The holidays are right around the corner. How’s your marketing plan coming? You don’t have one?!
While 2020 has been a hectic year for business owners, it's important that you have a holiday marketing strategy in place. Whether you promote in-store sales or your focus is on online shopping, we're here to help!
Use the following tips to ensure your business is set up for success this holiday season.
Create a Plan
When building out your marketing calendar, make sure to include these important dates this season:
- Thanksgiving — Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020
- Black Friday — Friday, Nov. 27, 2020
- Small Business Saturday — Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020
- Cyber Monday — Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
- Giving Tuesday — Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020
- Hanukkah — Thursday, Dec. 10 – Friday, Dec. 18, 2020
- Christmas — Friday, Dec. 25, 2020
- Kwanzaa — Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 – Friday, Jan. 1, 2021
- New Year’s Eve — Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020
- New Year’s Day — Friday, Jan. 1, 2021
Whether you celebrate these holidays or not, your customers might! As a business, you want to make sure to respect all the upcoming holidays.
Next, you want to identify what you want to promote and what your goals are.
In deciding what you’re selling, it’s important to define your audience. This will help in knowing how you will reach them. Many consumers will be utilizing online shopping this year due to COVID-19, so be sure to consider this when pinpointing your audience.
Trust us; consumer behavior has changed and online shopping will be more important than ever this holiday season. Check out these resources to learn why your business should include digital campaigns this season (and ongoing):
- Why Local Businesses Are Going All in With Digital Marketing During COVID-19
- A New Focus: How Small Businesses Survived With Marketing
- How COVID-19 Changed the Way Businesses Use Social Media
After you've defined your audience, you must decide how to best showcase it (i.e., in-store, in print, online, etc.). And, don’t forget about promotions!
Tip: Don’t wait until the last minute on this. Plan ahead (right now if you haven’t already started). If you are personally handling these strategies, give yourself a good month. If other vendors or agencies are involved, you may need more time, but be sure to have a conversation with them regarding turnaround times.
Make It Personal
The holidays are full of memories and embracing nostalgia builds a connection with your audience. Sure, they may no longer want that Easy Bake Oven, but throwback images in your campaigns make it relatable and enticing.
As you have defined your audience, take that a step further with a targeted ad strategy. With relevant paid advertising campaigns, you can get in front of your ideal customer. Here are a few options:
- Shopping ads. Capture prime real estate with convenient, top-of-page ads that show when someone is looking for your product.
- Search ads. These ads allow you to show to users seeking your products or services.
Tip: Partnering with the professionals can help you get the most out of your ad campaigns with ads on multiple platforms, scheduled promotions to ensure timeliness and appropriate ad extensions to easily locate your storefront, call you or order online.
- Facebook and Instagram. Social channels are fantastic for making gift suggestions this season. Do you offer a great variety of stocking stuffers? Showcase those on social channels with a great carousel of products.
Tip: A strong social strategy can continue that connection, promote engagement and be easily shared. Schedule social posts that incorporate promotions and invite interaction to build activity. Pair this, too, with your regular email list for a fully integrated marketing strategy that helps get the word out!
Whether you are sharing promotions on your website, in a mailer, on your Facebook page or in your email newsletter, consistent messaging and imagery is key.
In a season where you are creating demand, your promotions can impact searchers along their holiday shopping journey.
Tip: Take this a step further with retargeting ads. We’ve all experienced it — window shopping online for a new sweater and we talk ourselves out of the purchase but, by golly, that sweater pops up as we check the forecast and again when we’re checking out game highlights. Dang, it’s nice and it would look great at the in-laws’ gift exchange. SOLD!
- A retargeting strategy allows your brand (or product) to stay top of mind after a searcher has already found you. This is great for products or services with longer buying cycles as well as those impulse buys, and everything in-between!
The holidays are a busy, exciting and sometimes overwhelming time for families and business owners.
By planning your marketing strategy, you’ll set yourself up for success and be able to offer the best products or services for your customers this holiday season.
If you're an e-commerce business or you're focusing more on online sales this year, be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming blog that covers online traffic and timeline suggestions for your upcoming holiday campaigns.
Good luck this holiday season!