Christmas in July? According to Facebook, it’s never too early to start holiday planning.
As one of their longest-running and largest research studies to date, Facebook IQ has compiled a complete holiday marketing guide with over 30 dynamic insights to help navigate your 2019 campaigns.
“Connecting someone with the right gift at the right time requires the right information. To help advertisers craft effective end-of-year campaigns, Facebook IQ has created a one-stop-shop for holiday insights that markets around the world can use.”
As businesses grow their social media presence every year, gifts aren’t found magically under the tree anymore, they’re found on Instagram.
We did a bit of our own research on this guide, here’s the breakdown:
Global Holiday Trends
There are six different trends that Facebook has taken notice of during the holiday season in 2018 and 2017.
- Holiday shoppers are going bigger, earlier
The whole of Q4, and into Q1, is now a shopping season.
- Shoppers won’t tolerate bad buying experiences
Before making purchases, consumers are engaging with multiple brands across multiple channels. They are less willing to experience inconvenience and even though mobile experiences may be improving, 85% of global holiday shoppers have had at least one problem while seasonal shopping on their mobile devices.
- Window shopping is shifting to Stories
During the 2018 holiday season, 63% of shoppers either watched or posted videos in Stories across platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat.
- People are purchasing in-store
Even with growth in e-commerce sales, consumers still prefer shopping in-store. This is because shoppers want to see products in-person, and brick-and-mortar stores also provide emotional benefits that are hard to reproduce online.
- Major shopping events have gone global
Between the 2017 and 2018 holiday seasons, shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday grew by 9% and 15%. To put these numbers in context, over $6.6 billion was spent in the United States alone on Cyber Monday in 2017.
- Messaging is fueling loyalty
Customers are beginning to reach out to brands via messages. On Facebook Messenger, 20 billion messages are sent every month between people and businesses.
Holiday Planning Calendar
Facebook created a calendar that includes important dates for businesses to keep in mind when creating campaigns such as Black Friday, Giving Tuesday, and Free Shipping Day.
The holiday guide highlights four different “phases” of the year and how brands should utilize the time to plan and execute their marketing strategies.
Phase 1: Prepare
Facebook recommends that businesses begin laying their campaign foundation as early as June or July. This involves implementing the necessary tools you’ll need for measurement and optimization, thinking about your creative vision, and assuring your audience strategies are in place.
Phase 2: Build Momentum
As the summer comes to an end, businesses can grow their customer base by introducing products to early shoppers who are starting their gift-giving lists.
Phase 3: Maximize Sales
To help maximize holiday sales and make the most of your holiday marketing budget, Facebook advises businesses to consider switching their focus to sales campaigns at the beginning of Q4.
Phase 4: Post-Holiday
While the holiday shopping frenzy may be over, business opportunities aren’t. Many customers will continue to shop in the first month of the year to take advantage of seasonal sales, with 44% of the people citing these deals as their main reason for shopping in January.
Peak Insights and Tactics
Along with a complete holiday marketing guide, Facebook has also included valuable insights that showcase peak dates, regions, and priority level. As the season has grown, so have the main holiday shopping peaks. These peaks give us new and exciting ways to reach people and influence their holiday shopping habits.
“For shoppers, much of the joy and wonder of the holiday season comes from finding the perfect presents for loved ones. For marketers, it’s not magic that makes these moments happen, it’s insights.”
According to Sprout Social, 74% of Facebook users visit the platform daily.
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