Christmas in July: Why the Holidays Come Earlier Every Year

By: Jake

This year, some stores started putting up Christmas decorations in October. This is part of a trend that has been going on for the past few years (we even made an infographic to illustrate the point last year). Why do the holidays start so early nowadays?

Because they’re so ridiculously profitable for businesses, of course. The months of November and December can account for 20 to 40% of some businesses’ entire yearly revenue, for example. With numbers like that, it’s not surprising that you might feel a little inundated by holiday marketing – businesses are taking advantage of customer sentiment to generate some very real profits.

How can you dominate the 2014 holiday season? Follow these data-backed insights:

  1. Focus on Cyber Monday.

Last year, holiday content consumption peaked on Cyber Monday, so don’t wait until December to start creating relevant content. Cyber Monday shoppers plan to spend 16% more than in-store shoppers (an average of $975 each) this holiday season, which means that your energy will be well-spent on Cyber Monday rather than Black Friday.

consumption trends

5 Content Marketing Insights for the 2014 Holiday Season – Outbrain.com

  1. Embrace smartphones and tablets.

Mobile shopping has been on the rise in general, and holiday shopping is no different. Surprisingly, though, tablets were the platform with the highest engagement rate during the 2013 holiday season, with tablet click-through rates beating smartphones by 16% and desktop computers by 42%. With numbers like that, you should definitely make sure your website can adequately support these platforms.

consumption by device

5 Content Marketing Insights for the 2014 Holiday Season – Outbrain.com

  1. Weekends are key.

Data shows that holiday content click-throughs dip in the middle of the week, and are at their highest on the weekend. So, consider timing your posts to coincide with these peak times to get the most mileage out of your content.

daily content engagement

5 Content Marketing Insights for the 2014 Holiday Season – Outbrain.com

  1. Think about keywords.

top performing categories by ctr

5 Content Marketing Insights for the 2014 Holiday Season – Outbrain.com

When it comes to click-through rates, consumers clearly prefer certain keywords to others. Some of these might not apply to your industry, but others (“video”) are universal. Try to frame your content with some of these words to increase its appeal to users. Notice that “affordability” had the worst performing click-through rate of all – it appears the word has no place in holiday shopping madness.

lower performing categories by ctr

5 Content Marketing Insights for the 2014 Holiday Season – Outbrain.com

top keywords by ctr

5 Content Marketing Insights for the 2014 Holiday Season – Outbrain.com

So, even though some curmudgeons might be complaining about the holiday season starting earlier and earlier (Christmas in July, anyone?), we suggest you ignore them. While the trend continues, small businesses would be wise to follow suit and benefit from the consumers’ holiday cheer.

About Jake Taylor

Little Jack's resident wordsmith since 2010.

Like this post? Here's more to love!