2023 Holiday Marketing Trends: Where Should Brands Focus?
A recent NerdWallet survey and analysis found that close to 222 million Americans plan to purchase gifts for friends and family this holiday season. In preparation, here’s what brands need to know about where to invest and what holiday trends to watch for.
Trend #1: Pay Attention to Sustainability
Conscious purchasing and gifting will be top of mind this holiday season. In fact, products making ESG-related claims averaged almost 30 percent cumulative growth over the past five-year period.
Brands with sustainable, eco-conscious initiatives, products and packaging continue to see heightened sales and increased customer loyalty. If your customer doesn’t know where your brand stands, it’s hard for them to support your products.
Brands should leverage a variety of platforms to promote and support sustainable initiatives. Make sure your keywords, assets and shopping feeds are set up with consistent brand messaging.
Trend #2: Make it Quick and Snappy
Grab attention and do so quickly! Snappy, short-form videos will be critical to brand marketing this year. One need look no further than TikTok, which continues to grow faster than any other social app.
To embrace the short-form video journey, start with planning messaging with flexibility for of-the-moment content. Create videos that go beyond product and service. Even less brand-focused pieces can still actively engage your audience.
And remember, the average human attention span is eight seconds. Therefore, look for what your audience wants and stay focused on staying true to your brand personality.
Trend #3: Focus on Where it Counts
The reality is that inflation is continuing to tighten holiday budgets. Therefore, make sure to focus your spending on where it counts. Utilize campaign data gathered throughout the year to identify where you can maximize non-branded efforts for higher return on investment.
Take mobile, for instance, which still reigns as king. A significant 2022 development trend was progressive web applications (PWAs). This year is no different. With the increased amount of time consumers spend on mobile phones, brands must minimize distractions to prevent losing potential customers pre-purchase or before they share their data. Utilizing native mobile apps and PWAs will help you meet your audience exactly where they are.
Another important step is to leverage Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Platform data and performance are not the same. A click isn't a user on your website, and the same conversion can be counted in three different platforms. GA4 provides a wealth of insights into the actual value of a click, considering the cost per user, cost per time on site, and cost per conversion (for unique conversions). This enables you to allocate your budget more effectively to channels that deliver value. Brands should also keep testing to a minimum during the holiday season as the increased costs make testing more expensive.
Trend #4: Embrace Conversion Opportunities
Pay attention to visitors across all stages of the customer journey this holiday season. Small, micro-conversion actions can indicate initial interest in a product and be used to drive future action (as depending on your product, an Instagram or YouTube ad won’t get people to convert right away). To further draw in consumers, focus your remarketing budget on the first seven days after a user’s first visit to your site and keep your remarketing frequency high. Use a variety of different channels and messaging/content to constantly engage with your audience.
Think of remarketing as a friendly reminder to come back and seal the deal. Each touchpoint can be one step closer toward turning a visitor into a purchaser.
Prepare for the Holiday Season
Ultimately, ad spend will be higher during the holiday season. That’s why it’s essential to maximize efforts that will yield the highest return. There’s a lot of noise to break through during this time, so having a clear brand message, an emphasis on sustainability, and a focus on remarketing tactics that deliver will help you stand out from the competition. Make fast and data-based decisions to focus on the bottom line of your business.
Brian van Voorst is the director of paid media at Red Door Interactive, a full-service digital marketing agency.
Brian van Voorst, director of paid media at Red Door Interactive, launched his career in Paid Media in Amsterdam almost a decade ago. With a strong focus on eCommerce and Lead Gen, he thrives on optimizing strategies for clients. Brian's passion lies in finding efficiencies, and applying customization in his strategy since media isn't always the one-size-fits-all solution for every brand. This is why he finds fulfillment by applying a multi-layered strategy within Red Door Interactive's full-service agency.