The festive season is make or break for many brands.
But if you’re not selling stocking stuffers or running a service that ramps up towards the end of the year, you might be thinking of giving your always-on a break. After all, ad spend spikes to an all-time high and you’ll be competing with an influx of social advertisers. As tempting as it might be to switch off your always-on, it’s the last thing you should do. Here are 5 reasons why.
1. Every metric goes up
This one might be glaringly obvious, but audience levels, engagement and conversion all trend up. A recent study from Sprout Social predicts online retailers can expect 40% more messages over the season. That means whatever you’re peddling, it’s prime time for getting new leads and retaining existing ones.
2. Consider the consideration cycle
High consideration purchases have extremely long sales cycles, with some decisions often taking 1+ years before that ‘buy’ button is pressed. Because you can’t be certain of which stage someone is in their consideration cycle, it’s best not to risk breaking it. Content that’s consumed over Christmas could be that one final piece that ensures you are chosen, or at least shortlisted, in the New Year.
According to Lori Sobel, managing director of technology of Google, 53% of shoppers who have committed to a brand remain open to alternatives. This works to your advantage if you stay always-on (and to your disadvantage if you don’t). The more your business stays present/active throughout someone’s journey, the better the chances of that person connecting and supporting your business.
3. Keep your voice loud and clear
“You increase your ability to connect and convert by being always available and always-on.” – Matt Heinz, President of Marketing at Heinz
As soon as you go quiet, that void is filled by someone else. Keeping your always-on on protects your voice in a competitive landscape, bolsters your message and keeps your message top of mind. If you don’t, you might be met with an uphill battle trying to reestablish yourself in the new year.
4. Meet expectations, build trust
Consistency is as important as any other factor of successful brand marketing. Your audience expects content to be there rain, hail or shine. Abruptly stopping your content impacts your audiences’ perception of and experience with you. Imagine subscribing to your favourite podcast for daily content and then suddenly nothing for a couple of weeks? Not happy, right?
Regardless of your marketing goals, your audience comes first, and they want relevant and consistent content. All brands should aim to consistently deliver on what their audiences expect — quality content that’s relevant. Meeting and exceeding audience expectations is a key building block for building awareness and trust.
5. ‘Tis the testing season
Why not capitalise on this time to test and experiment a little with your content? The holiday season presents (ahem) the perfect opportunity to play around with your brand’s voice or content to see what resonates and to build upon in your upcoming year in marketing.
Alternatively, if your budget doesn’t you to create some new always-on content, it’s a good time to ‘re-wrap’ your top performers from last year. What’s great about repurposing old content is you don’t have to invest any additional time or cost into making new stuff, and can quite confidently rely on what you already know does well.