Mid-Year Cheer: Five Things Brands Can Do Now to Create Holiday Marketing Magic
In the PR and marketing world, the dog days of summer mean one thing: Now is the time to plan your holiday marketing campaigns.
The holiday season is big for businesses of all sizes—many are reliant on fourth quarter sales, with the months of November and December making up the greatest share of total revenue.
And this year should be no exception. For 2019, the National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts holiday retail sales to increase 3.8–4.4% to more than $3.8 trillion.
With brands launching holiday-focused promotions in October (or earlier!), and editorial and advertising deadlines fast approaching, savvy marketers start planning holiday campaigns well before the air turns crisp. ‘Tis the season to do everything from identifying potential influencer partners and developing campaigns to promote relevant products and services, to pitching media and gift guides and planning social media campaigns.
What should your business do now to put yourself in the best position this holiday season? Here, we list our five tips for making holiday marketing magic:
Engage year-round, but especially in the time leading up to a holiday effort. As part of your overarching marketing strategy, develop a robust customer list and connect with these individuals regularly throughout the year using omni-channel marketing. It’s more effective to build a relationship with your target audience before the holiday season so they are already in the habit of reading the content you put out (be it social media posts, blogs, emails and/or newsletters), clicking through to your website and ordering. Creating and maintaining brand recognition and customer loyalty is a continuous process, not something that only happens during the months of November and December.
Go mobile. eCommerce has changed the game. Last year, the NRF reported that 71 percent of consumers planned to use their smartphones or tablets to research or make a purchase. This means your website must be mobile-friendly to make it fast and easy for customers to shop and buy online. Take the time to ensure navigation is simple and intuitive, keep page load time to a minimum and create a dedicated Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday page to showcase all deals.
Time it right. Understanding consumer behavior is key to executing social media posts and ads. In other words, your marketing calendar should be based on what you’re selling and when customers are likely to buy it. For example, sales of household items (think furniture, mattresses and bedding) typically surge prior to Black Friday as people prepare to host out-of-towners for holiday celebrations. Items like watches and jewelry are frequently purchased later, throughout December, so plan these ads to hit last-minute shoppers.
Get social. Develop a calendar to coordinate all social media posts across platforms to ensure consistency in content, imagery and timing. Things will ramp up quickly for your team as you get closer to peak season—so you want to be sure you have a social media plan in place that your team can easily (and consistently) execute.
Reach out. Leading up to the holiday season, brands and influencers publish gift guides featuring their favorite products and experiences—which can, in turn, yield thousands of impressions for your company. Now is the time to research the deadlines for pitching media and influencer holiday gift guides and reach out to them with why your product or service makes the perfect gift.
Let’s get to planning. Our team of PR pros has worked with hundreds of businesses and brands to generate big ideas that drive holiday sales. Let us help you get the right message in front of the right customer at the right time. Approach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.