The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to the lifestyle of consumers around the world.
Consequently, it has also altered their purchasing behaviors as new habits have been formed while the world has been on lockdown. These new habits will most likely shape the holiday 2020 shopping trend for 2020 and beyond.
As more and more people start to drift away from traditional ATL advertising on TV, there has been significant growth for video services and streaming platforms this year. At-home shoppers are regularly consuming video content at home, and this occurrence provides an excellent opportunity for marketers to capture their audience for the 2020 holidays.
Driving performance with video creatives
Google partnered with advertising agency Dentsu to launch its Attention Economy research, which shows how brands can use video not just to attract consumers but also to engage and deliver results at scale.
The research noted that the first thing that marketers need to keep in mind is that the key drivers of successful video performance are their brand’s own unique creatives and the content from which it thrives. It all starts with integrating a brand’s overall media plan with its creative content strategy.
Google has identified three key elements that will help drive performance to your brand’s video marketing campaign:
ELEMENT 1: Start with creative intelligence.
It cannot be denied that there is indeed a direct relation between a brand’s campaign performance and its video creative’s effectiveness. Brands can use various tools and leverage AI, machine learning, and data science to understand how they can effectively optimize their creative assets.
However, brands also need to consider that “effective” creative assets can differ depending on their industry’s consumer demands. As such, they need to learn how to thread towards their own industry’s media activity to find out what will best work for them. Here are several tips from Google:
· Logo placement matters.
For brands creating skippable video ads, they need to be mindful of their logo placement. They should avoid placing their logo or brand name near the “Skip Ad” button and consider a more viewable position.
· Give the viewer a clear CTA.
A clear and concise CTA will ensure that your target audience remains on the intended path that you want them to take.
· Use various shots and frames.
To keep the attention levels high for your intended audience, it is advisable to use dynamically shot videos, voice-overs, and text capture to drive your viewers’ attention and action.
· Consider shorter formats when promoting deals.
Avoid longer video ads whenever a discount or deal is mentioned for the holidays. Viewers tend to stop watching and take immediate action when deals and discounts appear on the ad.
· If you are building a sonic brand, establish it early.
Jingles and sonic tagging are common in holiday ads. When your brand uses this tactic, make sure to feature it early on in the video since that is when it will most likely capture people’s attention.
ELEMENT 2: Embrace creative tests.
It’s becoming so much easier for consumers to skip and block video ads these days. As such, you need to learn how your video ad’s quality will help impact sales, purchase intent, and ROI for your brand.
Google’s Video Experiment tool showed opportunities to help brands optimize their video creative and maximize their performance:
· The “softness” of a product for women
Videos publicizing the product’s “softness” tend to have a 6.9% increase in purchase consideration among women.
· The “premium” factor for men
Video creative that positioned the product as “premium” had a 6.1% higher purchase consideration rate among men. It also garnered the highest rate (6.1%) in terms of the overall purchase consideration across all demographics.
· Video Exposure
In terms of frequency, viewers who have been exposed to the ad twice tend to have higher purchase consideration results. In addition, the results were also most substantial across smartphone devices.
ELEMENT 3: Think like a content creator.
Genuine commitment is needed for brands to develop and produce effective holiday video content properly. Ensure that there is ongoing engagement with fans and commenters.
There could be an untapped opportunity for brands to further engage with their viewers by positioning themselves as content creators within their channels. Brands have a unique opportunity to create inspiring, educational, and empowering content for their audience. One way of doing that is to develop content much like a YouTube content creator would.
Content SEO and a video’s discoverability are huge factors that measure whether the video will become successful or not. Brands need to dig deep into their audience insights and video trends to know the opportunities they can use for creating content, creator partnerships, and demographic impacts.
2020 Holiday Creative Insights
While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes in every aspect of our lives, it cannot be denied that new habits have also been formed. Consequently, the arrival of the end of the year holidays is also a time when new consumer shopping behaviors emerge.
This season’s shopping behavior will be affected by consumer behavior in response to COVID-19 and impacts from this year’s economic downturn. Facebook created a holiday guide that showed insights for this year’s consumer shopping behavior:
INSIGHT 1: Gen X and Boomers dominate global mobile and e-commerce growth.
Digital adoption and transformation have been steadily growing over the past few years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have accelerated this trend. As a result, even the older generation has learned to embrace e-commerce.
Facebook has noted that, on average, 85% of people are shopping online globally, and over 80% of those belong to Gen X and Boomer demographics. It is expected that this trend will still continue for the end of the year shopping season. Moreover, the report also indicated that 43% of the people surveyed are also expected to shop online more frequently after the outbreak is over.
· Holiday Video Tip: Lay the foundation for simple online shopping (e.g., gift guides, shopping tips, etc.).
Due to the pandemic, holiday shoppers are bound to spend less time in physical stores and increase their online shopping reliance. Safety will become the primary consideration of holiday shoppers this year. As such, they will try to avoid physical contact and crowded locations as much as possible.
