Yeah, 2020 has been a bit of a trainwreck on many fronts, and it feels like about March, as opposed to almost September. But in between the various challenges, many businesses are still trying to stick to their content plans, and map out the most effective strategies to maximize sales, especially as we head into the last quarter of the year.
If that's you, and you're looking to make a big push before the holidays, then no doubt Cyber Monday is on your radar, which is coming up on November 30th.
I mean, who knows what's going to happen before then, but spending is always high around the event, and that will likely still be the case this year.
To help you prepare, Twitter has this week provided a list of promotional tips to help ensure you get the most out of your Cyber Monday efforts.
As noted by Twitter:
"Despite all the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us, Cyber Monday is here to stay. And with social distancing and various regulations limiting in-store shopping, Cyber Monday may be more important than ever."
I mean, maybe, could be. Who knows in 2020?
Here are Twitter's top Cyber Monday campaign tips:
Twitter advises that brands should look to showcase their offers early, in order to generate hype. This is especially relevant considering more sales will be conducted online this year
"Black Friday will look different with current social distancing and health regulations, so businesses may make Black Friday deals exclusively online - essentially turning Cyber Monday into Cyber weekend."
By providing an early heads up, you give people more time to prepare, and without the usual rush of shoppers cramming into stores, it could be key to getting people to your website instead once your sales begin.
Update your online inventory
Twitter also advises brands to ensure their web listings are up to date, which, really, also includes all of your website and its functions.
"Consumers will start researching their Cyber Monday shopping list soon, so check that you showcase your best self online."
If you're looking to drive more traffic back to your site, you need to ensure that it all works as expected once they get there.
Take the time to view your page as a customer, on various devices, in order to ensure that you've got everything up to date well ahead of time. You should also ensure that your listings are accurate and reflect your inventory, where possible.
Grow your social media game
Given most people will be shopping online, ensuring that your social media profiles are up to date is also a must.
"Instead of browsing through a mall, your audience will be browsing through their social feeds to learn about deals, products, and services. Start growing your followers and audience now, so you can have a wide reach when the big day arrives."
That may also relate to your platform presence. Do you have a profile on, say, Pinterest? Have you looked into Facebook and Instagram Shops?
Taking the extra steps to cover all bases could help you drive more sales, and it's worth going over your profiles and ensuring, again, that you put your best foot forward.
You may also want to revise your posting strategy to start aligning engagement with your coming offers.
Suggest gift ideas
Despite the chaos of COVID-19 - maybe even because of it - people will still be looking to celebrate Christmas this year. And Cyber Monday is, increasingly, when people go looking for gifts.
Twitter advises that brands should look to showcase potential gifts within their campaigns:
"For example, you can make your brand’s own Cyber Monday shopping guide or holiday gift guide and distribute it to your audience a few weeks before the Cyber Monday deals begin."
While we don't know what the situation will be in December, previous research has shown that people are increasingly looking forward to Christmas this year as a form of relief and celebration, ideally after the worst of it.
Tapping into that within your campaigns could be key.
Communicate COVID-19 policies
Make sure that you note your COVID-19 policies to reassure shoppers looking to spend money with you.
"Some businesses have had to pause accepting returns. Others are dealing with delayed shipping times. Whatever your business’s particular challenges, be transparent with your customers. Put your new COVID-19 policies clearly on your website so customers can understand what to expect. Remember that everyone is in this together and being honest with your customers can build trust and loyalty in the long run."
Again, we don't know what the future holds in this respect, but consider the perspective of your consumers, and what they need to know, and ensure you're as transparent as possible with such to help build that trust.
Yes, it's weird, and no, it doesn't feel like Christmas is only 119 days away. But it is, and for brands looking to get in that final push before years end, they need to prepare now, and get their marketing plans in place.
It may also not feel like now is the right time to market, given the situation. But the economic impacts are already significant, and are only going to get worse in the immediate term. Establishing a plan - which, of course, has some flexibility for change also factored in - could be the best way to make the best of the situation for your brand, and eek out those last wins before the holidays.
You can read Twitter's full listing of Cyber Monday tips here.