Level Up Your Holiday Marketing Playbook in a Post-COVID-19 World

The COVID-19 disruption has been going around since Q1 of March 2020. However, the ramifications of preventive government lockdown measures are still happening to economies around the world.

As the world starts to slowly get back on its feet, both brands and consumers are anticipating what the holiday season will look like this year. A lot of merchandise has currently gone on sale for 2020 spring and summer.

Given the sales taking place right now, including the expected merchandise delays due to global supply chain problems, everyone is wondering: What will the 2020 holidays look like? Can companies bounce back just in time to roll out their holiday collections? How will brands forecast sales and marketing for the holidays?

Visualizing a Post-COVID-19 World

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Organizations need to understand that there are many opportunities to pivot the brand for the 2020 holidays. Demand will be at an all-time high for people who are trying to enrich their lives as the world slowly transitions to the New Normal.

With signs of the global economic markets slowly picking up little by little, governments are also starting to lessen its restrictions, and businesses try to reopen gradually. 

To be successful in a post-COVID-19 world, companies need to be proactive enough to anticipate and meet their consumers’ needs. Agile businesses know how to anticipate their needs and pivot as early as now to be ready for the demand by the time the 2020 holiday arrives.

The key is to figure out what your consumers want for the holidays before they can even think about it. Doing so requires that you must understand them, including their wants, needs, and necessities.

You can start by looking at your current data to determine which products are trending and in which markets. Identify the types of consumers who are quick to purchase your products and segment those from the ones who need more time with their purchase decisions.

Then you need to amplify your holiday promotions and marketing according to the consumer data that you have gathered. As such, going above and beyond the traditional marketing route is needed for companies to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world.

Trends to Look Out for During the 2020 Holiday Season

Whatever marketing plans that companies have for the holiday this year, it has definitely been put on the back burner due to COVID-19. The pandemic outbreak has completely changed every campaign that was supposed to happen for the 2020 holidays.

But what will happen to brands that are saddling up for the holiday season this year? After the smoke clears and people slowly emerge from their isolation, here are the top trends that companies need to anticipate for 2020 holidays in a post-COVID-19 world.

TREND 1: Increased localization

Integrating marketing localization to holiday strategies to reach local consumers.

It’s not surprising that marketing budgets are shrinking in some capacity this year. However, digital spend is expected to increase during the holidays. Brand awareness campaigns will be vital to fill the marketing funnels. It will also be critical to plan the audience segmentation of this year’s holiday marketing campaigns.

Marketing localization will be critical this holiday season as more companies are starting to transition from their traditional marketing campaigns to digital marketing. As everyone scrambles to reach their holiday revenue goals, focusing on audience segmentation by targeting the right consumers at the right location will be crucial to determine the success of this year’s holiday campaigns.

Shakr Local can help your company plan early for the holiday season 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.

TREND 2: Domination of online shopping

Demand for online shopping will be unprecedented for the 2020 holiday season.

As people try to minimize their exposure to the outside world, more and more people are bound to join in on the online shopping trend. Ecommerce penetration has accelerated in just a few short months into the pandemic. As consumers start planning for the holidays, there may still be apprehension and uncertainty to shop at brick and mortar stores. As such, holiday shoppers will still continue to do their share of online shopping in the comforts of their homes.

TREND 3: Direct to Consumer (D2C) to the Front

D2C brands will get a significant boost for the 2020 holidays.

D2C brands have been gaining traction over the past few years. These are brands that bypass standard distribution channels to focus an integrated path from production to consumer. Younger consumers have readily adopted D2C brands, while older consumers have remained reluctant to patronize D2C brands. As more and more consumers are shifting their spending from in-person to online, D2C brands will likely get a significant boost this holiday season.

TREND 4: Everything Goes Digital

Companies are scrambling to recreate in-person experience online.

With large gatherings still widely restricted right now, it’s safe to say that apprehension to spend the holidays outdoors will continue. Large in-person gatherings might still be postponed until the end of the year.

In the midst of the COVID-19 disruption, companies are trying to figure out how to recreate the in-person sales experience online. As such, digital transformation is also accelerating. This push was born out of practicality and necessity. Companies turn to a mix of digital channels to reach their consumers — webinars, teleconference presentations, group chats, Twitter DMs, and other communication channels.

Key Themes for 2020 Holiday Marketing

Even though eCommerce has steadily been on the rise over the past few years, a big chunk of holiday shopping is still traditionally done at brick and mortar stores. However, when you think about the upcoming holiday season this year, there are still many variables to consider as the world starts to recover from the COVID-19 disruption.

Whether consumers opt to shop online, in-store, or both, companies still need to make sure that their online marketplace is well-stocked and well-prepared to handle the influx of holiday shoppers. Here are several themes to keep in mind as brands start crafting their holiday marketing strategies this year:

THEME 1: Love Your Loyal Consumers.

Extra perks and exclusive offers will benefit the brand in the long run.

Holiday promotions will indeed help drive sales revenue. However, companies still need to ensure that they are still building community and goodwill towards their loyal consumers. This means that brands should have long-term strategies that drive long-lasting relationships. Simple perks like doubling the rewards points and exclusive offers, such as free samples and gifts upon purchase, will certainly benefit the company in the long run.

THEME 2: Tailor Your Triggered Messages.

Triggered messages are an effective tool to combine personalization and automation.

Triggered messages actually account for more than 75% of email revenue. An effective way to capitalize on this is to combine it with personalization and automation strategies. Make your email marketing campaigns inherently personalized and behavior-based.

THEME 3: Embrace Personalization and Localization.

Empathy matters in a post-COVID-19 world.

