Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us, and the time to think about holiday marketing is now. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about holiday marketing campaigns? Planning ahead is the key to campaign success.
Longer than usual shipping times, supply chain hiccups, and limited shipping capacity are all challenges that can be overcome by thinking ahead, and that means getting your marketing strategy in place now. Here are 10 marketing tips for the holiday season.
#1 Audit Your Previous Holiday Campaigns
There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel if something worked well last year. There’s also no reason to repeat something that didn’t give you the best ROI in the past. Step one in developing your marketing strategy now is to audit your previous holiday campaigns.
Keep what worked well, throw out what didn’t work at all, and think of ways to improve ideas that resulted in moderate success. One of our favorite holiday campaigns is what we had created for The Dogist to support the launch of their e-commerce collection in 2019. We had used a combination of email marketing and social media advertising to generate +80% growth in sales and +1,200 growth in email subscribers.
We are working with The Dogist again this year and have found that revisiting our historical efforts has been a great reference point for planning for our current and upcoming efforts to support them this holiday season.
#2 Keep it Simple
There are a couple of reasons to keep your holiday campaigns simple. First, it is easier on you and will take fewer resources. Have a focused campaign or series of campaigns with similar messaging, consistent branding, and focus on the channels and platforms where your buyers are most likely to be.
The second is that your customers won’t receive mixed messaging or be confused. The simpler your campaign is, the easier it is for potential and existing customers to recognize it when they see it and associate it with your brand, and only your brand. When it comes to holiday marketing, easy really does it.
#3 Be Flexible and Ready to Adapt
The E-Commerce world is evolving and changing. Shipping capacity can vary over time, and changes in travel and other restrictions, unanticipated changes in the supply chain, and other factors can mean fulfilling the promise of your marketing campaign might not be possible.
This means being flexible, ready to adapt your message to changing times, and finding ways to communicate clearly with your potential buyers in a way that inspires loyalty.
#4 Consider Influencer Marketing
With your brand in mind, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there influencers who can and will spread the word about your brand?
- Will they reach your potential customers?
- Can you afford what it would take to get them on board with your marketing plan?
- Are there micro-influencers who might bring as much or more value than a major influencer?
Examine all your options and add influencer marketing to your campaigns.
#5 Start Influence Marketing Early
Influence marketing or earned media is another method of holiday marketing that can be extremely effective. However, you must start this process early, long before the holiday season. What is influence marketing? Essentially is it PR or media attention earned by your brand offering something with a unique value, often something you will initially share on your own blog.
This can be anything from the results of a consumer survey you conducted or had conducted, or a unique product or partnership you have established that is newsworthy. This type of marketing can have a huge impact. Although the initial cost is often high, the long ROI is often greater and ends up costing less than other marketing efforts.
#6 Prepare for Competition
Be prepared. There are more and more brands competing to grab the consumers’ attention at every marketing opportunity. To be successful, you need to be different, to stand out from the crowd with your messaging, your offers, and the type, frequency, and style of the emails and communications you send. Be original, creative, and true to yourself and your brand.
#7 Impart a True Sense of Urgency
We all know when you get an email or message with a false sense of urgency. Words like “last opportunity” or “never to be repeated sale” lose validity when they are used too often. Consumers stop believing you. Give them a real reason to buy now: a true sense of urgency. Use shipping times, production times, and other real challenges to get consumers up and buying.
#8 Remember the Key Is Timing
The week before Black Friday or Cyber Monday? It’s time to step up your email marketing. More emails than normal are fine if each showcases a unique offer. Daily emails with the same deals soon get ignored or sent to the junk folder. Time your emails for the best open rates, make unique offers, and don’t email or message too often. One of the top unsubscribes reasons is, “emails are too frequent.” Don’t give your potential customers a reason to leave your list.
#9 Target and Retarget
Don’t forget your existing customers and those who have visited your site before. If you have their email addresses, you may be able to target them, and audiences like them, even as cross-platform tracking data disappears. Target potential customers who have interacted with your brand before and retarget existing customers who might purchase again or purchase for others.
#10 Genuinely Partner with a Non-profit
Partnering with a non-profit is often a great way to increase your exposure and boost sales. However, your partnership needs to be a genuine one. Work with a non-profit you care about and that aligns with the values of your customer base. Be ridiculously generous with your giving and be genuine in your actions.
Have questions about your holiday marketing plan? At SLTC we are here to help you unlock the possibilities in your digital marketing campaigns. We would love to partner with you this holiday season to evaluate and execute your marketing objectives. Contact us today!