Five Content Marketing Ideas For Holiday Season


Generating awareness with existing fans and followers for new launches and campaigns that require users to interact with your products increases engagement and conversions. Highlighting offers with a call to action increases awareness, and brings in the required click-through rate. Create a sense of urgency with your messages.


Engage your audience with content ideas that resonate with them in the context. Offering a freebie during the holiday season deepens the emotional bond with your brand. Include images and content for seasonal packs.



Start a series that creates an ongoing engagement with shoppers that start shopping early. This can be done with Early bird offers and clever ways to prepare for seasonal celebrations. The type of content that works for different content Genre based on a study of over a million posts by Buzzsumo and the results you can expect by way of traffic generation varies. Choose the type of content that works for your category.


Start with User Generated Campaigns that are likely to generate participation.


Co-publishing content increases the chance of content discovery. Co-branding Content with publishers increases the engagement by nearly 8X.


Are Messaging Apps The Next Frontier For Omnichannel Retail?



According to an Apple Press Release, “In the two weeks ending January 3, customers spent over USD 1.1 Billion on apps and in-app purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for traffic and purchases. January 1, 2016 marked the biggest day in App Store history with customers spending over USD 144 million. It broke the previous single-day record set just a week earlier on Christmas Day.”

According to L2 Digital IQ Research, Beauty brands in China, effectively use WeChat for marketing programs with customized features. The adoption for features such as links to e-tailer store, provide an opportunity for retailers to be present where the audiences are.













Messaging campaigns are seen to increase engagement and retention rates, according to a research report, In-app campaigns increase engagement and retention.

Four Ways Brands Can Target Omnichannel Shopper On Messaging Apps
Personalize Your Messaging For Engagement

Brands can combine messaging features for personalized offers and engagement on Messaging Apps. This can be done with location-based targeting or personalized rewards. The messaging apps provide retailers an additional channel to increase chances of interaction without leaving the messaging  app. According to Urban Airship, Brands can increase the engagement with App notifications that are served within a context. An example is a messaging campaign, for PGA Tour app that serves Geo-location relevant messages making for an exclusive experience. Retailer Brands can choose the right messaging app depending on the popularity of the app with the target audience.


For fans at a tournament, the PGA Tour app features context-driven notifications using beacons. As attendees entered the grounds, they received a Welcome notification leading them to a landing page with scheduled tee times. Beacons throughout the grounds triggered messages aimed at streamlining the fan experience from skipping lunch lines, to offering transport schedules as the day wrapped up.

Offer Shopping Convenience With Messaging


ASDA’s app features a mobile-enabled low price guarantee, shopping lists optimized for maximum in-store efficiency.  ASDA’s engaging design uses visual tiles to help consumers connect with the brand through recipes, in-line video and offers. Like Starbucks’ app, ASDA’s Message Center serves as a hub for great user experiences. Nearly 25 percent of transactions are reported to take place on mobile apps for some of the retailers who prioritize mobile apps. Integrating Retail Mobile App with the popular messaging app can help retailers create customized offers.


Referral Marketing With Messaging

Brands can look at using campaigns that aim to sign-up customers with a referral marketing program. The marketing impact  of referral program in reaching new audiences is multi-fold. Deep linking your retail app with messaging app, can help audiences sign up and refer audiences in a click.


Reward Customers With Messaging

Brands that run a rewards program can look at incentivizing spend with rewards features that let audiences sign up for offers that are credited to customers account. Another way to reward audiences is featuring discounts, previews and sales for engaged audiences. Retailers that are targeting the messaging apps users can look at offering specific rewards such as “Follow the Story and Earn Reward Points”.



To tackle the Omnichannel retail challenge, segmenting shoppers that are app only as opposed to in-store, browser-based and other devices. Customizing offers for app only audiences, requires retailers to look at mobile shopper journey for features such as digital assistants, price comparison and product locator within the messaging app and deep linking of apps for mobile transactions. Brands that are looking at creating Shopper convenience for InStore can offer services such as Click and Hold where shoppers can view products at a reserve price, prior to purchases. Engaging high value audiences on messaging apps can help them decide what shoppers are really looking for.

Holiday Marketing Checklist For December

640x360-Holiday-Gift-Cards-SOJ-2015With marketers focusing on  Holiday season shopper engagement to bring in loyal customers post the seasonal sales, here is a checklist for advertisers that can help them get the best Return on Ad Spend from their campaigns in the month of December.



Online Search 

According to Bing Ads Insights at least 80 percent of Shoppers plan on buying at least one Gift Card and 62 percent plan on buying their last gift in the week of Christmas.

Bing recommends planning your search campaigns with the following tips to maximize the campaign performance:

Highlight incentives and discounts in ad copy with 
phrases like “20% off holiday sale” and “free shipping.”
Update ad copy to create a sense of urgency, “Order now for delivery by Christmas” and “3 days left for free    shipping.
Offer “Free gift wrapping” as an incentive for 
last-minute shoppers.
Keep campaigns fully funded through December to catch 
post-Christmas shoppers redeeming gift cards.

