`Tis the season for advertisers to come out in full force. Brands are eager to spend any remaining marketing budget dollars left before year-end. Companies want to hit product sales goals. Teams overzealously try to accomplish all their departmental and individual performance goals to earn that year-end bonus. Many brands launch a service or product in the holiday season with the expectation that shoppers driven to spend, will buy their thing.
Good news! There's still time to get your house in order and plan a holiday marketing campaign. Here are a few best practices to follow to help you make the most of this season.
Know Your Customer: You know the habits, interests, and attitudes of your customers so put that information to good use before you start any marketing or advertising. If you’re pitching a product or service that isn’t relevant or timely with the target audience, your efforts will fall short. This is a busy time of year where cutting through the many ads and events customers see will take messaging that strongly aligns with customer interests/needs.
Engaging Copywriting: Funny, concise and conversional copy in your marketing, communications, and advertising pieces will capture the heart and mind of audiences. Emotionally connecting with your target audience will positively influence sales. The words used to tell your brand story should evoke sentiments that inspire customers to purchase your product or service. *Tip: hire a professional copywriter. It’ll save you time and creative energy.
Dynamic Visuals: Amplify your online and physical presence including the company website, email newsletter, social media, app, and office/store location with bold, colorful, festive visuals. Consumers are bombarded with messaging this time of year, make yours stand out with beautiful imagery. Companies can sell products through Instagram posts and stories by simply having a quippy caption and beautiful holiday imagery. Tip: Invest in professional photography that can be used on all your marketing and communications channels.
Action: Make every message count. Brands want to take advantage of every opportunity to get in front of the target audience. Be sure to include a strong call to action in your communications. Customers should know what you want them to do, how to do it, and why they should do it now.
Giveaways: Provide a contest or giveaway offer and promote it through your email newsletter and social media channels. This often works better with products rather than services. Promotions are a great way to capture customer insights as well - new people find and connect with your brand to win the giveaway and stay for the engaging content.
Influencer Marketing: Identify and reach out to a few bloggers or micro-influencers related to your product or service. Securing a product review, gift list, or top 10 shout-out can provide a big bump in business!
Host a Pop-up: Set up shop/brand experience inside a hotel concierge suite or lobby to catch guests and locals as they pass through to hotel rooms, meeting rooms and any restaurants on the property. Even if your location is down the block, it’s all about convenience for the customer.
Urgency: Instill a sense of urgency or scarcity such as a ‘limited time offer’ and ‘only 100 available.’ FOMO is sure to motivate customers to ‘buy now.’
Storytelling: The holidays are an ideal time for public relations, especially if the content is more human interest than hard news. Audiences want and even seek out more touchy-feely content this time of year, we’ll call it the holiday spirit. It’s a great moment to connect with your target audience. Work radio, TV, digital, social and print media to get your stories out there.
Businesses plan months and even years in advance for holiday season. For shopping districts – like Cherry Creek North in Denver, Newbury Street in Boston, and Union Square in New York City – businesses will triple or quadruple revenues in the holiday season. Don’t leave planning to the last minute. Start today. Happy Holidays!