Holiday Season Marketing Campaign Tips & Ideas for 2018
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Is it just me or does the Holiday Season start sooner and sooner every year? For marketers and business owners, this is one of the biggest times of the year for revenue increases and a great time to engage with new customers. Did you miss out on all the fun last year? With October right around the bend, now is the time to start your preparation for your Holiday Shopping Season strategy.
The National Retail Federation considers the “Holiday Shopping” season to be the full months of November and December, which is usually about 55 days. The traditional Black Friday kick off to the season seems to be over. Halloween and early November is when the Holiday Season now seems to rev up. Now, nearly 40% of Americans begin their holiday shopping before Halloween. This figure will only increase as more and more sales events will be extended outside the normal “Holiday Shopping Season”.
The average American spends about $786 on holiday shopping and traditionally spending about $107 on themselves. Expectations are that retail holiday sales in 2018 will top $1 Trillion dollars between the months of November and January this year. ‘Tis the season for you to sell some stuff.
There Is More To The Season
The Holiday Season is more than just Thanksgiving and Christmas. Naturally, you should make the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, it’s equally important to leverage your marketing strategy to encompass the entire holiday season as well as the period immediately following the holidays.
Halloween can also be a great event for marketing. It’s an excellent time to showcase your creativeness and uniqueness from other businesses or use this time to create a compelling sales event or customer outreach. If you don’t have an internal team to help with graphic design or ideation, it might make sense to engage with a creative agency or consultant to guide you on best practices. The revenue you make this holiday season could pay for these services and then some.
Like Halloween, there are other events or holidays that might make sense for your business to participate in:
- * Fall Ends
- * Winter Starts
- * Kwanzaa
- * Hanukkah
- * Christmas
- * Student Holiday break
- * The New Year
What’s Your Message?
The reason most advertising or marketing campaigns fail is lack of a clear and concise message. Rather than sending out generic messages about your products, target messages based on your customers’ particular interests and preferences. One way to review this type of information is through Google Analytics. This is a great way to gain insight about your customer base and their habits when they are visiting your website.
When it comes to Holiday messaging, you don’t want to force it. You want to be authentic. For some brands, it might be okay to remain silent during this time period. Before you execute, evaluate your strategy and plan. If the holidays don’t truly resonate with your business or you are having a hard time finding the relevancy in participating – or maybe you find that it isn’t meaningful for you to put your message out there – it’s okay to sit this one out.
First and foremost, is your website optimized for mobile? If you are going to advertise, whether it is display or print ads during the holidays, this is a must. More than 20% of online shoppers made holiday purchases from a mobile device in 2016. And of course, 2018 is expected to see that number rise even further. Something to remember, if they don’t buy products this season using their mobile device, they are sure as hell going to be researching products using their mobile device. So you want to make sure that your website makes the best first impression on mobile and tablet devices.
It’s All About the Creative
If you have a great message, and your website is optimized for mobile and ready to rock, you need to then look at developing creative that is compelling and engaging. The creative needs to have some consistency with the content. Because the color red stimulates spending, retailers will purposefully weave red into their advertisements and displays during this time period. We have all seen a red Macy’s Christmas ad more times than we dare count.
Another way to spice up your creative is by having multiple versions that you can test to see which performs better. You can also sequence the creative which involves showing the customer the right message at the right time all the way to the check-out process. This is a great way to ensure that your customers digest a message that aligns with their place in line within the purchase funnel. You will want to highlight your most popular products and showcase their features and benefits.
Create a Campaign Calendar
It’s time to get organized. If you are ahead of the game and have begun your planning early, you will want to start looking at the calendar so that you can line up deliverables needed, when you will start and end your promotions or campaigns, when your website will need to be updated for those promotions or if you are in of need creating landing pages for your campaigns.
You will than want to decide on the various platforms you will be using during this time and one must be prepared to pay a little more for their Adwords or Facebook campaigns. This is the most competitive time of the year for advertising. Again – you are not alone, there are some great agencies and consultants who have done this a few times before that you can employ to ensure you succeed during this time if you are hesitant to move forward on your own.
Create a Sense of Urgency
You need to utilize some sales triggers. Retailers will heavily rely on several psychosocial triggers to attract consumers to their stores or websites. They will place limits on sales items, offering “gifts” with your purchase, time limits on promotions or sales, etc. All of these tactics and more are used during this time to engage the impulse buyers in all of us during the Holiday Shopping Season. Find a trigger or two that makes sense.
Say Thank You to Your Customers
The Holiday Season is a time where we reflect on the year, thinking of family get-togethers and the like. This is also a great time to thank your customers. Treat your customers like family and reach out to them on the various social media platforms that you are currently using thanking them for being a customer or a client.
- * YouTube
One way to stand out from the crowd is to send handwritten cards. There is a good chance that you will be sending out holiday cards to your friends and family during this time. Imagine what your clients or customers would say or feel getting a heartfelt card from the business that they have been engaged with. Would you feel special?
Taking the extra time to do this tells the customer that you care and there’s a pretty good chance they are going to share something about this experience on social media with their friends or family. You can also say “Thank You” by giving your own customer or client base – specialized pricing, special discounts or coupons. Everybody loves a great deal. Most people love talking about it too.
Engage your customers with your sales promotions early and often. You want to capitalize on fall sales for example or last-minute holiday spikes. Use your social media channels to help spread the word about your campaigns.
With the 2018 Holiday Shopping Season quickly approaching, seizing this opportunity to strike early and plan out your attack will allow you to pivot, make changes to creative and messaging and adapt to any unforeseen competitor campaigns that might rival yours.