Brands should build long-term relationships with their consumers even before the start of the holiday season. Personalization and marketing localization are a brand’s best weapon for cutting through the clutter of the barrage of online holiday campaigns this year. Fortunately, marketing localization can easily be deployed in Shakr Local’s video marketing campaigns. Your holiday video creative will surely reach the right audience at the right time during the holiday season.

THEME 4: Be consistent across all channels.

Creative content and promotions should be consistent across all channels.

Content and promotions should reflect what consumers see on your website, emails, mobile app, and all your social media channels. Campaign-specific video creatives on social media should be followed by related content in your brand’s email campaigns. It’s important to remember that companies with a robust cross-channel experience are better positioned to give their consumers a more enjoyable shopping experience.

THEME 5: Embrace buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup.

Craft a seamless and well-communicated product delivery strategy.

Companies need to enhance their online engagement with messaging that will adequately communicate order fulfillment, store protocol changes, and supply chain disruptions. Adapt to the current climate by enabling your brick and mortar stores to be fulfillment centers. Offerings such as buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup are appealing options for holiday shoppers.

Tips to Sell Your Video Creative Storytelling for the 2020 Holidays

The holiday season is a tradition that means a lot to a number of people. It may involve celebrating family members, eating sumptuous dishes, cultural celebrations, or even a little nostalgia. Companies need to harness these sentiments for their video marketing campaigns this year to foster a more engaging emotional connection with their consumers. Here’s how you can get started:

TIP 1: Create a video series.

Enhance consumer engagement with a series of video communications.

A series of video campaigns are a great way to kickstart the holiday season. It will not just promote consumer engagement, but it also gives the brand a good for A/B testing opportunity for the holidays.

TIP 2: Embrace user-generated content (UGC).

UGC provides an excellent opportunity for holiday storytelling.

Video campaigns will not be successful unless it gains a considerable amount of hype on social media. UGC is very compelling among consumers on social media. Bringing people together with content from your very own loyal consumers is a great way to introduce your brand’s holiday campaigns.

TIP 3: Start your own holiday gift guides.

Gift guides are a great way to segment audiences.

Gift guides will always be a powerful tool to attract consumers into purchasing your products, but it will be especially useful this year. The aftermath of the COVID-19 disruption means that people might be too apprehensive to shop in-store for their holiday shopping. Use your current data and apply some personalization and marketing localization strategies to reach the right consumers who would want to purchase your products.

Post-COVID-19 Best Practices from Brands

Made for Football Watching by Pepsi

The American football season is about to start, and due to COVID-19, fans are preparing to cheer for their favorite teams at home instead of watching the games live at stadiums. Pepsi’s new ad pays homage to elite football watchers with its “Made for Football Watching” campaign. The ad celebrates moments of avid football fans who are cheering for their favorite teams at home. Pepsi aims to keep fans excited and engaged at watching the NFL season at home just like they would be from watching the game live in stadiums.

Refresh Road Trip by Dunkin’

This year’s vacations are a whole new kind of travel experience for many people who would love to hit the road. Dunkin’ has a road trip-inspired campaign which features a week-long rental experience in a Dunkin’ RV. The Refresh Road Trip promotes the release of their new iced Refreshers beverages. Fans can enter the giveaway for a chance to win an RV road trip, unlimited Dunkin’ K-cup pods, and Dunkin’ gift cards.

#StepIntoLove on Tiktok by Aldo

Source: https://www.tiktok.com/@aldo_shoes

Aldo recently launched its first video campaign on TikTok, and it features a dance challenge that revolves around their new fall shoe collection. Aldo’s #StepIntoLove challenge aims to encourage TikTok users to “express themselves with confidence” by dancing to the tune of Roses (Imanbek Remix) by Saint Jhn. TikTok users who upload their dance video with the campaign hashtag will have the chance to win $5,000. Aldo’s attempt to reach young consumers on TikTok is a great move to help the brand recover from the pandemic. Using a popular song among the Gen-Z consumers will help the brand stay on the young consumers’ top of minds with their back-to-school shopping. 

Finders Keepers by Church’s Chicken

Church’s Chicken is using social media to launch their own online scavenger hunt. The Camp Smokehouse Finders Keepers giveaway on Facebook features a series of riddles and clues where consumers will have the chance to win free camping gear. The promotion aims to kick-off Church’s Camp Smokehouse, a virtual campsite, where consumers can solve daily riddles online to win prizes. The campaign appeals to social media users who are not just looking for entertainment at home but are also eager to embark on a pseudo-outdoor adventure.

It’s time to start planning those holiday video series for 2020!

Let Shakr help you create holiday videos 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.

Schedule a discovery call with us now!


5 Holiday Marketing Must Haves to Help Retailers Crush Q4. (2020). Retrieved 27 August 2020, from https://www.sailthru.com/marketing-blog/holiday-marketing-2020/

Chen, C. (2020). The Best Sales Online Right Now And All Through The Weekend. Retrieved 24 August 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/2020/08/21/best-sales-right-now/#40d761e67b5d

Furman, A. (2020). COVID-19’s Impact on Retailers, Brands, Marketers. Retrieved 24 August 2020, from https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/the-impact-of-covid-19-on-retailers-brands-and-marketers/

Lee, J., & Lee, J. (2020). 7 Trends to Look for in a Post-Coronavirus Brand Landscape | The AdRoll Blog. Retrieved 24 August 2020, from https://www.adroll.com/blog/marketing/7-trends-to-look-for-in-a-post-coronavirus-brand-landscape

Slye is an inbound marketing professional who specializes in growth-focused content marketing. He is the Managing Director at Content Hacker.

Subscribe to the Shakr Video Marketing Blog

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Shakr.

You have Successfully Subscribed!