The holidays are coming soon, which means an influx of seasonal marketing campaigns between Halloween and Christmas. While marketers seek ways to innovate and improve their tactics to capitalize on the guaranteed festive spirit, consumers might approach their holiday shopping a bit differently this year.
With so many people preoccupied by the impact of current events and possibly facing social or financial constraints in their own lives, what is the best way to leverage seasonal products?
Here, 13 members of Forbes Agency Council offer practical tips for creating effective seasonal marketing campaigns, taking into account the evolving buying behaviors of shoppers this holiday season.
1. Promote Products And Special Offers Digitally
Due to the pandemic, I predict that consumers will be shopping online this holiday season more than they ever have before. Therefore, being easily found online will be crucial for businesses through the end of the year and into 2021. Promote products and special offers digitally via online advertising and social media early and consistently throughout the season. – Laura Cole, Vivial
2. Use Context In Your Advertising
One way to leverage seasonal products is to make sure to use context in your advertising. Mentioning the season directly in our marketing creative and copywriting helps add a sense of urgency. We generate urgency by showing them the gap and then bridging the gap with the sale of our products. – Jonathan Durante, Expandify Marketing Inc
3. Adjust To The Environment
Adjusting to the environment is key during this unusual time. For example, highlighting products used for virtual learning is a smart way to leverage seasonal products. In addition, products in the outdoor living and home improvement categories, which are in demand during spring and summer, will likely see popularity through the rest of the year as consumers continue to focus on their homes and families. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC
4. Focus More On Safety And Security
A greater focus on safety and security is essential. Whether it’s a business that sells Christmas trees or fixes heating (or anything in between), customers are going to want to know that the company is doing everything possible to maintain the safety of its customers as well as its staff. The businesses that keep people safe and let everyone know that they do stand a good chance of coming out on top. – Danny Star, Website Depot
5. Brainstorm What Might Be Popular This Christmas
Novelty items making fun of 2020 and Christmas-themed masks could be the next “ugly Christmas sweater” trend. Whatever starts flying off your e-commerce shelves, go in that direction. A huge beauty brand that I used to work with created holiday-themed makeup palettes for a limited time only, and gift hunters gobbled them up. – Sophie Bowman, Business Owner Society
6. Focus On Mobile Campaigns
Email marketing was the one thing that worked really well for one of our clients in the last holiday season. Due to Covid-19, more sales are expected from digital channels this year. People will be using their smart devices to send gifts to their friends and families. Therefore, mobile campaigns should surge this year. – Mandeep Singh, SEO Discovery Pvt Ltd.
7. Embrace Empathetic Marketing
The holiday shopping season is always a “make it or break it” time for retailers. In 2020, that is all the more true. Even if consumers have less to spend, they will be hunting—largely but not entirely online—for that special gift for a friend or family member. Empathetic marketing can help you drive sales. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes when planning your fall campaign. – Mary Ann O’Brien, OBI Creative
8. Make It Relevant To Each Channel
Marketing seasonal products is going to look a lot different this year. Because of Covid-19, consumer buying behaviors have dramatically changed. Brands that haven’t adopted a digital-first approach are going to lose out. That said, to make your seasonal marketing effective, the relevance of a product within a channel’s behavior pattern is going to be more critical than ever. – Roger Hurni, Off Madison Ave
9. Take Advantage Of Seasonal SEO Traffic
Naturally, there will be a spike in the usage of keywords such as “New Year’s Eve” and “Christmas.” Use SEO to get more traffic to your site by simply updating the dates and images and optimizing the seasonal keywords. You don’t have to create a new page for the season; just optimize! – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
10. Lean Into This Year’s Themes
Given the restrictions of Covid-19, people will likely be staying home instead of traveling, and shopping online versus taking part in the brick-and-mortar rush of Black Friday. Lean into the 2020 themes of self-care, staying home, slowing down and connecting with loved ones digitally. – Corbett Drummey, Popular Pays
11. Build Your Digital Ads In Advance
With a majority of people online due to Covid-19, normal sales events such as Black Friday will likely start several days before the actual date. Sellers will be fighting for attention and expect it to be competitive this year. Build your digital ads in advance and get them ready to start running up to a week in advance of the actual sale date. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint
12. Implement Always-On Marketing
We’ve done many Black Friday campaigns, with enormous focus on maximizing sales on that day. That’s been changing because, both in-store and online, Black Friday promotions are now being spread out over days and even weeks. Because of Covid-19, we expect seasonal shopping to be spread out even more diffusely. This means always-on marketing and promotional strategies are more important than ever. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
13. Build Experiential Streaming Ads
I think we may start to see more advertisers leaning into streaming services for their ad spend and using interactive ad placement to streamline the possible conversion process. With the gradual shift of consumers dropping cable and local TV service for services such as Hulu, this opens up opportunities to build experiential marketing mechanics into your advertising and potentially increase conversion. – Paul E. Benninghove, Pavone Marketing Group