Brief #85: Holiday Marketing in 2021

This content originally appeared on October 21, 2021 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe. 

Today, we’re discussing…

  • Holiday shopping trends in 2021 
  • How brands can leverage UGC
  • #BrandCrush: Yasso 💘

Holiday shopping trends in 2021

Holiday shopping will be a little… different this year. 

Supply chains are complicated, consumer behaviors are (still) changing, and there’s a workforce shortage lingering in the air. 

“Shoppers are more likely to face headaches such as impossible-to-find items, weeks-long shipping delays, and unattended cash registers this holiday season, and that will shape how they feel about retailers,” shared CNBC as they referenced Bain’s holiday report. Meanwhile, people are booking Christmas vacations earlier than ever before – which means marketers need to get smart about how they’re selling this year. 

As some consumers shop earlier, others will be putting their money towards different experiences, such as booking trips and hotel rooms at higher rates. Regardless of your industry, here’s how brands can (and will) compete for attention during the 2022 holiday season: 

  1. Email marketing to let customers know of discounts and specials ahead of time 
  2. Consistent activity on social media to highlight promotions and user-generated content (UGC)
  3. Curated gift guides
  4. “Shop the Look” and “Experiences Near You” features to upsell 
  5. Personalized content to engage users with specific products or experiences they are interested in

Now, the marketing tactics don’t stop there. Once new customers flock in, brands should place them into loyalty programs that keep people engaged (and buying) past the holidays.

How brands can leverage UGC

Did you know that acquiring a new customer costs 7 times more than maintaining an existing one? 

There are several ways brands can build customer loyalty, but using user-generated content to share your brand story is one of the most effective ways to strengthen the experience people have with your brand – regardless of your industry. 

After a happy customer makes their purchase, being featured on a brand’s social media feed builds the post-purchase relationship between brand and customer – like Public Desire does here:

A gallery on Public Desire's homepage featuring shoppable UGC of women wearing Public Desire's products

It’s this interaction that builds customer loyalty, as people share content about the brands they love. 

Whether it’s a testimonial, photo, video, or review about your brand – take this UGC and reshare it across various marketing channels your audience will come in contact with to show others how great your brand experience is. For example, an image of a customer enjoying your clothes, food, or hotel will work great on Instagram, website, and product pages, whereas a written testimonial works better on booking and product pages. 

What we’re learning

#BrandCrush: Yasso 💘

Each week in #BrandCrush, we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers' voices to connect more authentically with their audience.

Take notes because Yasso, the frozen greek yogurt brand, is using UGC to engage customers and build loyalty in a very unique way. 

Yasso is running an authentic UGC call and giveaway, where they’re asking fans to submit videos with a goal to turn video submissions into – get thisa commercial. Bonus points that they’re giving away free Yasso to those who participate (because we all know humans love incentives).

A contest page by Yasso, where they're asking fans to upload videos for a chance to be featured in their commercial.

If you visit Yasso’s Instagram page, you’ll also see a beautifully curated feed – along with Stories featuring polls, Q&As, and content submitted by fans. Their website is a whole other experience as animated sprinkles rain down on their colorful homepage. Customer reviews and visual UGC are displayed across their product pages to show potential customers just how tasty (and healthy) their treats are.

With the holiday season around the corner, there’s no better time to take inspiration from brands like Yasso to engage customers across multiple channels, create shareable experiences, and build long-term loyalty by shining the spotlight on your biggest fans.