Yes, it’s October. If you haven’t begun your holiday marketing effort, there is still time – a little anyway.
Here are eight holiday marketing tips to help you get started and to help reduce the amount of stress you may be feeling during this time of year. These tips are not just for companies that sell products, but may also be used by services-based companies, firms, and organizations.
- Create a holiday season email-marketing schedule. Avoid being overzealous, as people will begin to get an influx of message. Begin thinking about “Thank You” client messages as well, which could be sent as early as late October or the first week of November. Be sure to include a holiday-based navigation in the message. For example, add a “Holiday Gift” element to the navigation bar if you sell products. Or, if you work in the financial services profession, consider a “Year-End Planning” navigational element.
- Email Footers. Though this is often reserved for fine print messaging, consider adding a holiday-based footer that’s informative and educational. Consider adding statistics your clients would enjoy that may be shared easily via social media, or highlight shipping deadlines and specials. If you’re in the CPA profession, consider highlighting important year-end and January tax filing dates.
- Online advertising. If you’re marketing budget is based on the calendar year, consider including online advertising in the holiday marketing push. Remember your target audience for this time of year. Spending a little at seasonal high points could positively impact your ROI.
- Landing Pages. If your company or firm offers year-end sales or information, create a custom landing page to highlight that information. For example, year-end tax planning tips are great to share via social media. Flash sales for those with products are also a big hit at this time of the year. Be sure to link to this landing page in all your marketing efforts to get the most bang for your buck. Also include a lead generation form on this page.
- Say it with video. Consider a short, “Thank You” video this year. Record it and post it on your website or video channel, and then link to it in email, social media posts, and eCards. Be sure the video reflects your company’s brand and personality. Humorous or sentimental videos do well at this time of year.
- Call-to-Action. Even if you’re sending just a holiday message or thank you, be clear about the call to action for recipients. If you want them to “share,” “like,” reTweet,” “comment,” etc. state than in your message. If the message is more sales-based, have only one call to action with a targeted landing page to support the effort.
- Segmentation Strategy. Reflect on our best customers during the year. Then consider if there is an additional opportunity to engage with them. For example, you may host a cocktail party or send a special gift to thank them for their support. Or, consider a special email or video message just for them. There are a lot of ways to customize online and traditional media, so keep that in mind too.
- Post Holiday Plan. Just because the festivities may have ended, that doesn’t mean your marketing efforts need to as well. The last quarter of the year is a great time to be planning what to do in the first quarter of 2014. Maybe a site redesign is in your future, or possibly a new email marketing campaign, or in 2014 you’ve decided to leverage the power of social media. Plan for all of that in the October to December time frame and launch it in 2014.
As the holidays approach, consider all your options to re-purpose content, personalize messaging, increase engagement with shares/likes/follows, and remember, it’s about the customer. Taking a planned approach will help you to determine what messages go to whom, when, and how.
- Bronto’s “The Top 12 Marketing Tips for the Holidays”
- “Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses” via Pinterest
- “7 Holiday Marketing Tips on a Budget” from the Small Business Administration
- HubSpot’s “8 of Our Absolute Favorite 2012 Holiday Campaigns“
What was your most effective marketing campaign during the holiday season? What tips do you want to share for those who haven’t done this before?