The countdown to the holiday season has begun. Developing your holiday marketing campaigns now will give you a jumpstart on your competitors and open up the door to additional revenue opportunities. To help get you on your way to creating content that puts your brand front-of-mind, we’ve compiled a list of 10 simple tips you can take to get started on the right foot this holiday season.
1. Plan ahead.
The holiday season can zap your time, energy and creativity very quick. Plan, create and schedule your holiday campaign now so that you are prepared to deliver high-quality content at just the right time. You should already have (or be working on) banners, landing pages, calls to action, email blasts, etc., so that they are ready to go when scheduled. Planning out your campaign in advance assures you are delivering content that is consistent with your holiday theme.
2. Timing is everything.
Start your holiday marketing campaign as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the sooner prospects will start to become familiar with your presence. Take advantage of all of the fall and winter holidays*. This will allow you to experiment with different messages, banners and landing pages and collect data quicker so you can identify the best performing messages in time for the peak of the season.
- Veterans Day – Nov 11
- Thanksgiving – Nov 26
- Black Friday – Nov 27
- CyberMonday – Nov 30
- Chanukah/Hanukkah – Dec 7 -14
- Christmas – Dec 25
- Kwanzaa – Dec 26 – Jan 1
- New Year’s Eve – Dec 31
- New Year’s Day – Jan 1
3. Repetition is powerful.
Most prospects don’t respond immediately to a single marketing communication, or perhaps even several of them. Getting your message in front of customers multiple times at multiple stages of their buying process is critical. The more your message is repeated, the more likely prospects will become familiar with you and start to associate you with credibility and trust. In this industry, many consumers are leery of untrustworthy, unreliable and suspicious businesses, so getting your name and messages out there on a consistent basis relays the message the you are stable and not just another fly-by-night operation or scam.
4. Tell them what they want to hear.
Prospects want you to answer their #1 question – what’s in it for me? People want to hear benefits not features. Help your customers solve a problem or find a solution by providing gift guides, seasonal tips and other helpful information. A successful banner entices prospective buyers to engage with your content and communicates the benefits of responding. Experiment with different messages, but remember to keep them relevant to your overall objective.
5. Don’t assume people know what to do.
Your banner ad can make or break a sale. Creative banner ads entertain and entice the consumer. When a prospect comes into contact with your ad, the chances are they didn’t come looking for it. Instead, they are looking at some other piece of content on the publisher’s page and your ad is just there. Grabbing their attention is the key to getting them to check you out. Your success in designing ads lies in your ability to create an attention-grabbing ad, combining images that won’t annoy a prospect and a clear call to action which leads to a landing page which uses identical or similar colors, images and typography to the original ad. Simply taking a prospect to your home page isn’t good enough. People don’t want to hunt and click to find your offering.
6. Dress it up.
Brick and mortar establishments aren’t the only businesses that can display decorations over the holidays. You can break out the turkeys, cornucopias, twinkly lights, poinsettias, wreaths, candles, snowflakes, dreidels and noisemakers setting your ads ablaze with winter warmth and merriment. But don’t let your holiday spirit overshadow the reason for your ad. Taking the “Griswold” approach may scare some people off, but including just a bit of festive art can be charming and memorable. Don’t forget to give your logo a little extra bling this time of year, too.
7. It’s all about the image.
As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This is truer than true when representing your brand. Use professional photography instead of using generic-looking photos. Hire a photographer or buy some good stock photos. Liven up your content with a new set of easy-to-read fonts but don’t go overboard. Use color palettes that compliment your brand. Don’t feel obligated to use the standard holiday colors. Mix in just a little of the tones that are consistent with your image.
8. Offer a little extra.
In exchange for choosing your business to make their holiday purchases, think about giving customers something in return. Special offers and promotions can help boost sales and increase the reach of your content. During the holiday season, consumers are often looking for deals and ways to save money. Coupons and discounts are valuable assets for a holiday marketing campaign. This practice works best when you let your prospects know of your valuable offer upfront. Prospects are more likely to engage with your content when given the incentive of a special offer or promotion.
9. Don’t limit yourself.
For just pennies per message, email marketing can be a major tool in your marketing strategy. Over the last few decades, email marketing has been tainted by the schemes, scams and spam of some very unscrupulous manipulators. Although some consumers are still cautious when contacted by email, when done properly it can be a very effective marketing tool- emails work on mobile devices, are free for the consumer, and give you more space to convey your message.
10. Analyze the data you collect.
This is something so simple, yet many businesses completely ignore the abundant source of data available to them. Where did the majority of your holiday traffic come from? Which messages lead to conversions? Which publishers performed best for you? By tracking the success of your campaign, you can use this data to improve your conversion rates in future campaigns.