Google has shared a Holiday Survival checklist that will help advertisers focusing on Best Sellers.

Manage seasonal or strategic products with a separate 
campaign at a higher campaign priority.
 Uncap budgets to match search growth for your products leading up to Prime Seasonal Days.
 Add new click share columns to find product groups that have the biggest headroom for more clicks.
 View overlap rate and outranking share from the auction insights report to compare performance with competitors on high value  products. 
Bid for categories that will help you boost conversions. Use eCPC to increase Click-share for products that are your  best sellers.
Gift Cards Promotion Strategy

gcGift Cards are the number one gift that people wanted to receive and the Top Three Gift card categories are Department Stores (38 percent), Restaurant (34 percent) and Coffee Shop (21 percent). The phenomenon of self-gifting is bigger than earlier with users choosing to gift themselves over others. Nearly 60 percent of consumers plan to splurge on themselves.

Plan your Gift card Strategy by engaging audiences when they are most likely to be shopping for last-minute gift ideas. Plan an email marketing and in-app messaging campaign to remind your audiences about the offers on your gift cards. For advertisers on Google, there are restrictions on using Google Shopping for Gift cards.



Social Media Strategy

Twitter has shared tips that will engage the last-minute shoppers by reaching audiences by being in the conversation for holiday shopping. Brands looking at being on Twitter Holiday season shopping chat can  join the conversation with ‘Tis The Season.

Twitter recommends planning a Mobile App Promotion and targeting new audiences for mobile app downloads with a surge in sales of Mobile devices in Q4.



Messaging Apps Campaign

If your core target audience is younger audiences, text messaging and messaging apps can help you reach audiences within Christmas context with 14 percent using messaging apps every day . Engaging your audience on Messaging Apps can help you reach the target audience within a context that helps you build a conversation. Developing your target audience profile based on unique app ids can help you engage audiences with UGC content or contest and promote offers across apps on social media networks and entertainment apps for Holiday Season campaign. Facebook is the most downloaded app and Targeting audiences with  Facebook Custom Audience, based on Unique app ids for your retail app and messaging app, with common conversation thread for Holidays, as seen for Starbucks and Match can create buzz and encourage sign ups for your seasonal offers and campaign.


According to App Annie’s report on retail,  Intelligent Product Suggestions can boost engagement with the mobile-first consumer. If Your app has the ability to recommend products based on consumers shopping behavior, now is the time to up sell and cross-sell.



Segment Your Audiences and Optimize Campaigns Based on Shopping Behavior

Optimize your campaign for different target segments based on Digital Shopping Insights shared by Prosper Insight and IAB;

18-34 year olds are more likely to read a product review on their smartphones (44 percent vs. 32 percent general population) and less likely to do so on tablets (32 percent).  They’re also inclined to check prices on a smartphone (42 percent vs. 33 percent general population) and are less likely to do so on a tablet (32 percent).
Those who are 35-54 are more prone to use tablets to read product reviews, locate stores, check store hours, and check product pricing (40 percent vs. 35 percent general population).
Adults ages 55-64 are more than twice as likely to make a purchase on a tablet (34 percent) than on a smartphone (15 percent).
Consumers 65+ are more than twice as likely to make a purchase on a tablet (26 percent) than on a smartphone (11 percent).  They are also nearly twice as likely to read a product review on a tablet (31 percent) than on a smartphone (17 percent).
Google Shopping Campaigns bring in higher conversions and here is a video shared by Google on “How To Optimize Shopping Campaigns” for boosting conversion rates from your campaign.

For optimizing your campaign on Google for bestsellers during the holiday season, cpcstrategy has a step by step guide.

Email Marketing

Set up a new email promotion workflow specifically for new offers and campaigns post Cyber Monday based on what holiday products, promotions, or categories a user you would like to promote in the weeks leading to Christmas. Include video in email where possible.


Campaign Wishlist For Mobile Shopper Engagement

 Have You drawn a plan to engage the shopper at each stage of the buyer journey for holiday season shopping. Mobile Messaging moments extend throughout the Customer Journey offering brands an opportunity to engage consumers early in the holiday shopping cycle. Getting your mobile campaign ready requires knowing mobile moments for your brand that are seen as more relevant.

Knowing your customers’ journey is important to promote with mobile messaging as it identifies opportunities that are present for your brand or app to increase engagement with your audience. Here are some of the key moments in a customer journey that present brands an opportunity to influence customers. Planning campaigns with messaging that convinces and converts require brands to identify those key moments early in the campaign planning cycle.

Before you prepare your campaign wishlist here are some of the marketing tips based on a research shared by Forrester for Mobile Marketing.