The holidays are just around the corner. Have you planned your marketing?
If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Many small business owners find themselves in the same situation. The holidays have a funny way of sneaking up on all of us. But waiting until the last minute to get out a marketing piece isn’t a good idea either. It can mean scrambling to run a promotion during your busiest time of year, lost opportunities for repeat and referral business or worse – that your loyal customers are being engaged by your competition.
The good news is that coming up with a solid marketing plan for the holiday season is actually pretty easy, when you break it down into these 3 steps:
1. Create your campaign. Keep it simple. The most important thing about your holiday marketing plan is that you’re engaging your contacts with a series of communications, so you’re not missing opportunities for repeat sales and referrals. Just connecting with them is half the battle. If you need a little help with coming up with ideas, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
2. Promote your campaign. The key ingredients here are time and multiple communications, across different channels. An ideal holiday promotion will start early and work in several touches, with different messaging, over the course of the holiday shopping season. This puts your business in the position to engage the most people.
Consider the following:
If using social media, plan out a series of holiday-themed Facebook posts or Tweets. Some should mention your promotion and give a clear call to action, like “Click this link to get our special holiday deal”. Others should be conversation starters, like “Have you started your holiday shopping?”, or “Which friend or relative are you having the toughest time choosing a gift for?”. The responses you get might just reveal some insights into how you can help your contacts address their holiday shopping needs!
If you’re planning to email your contacts, map out the content of a few emails upfront. Maybe the first mentions your holiday offer, while the last reminds your contacts they have just a few days remaining to take advantage. Keep the content of each email fresh.
If it’s easy to update your website, consider adding a holiday theme to it, putting your best sellers on your homepage, or creating a landing page, at which your customers can take advantage of your offer.
If planning offline promotions, like postcards or flyers, make sure you offer a clear call to action, such as “Call 555-555-5555 to RSVP for our holiday party” or “Visit our website to take advantage of our VIP holiday offer”.
3. Plan your communications. Once you have your holiday campaign idea and you know which channels you’re going to promote it through, mark some dates on the calendar to do each activity. When you have people taking action on your campaign, make sure you’re keeping track of which marketing channel brought them to you, so you know where to invest your time in the future. ThriveHive’s online and offline tracking, as well as scheduling of emails, social media posts, and postcards can make this easy on you. And our HivePros are here, to help you run the most effective campaign!
In what ways have you had success in planning your holiday marketing? Share your thoughts below.