Businesses should consider offering a click and collect shopping scheme to adapt to the new safety considerations of holiday shoppers. In-store pickup will help benefit shoppers and retailers since it extends online final purchase deadlines and makes last-minute holiday shopping easier. Since physical shoppers are now transitioning to become digital shoppers this year, brands need to make their online holiday shopping experience as seamless as possible — one way of doing so is to make online shopping feel like in-store shopping.
Simple shopping considerations, such as providing clear information on secure online payments and delivery/returns policies, will pave the way for a seamless online experience. Brands can also offer online shopping FAQs like gift-wrapping advice, click and collect procedures, and personal shopping guides.
INSIGHT 2: Consumers may prioritize Mega Sales as the world faces economic challenges.
The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global workforce. For holiday shoppers whose personal finances were heavily affected by the pandemic, year-end Mega Sales could be the shopping event they have been waiting for. Many price-sensitive shoppers wait for brands to be on promotional discounts or sale before they make a purchase.
Since the Internet nowadays brings the world closer together, Mega Sales events have now become a global event as well. In the West, the holiday shopping season typically starts with Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales are now extended to Asian Mega Sales like the 11/11 and 12/12 sales.
· Holiday Video Tip: Appeal to shopping preferences to accelerate consumers’ purchase decisions (e.g., FB and IG TV Live shopping).
Brands need to learn how to use technologies like machine learning and automation to tap the right audience at the right time with the best price. In the days leading up to the Mega Sales events, brands need to optimize their holiday video campaigns to connect with shoppers who are most likely to respond to the company’s holiday promotions.
Brands need to be creative enough to explore new ways on how they recreate the physical shopping experience in the digital world. Leverage on technology to bring the brand’s unique physical store characteristics into your online shopper’s experience. Brands can use FB Live, IGTV, and Stories to build hype and excitement for Mega Sales events.
You can even utilize product experts to provide demos, host fashion shows, or feature influencers reviewing your brand’s products. These videos will help your brand interact with your audience and, at the same time, encourage your viewers to buy online in real-time.
Shakr Local can help you plan for the holiday Mega Sales events with locally relevant video campaigns at scale for your brand. Shakr will help create a unique and customized creative video that can be deployed to multiple locations during this year’s holidays.
INSIGHT 3: Self-gifting and seasonal shopping can be positive outlets during these difficult times.
During this challenging year, people need to find simple opportunities that will help them stay positive. Holiday shoppers are also looking for simple ways to reward themselves and indulge with small and affordable treats that will make them feel good during this difficult time.
Whether it’s a tube of lipstick or a new gadget, the idea of buying affordable luxury will generally depend on the holiday shopper’s financial comfort zone. This can be a great sales strategy for brands during the holiday season. Answering the question, “What can shoppers afford right now?” will help them frame the right products they can market for the holidays. Facebook also noted that an average of 74% holiday shoppers are researching gifts for themselves this year, while 78% are also researching gifts for their loved ones.
· Holiday Video Tip: Help your consumers discover what they will love to buy.
Brands need to find ways to connect with shoppers to inspire them to buy what they love. Dynamic video ads with interactive content can help connect the right products with the people. Brands can create targeted video ads with Shakr. Shakr Local‘s hyper-local video creative campaign at scale can help your brand connect with shoppers that expressed an interest in your products on your website, app, or anywhere else online.
INSIGHT 4: The COVID-19 disruption drives receptivity to new products and services.
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused a lifestyle disruption for so many consumers, it has also opened new opportunities, such as experiencing the convenience of online grocery deliveries or getting engrossed in new hobbies at home.
Due to government-imposed lockdowns, at-home consumers have become more receptive to trying out new products, services, or activities that provide better quality, competitive pricing, or convenience. Traditionally, the year-end holidays have always been a time when people are receptive to try new things. Facebook’s data showed that, on average, 64% of global seasonal shoppers said that they explored new products during the holidays more than the rest of the year.
· Holiday Video Tip: Reach new audiences with branded content.
Help your brand reach your consumers by identifying which products will meet their preferences and which of these will be most relevant for the holidays with branded video ad content that focus on quality, utility, or affordability. Keep in mind that the opportunity to reach a new audience is open to all kinds of brands, not just those with lower price points.
INSIGHT 5: Consumers look for affordability, brand authenticity, and alignment with their personal values.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, holiday shoppers have always minded price points, discounts, and deals whenever they look for gifts for their loved ones. This year, brands need to go beyond competitive pricing. Thus, social responsibility and brand authenticity are more important than ever. Holiday shoppers need to know what your business stands for, and they should be proud that they were able to patronize your brand.
Facebook’s data showed that while year-end shoppers may continue to be price-sensitive when asked what kind of content they wanted to see from business, they responded by saying that real, authentic, and informative content was as important as sales and offers.
· Holiday Video Tip: Show support with local business partnerships that can give back to local communities.
For this holiday season, focus on your brand’s community-building by clearly showing its values to your consumers. One way of doing that is to include charitable options and donation features in your holiday deals and promos. You can also show support to the local community by starting local business partnerships. Since local businesses were heavily affected during the pandemic, brand partnerships are an excellent opportunity to boost the local economy.
