Holiday shopping traditionally kicks off in earnest on Black Friday, with both online and brick and mortar retailers rolling out their best deals of the year. For eCommerce, 2020 is set to be an unprecedented year of sales. As you plan your marketing calendar for the winter holidays, there are some important dates you need to keep in mind.
Why You Need a Marketing Calendar
Holiday marketing is time-sensitive, and not having your content ready in time can mean missing out on revenue. A marketing calendar serves to keep everyone on your team on the same page, much like an editorial calendar. The marketing calendar should include the dates that content needs to be published, content titles, blog titles, email marketing efforts, paid advertising, and other direct marketing plans.
Though multiple people will need access to the marketing calendar, it is usually better if one person is responsible for updating the calendar to ensure it remains structured and error-free. The calendar should serve to show the overall picture of all marketing efforts and how they are intertwined with each other.
A marketing calendar is used to plan, according to seasonality. Different types of content will resonate better than others throughout the year, and that is never more true than during the holiday season. If you have a content marketing calendar and a blogging calendar, those will also be impacted by seasonality. For example, few people want to read about the best stocking stuffers on the 4th of July. There are more winter holidays than you might think to take advantage of marketing opportunities.
Important Dates for Your 2020 Marketing and Editorial Content Calendar
Including important dates that offer an opportunity to reach potential customers with advertising, content, and other marketing efforts is crucial to the success of an overall marketing plan. Holiday centered advertisements allow you to take maximum advantage of the holiday shopping season.
Here are important dates to have in mind.
World Vegan Day
World Vegan Day is every November 1st. Started in 1994, World Vegan Day was established to celebrate the positive impact of veganism on humans and the natural environment. Celebrations across the globe set up food stalls, host potlucks, and plant memorial trees. A vegan diet continues to increase in popularity in the United States, with a focus on superfoods and healthy foods.
Businesses can use this holiday to highlight contributions to the health food movement, attract a niche community of consumers, and boost sales of products that are vegan/health-conscious. Marketing specials for vegan foods or products which would initially attract and then sustain the presence of a growing client base can be promoted on social media as well as through food delivery systems such as Grubhub and Seamless.
National Sandwich Day
National Sandwich Day is November 3rd. Modern sandwiches are believed to be created and named by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, in the 1760s. He would frequently order a snack of two slices of bread with meat in between them. His friends took to this and when at his home would ask for “the same as Sandwich”, or so the legend goes.
Why we love National Sandwich day?
Sandwiches are the quintessential American lunch, taking on endless varieties. Whether it’s a PB&J, a Po Boy, or a Turkey Club, there is a sandwich out there to meet every craving. The holiday is celebrated by going out and enjoying a sandwich with a friend. Promotions or specials on sandwich meals are easily promotable through social media for eat-in and take away as well as through food delivery systems such as Ritual and Caviar.
Holiday campaigns usually start in advance of Thanksgiving, which serves as the kick-off for most holiday shopping. This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 26. Content marketing, including social media posts, video, and short-form blogs, are particularly crucial to Thanksgiving.
Following the day after Thanksgiving, we have the great American tradition of Black Friday. In previous years, retailers would offer goods at deep discounts to lure potential shoppers into their stores on the single busiest shopping day of the year.
While COVID-19 has changed how brick and mortar stores will handle Black Friday 2020, it is still expected to be a boon for online retailers. Black Friday is in transition this year, and that transition is redefining the consumer-brand relationship. Despite the changes expected in 2020, such as month-long deals offered by major retailers like Amazon and Walmart, every media outlet will be reporting on retail.
Establishing your brand identity and tracking consumer behavior will allow you to make the most out of Black Friday. Responsible consumerism is trending this year, as more consumers than ever spend their dollars with businesses that make the world a better place. The holiday season is the time to tell your brand story and establish a rapport with your customer base.
Small Business Saturday
There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has hurt small businesses. Small Business Saturday is taking place on November 28, 2020, and always happens the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
The movement was started by American Express in 2010 and is dedicated to supporting small businesses and communities across the country. Given the difficulties this year has posed for many small businesses, there is a growing body of supporters across social media platforms urging consumers to spend their money at local small businesses. Small Business Saturday’s support is part of a groundswell of community-building opportunities aimed at helping small businesses survive the pandemic.
How to support Small Business Saturday?
More than ever, small businesses need the support of their local communities to survive the challenges faced this year. Small businesses are what keep neighborhood charm and a sense of community. While in the past, small businesses could use the flyers, print outs, and signs in their stores to indicate their participation in Small Business Saturday, many consumers are staying home and avoiding in-person shopping. In competition with larger retailers, small businesses need to rely more heavily on social media and web marketing ahead of time in order to show consumers they are participating.
By registering with the Amex Small Business Saturday holiday, businesses can be placed on the official “map” and found at the link here. Consumers can then look ahead of time, find businesses, and shop accordingly.
Monday, November 30, is Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is when online retailers offer their deepest discounts of the year. It is an opportunity for eCommerce businesses to reach new prospects with advertising and discounts.
Cyber Monday made its debut in 2005 and quickly became the biggest day of the year for online shopping. Email marketing, social media marketing, promotional messaging, and offering the best deals possible through coupons and discount codes are ways to increase sales for online retailers. Given that more people than ever are expected to shop online this year, Cyber Monday is expected to extend throughout the month of December.
Green Monday is the second Monday in December, and this year it will fall on December 14. There may be some asking, “what is Green Monday?” The “green” in Green Monday has two references. Some think it references the green for dollars spent on that day, while others use it to promote online shopping as an eco-friendly alternative to brick and mortar stores.
Online retailers should promote Green Monday, as it has turned into one of the busiest retail days of the year. There tends to be a high volume of online shoppers hoping to rush to finish their holiday shopping and seek last-minute deals.
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday ( aka #GivingTuesday) is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year it will be December 1st. This is a global movement that started in 2012 in response to the hyper-consumerism and commercialism of the holiday season by encouraging doing good. This day is an opportunity for people to do individual acts of kindness, as well as organizations donating to local causes by teaming up with local charities and groups.
Online retailers can sign up with the formal movement at GivingTuesday.org in order to get resources to promote the holiday via social media posts with official campaign materials. Giving Tuesday posts can highlight a particular local charity that the retailer is donating to or other ways the business is giving back to their local community.
Christmas is the most widely celebrated holiday for the winter holiday months, celebrated on December 25th. Preparation and shopping for Christmas day can start as early as November 1st. However, Black Friday has come to be the cultural start of the Christmas shopping season.
Consumers shop for Christmas gifts for family, friends, coworkers, and donation opportunities which creates a wide variety of goods to be demanded. Businesses can promote holiday sales, curate gift inspiration lists, and attract customers for holiday preparation for months ahead of the actual day. This is one of the most important holidays to build out eCommerce plans ahead of time in order to maximize the audience reach and potential for profit.
Holidays and major events are opportunities to promote your brand. If you want to see results this holiday season, be sure to prepare your marketing calendar in advance. This is a great exercise in guiding your marketing budget.
East End Yovth would love to show you the way on which content marketing strategy to focus on during major events. Here are 20 tactics to get your eCommerce website ready before the holiday season starts.
Are there any events during the winter that we didn’t mention? Share your thoughts and questions below.