It’s never too early to start thinking about your holiday content. In fact, wait too much longer and it will be too late.
It’s safe to say 2020 has been a YEAR. And though March seems like it was both a few weeks ago and seven years ago, the end of the year and all that comes with it is fast approaching. It is possible to wrap up this year on a positive note, but not without proper planning and execution.
Read on to learn why you need to prep your holiday content now so you can sail into 2021 with ease.
The Holidays Will Look Different This Year
There’s no doubt about it, the holidays will not look the same. As we’re beginning to experience another surge in COVID cases, it’s likely that restrictions that have been lifted will go back into place. Black Friday surely won’t have its normal in-person turnout, so brands will need to go digital and lean into Cyber Monday.
An increase in people shopping from home will also mean an increase in eyes on your content. Whether you’re taking our advice and increasing that advertising spend or relying on organic content, you won’t regret prepping now.
Because our end of the year festivities will look so different, our holiday content needs to look different too. Take a look back at what you were sharing in November and December last year, and look at it through your pandemic eyes. Would it be appropriate if shared today? How can it be tweaked to be more representative of this last year?
The circumstances of this year mean that you can’t rely on old frameworks or plans for your holiday content. As mentioned above, your first step should be analyzing what you shared last year with a critical eye. Have your whole team do the same so you don’t miss anything important.
From there, nail down a theme for your holiday content this year. What is the message you want to send? Will you focus on quality time with family, intimate moments, nostalgia, or perhaps traditions? Once you develop a message that you believe will resonate with your audience, you’ll be ready to really get started.
Your Audience Has Likely Changed
When developing your holiday messaging this year, you’ll want to reexamine your audience. It’s likely that it’s changed a bit since the pandemic. A study by Criteo found that 33% of US consumers discovered small merchants they didn’t previously know about during the peak of the pandemic in the spring. 83% of those consumers said they planned to continue to purchase from the new stores they discovered.
Because you may have new audience members, you’ll need to make sure the messaging you use will resonate with their behaviors and demands. How can you do that? With social listening of course! It’s likely in the last several weeks leading up to the holidays those behaviors and demands will shift, it is 2020 after all. Listening tools will help you keep a pulse on what’s going on, and give you a heads up when it may be time to adapt your messaging.
Prepping your holiday content now will make it easier for you to make those shifts if and when needed. If you leave everything until the end of November or later, you’ll be pressed for time to make those adjustments to the calendar. Remember, the early bird gets the worm.
Holiday Shopping Has Already Started
According to research done by Salesforce, holiday demands are starting early this year. With only 50 days between Amazon’s delayed Prime Day and Cyber Week, shopping has already started. In fact, up to 10% of Cyber Week sales have been taken away by Prime Day.
Not only that, but 47% of shoppers are more interested in purchasing gifts online this year than they have been in the past.
If you wait to roll out your holiday content and campaigns until the end of November, you’ll have missed out on a large group of early shoppers. But get ahead of the game, and it’s possible you could make up for any losses you suffered earlier in the year due to the pandemic.
Once you’ve confirmed that your holiday message will resonate with any additions to your audience, start teasing Black Friday and Cyber Week deals early. The consumers who have already started shopping will be frantically researching deals and making gift lists leading up to Thanksgiving, If you don’t start developing and sharing your holiday content now, your brand will be left behind.
You Can Reimagine The Customer Experience
Start prepping your holiday content now, and you could plan some great experiences for your audience. Brands have used the crazy situation this year to create unique customer experiences. We’ve seen interactive digital entertainment, live-streamed events, and audience-inspired content.
The holidays already have an air of magic around them. How can you tap into that to create experiences that will help your audience connect with your brand? Whether it’s live-streamed unveilings of upcoming deals or giveaways centered on customer engagement, you have the chance to step out of the box and be really creative this year. And the best part is, these experiences don’t have to have a big impact on the bottom line. Many digitally-centered ideas can be achieved without spending a dime.
The Bottom Line, It’s Never Too Early
Though they seem to come earlier every year, the holidays go by in a flash. And with all of the opportunities that have come from this rollercoaster of a year, you don’t want to let them pass you by.
Start prepping your holiday content now so you can evaluate how the season will be different this year, hone in your messaging, catch those early shoppers and create unique customer experiences. When December rolls around, you’ll be happy you put the work in now!
Need a jump start on idea generation? You can watch our most recent webinar, “10 Last-Minute Social Media Holiday Marketing Ideas to Drive More Business,” here!
Have you started thinking about your holiday content? If so, what message are you going with?