While consumers are busy having hot girl/guy summers, brands are already in the thick of holiday planning because it takes time to get the strategy correct. But now isn’t the time to use previous years as a rigid model. Flexibility and agility are two important traits for your team to possess – especially with holiday content – so your messaging, approach, and priorities can pivot as rapidly as consumer behaviors evolve.
Why content is important
As shoppers are looking for the perfect gifts to give loved ones, your constant and transparent communication could be the deciding factor for their loyalty and purchase. Later in this 2022 holiday planning series, we will discuss creating hybrid holiday shopping experiences to stand out from the competition and your content is the vehicle to communicate this critical information about your experiences, deals and doorbusters, product availability, delivery and shipping options, etc.
Where to start
Whether you have an in-house digital messaging team or are working with an agency, these are two ways to set them up for success at the start of holiday planning.
- Plan out your calendar – With tighter wallets this holiday season, retailers may want to find the balance between capturing share of wallet earlier while not giving away their best deals before Black Friday. You can plan for this by spacing out when holiday offers are released so you can drive demand throughout the holiday season. Take it a step further by personalizing your messaging and announcements for where a consumer is at in the customer journey and their holiday purchase history.
- Give a reason to believe – It’s common for consumers to have brands in mind before they begin shopping for the holidays. If you aren’t in their top brands for consideration, you need to give them a compelling reason to buy from you instead with your brand messaging. Find creative ways to let them know deals that will help their budget, such as holiday bundles, fast delivery options, or whatever is most important to them.
How to stand out
Planning out your content calendar and giving compelling reasons to buy are just the foundation for your holiday content. When you have those established, it’s time to take it a step further to get creative with your content so you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Leverage chance-to-win promotions – Running promotions to engage consumers is one of the most impactful strategies you can deploy leading up to and during the holiday season. You can not only collect zero- and first-party data to personalize holiday shopping experiences, you can also motivate specific behaviors; bring consumers together for a movement and community; and train, engage, and reward seasonal retail workers.
- Focus on charitable efforts – Just as you want to inject stamina into your strategy by spacing out your offers, you also don’t want to overload consumers with product content. No one likes to be in a relationship with someone who only talks about themselves, and the same is true for consumers’ relationships with brands. As millennials and Gen Zers continue to push for brand values that make positive impacts, the holiday season is a great time to share your social-impact activities and partner with organizations that benefit causes aligned with your values. Don't forget that consumers are adept at sniffing out insincerity, so the partnership you choose and your messaging should stay authentic to your brand ethos.
If you like the direction this is heading, we have more content ideas to help your holiday strategy planning. Download our 2022 Holiday Preparation Playbook for a content inspiration guide and connect with the full-service Merkle team to establish a cohesive, cross-channel holiday strategy.