Is Your Holiday Marketing Campaign Ready?

The stores are all aglow in preparation for Santa’s big day, and your inbox is slowly flooding with holiday promotions. ‘Tis the season for marketers to deck the halls and finish the year off strong. Just like wrapping the presents under the tree, plans for your holiday campaign should not be put off until the last minute. With lots of spending in the month ahead, it is essential to plan how to reach your prospects and customers, especially if you want to get ahead of your competitors. If you haven’t started yet, don’t fret! Read on for some seasonal guidance on how to get your holiday marketing campaign up and running ASAP.  

Define Your Target Audience

Upon establishing your goals, defining your target audience is the next step. Start to gather as much data as you possibly can about the people you want to reach. For example, do they consume information on mobile or desktop? What social media are they on? When the time comes to plan promotions and create content, having the answers to these questions will help you make more refined marketing decisions. If a few buyer personas are already in place, narrow your focus to see if your campaign relates to all segments of your audience. If not, remove those you do not wish to include.  

A Promotion Plan

After your content is ready to go, it is time to decide how to get the word out there. Here are some promotion tactics that you can implement per channel. 

Email vs. Social vs. PPC

Email Marketing

If you already know the list of people who might be interested in your offer, you’re off to a great start. However, if you want your database to target a specific group, focus on segmentation first. This is vital during the holiday season due to the high number of incoming promotions and busy shoppers’ limited time frame. Well-targeted emails will often take priority over mass messages, so once you know your recipients, you can begin to create your email. Below are some essential elements to note when constructing your email.

Subject line: Highlight what the offer solves. 

Body copy: Keep the body copy of your email short and to the point, and use this opportunity to incorporate personalization.

Sharing Options: Add buttons to your emails so your recipients can pass your offer along to their network with ease.

Social Media

Start promoting your promotional material through your social media channels. Whether you post a link to your home page or share a blog, make sure to switch up the messaging to avoid repeating the same Facebook post or tweet over and over again. Modify the post to the specific platform that you’re posting it on. The holidays can provide opportunities for businesses to explore platforms that they typically would not try. With busy consumers searching for holiday inspiration and help in all realms of social media, it’s worth promoting your campaign on various platforms. Wherever you decide to share your content, carefully organize and plan your distribution strategy. 

PPC

Paid advertising is a great tool to lift your inbound efforts around the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Experiment and put a bit of money behind some of your campaign assets to further promote them on social media if your budget allows for it, and you already know that there’s search demand for your offer. 

Holiday Marketing Mistakes

While all campaigns are individually unique, there are tactics you’ll undoubtedly want to dodge. Let’s take a look at the leading mistakes to avoid.

Not Understanding Buyer Personas

First and foremost, understand your customer, as this is crucial to your holiday marketing success. Having a digital marketing campaign that is crafted specifically for your buyer personas will help your brand stand apart from competitors and hold your customers’ attention.

Late/Rushed Planning

Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise   organization , a common mistake made by many companies during the holiday season  is late planning. Start to execute your marketing tactics in preparation for additional Q4 budget . Don’t wait until Halloween has come and gone to develop those campaign ideas.

Over Sending Emails

How many promotional emails do you tend to receive in one day? It’s probably a lot, right. Did any of those emails grab your attention? How did they differ from the rest? It’s easy for holiday email marketing to be overdone, but the emails that add creativity and value are the ones that capture the eyes of potential customers. Catchy, simplistic subject lines will trigger initial interest, but your click-through rate will only increase by adding value to your email. Be cautious of how many emails are in your lineup and the purpose that each one serves, as this will improve customer satisfaction and make less work for your team.

Being Corporate Santa

Make Sure it Makes Sense for Your Business

The type of industry you’re in determines a lot about if and how you do gift giving to customers. It doesn’t make sense to mail all of your customers physical gifts if you don’t often interact with them. Instead, a personalized message and seasonal greeting could be enough to show your appreciation during the  holiday season. A gift of gratitude for consistent business can be specific, depending on your trade. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that gift giving should make sense for your business. 

Don’t Be Cheap

If you’re planning to give a customer a physical gift for a special occasion, don’t be cheap about it. Don’t rush to order mass-produced beverage koozies or inexpensive keychains if you are trying to impress them. Choose something that will either land a deal with a potential client or help you build a current relationship. Put some thought into the quality of the gift, but of course, don’t break your budget. Then, ask yourself, if you were the customer, would you be happy to receive that gift? 

Avoid Bribery

It’s not always beneficial to incentivize a customer with a gift because sometimes it can turn them away, especially if it feels like a bribe.  Remember to check what kind of gifts your customers would be interested in , and that it is within your budget. Some organizations even set monetary caps on the value of gifts their employees can receive. Not every business can afford to provide holiday gifts as major corporations do, and you shouldn’t feel forced to give out gifts.

Being Mindful

Unless you are sure that a customer celebrates Christmas, it is best to avoid specific holiday gifting. It will come across as insensitive if you give a Christmas gift to a person who celebrates Hanukkah and may turn your customer away if it conflicts with their beliefs. If you wish to provide a holiday gift, avoid making it Christmas specific, and deliver it with a message about warm wishes for the holiday season, or winter-themed with tidings for the new year ahead.

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