers across channels by mirroring how they operate in different digital spaces. You as a company need a significant presence across social media platforms and other digital channels, and you have to develop a clear, compelling, and consistent message while keeping the brand voice intact.”
4 Tips to Create Effective Social Media Content
In order to cater to a large audience and gain more followers, retailers should produce social media content that everyone can enjoy, not just your current customer base. Stiner offers some key tips in order to do this:
Design a Content Development Plan
If you do not have enough material to reuse for daily posts, you must have a content production plan that allows you to spend quality time developing social media content. You do not have to be a professional designer in order to make attractive posts. Instead of hiring a designer, utilize content creation platforms that give you tools to create your own material. Set aside time each month to create posts for the next month so that you are always prepared with content.
Repurpose User-Generated Material
This is the most straightforward approach to generating content for social media. User-generated content (UGC) is advantageous for two reasons: it increases audience engagement as well as brand exposure. UGC also allows retailers to request images and videos of your followers and customers using your products.
Disseminate Encouraging Data & News
Consumers tend to believe and value optimistic data and information. If you can come up with facts that positively depict your brand, post them to social media. When someone sees a favorable statistic, their faith in your brand will increase, and they may even reshare your post with their followers.
Regularly Re-evaluate Content
Retailers should regularly re-evaluate their content in order to identify which posts work well and receive the most interaction from their target audience. Find a mechanism to measure your likes, comments, and website traffic to verify that your social media content strategy utilizes the most effective types of material.
“As businesses prepare for the most crucial revenue-generating period, they must stress sales, discounts, low pricing, and affordability to consumers,” Stiner said. “Shoppers also like marketing messages that foster positive relationships. When preparing your holiday marketing strategy, you should add statements that focus on building customer connections rather than just selling products. This is essential for increasing client retention and fostering trust.”
According to Stiner, knowing the most frequent digital marketing pitfalls will help your brand avoid them in the future. Here are some of the typical pitfalls that brands make:
Not Identifying Objectives
In order to grow your business, you need to identify objectives and create goals for your brand. Whether it is to cater to a larger audience, start a presence on a new social media platform, or develop a new line of products, goals are necessary to keep from being complacent.
Failure to Plan Marketing Campaigns
Because the competition is so fierce, small businesses really need to plan their marketing campaigns in order for them to be effective. You need to identify clear objectives with your marketing so you can reach the customers you want.
This can be done by conducting research on what certain age groups are interested in, which platforms are the best for marketing in order to receive the most views, and making sure you have enough pictures and videos to support your campaign. You also need to have one specific goal for your marketing campaign. Plan your campaign accordingly if you are trying to increase your customer base or promote a new product, because this can greatly increase your results.
Take Part in Every New Fad
Just because you see a new trend on social media does not mean you need to take part in it. Your social media and marketing content should reflect the types of products you sell. For example, if you specialize in selling luxury candles, your loyal customers may be taken aback if they suddenly see your employees posting funny videos of dance moves on social media.
You need to maintain the voice and presentation of your brand that your customers expect. Avoid sending mixed signals by following trendy messaging that does not necessarily fit the brand.
Not Keeping Up with the Most Recent Technology and Marketing Methods
Technology is constantly changing and updating to make both business’s and consumers’ lives easier, so brands who do not keep up with this technology can very quickly fall behind and agitate their customers. The same goes with marketing methods — they will lose interest if they keep seeing the same advertisement over and over again.