How To Market for the Holidays During COVID-19

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There’s no denying that the holiday season is going to look a little different this year – from Zoom holiday get-togethers to Black Friday being primarily online. We’re all adapting to a new normal, and that includes new holiday marketing strategies.

Marketing strategies during COVID-19 have changed drastically. There’s a much larger push for online shopping and virtual events. Additionally, there is an added urgency to advertise these events on social media and other digital platforms. 

Changing digital strategies and shifts in holiday traditions means that your marketing plan needs to adapt to these changes, too. Here are some tips for how to market during this year’s holiday season. 

1. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge hardships

Although it can be tempting to try and gloss over COVID-19 or try and create a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos, consider a different approach. 

Consumers value authenticity, honesty and vulnerability. With COVID-19 impacting almost everyone’s lives, being real and honest with your customers is more important than ever. 

It’s also important to not overdo it, though. For months, people have been bombarded with the harsh realities of this pandemic, so don’t mention it continuously. Instead, try to work it in naturally without reminding customers of what was lost. 

For more on the effects of COVID-19 on businesses, check out our previous blog post.

2. Embrace holiday traditions

With that being said, be sure to embrace holiday traditions as much as possible. Above all this year, people want normalcy. Most won’t have the traditional experience of big in-person shopping days and fun, crowded outings. Instead, you can give them a sense of normalcy by highlighting how to keep traditions in a safe, socially-distanced way. 

Although there is no reason to pretend like everything is fine this holiday season, try to keep the tone lighthearted but realistic.

Instead of taking a view of pessimism or optimism, try one of realism: COVID-19 is changing the way we do the holidays, but some things can still remain the same.

Holiday marketing tips

3. Keep websites and social media updated and accessible during the holiday marketing season

This holiday season, you should focus on your digital marketing strategy above all else. This could be through target social media ads, interacting with customers or clients through social media, or revamping your website. 

The amount of consumers doing their holiday shopping online this year will be larger than others. This means that the bulk of your marketing efforts should go towards these digital platforms. Recent surveys showed a hike in online shopping for Black Friday; that trend is expected to continue into the end of the year. 

Make sure whatever product or service you provide is easily accessible online. This ensures consumers aren’t deterred from buying your product by needing to go to a store. Services like one-day delivery or curbside pick-up are especially efficient for consumers. 

Although your social media shouldn’t be totally focused towards selling your product, make a push to advertise a bit more than usual during this holiday season. Try to naturally work in links to products, blog articles or other content within your social media platforms. Consumers won’t have the same exposure to sales and advertisements that they do traditionally during the holiday season. Make sure to keep customers aware of any sales or exclusive promotions.

You should also make sure your website is accessible in addition to up-to-date. Run focus groups and analyses on how your website performs to understand where you can improve. 

Pay special attention to when people abandon their carts, conversion rates and bounce rates. Simple changes like a more accessible navigation menu can help boost your website and increase sales.

There is nothing normal about the holidays this year, so marketing strategies will look a little different. If you need help figuring out a holiday marketing strategy, contact us for a free audit.

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