The 4 content sharing hotspots of Christmas: A goldmine for marketers


On the eve of John Lewis' Xmas ad launch, a new study reveals 4 key "hotspots" of Christmas-related content sharing online and how marketers can tap into it to fuel sales.


For many, tomorrow’s John Lewis’ Christmas ad (teased in the image above) marks the start of the festive period and people sharing Christmas content. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg and marketers are missing out on a big opportunity to drive sales around what consumers share online.

The new study from RadiumOne indicates that among the 72% of British adults (36.1 million*) who’ll share Christmas-related content online, adverts are only the seventh most popular content, alongside present wish lists (30%).

The most popular, by far, are festive pictures (65%) followed by videos (49%), present ideas (45%) and sales & promotions (43%).

The report, based on analysing 10 million shares of gift-related content, identifies four sharing spikes or ‘hotspots’ outside Black Friday and Cyber Monday which marketers can tap into to fuel sales. These are the 11-12th and 18-19th November, and 3-4th and 18-19th December.

“The vast majority of purchases result from recommendations by friends and family people trust, so sharing behaviour is a hugely powerful retail signal at this time of year which marketers need to have built into their paid, owned & earned plans,” says Craig Tuck, RadiumOne’s Managing Director. “Sales & promotions and present ideas will each be shared by about 15.9 million people. This is a real-time trigger of consumer intent and the most likely moment they’ll interact with a brand at the most important retail period of the year.”

Electricals, clothing, gadgets and toys are the product ideas most likely to be shared. For all these, the vast majority of sharing happens in “Dark Social” channels (which can’t be measured via web analytics, such as email and instant messengers), from 78% in clothing to 94% in toys.

Mobiles have now overtaken laptops as the most popular device for sharing content online, being used by 41% of sharers.

Around 98 million pieces of Christmas-related content will be shared each day and the average sharer will do so with 11 people, so Tuck points out this gives brands a “12-for-1 deal” as they can “join the dots” between sharers and recipients.

“Having the right tools in place to wrap, track and activate your Christmas content online is vital if you want to harness the power of this critical consumer signal,” says Tuck. “Data–driven insights gleaned from sharing enables retailers to successfully grow revenue in this hugely competitive period. For example, Boots tracked how their content was shared last Christmas to generate £10 in sales for every £1 spent on digital ads."

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