Holiday Video Creative Considerations
As the holiday season approaches, make sure that the brand’s video presence is well-maintained with creative content that builds trust, drives attention and recognition, and gives you a competitive advantage. Here are several tips to keep in mind:
TIP 1: Consider the context.
As expected, the family’s holiday festivities may be entirely different this year since traditional gatherings and crowded environments are restricted in a world afflicted with COVID-19. Brands need to think of more creative ways to emphasize the holiday’s festive spirit.
TIP 2: Don’t be afraid to be festive.
The world has been on lockdown over the past several months. As such, the upcoming holidays are a time to inspire and uplift everyone’s spirits. A Facebook poll showed that 70% of people supported the notion that they want to hear from companies what they have to offer and what they stand for.
TIP 3: Try to break tradition.
2020 has been an unusual year. It’s safe to say that it will also be an unusual holiday season. Thus, it can be a time for brands to explore new creative territories. It’s an excellent opportunity for companies to refresh their brands and redesigning their own holiday festivities and campaigns.
TIP 4: Be authentic and add value.
To foster a closer connection with your consumers, remember to always stay true to your brand’s values and maintain an authentic voice across all platforms. No matter what you do, your holiday campaign ideas should, first and foremost, enrich the lives of your consumers and stakeholders. Be a brand that inspires, empowers, and encourages people to help and take action.
TIP 5: Lead with empathy.
COVID-19 has created a worldwide disruption. Brands need to be sensitive towards the disruptions that occurred in the lives of their consumers and the local community. Re-evaluate your holiday marketing campaign to ensure that your messaging remains relevant to the current environment.
2020 Holiday Video Best Practices
Banana Republic’s Love the Present
Banana Republic’s heartwarming holiday video ad focuses on creating authentic relationships in the comfort of your home. The brand inspires its consumers to make pleasant memories around the holidays despite the unpleasant circumstances brought by the pandemic this year.
The ad shows different families and couples wearing their new line of winter collection, including sweaters, coats, and hats, while they are gathered around the fireplace and surrounded by gifts. With a global health crisis looming upon the holiday season, Banana Republic’s new ad has the opportunity to appeal to at-home consumers and the growing demand for warm and comfortable clothes for the winter.
Kitchn’s Thanksgiving Food Fest
Web food magazine Kitchn is helping Americans make the most out of the unusual socially distanced holiday season with a virtual Thanksgiving celebration. Kitchn’s Thanksgiving Food Fest is inviting Instagram foodies to watch and discover Thanksgiving recipes and exclusive cooking videos.
From November 14-15, Kitchn will host interactive IGTV segments that will discuss Thanksgiving traditions and foods that at-home consumers can follow and plan with their own celebrations. Kitchn also invited renowned chefs and bakers to help teach viewers how to make special dishes, including stuffing and pumpkin pie, as well as ideas and suggestions to help families stay connected on Thanksgiving.
Hilton’s New Memories
One of the industries that had been hit the hardest during the pandemic was the hospitality industry. However, Hilton Hotels do not want travelers to dwell on their canceled travel plans; they want to invite them again to create “New Memories” instead.
Hilton’s video ad invites homebound travelers to start planning their vacations as the brand feed into the growing need for travel and leisure in the United States. Hilton encourages consumers to make new memories with their loved ones and reconnect with families at various Hilton Hotels. With this message, the hotel chain has the opportunity to appeal to consumers who are yearning for travel and togetherness for the holidays. Encouraging trips for the new year is also an excellent strategy to help the brand recover from the lost sales during the pandemic.
Amazon’s Explore At-Home
To feed the growing wanderlust of at-home consumers, Amazon recently launched Amazon Explore, a travel platform that helps consumers explore new destinations in the comfort of their own homes. Amazon Explore helps homebound consumers visit various countries from Mexico to Tokyo from the devices. They can sign up and take virtual tours with local tour guides and create an opportunity for virtual travel adventures.
Amazon offers travel opportunities like virtual walking tours to Prague and empanada-making lessons from chefs in Argentina. Amazon Explore is a probable representation of the rising demand for travel content since the travel and hospitality industry is yet to make its return to pre-pandemic normal. It provides a safe and unique alternative for at-home adventures as the platform tries to connect consumers to the world with exclusive virtual experiences.
Shakr is here to help your brand drive performance for your holiday video creatives.
We’ll help you create holiday video creatives at scale with Shakr Local. We’re here to help you create personalized and localized video marketing campaigns for the holidays.
Shakr Local at Scale can help businesses connect with people in a whole new meaningful way with our top-notch hyper-local campaign creative at scale. Locally relevant ads are perceived to be highly personalized and can dramatically increase local businesses’ consumer engagement.
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Deliver performance through video creative – Think with Google. (2020). Retrieved 8 November 2020, from https://bre.is/cedAMNV3
Holiday, Unwrapped. (2020). Retrieved 8 November 2020, from https://www.facebook.com/business/insights/tools/holiday-season