Many businesses start planning their holiday marketing campaigns too late and are flying by the seat of their slacks. The rule of thumb is to plan 3 months in advance or a quarter at a time. We’re halfway through Q4. Is your holiday marketing in full swing?
Okay, so maybe it's too late to be early this year- but there are steps you can take for the next season. Planning for each quarter is easy. Get a calendar for each month and identify holidays and key dates. Big spending days aren't just Black Friday or Cyber Monday- they have spilled into all weekend. What promotional materials will you need by which date? Work backward to plan out three months at a time.
Determine which channels you will focus on- Facebook ads, email campaigns, blog posts? How will these channels work together? If you’re creating an ad with a special offer do you have a landing page you’re guiding customers to? Focus on what you’re best at. Instead of experimenting now, identify what has worked in the past and go full force.
Use a social media calendar and execute social strategies using a scheduling tool such as the Facebook Publishing Tool or Hootsuite. You have to make it a priority to schedule ads, posts, and promotional materials during the holiday season. Day to day duties pile up which leave little time to scratch up something to post or what ad to run for the week. Marketing efforts on the fly are less thoughtful and deliberate which will cost you money- much like a last minute gift. I like fuzzy socks as much as the next girl, but personal? No.
Love impersonal gifts? Note: Don't buy any of these, please.
Scheduling ahead of time with the combined efforts of a social media strategy, aid social media ads, and email marketing campaigns are the holiday recipe for marketing success. Track your results to see what is and isn’t working for the next holiday season! Maybe you need to change your timing or budget for better results. Keep in mind that costs of ads go up during the holidays and budget accordingly.
Create holiday ads and emails that stand out and raise curiosity- they don’t have to be straightforward and literal. Make your customers ask questions and become interested. Their inboxes will be full of promotions- how will yours stand out? Make it fun. How many silly ads have you seen that seem to have little to do with the product or service, but you’re so curious you have to find out what it is? It works! Funny or not, original and relevant content always wins.
Need some holiday ad inspiration? Check out these examples of great holiday ads from last year curated by Hubspot.
If you’re selling products online, retargeting is a must! Facebook makes it easy to track who has visited your site and show them an ad later to remind them of their interest and target them directly. When I leave things in my cart and get reminded of them the next day through a retargeting ad, I’m much more likely to complete the purchase.
They’re watching me- and it’s working.
Yeah, that may have made you cringe, but during the holidays people are more tolerant of ads. Send the emails- they won’t mind. People expect them and see them as more relevant since most are buying gifts and spending more money than usual. Draw in past clients with holiday promotions that remind them what they’re missing with deals ‘too good to pass up’. If you're not discounting, consider bundling services or products, or including free shipping. Even if your product or service isn’t ‘gifty’, people use holiday sales to splurge on themselves… not that I’ve ever done this. “Oh, you know who would love that? ME.”
This is a year-round objective. Make it a New Year's Resolution. Consumers are browsing and purchasing on their mobile devices more than ever. How does your landing page look on mobile? Do you make it easy for the customer with easy to read prompts and navigation or is the user experience lacking? Be sure your ads are readable and engaging across different platforms and devices.
It may not be too late for you. According to Google Trends, the search for ‘christmas gift ideas’ had the highest spike between Dec 11 and Dec 17 last year. Need help planning a marketing strategy? Let's talk.