Expert: What content shoppers are looking for this holiday season
Kristina: What kinds of content are consumers looking for from merchants and brands?
Cristy Garcia, VP of Marketing, impact.com: Consumers will always be seeking out content that they can directly connect with, engage with, and benefit from. Targeted ads are creepy, they just are, and even worse are the ads that don’t resonate at all. Consumers want interactive content, such as unboxing videos, product reviews and comparisons, advice and recommendations, that allow the consumer to feel an organic connection to a product or publisher and move them along the shopping journey. Authentic content encourages the consumer to come back for more, and what helps drive brand loyalty.
Kristina: As we head into not just the holiday season but the post-holiday slump, how can a strong content strategy help merchants?
Cristy: Our reality in this digital-forward world is that eCommerce is the driving force of holiday sales. With the combination of ongoing COVID safety precautions and the convenience of shopping online, it is no shock that in 2020, more than 2 billion people bought goods or services online, spending $4.2 trillion in the process. This behavior shows retailers how best to connect with consumers: on their computers, tablets, and phones. By meeting consumers where they already are, and providing strong commerce content that directly engages with them, retailers can provide inspiration, introduce new products, and in turn drive revenue.
Kristina: What about influencer content – how important is this and should it be used outside social channels?
Cristy: Influencer content is blowing up. According to a study from Digital Marketing Institute, 4 in 10 millennials say their favorite influencer understands them better than their friends. Brands alone can’t possess the same amount of trust that influencers have mastered with their audience, but lucky for them they can leverage influencer content into their strategies.
Influencers aren’t celebrities, they are a friendly face. In fact, 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. Influencers let followers deep into their life past their product promos; they follow them on vacation, through their relationships and highs and lows. Their audience cares about them and that bond translates directly into their sales. As influencers post about their aesthetically pleasing lifestyle or a hard day they manage to tease their latest discount code into posts and consumers can’t help but make a purchase. Their relatable persona is what drives sales.
Social channels are certainly the primary channel for leveraging influencers, however, there are other areas where influencers can be effective. In-person events and digital and print ads are two areas where retailers can extend influencer campaigns.
Kristina: What elements are needed for content to come across as authentic as possible?
Cristy: Consumers are more vocal than ever to call a brand out for not delivering on a brand promise, or taking action outside of their typical messaging. Consumers are in tune with when brands are, and most importantly, are not sticking to their core values. The best way for brands to keep their promises is by finding a partner who has a similar narrative and passion points, and developing content that will resonate with their audiences while still staying true to what the brand stands for. Together these partners can combine forces to sell a story to their audience that is organic and real.
Chloe Wen and Glossier are a testament to this; a true power duo in partnership success. The two put their heads together and created a strategy where no one could lose; Glossier would send Chloe free products and she would use them in her YouTube blogs and provide discount codes for her audience. Chloe’s monthly earnings have grown 5x in under a year by just partnering with a notable name like Glossier. But this story isn’t particularly unique, what really was their ticket to success? Chloe and Glossier had the same goals in mind; better engage their audience and tap deeper into the Gen Z/millennial market by leveraging their combined passion for the beauty industry. With similar interests in mind, they set up a win-win relationship that their audience is fully invested in.