Breaking through the masses of digital noise around the peak shopping season can be a challenging task. Add that to the already highly saturated and competitive e-commerce landscape, and it’s even harder for brands to make their mark.
As sales spike during December compared to any other time in the year, it’s important for brands to stand out. With lots of customers, limited time to make an impact and discount expectations, it can be tough to be noticed.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered our top tips on how e-commerce brands can cut through the noise this festive season and future holidays:
Create social media content that adds value
Even though it can be tempting to get creative straight away, it’s vital to pinpoint what you want to gain from your festive social media activity. This could include:
- Increasing conversions and selling products, e.g. promotional content, discount codes, and new customer discounts.
- Increasing social engagement with your customers/target audience, e.g. replying to comments in a timely manner (especially during a period where enquiries could be high) and being seen as an approachable brand.
- Building your email database through specific campaigns and encouraging new sign-ups through paid or organic social media.
- Increasing brand awareness with shareable and relatable social media content
- Simply to spread some festive cheer. (this is a given!)
It’s important to think about what form of value you want to give your audience over the busy period. This can be in the form of fun behind-the-scenes videos, user-generated content (UGC) or creating content that makes your brand more personable. However, regardless of your aim, it should always return to your core KPIs and overarching goals.
If you’re creating an ongoing festive campaign, it’s essential to develop stories that are emotionally engaging and meaningful to your audience. Most festive social media content is designed to inspire positive feelings in your audience, whether through nostalgia, a sense of belonging, empowerment, or simply spreading some joy. The way you portray this through your creativity and messaging is critical to whether your audience will see it as authentic or not.
Developing a fresh, engaging and authentic story and putting it in front of the people who are most likely to act and convert as a result is the key to seeing the best possible return on your investment.
During the festive period, your brand’s sales messages might blend in with others for consumers. To stand out from the holiday noise and discounts, it’s vital to interact directly with your audience. This could mean replying to comments daily, sharing user-generated content, and making interactive polls and quizzes for authentic engagement. Doing this helps maintain their trust and keeps them interested.
Unique content creation
This may seem like a given, but this can be forgotten during busy online periods. Developing creative and original content that stands out from typical holiday marketing can help your brand cut through the abundance of competition. This could be ramping up your online blog content, video content, or case studies. Festive content gives brands a unique opportunity to get creative with their online presence. This can help switch up the everyday content consumers have grown used to seeing.
With a substantial 82.2 billion British pounds spent on Christmas shopping in 2022, it’s no surprise that year-on-year, the holiday season witnesses a significant surge in demand for products and services. During this time, consumers are not only shopping for themselves but also their loved ones, contributing to much higher spending.
Amongst ongoing discounts, there are specific e-commerce days when consumers experience a sense of urgency that is not usually present throughout the rest of the year. From Black Friday deals to Cyber Monday, Boxing Day and New Year sales – it’s a given that consumers will be looking to shop on these days.
Although brands may be able to predict the active behaviour of customers and preempt their willingness to buy during these times, being overly sales-focused can harm the longevity of your brand. While it’s essential to highlight your discounts and deals for these important e-commerce days, it’s important to avoid overwhelming your audience with excessive promotional messages. This heavy sales tactic might become indifferent to them, potentially missing out on good offers because they’re tired of repetitive messaging. To avoid this, we recommend:
- Using storytelling to create emotional connections. Share your brand’s journey, customer success stories, and relatable experiences.
- Sharing informative content related to your industry or products.
- Ensuring sales information is valuable, timely, and delivered to the right people.
- Focusing on quality over quantity.
- Testing different approaches to see what resonates best with your audience.
- Using softer calls-to-action that guide rather than push.
- Incorporating humour, entertainment, or inspirational content into your marketing.
Storytelling through digital PR campaigns
Christmas is a time when brands can create emotionally charged stories that connect with their audience. By ramping up digital PR activity, brands can generate awareness, anticipation, and trust at a peak period for online activity.
Creating digital campaigns encompassing a unique angle in the media will not only help strengthen trust for your website, drive online website referrals, and raise the ranking of targetted keywords but also help spread brand awareness to target audiences.
To enhance Stravaig Spirits’ online presence and boost brand recognition while strengthening its backlink profile during the holiday season, we developed the ‘Most Hated Christmas Gifts’ campaign.
For this campaign, we targeted national, lifestyle, and regional publications, and the activity generated a 581% increase in website users from December to January, a 659% increase in new users, and over 4,300% increase in referrals.
Understand your target audience
It’s crucial to know your audience when determining how and where to promote your brand online during the festive season. It’s important to ask yourself questions such as, do you want your product to be seen by consumers buying it for themselves or as a gift? Are you trying to reach all audiences or a specific age or gender demographic?
Understanding your audience over the festive period can also help with:
- Tailoring your content and offerings to meet the audience’s specific needs and desires. This relevance can increase engagement and conversion rates.
- Enabling you to create personalised messaging and campaigns that resonate with individuals.
- Using resources more efficiently and preventing wasted efforts on reaching uninterested or irrelevant users.
- Creating content that will be more engaging and shareable. In turn, this can extend and create a much wider reach.
- Scheduling campaigns and content for peak periods to maximise visibility and impact.
- Giving you a competitive edge. Knowing your audience can increase your chances of standing out from generic, one-size-fits-all Christmas e-commerce campaigns.
- Building stronger and long-term customer relationships. Utilise this time to drive new sales and recognise and reward loyal customers.
Experiment with A/B Testing
The festive season can be an ideal time to test new and different tactics. Although this may feel slightly risky at such a prime time, testing different ad creatives, headlines, and social strategies can help brands identify what resonates most with the audience in real-time.
Proactive testing also enables you to identify areas that may underperform and make timely adjustments to achieve your desired sales results. It’s important to keep your eye on the ball, making sure to track and analyse the performance of your campaigns and adjust strategies based on real-time data, trends and insights.
If you want to see how we can help your brand stand out from the crowd all year round, contact the Wild PR team, or book a 30-minute introductory call with Katrina Cliffe.