Ep 18: Serious Social – Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is trending
It’s social moments and trends that let us understand audience intent. It’s rising interests and topics that enable us to align and drive brand in the category. And it’s changing behaviour that identifies triggers and motivations we can influence. Hence, we are always looking at the data. We’re used to surprises, but never more so than when we saw Christmas was trending in summer!
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Welcome to the Serious Social podcast, created by the straight-talking social media experts at immediate future.
Marketing, right now, is focused on seizing opportunities to maximise growth in recovery. Makes sense to look for those quick wins that will get us all back on our feet. And there is nothing like social data insight for uncovering pots of gold that marketers can use to their advantage.
It’s social moments and trends that let us understand audience intent. It’s rising interests and topics that enable us to align and drive brand in the category. And it’s changing behaviour that identifies triggers and motivations we can influence.
Hence, we are always looking at the data. We’re used to surprises, but never more so than when we saw Christmas was trending in summer!
Taking a better look, it turns out it’s not just a spike of memes or jokes across a few days. In fact, over the last 90 days in the UK, there have been 525K mentions of Christmas on social according to Brandwatch. An astonishing 1423% up on the previous 3 months – which actually includes December and Christmas last year!
Why is it that the holiday season has grabbed our attention? What is driving the conversation – surely no one is already planning the festivities?
Well, Pinterest data shows that whilst people usually start making plans in September. This year they’ve started searching and saving for Christmas much earlier. Searches on Pinterest this April jumped 77% higher than April 2019.
What does this tell us about our consumers? Is it signals to help plan Q4 or has Christmas come early and we need to move fast to capture the opportunity?
I’m going to share three findings that you can action now. But if you want all the detail then at the end, I’ll also share a link to our insights report with all the data on what Christmas in July really means!
- It’s a next-level Christmas we’re talking about
Shut away with family or far away from loved ones has been hard during the lockdown. The result has been a lot of reminiscing. People are getting nostalgic about Christmases past. The festive spirit has been kindled early and on social, we see an overexcited, next level, talk about Christmas.
It’s something to look forward to. After all making 2020 ‘the best Christmas ever’ gives us all a goal we can focus on. Something to dream about.
The social data shows we are planning everything, imagining better times and discovering the new that will add more to our Christmas. When I say next level, I mean the next level!
It’s interesting to note that this increase is not yet reflected into search engines, instead it can be found on social where browsing and perusing are prevalent. We’re turning to Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, discovery and to dream. In fact, on Pinterest, there’s a 74% interest in Christmas outfits and 4 fold increase in party food, right now. Motivations to hunt out ideas vary between boredom, or as a replacement for window shopping – either way, consumers are actively looking for purchases to make this Christmas the best ever.
This gives brands an opportunity to test and learn, as well as drive acquisition. It will be important to make the brand accessible, by broadening reach and targeting against interests. Your aim will be to ensure that you’re front of mind when people come to buy later in the year. Spark new connections ready to target during the festive period and trial different formats and executions to identify what will resonate with audiences.
- The joy of gift hunting
Whilst next level planning is being explored so too is the need to hunt out gifts. It seems that the recent disruption has made us all more receptive to new products and services. It’s opened new doors and increased our propensity to buy new things. On average 64% of global seasonal shoppers in a survey by YouGov, said they explore new products during the festive period more than the rest of the year.
Pinterest has seen a 3 fold increase in searches for “Christmas gift ideas”, 8 months before December
Now is the time to accelerate those recommendations, reviews, product placements and deepen your content formats with instant experiences, video and even AR. When it comes to social, 19% of our audiences want content that is inspiring or uplifting, 21% fun and entertainment and 26% informative content. The more you make your marketing entertaining, the more it will be shared; and the more it’s shared the more your brand will be discovered. You want to inspire, be memorable and get those customers bought into your brand
25% of people talking Christmas want content that is real and authentic. Businesses can build on the broader reach and awareness gains achieved in the last few months because of lower CPM and higher conversion rates. This insight is really useful for new DTC who should now look to build brand, trust and reputation that will carry through to the Christmas shopping period.
- Me-gifts are a thing
it’s not just gifts for family and friends’ people are looking for, it seems luxuries for yourself are on the agenda too.
Self-gifting affordable luxuries are likely to trend this season as more people normally self-gift at this time. According to Facebook 74% of people across EMEA and 54% of UK shoppers are researching Christmas gifts for themselves. Already Zalando, Europe’s largest e-commerce marketplace, reported a boom in self-care with sales of skin, nail and hair-care products up 300% year on year.
Brands that want to tap into buyers now need to be focused on messages around rewards and luxury alongside emotional empathy for those looking to feel better about the situation.
Across the insight we looked at, we see multiple micro trends and triggers that influence purchase from Christmas newbies to food planners. There is a propensity to try new products and a concern over money driving a focus on sales periods. We identified moments and motivations that will help you tap into both Christmas in July and the festive period at the end of the year.
You can download the full report here: Christmas in July
If you’re after more know-how to break the social boring, subscribe now and check out the show notes for links to our website and social profiles.