How to Build The Perfect Holiday Marketing Campaign
The most profitable time of the year calls for a great holiday marketing campaign. Many e-commerce businesses are already getting seasonal budgets approved and implementing new strategies to drive sales.
Developing a holiday marketing campaign with these simple steps is a sure-fire way to increase brand awareness, drive traffic and maximize profits before you’re greeted with a new year.
Keep up with your competition this season and take time to plan ahead.
- Holiday e-commerce sales keep increasing year-over-year.
- Before planning your campaign, you must first clearly define your goals and understand the habits of your target audience.
- Closely analyzing this season’s successes and failures is key to perfecting future campaigns.
Launching a marketing campaign that captures the attention of your target audience is the holiday season’s secret to success.
Why Your Holiday Marketing Campaign is Important
The holidays are easily the most saturated shopping season of the year. This year, holiday e-commerce sales in the United States are expected to see a 16% increase from last year and rise to $236 billion!
Business owners across the country are taking advantage of this opportunity and developing holiday marketing campaigns to increase their business’s profitable revenue. If you want to maximize your profits this season, we suggest you do the same.
While you perfect your upcoming campaign with the steps below, it’s important to keep in mind the following tips:
- Keep it simple
- Have a backup plan
- Partner with other brands and non-profits for support
- Consider both loyal and new customers
- Understand your competition
Doing so will help ensure a successful holiday season for you and your business. Take the time to plan your well-thought-out strategies and use this step-by-step guide to plan your best holiday marketing campaign yet.
Determine Your Goals
Before you begin planning your holiday marketing campaign, it’s important to define your marketing goals. Without a clear idea of what you’re aiming to achieve, you heighten the chances of launching an unsuccessful campaign.
The goals of your marketing campaign should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. SMART goals help ensure growth in your business’s brand awareness, traffic and sales by the time your campaign comes to an end.
Although most campaigns are designed to drive sales, there are more benefits to great holiday marketing than raking in the dough. To make the most of your strategy, ask yourself the following questions:
- How will I reach more people and improve my business’s reputation?
- How will I establish new relationships with collaborators and partners?
- How much traffic do I expect my campaign to drive and how will it affect my business’s growth?
- How will I track my campaign’s progress?
- How can my campaign help build my email list and positively impact future sales?
- Do I want to build or receive links? If so, how will new links improve my domain authority?
- How many social media interactions do I want to influence?
Answering the questions above in-depth will help determine a clear campaign strategy to ensure you’re on the right path to achieving this season’s goals.
Understand Your Audience
The success of your campaign greatly depends on how well you understand your target audience. Gather as much information as possible about consumer habits to guide your marketing decisions towards maximizing your campaign’s performance and ROI.
First, figure out when your customers start their holiday shopping and how much money they’re willing to spend. Then, consider the following questions:
- What motivates them to shop?
- What are their hesitations?
- What are they most concerned and excited about?
- Which marketing channels do they spend most of their time on?
- How has your audience responded to past campaigns?
- Why would they choose your products over those of competitors?
- What feedback have they given you to incorporate into your campaign?
Catering your holiday campaign to the needs and wants of your target audience is key to creating a strategy that they will care about and respond to. To learn more about the significance of defining your target audience, enjoy the video below.
Get on the “Good Marketers” List
While looking back on the year can be a great strategy for improving your brand’s marketing, don’t wait until the new year to start your review. Go beyond mental note taking to capture what’s working and what’s not. Writing an abbreviated outline for next year’s strategy based on this year’s performance can be a tactical way to build on strategy. Ask yourself what you and your team might have differently this year–and apply those lessons learned as you sketch out a plan for next year.
Having taken good notes and applied them to next year’s plan before the holiday shopping season is over is a great way to rest easy on the holidays, since you’ll have already gathered the information that can improve your 2019 campaigns, and begun sketching out next year’s plan. Doing it in the moment also means better information retention; even if your notes don’t get looked at for several months, they will be sharper for having been captured in the holiday marketing moment.
