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In the midst of preparing for a hectic holiday shopping season, it’s tempting to play it safe and stick with what you know has worked last year in your marketing campaigns. But here’s a reality check: If you’re not innovating, you’re falling behind.
Most digital marketers understand this but struggle to meaningfully integrate new features and trends into their brand. After all, a great holiday marketing campaign requires a lot of time and resources, and you want to make sure you’re not investing in – or strategizing around – a fad.
On the other hand, taking a smart and careful leap is necessary for healthy growth. The social media sphere is filled with endless opportunities for people to critique their experience with your brand, so it’s important not to get bogged down trying to please everyone.
To survive and thrive in any big holiday campaign, you need to first identify your obstacles and opportunities, then build your strategy from there. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most common issues that businesses encounter during the holiday season and provide four strategies to help you overcome these challenges.
Some holiday marketing campaigns, like Black Friday sales, require shoppers to live in the moment. Deals expire rapidly, giving people very little time to contemplate a purchase. Unfortunately, changes in algorithms across nearly all social media platforms have resulted in feeds that show you old (relatively speaking) content. However, innovations such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Instagram Stories have created new opportunities for immediacy, which are also less saturated than a platform’s traditional feed. Your holiday campaigns present prime opportunities to invest resources in one or more of these tools.
Should you decide to tackle a live promotion, remember that while the “here and now” aesthetic is meant to feel scrappy, you should still take the time to create and iterate on shot lists and practice with potential on-air talent. For example, if you are reporting live from a brick and mortar, how can you use that frantic, yet exciting energy to direct social media users to your online store? Execution is half the battle, and it begins long before you start broadcasting.
Even in the fleeting nature of “going live”, thoughtful programming can be worth the investment. For example, Addition Elle used Facebook Live — putting them front and center in the action by live streaming directly from the runway — to give potential customers a taste of New York Fashion Week. The result? They lifted sales by five percent.
Not sure how to get started with a Facebook Live stream? Learn the basics here.
Thoughtful programming is always worth the investment on social media.
Some customers value interaction with brands when they make purchasing decisions. This is especially true during the holiday rush. Many people have trouble keeping up with all of the deals and product details for things they are gifting, since they are often making purchases they don’t normally make for themselves.
Chatbots, a form of AI, can help boost efficiency in customer service support and meet potential customers wherever they’re comfortable: online chat, social media, SMS, and more. However, if you’re going to launch a chatbot for upcoming holiday marketing campaigns, you must first make sure it works. You’ll want to start building it ASAP, because it can take a while to get things running and work out bugs, which is crucial when you rely on the chatbot to communicate directly with potential customers.
If you’re interested in using a chatbot but aren’t sure about building your own and incorporating it into your existing customer care framework, check out Khoros Bot. It is automation technology that can be deployed within weeks to help deliver exceptional customer service during the busy holiday season and beyond. Khoros Care is a single platform service, making it easy to handle web chat, messaging apps, social, and reviews, all in a single, intuitive dashboard.
The world has been “mobile first” since 2016 when mobile internet usage first surpassed desktop usage, a trend that has continued since with no signs of slowing down in the future. During the holiday season, people may be more likely to travel as they visit loved ones which places an even greater importance on your site’s mobile experience.
However, many brands struggle to deliver a mobile experience on-par with their desktop site, and one of the best examples is by improving page speed. A study of 5.2 million pages found the average web page takes 87.84% longer to load on mobile than desktop, which is especially concerning given the correlation between page load times and bounce rate.
Page speed is just one part of your site’s mobile experience. You’ll need to invest considerable resources into other mobile user experience elements such as design, functionality, and information architecture to ensure the mobile version delivers an experience that is on-par or exceeds the desktop version of your site.
As an alternative, you can let Facebook and Instagram take care of the mobile user experience for you. Facebook and Instagram Shops integrate social media marketing and e-commerce — providing a pre-packaged, mobile-native experience built on the platforms their users already love. Mobile users can easily find products, and complete purchases without ever leaving their favorite social media apps.
All of this is to say that maintaining and expanding your customer base means meeting them where they are, which increasingly means on their phones. In fact, 40% of online transactions are done on a mobile device.
In the rush of holiday shopping, it’s easy to live in the moment. And while the nature of the season along with sweet deals can attract first-time or casual buyers, those factors won’t necessarily keep them coming back when customers are harder to win over in the first quarter of the year. That means to retain new customers you bring in through holiday marketing campaigns, you need to engage with them after your event ends.
The best way to build strong relationships with customers is by engaging with them on your social media channels through a healthy mix of engaging, entertaining, and useful content. Incentivize people to follow your accounts with promotional deals or discount codes during the holiday season, then provide a steady and consistent stream of great content to keep users engaged after they purchase.
A lot of brands may be tempted to push a product or service with every post during the holiday season, but it's important to keep a good content mix to prevent users from seeing your channel as solely promotional. Create and share holiday-themed fun facts, videos, polls, and other non-promotional content to keep first-time customers sticking around.
For example, whiskey brand Lagavulin released a 45-minute video of actor, writer, and podcast host Nick Offerman sitting beside a crackling “Yule log” fire while casually drinking and looking at the camera in complete silence. The post went viral and the social media holiday campaign was a huge success, which led to the brand releasing a 10-hour version meant to be played at holiday parties.
With a consistent stream of creative and engaging social media content, you can turn those one-time holiday shoppers into some of your most loyal brand advocates.
Social media can help you boost the performance of your upcoming holiday campaigns and retain first-time customers long after the deals are over. Use live promotions to stand out in social media feeds, boost communication efficiency with a chatbot, leverage pre-packaged social media storefronts for an exceptional mobile experience, and turn one-time holiday purchasers into long-term customers through compelling content.
If you aren’t sure where to get started, contact us to learn how we can help you develop and scale upcoming holiday marketing campaigns. Our tools help you uncover key insights about your audience, which you can use to create engaging content that builds long-lasting relationships with customers.
Request a demo to see how Khoros can help your business simplify social media management.