Given the current state of the world, Christmas feels a very long way off. But we're now officially into the second half of the year, and that means that it's time for brands to consider their holiday marketing campaigns, in order to ensure that they have everything in place ahead of time to maximize their opportunities.
And according to recent data from Pinterest, people are indeed already looking forward to the holidays. With COVID-19 causing mass-disruption, people are looking forward to having what will hopefully be a virus-free celebration, where we can finally meet up with family and friends in person once again.
It's hard to know if that's how it's actually going to play out, but people need something to look forward to, and as the COVID-19 situation drags on, December feels like a realistic goal for getting back to normal - a light at the end of the tunnel in what's already been a trying year.
In line with this, Facebook has this week launched its Christmas 2020 research and planning hub, which provides a range of resources to help marketers get their holiday campaigns on track.
As explained by Facebook:
"This Christmas shopping season will look different compared to years gone by. However, it's going to be more important than ever for people to come together and share gifts with their loved ones."
With that in mind, and with brands looking for a big boost after suffering through the various closures and disruptions, it could be increasingly important to map out the optimal holiday marketing plan.
The first key tool Facebook has provided is an interactive data insights dashboard, which provides info, based on the last three years of data, on key seasonal trends relating to the discovery, research and purchases phases of consumers in different markets.
That can help to guide your outreach strategy - if more people in your region, for example, are shopping on mobile, that might help you decide to put more focus on eCommerce and related shopping options.
In addition this, Facebook has also published a 26-page holiday campaign planning guide, which includes a range of tools and tips to help maximize your campaigns.
Among the various tips is a seven-month calendar, highlighting all the key points of note in your planning:
There are also specific calendars for November and December, highlighting all the key dates:
Facebook also provides a helpful overview of its ad options, and where they likely fit within the holiday promotions process:
As well as more specific tips on how to maximize your promotions:
Facebook even provides checklists for your campaigns, which could help to map out each element of your strategy:
There's a range of helpful and interesting tools on offer, and they will help to maximize your outreach strategy, and achieve bigger goals as part of the 2020 holiday period.
And as noted, while people are looking forward to a big celebration to close out 2020, brands too will be in need of a big boost. The full human impacts of COVID-19 are still evolving, and it's difficult to see beyond the current situation, and on to a time when we are free to celebrate. But maybe, hopefully, Christmas will be it - and these resources will put you in a better position to achieve more from your campaigns.
Facebook's Holidays 2020 mini-site is available here.