Don’t just talk, but remember to do some observing as well. For example, social listening that’s tuned in to your customers’ moments of delight or dissatisfaction can help inform what should be sustained or improved in your future marketing plan.
Brush Up on Your Marketing Knowledge
This one merits a clarification first: Yes, when it comes to the holidays, there’s nothing wrong with leaving work at work. But for many marketers whose holiday plans are moving along as intended, the final part of the holiday shopping season can leave them with extra time that can be used to keep improving themselves and their team’s competitive position. If your winning holiday marketing campaign is humming along like Santa’s sleigh on a snow-encrusted rooftop and you find yourself with a little extra time, you’ve got the opportunity to press for a competitive personal and professional advantage.
Using this extra time to pick up a book about the changing data economy above, to study new uses for AI in marketing, or the impact of new marketing channels like VR and AR can be a great way to keep your competitive edge. It can also be a good time to check out conferences for the coming year (and maybe even secure a discounted spot). By not letting your skillset freeze over, you and your team will be better positioned in time.
Many of the best marketing leaders wouldn’t consider this one quite so optional: Saying “thank you” to customers remains a key part of any brand strategy throughout the year, and especially so during the holiday shopping season. Even for marketing leaders who have wisely taken this into account, it can be easy to lose sight of the others who make your work successful. Take time to thank your team members and strategic partners with a small gift, a handwritten note, or a video message. Gratitude is one of the best forms of marketing, and those gestures can enrich and prolong relationships on all sides.
Take Stock of the New Data Economy
The economy of consumer data is changing. Due to increased competition and regulatory concerns, an increasing number of companies are bringing some or all of their data collection in-house, rather than outsourcing it all to the large data providers like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Declared data firm Jebbit notes that “relying on transactional or behavioral data requires you to draw conclusions about your audience’s wants and intentions.” But, “unlike transactional data, declared data is information willingly and actively given by consumers, often about their motivations, intentions, interests, and preferences. Declared data strips away the complexity and uncertainty of inferring, and leaves you with exactly what you need: your consumers’ own thoughts.” By collecting narrower sets of declared data that is voluntarily given by customers, marketers can simplify operations, take the guesswork out of their strategizing, and alleviate some of the concern around data breaches, since less data on hand means less damage in the event of a hack. And it can be relatively simple to collect with engagement tools like quizzes and gift guides.
Of course, the large data providers will still be a key in many marketing strategies, from segmentation and targeting on platforms like TikTok to Google’s algorithmic ad targeting. Whether your brand collects its own declared data from customers, outsources to the large players, or has an advanced AI strategy, the remaining part of the shopping season is loaded with potential for the right marketing leaders to set the stage for success through the holiday shopping season and into the new year.
Do Some Pre-Season Prep
The work you put in ahead of time predicts the success of your campaign. Make sure your team prepares for the holidays weeks (or months) in advance so you can focus your energy on maximizing sales during the rush.
Formalizing your digital marketing plan helps you get organized for your holiday campaign.
Start with a list of goals and marketing strategies that have worked in the past, then plan out a timeline. Make sure to assess your progress as the season develops, and edit your plan if circumstances change.
Make Your Offer
After defining your goals and understanding your audience, it’s time to get clear on what you’re willing to offer. Holiday offers come in many forms, such as:
- Online courses
While you decide which form is best, keep in mind how much time your audience is willing to spend accepting offers this holiday season. As one of the busiest times of the year, many customers are looking for a quick, easy reward.
Build Your Landing Pages
After getting clear on your offer, build a landing page where your audience can redeem their reward.
With saturated holiday campaign competition, design a landing page that’s both compelling and convincing. Some essential elements include:
- Attention Grabbing Headline – draw your audience in with an irresistible headline
- Visually Pleasing Layout and Images – keep them occupied with interesting visuals
- Clear Definition of Benefits – let them know how your offer is too good to pass up
- Form for Conversion – request customer information in exchange for your offer
An impressive design combined with an irresistible offer is sure to catch some traffic – and raise your conversion rate.
