They call the holidays “the most wonderful time of the year” for a reason. People are feeling festive and hopeful. They’re excited to see friends and family, exchange gifts and celebrate with one another. There really is nothing else that compares to the collective cheer of the last couple of months of the year.
We asked four experts for their best holiday marketing advice, and two things they suggested were clear: connect with your customers by reflecting their holiday cheer and time your promotions appropriately. Read on for some recommendations that will help motivate your marketing this holiday.
Neal Schaffer, President at PDCA Social
“The holidays are all about spreading joy. Make people feel good about the purchases they are making – every holiday marketing post should spark absolute joy in the eyes of the person seeing your campaign, and if it doesn’t, your offer just might not be special enough to incentivize people to take advantage of what you have to offer.” — Neal Schaffer, President at PDCA Social
Capture the spirit of the season in your marketing. As Neal mentioned, your campaign should spark joy in the eyes of your customers. However, this joy might not be the same for everyone. The fact is, you know better than anyone else what makes your customers tick, so use this knowledge.
Maybe your customers are the kind of people who love Hallmark movies and a very family-focused ad campaign will go a long way. Or perhaps they are the kind of people where a touch of humor gets them in the holiday spirit. Regardless, be sure your holiday advertising connects with their emotions so it will stick with them when they go to make a purchase.
Build relationships by collecting data
LaToya Shambo, Founder/CEO at Black Girl Digital
“It’s not only about the sale, it’s about capturing the data of your potential customer and building a lifetime relationship. This way they are not just holiday shoppers or only consider your brand for the holiday. Be sure to set up your tracking pixels and have a data capture form with an incentive for people to join your mailing list even if they don’t make a purchase. ” — LaToya Shambo, Founder/CEO at Black Girl Digital
LaToya makes a great point about holiday sales and marketing — it’s not just about the holidays! For most businesses, the holidays are the busiest time of the year, but they aren’t the ONLY time they make sales. Instead, leverage the increased traffic you see during the holiday season by collecting a bit of information about your customers. The data you collect now can be used down the road to develop relationships with your customers over time.
Stay the course
Nick Stamoulis, President at Brick Marketing
“Start your campaigns early and stay the course during the holiday season and keep an eye on your ROI of your marketing programs.” — Nick Stamoulis, President at Brick Marketing
We’ve all heard the phrase “if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” However, that’s not the best way to approach holiday marketing. Instead, as Nick mentions, you should start planning early. You might not be able to focus earlier in the year, but if you’re looking to run a campaign, at least give yourself time to proofread any text, test anything technical and breathe a bit before it goes live. This will allow you to make sure everything is in place and working as it should.
Plus, starting early gives you the ability to ditch what isn’t working. If you are spending a bunch of money on CPC advertising, but you aren’t seeing any ROI, then you might need to change things up a bit. Giving yourself some to be flexible makes sure you don’t miss out on holiday sales.
Keep timing in mind
Adam Connell, Founder of Blogging Wizard
“Timing is critical with your marketing activities, particularly around the holiday season. You don’t want to give away information too far in advance and lose your competitive edge. But you also need to give your marketing campaign enough time to pick up speed.
If you run an affiliate program, advanced notice for your affiliates is critical. Giving your affiliates last minute notice limits the amount of attention they can focus on your brand.” -— Adam Connell, Founder of Blogging Wizard
Adam has a good suggestion here. While you do want to start your marketing early, it’s not necessary to reveal all your cards at once. Specific promotions, such as sales or giveaways, can be revealed with less notice to customers, which will also prevent your competitors from cooking up something to send folks their way. However, as Adam says, if you’re working with affiliates to promote your products, be sure to give them a heads up so they can update their marketing activities appropriately.
Want more expert advice? Check out another post from our Expert holiday series. I bet you’ll like 5 Experts Give Their Advice on How Businesses Should Approach Holiday Marketing in 2021 to start.