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 Surprising Findings About Mobile Advertising

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According to eMarketer research based on Verve Mobile survey among 3000 respondents, aged 14-29 years old, here are five surprising findings:

As high as 46 percent of the respondents wanted to save the ad for later use. Among the 3000 respondents surveyed, the ability to save the ad for later use came out as the top criterion for the perfect mobile ad.Adding a coupon offer to the mobile wallet was stated by 40 percent as one of the key contributor towards a mobile ad.

Nearly a third of the respondents wanted the ad to be easily shared. The ease of sharing the ad came out to be as important as the ability to shop directly from the ad.

Nearly 39 percent said they wanted the ad to be customized for products that they buy whereas fewer 23 percent wanted the perfect ad to be relevant in terms of proximity and location.

According to ad research Mobile users preferred ad scrollers in comparison with expandable banners. On all key metrics including Brand Favorability and Purchase Intent, Ad Scrollers performed better than expandable banners.

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Nearly a third of respondents wanted the ability to shop directly from the ad. A quarter of respondents wanted interactive and engaging elements in an ideal ad.

Location Based Searches Skewed Towards Mobile

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Mobile search trends based on 3.5  Million mobile site visits and hundreds of millions of online visits, conducted in 2016 for a four-week period beginning April 10 and ending May 7, 2016, found that for some sectors, primarily Food and Beverage category the smartphones and tablets account for dominant share of site visits. For Food and Beverage category, mobile site visits are at 72 percent of searches that result in a visit.

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According to Hitwise, the research pointed towards a similar trend in Health industry, “The Health industry, too, sees a similarly high share of searches being initiated on a mobile device with 68% of searches resulting in a click to this industry coming from mobile. ”

For retail 56 percent of searches that are site visits are from Smartphones and tablets. Location-based mobile searches are heavily skewed towards mobile and include words like “near me,” “hours,” “24 hour” and those that start out with “where to buy…”.

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Mobile searches that included words “return policy,” “price match” or “reviews” were initiated on a mobile device at least 77 percent of the time and cue in higher purchase intent.

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