Promote on Multiple Channels
Your incredibly good-looking landing page is nothing without visitors to appreciate it. Next, construct a promotion plan to get the word out and drive traffic to your page.
Each promotional message should be shared on channels that are optimized for conversion, or customers taking action towards accepting your offer. The top 3 most effective ways to promote your offer are email marketing, social media and blogging.
Having a previously-established email list puts you one step ahead of the game. Determine which recipients are most likely to convert and let them know what you’re offering this holiday season.
Remember: Your customers’ inboxes are stuffed this time of year.
Standing out in a sea of holiday sale subject lines requires a strong hook and a perfect email to follow. Proofread and test each email extensively before you send it out. The best times to reach your customers varies, so stagger your emails at different times to maximize visibility.
A genuine and irresistible subject line and resonant email content can start a conversation, so encourage consumers to hit “Reply” by asking for their stories, opinions, or reviews.
Post consistently on social media channels to spread the word about your offer. Be sure to switch up both your messaging and visuals to avoid being repetitive and increase viewer engagement.
Additionally, cater each post to each specific channel. For example, Twitter and Facebook are great opportunities for interesting visuals, while TikTok and Instagram are perfect platforms for short promo videos.
Strategic blogging is one of the most efficient ways to get the word out about your offer and attract new people to your site.
Create a post that introduces your campaign, explains how to take advantage of your offer and includes a compelling CTA that encourages readers to view your landing page. This way, people who reach the end of your post will have a clear next-step towards accepting their reward.
Use a Content Management Platform
To capture your customers’ attention, meet them on their favorite digital platforms. You need a digital marketing strategy that integrates social media, streaming, email, and your website—but managing all of those pages can be a real headache.
Content management platforms simplify running multiple accounts by organizing all your marketing in one place. Platforms like HubSpot ensure that each marketing blast is carefully curated before it gets sent out. Make sure your entire marketing team is comfortable on whichever platform you choose by pursuing certifications for your staff.
Now that you’ve set yourself up for success, it’s time to set your plan into action. But before going full throttle, it’s a good idea to issue a “soft launch” to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Ask your close community, such as employees and family members, to take your campaign for a test-run so you can spot any errors before sharing your offer with your target audience.
Once everything is running as expected, it’s time to let ‘er rip! You’re ready to publish your promotion and reap the sweet benefits your holiday marketing campaign has to offer.
Reflect the Holiday Spirit
If you’re a business owner, it’s smart to think of your loyal customers as family and friends.
Retaining a customer is cheaper than acquiring a new one. Those you’ve worked with longer have a better chance of being loyal to your business.
During the holidays, showing gratitude to loyal customers goes a long way.
Offering special discounts and sales to social media followers encourages them to continue giving you their business. You can also consider giving your loyal customers a discount code to share with their family and friends, which can help expand your sales.
Be Socially Responsible
Many customers prioritize corporate social responsibility when they decide where to shop. If your business isn’t addressing its role as a global citizen, it could hurt your bottom line.
Customers will love supporting your business this holiday season if it aligns with their values.
If you’re looking to make your business into a vehicle for positive social change, consider partnering with a charity or organization that your customers will want to support. Cause-related promotions can tap into the spirit of giving and communicate the values of your brand at the same time.
Be genuine; if your customers feel like your efforts are more than skin deep, they’re more likely to make a lasting commitment to your products.
Measure Your Results
Once you’ve launched your campaign, it’s time to start measuring your results.
Take another look at your previously-defined goals and determine which objectives your campaign achieved. Analyze which tactics worked best and which didn’t go as planned.
Taking notes of your successes and failures will help you adjust future campaigns according to this year’s performance. This way, you’re one step closer perfecting your campaign strategy in years to come.
Build Your Holiday Marketing Campaign Today
Optimize your profits this season with a holiday marketing campaign that’s tailored to the needs of your target audience. Clarify your goals, define a promotional plan and drive more traffic to your site.