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Top Christmas marketing trends for 2014

A study by American firm Offerpop looked at the top global trends for marketers heading into the holiday season and uncovered some interesting results. If you haven’t started thinking about your Christmas strategy yet, with just under eight weeks until the man in red hits town, the results of this research provide some interesting food for thought.

Here’s a rundown of the top digital marketing trends for the 2014 Christmas season:

Social maturity

*     As social media reaches a new maturity, marketers report they are increasingly focused on extending their brand via social platforms and growing sales.Sixty-two per cent of marketers cited these as their primary goals this season. As Offerpop pointed out, this is in stark contrast to the aim of getting more fans, which used to be a central component of a ‘successful’ social strategy.

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User-generated content

*     The top way to achieve these aims through social platforms is to utilise user-generated content to spread the word about products and drive traffic and sales. Nearly 80 per cent of marketers reported that they would increase their usage of user-geenrated content as a marketing tactic this year.

Netzwerk Kinder, Sprechblasen

 

Facebook domination

*     The social giant is set to dominate spending this season with 92 per cent of marketers suggesting they will allocate the bulk of their social marketing budget to Facebook. Twitter came in next best with 4 per cent.

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More focus on social

*     As a general rule, brands are spending more of their marketing budget across social platforms this year. with 67 per cent indicating they would spend more than last year. According to a recent Duke University study, social media spend is expected to jump to over 18% of a marketer’s total budget in the next five years.

Christmas SEO

Instagram breaks out

*     Offerpop asked respondents, in terms of importance for marketers, what they thought was the break out social network of 2014, and nearly 80 per cent said this was Instagram, with Vine and Snapchat also mentioned. Instagram now has more than 200 million active users and they’re posting 1000 comments per second and liking 1.2 billion items a day. Despite these numbers, it’s easy to see why marketers are still allocating the bulk of their spend to Facebook: in the US, only 17 per cent of adults use Instagram as opposed to more than 70 per cent of the adult population that is active on Facebook.

Social commerce on the brink of explosion

*     While brands are beginning to utilise the content their users are creating – selfies, reviews etc. – to drive sales with tagged content, the rollout of ‘buy’ buttons on both Facebook and Twitter looks set to drive direct sales on social: it’s definitely one to watch over this season. If you’re not selling through social, it’s worth keeping an eye on how others are faring in this realm and evaluating how it could work for you in future.

What are your thoughts? How are you integrating social into your Christmas marketing this year?