Waiting until the last minute to plan and launch holiday marketing campaigns could potentially cost you a lot of money. A good campaign should be planned in advance, and you want to have lead time in order for it to achieve enough exposure to be effective. Now is the time to get those plans in order. Ideally, you should have your overall marketing plan neatly in place and scheduled no later than mid-October to get you through the holidays smoothly.
Determine Your Offer:
What are you hoping to sell this holiday season? Do you have special deals that will coordinate to particular holidays? You need to have a clear idea of
who your audience is and what you will offer them in order to create a successful plan.
For example, the image above depicts a landing page specifically targeting people planning holiday parties for their organizations.
What Holidays Will You Focus On?:
Christmas isn’t the only opportunity for boosted sales at the end of the year. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years may all have relevance to your business and what you have to offer. For example, an online retailer like our client Z-Wave Products naturally will focus on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as those are product-focused retail holidays. They prepared their offers and we prepared their website well in advance of the actual holiday. You can see one of their pages below optimized for Black Friday.
Different Channels Require Different Lead Times:
Determine what channels you’ll be using, and schedule carefully based on how much lead time they require to garner results. For example, if pay-per-click advertising is a part of your strategy, you’ll want to get your creative locked down soon and begin running ads. This provides time for A/B testing, data collection, and strategy review before the busiest time hits so that you can be sure that you are running your best and most effective advertisements through the holiday season.
As an example, we launched these ads, customized by brand, for the Briar Group before Labor Day and have ramped them up since to bring momentum leading into October. We are carefully tracking their data so that their campaigns can be adjusted as needed to remain competitive.
You’ll Need Customized Landing Pages for Your Holiday Campaigns:
Its best if your print and digital campaigns that drive traffic to your website have unique landing pages tied to them for use in tracking results and modifying as needed as the season moves along. Know what your specific calls-to-action are and make sure that you’ve designed clear pathways for your customers to get to what they need quickly. These pages from The Briar Group are a great example.
Email Campaigns Need to Make Multiple Touches and Lead time Before Events to be Effective:
Email campaigns in particular are a channel that you’ll want to start early with. Get news out early of your events before people’s schedules book up, have your product be the first item on their holiday shopping list, or put your event venue in front of them just as they are beginning to decide where to hold their holiday party. Multiple touches are impactful for your more important promotions.
Blogs Can Get People Thinking of Your Product or Service as the Holidays Approach:
If you make regular blog posts on your website, be sure to generate blogs that are catered to the holiday season. You can promote your product or service, or just offer helpful advice that is relevant both to your business and to the season. A great example is this Holiday Gift Guide that our client, Grand Jewelers posted on their site last year.
By planning ahead and getting these campaigns running early, you can expect to have another incredibly busy and successful holiday season.
If you are behind on planning your holiday campaigns for this season, don’t worry, there’s still time to get moving, but you should act quickly. If you’d like a partner on your team to ramp up quickly, give Champ a call, we’d be happy to provide the guidance you need to send this holiday season off without a hitch.