Ever wonder why you see Halloween decorations out in July in stores? Or why Christmas decorations do the retail creep in September? This is a marketing tactic called The Christmas Creep. As a consumer it may be a little frustrating to see holidays marketed so far out, but as a retailer, having a 3-month marketing mindset is critical. Let’s chat about why social marketers should embrace the Christmas creep and how you can work it into your content strategy.
What is it?
Also known as the ‘holiday creep’, it has been used for years in the retail industry as a marketing tool to lengthen the holiday selling season. Retailers begin offering merchandise in hopes they will entice shoppers to begin holiday shopping and gift shopping earlier, therefore maximizing their profits. The Christmas season is the most profitable of shopping times as consumers flock to stores to buy gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate the various holidays that happen during fourth quarter.
Direct Sales & the Holiday Creep
If you’re in direct sales, you already know your company thinks along the same lines as retailers. September is when your holiday catalogs launch, double hostess rewards, colors start to fade from summer to fall, and holiday collections begin to become available. Direct sales companies are following suit by extending the selling season, offering seasonal finds for early shoppers and decorators. So why should you as a social marketer be any different?
How to Leverage the Christmas Creep
Rather than get frustrated when you see holiday decorations out in the wild, share it with your followers! Fun social media posts with personality around holiday displays in August can stimulate conversation, allow you to get to know likes and dislikes from your community, and help you strategically plant seeds of what your company could be releasing for the holidays. Utilizing themed graphics, you can lay the foundation for your holiday launches through online parties.
Create content at least three months out to plan for company launches and specials that could be coming. If you create your own products, start thinking of holidays now and creating a plan around Thanksgiving and Christmas to help extend your own selling season. Keep in mind the Postal Service gets REALLY busy with shipping so you’ll want to know what the drop dead date is for you to ship if you hold inventory. Right now many direct sales companies are far behind on shipping thanks to COVID-19. Many companies are already putting out their last dates for shipping and for some, that’s the first part of December or even November (moved up from December 15th in previous years).
Changes in Shopping Behaviors for 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things and one is how consumers are shopping. If you analyze your own retail behaviors, you probably do a lot more curbside pickups, deliveries, and online shopping compared to the you of 2019. You’re not in the minority. Social commerce is on trend to be HOT this year given many states still have retail outlets shutdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. If you’re not active on social media for your business, now is definitely the time to start.
Because of the increase in online shopping, influencer marketing will also see an increase. How can you leverage this as a social marketer? Two ways; be the influencer and generate side income through affiliate marketing or be the affiliate retailer by creating influencers in your community.
So if you haven’t started your holiday marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Create content that is engaging, start thinking like a retailer and plant seeds in your community about shopping, gift giving, and holiday party hosting. Need ideas? Check out Direct Creatives for content graphics and templates to help you stay organized so you can rock the Christmas creep like a Boss!