With the Christmas frenzy now in full swing, Bart Mroz offers some last-minute digital marketing tactics to stand out from the competition this holiday season.
The holiday season is upon us, and for retailers, this is the most important time of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, not only does up to 30 percent of retailers’ annual sales happen during this time, it’s also an opportunity to have impactful interactions with both long-time customers and the people who are checking out your brand for the first time.
Here are some last-minute marketing tactic that can help you position yourself ahead of the competition:
1. Incorporate Social Sharing and Buying
Before you start buying up ad space on Facebook and other platforms, consider that, according to a 2014 study from Goo Technologies, 62 percent of consumers completely ignore social media ads.
However, what consumers do pay attention to are recommendations from peers with whom they’re connected. So, aim to publish content that’s shareable, and offer coupons to those who do share. Consumers value what their friends and family have to say about a particular product, so encourage the sharing of offers through existing connections.
From there, enable purchasing right on social media feeds while users are scrolling. Starting this year, Facebook made it possible for all retail brands to sell directly from their respective pages via Buy Now buttons. Pinterest offers a similar capability, and it has seen faster adoption as far direct purchasing is concerned. Almost 75 percent of Pinterest users have purchased an item after seeing it on the platform, which represents an incredible amount of influence, so retail brands would certainly be behooved to take advantage of the opportunity.
2. Promote Your Brand via Snapchat
This may come as a surprise, given that 60 percent of Snapchat’s 100 million users are under 25 years old, and a quarter haven’t even graduated from high school yet. But just because they won’t buy many expensive gifts themselves doesn’t mean that they won’t ask for expensive gifts from the parents and grandparents who do have significant purchasing power.
So, how can brands leverage Snapchat to make sure that their products make it onto the holiday wish lists of this young demographic?
One idea is to use Snapchat to share news or give fans a first look at a new product. For example, to build hype, a retail clothing brand can offer a first look at a new winter style a day or two before it becomes available online and in stores. As a platform, Snapchat has a playful, off-the-wall personality that’s tailored to the demographic that uses it. So add some pizazz by using filters, animated emojis, and hand-drawn messages.
Finally, try creating a filter. Keep things light, and don’t be afraid to go a little over the top. In 2014, Taco Bell’s social team presented to a reluctant CMO the idea of launching a Snapchat filter that would would make people’s heads appear as a giant taco drizzled with its spicy Diablo sauce. It ended up being a hit, garnering 224 million views. Even if you’re not explicitly pushing a specific product, the exposure builds brand affinity among a large group that will eventually turn into customers — if you start capturing their attention now.
3. Bonus: Launch a Holiday-Themed Chatbot
Creating and launching a chabot is a worthwhile undertaking for brands because it opens up a way to talk to customers in the digital spaces where they already spend lots of time — on their mobile devices, in their messaging apps.
Consider using a chatbot creation platform like Imperson or Chatfuel to develop a chatbot that will not only be helpful and convenient, but also reflect the brand’s personality. That’s the idea behind chatbots — they’re an opportunity for brands to engage their consumer base in highly personalized, one-on-one interactions.
Create your brand’s chatbot such that its script is holiday-themed and takes advantage of customers’ excitement about the season. Similar to the Snapchat filters, this creates more than just convenience and extra purchasing opportunities — it offers another opportunity to create more affinity between users and brands.
Although they’re still eclipsed by Generation X consumers, digital-savvy Millennials continue to grow as a nascent purchasing demographic and brands should be taking initiative now to make sure that they’re making an early entrance into the spaces where these consumers will be buying in the future. I hope these tips provide helpful perspective as you continue targeting this important demographic. Happy holidays!
By Bart Mroz
Cofounder & CEO