Key Insights For Content Marketing For Holiday Season

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Holiday 2015 brought in a 60 percent growth in traffic and conversion rates.  The US retail online sales for Holiday Season 2016 are likely to grow by 13.3 percent according to eMarketer. Nearly 50 percent of shoppers have reported Holiday Shopping begins before Thanksgiving and nearly 25 percent start before Halloween.

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Optimizing your campaign for audience segments can get your campaigns and content discovered by the target audience . The content Eco-system for your audience segments varies for different demographic. Smartphones are essential in the content path of Holiday Shopper with 76 percent shoppers conducting a local search  and visiting a physical location within 24 hours.  Equally important is the growth of Buy Online and Pick Up in store with 32 percent using the option in 2015.

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Optimize your campaigns for local search intent. 82 percent of the shoppers refer to Smartphones while shopping prior to visiting a store. The Queries with Local Intent increased by 2X during Holiday season 2015.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-12-30-am

Define your audience segments and develop a persona for each audience segment. With profiles for each segment you can find out the purchase behavior for each segment, depending on the time they are likely to start shopping and the content that works for each persona. For instance, targeting teens with a personalization content strategy might work better, whereas for targeting  seasoned mature shopper, an opt-in email strategy might bring in best deals on a weekly basis.

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Your Content Marketing Strategy  centered around your audience ensures sustained interest, throughout the holiday season. Co-promote your offers and campaigns with publisher boosts to ensure sustained interest. This will help your brand with Organic search results. Some of the tactics recommended by SEO experts WPROMOTE are to leave your Branded content on the main site navigation for SERP results. The content pieces that are likely to work for your category depend on what is popular with your target audience. For some categories, Gift Guides work better, while for others an image caption contest may generate increased engagement.

According to WPROMOTE’s “100 Days Of Holiday” Whitepaper, the SEO firm recommends updating your website content and Metadata with Holiday related terms as early as October.

Some of the charts from comScore reveal the weekly ramp up of online holiday retail sales making it important for brands to think their Online holiday retail strategy to be ready with Text Ads and Display Ads, as well as Social media strategy to be ready for online searchers and holiday shoppers.

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The Traffic for Mobile and Desktops varies for different weeks. Keep in mind the changes in traffic volume and searches on mobile to optimize your bids accordingly.

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Source: WPROMOTE’s Whitepaper “100 Days of Holiday” and comScore

Trends Shaping Omnichannel Retail

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As per  Nielsen‘s Global Study, more than half of global respondents use mobile for conducting research prior to shopping, to compare prices, make better shopping decisions and look for coupons and deals or as a shopping assistant.  53 percent use their mobile device when shopping to compare prices or look up product information 52 percent. More than four in 10 respondents use their device to look for coupons or deals 44 percent, make better shopping decisions  42 percent or make shopping trips quicker or more efficient 41 percent.

Based on a survey of 7000 respondents,  by scaleable real-time engagement and loyalty firm, SessionM, there are three trends that are shaping the customer experience for Omnichannel. The survey revealed that shoppers are increasingly shifting to mobile and shoppers are savvier than ever trying to find the best deals by shopping in-store, online and on their smartphone.Based on trends shaping the Omnichannel retail, retailers are looking at new ways to answer the challenges by adapting the shopper experience. According to session M the three key trends shaping the retail behavior are:

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Customers seek seamless OmniChannel experience and want IN-Store shopping experience replicated on digital channels.

What are brands doing to cope with OmniChannel Challenge?

Brands are customizing OmniChannel experience by offering services such as Click and Collect. Gearing up for the holiday season, Omnichannel retail, Target has introduced dedicated retail shelf space for Click and Collect customers. Target is also planning to introduce Flex Format stores. In addition to selling regionalized inventory, these stores also operate as collection points for click and collect service.

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Mobile acts as a trusted advisor throughout the shopping process for brands and therefore brands must innovate to get the customer’s attention through the purchase funnel.

How are brands innovating to differentiate?

Brands that retain consumer’s interest throughout the shopping cycle offer differentiated experience by acting as trusted advisor. In an example shared by Session M for a retail brand preparing for Holiday Season “Cole Haan is also innovating on a mobile scale, as updates to their app for the holiday season include an integration with Uber. Customers who are using the store locator or are interested in a particular sale are offered the ability to take a ride to the store to check it out, with a click resulting in a push to the Uber app with trip details to the store input automatically.”

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Consumers seek Personalized messaging during Holiday Season. As users get bombarded with consumer offers, for Brands to have a meaningful engagement, it’s important to personalize messaging and offers.

How are brands personalizing?

According to a report, “Lowe’s are looking to take personalization to the next level. A few test stores have incorporated 3D scanning and printing services to build customized products for unique customer projects. Each customer has a different need and Lowe’s is seeking to meet that challenge with the exact product they are looking for.”

5 Key Stats About Visual Content and Purchase Behavior

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According to a report by Power Reviews Visual Content influences purchase behavior. Here are five key stats from the report “Snapshot for Ecommerce“.

Key Stat One

81 percent of those age 18-29 say they regularly or always seek out visual content, compared to 72 percent of consumers of all ages, prior to making a purchase.

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Key Stat Two

88 percent of consumers look for photos and videos submitted by other consumers and 58 percent of millennials look for photos and videos in reviews.

Key Stat Three

84 percent of 18-29 Years age group are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos. 47 percent of the same age group are less likely to buy a product that does not have photos and videos shared by other consumers.

Key Stat Four

40 percent consumes want to see photos and videos on the brand’s site while 29 percent want to see similar content on Amazon and 24 percent want to see it on third-party review site.

Key Stat Five

Most people, as high as 50 percent, start looking for the visual content on Google. Amazon at 26 percent is the second most popular place for seeking visual content.

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Lay’s Flavor Swap Interactive Campaign Yields Results

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Flavor Swap campaign for Lay’s on Instagram, yielded results for Frito-Lay North America by increasing the reach for the campaign, lowering the cost and increasing the sales. The interactive campaign on Instagram brought about an increase in in-store sales. The use of Instagram in its campaign increased the reach for the advertiser by 5 percent, lowered its CPM by 3 percent and drove a 5 percent sales lift compared to when it ran a campaign on Facebook only.

“Running our Flavor Swap campaign across Instagram and Facebook and Instagram proved a powerful punch in our ability to build awareness on mobile for new chip flavors and ultimately drive sales,” says Atin Kulkarni, Senior Director, Portfolio Strategy, Frito-Lay North America.

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Instagram is popular for Online campaigns, according to an Instagram blog post, for nearly 700 campaigns, 98 percent generated significant lifts in ad recall—2.8X higher than Nielsen norms. And 70 percent of performance campaigns generated statistically significant lifts for online conversions or mobile app installs. Instagram is also known to produce results in the offline world, with increase in In-store sales and Household penetration, according to a study by Datalogix.

The interactive campaign run by Frito-Lay let the users decide which flavors to go for in comparison with the existing flavors. Building an Interactive content format engaged users on the go. To design interactive content for your brand, here are some important tips:

Keep your Text brief and bite sized
Build the experience for storytelling, to increase the audience participation.
Tailor the copy for your audience.
Brand Voice and Personality should be central to your posts.
Make your content unique and stylized, for users to pay attention to your posts.