For large numbers of businesses nationwide — and especially for those in the retail sector — the holiday season is when annual profits begin to be made. In fact:
- The post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday dubbed “Black Friday” was given its name because, for many U.S. retailers, it represents the point in the year when annual operating finances go out of the red and into the black — representing profitability.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shopping in November and December has made up nearly 20% of annual retail sales in the United States in recent years.
6 ways to step up your holiday-marketing success
Clearly, much of a business’s overall profitability for the year can hinge on the success of its holiday-season sales. And while the holiday season on its own will inherently lead to a surge in sales for most businesses, well-executed holiday marketing campaigns, holiday email campaigns and the like can serve to boost profits even further.
To increase the effectiveness of your business’s next holiday marketing campaign, consider these six success-focused tips:
1. Plan ahead
Before the leaves start changing colors is a good time to start getting your plans together for your holiday marketing campaign. The early start will give you time to thoroughly think through your strategic preparations, as well as to create the assets you’ll need for your campaign. Among the things you’ll want to determine and build out before fall is in full swing:
- Decide on your holiday campaign theme. This is your campaign’s central message, and it will drive assets, goals and overall marketing efforts — so choosing it is the logical first step in the process. Be careful to ensure that your selected theme is a match for your brand’s image.
- Set your specific campaign goals, and establish the KPIs you’ll use to measure your progress toward achieving them. In determining your goals, contemplate what you’re looking to achieve with your holiday campaign, along with what your ideal outcome would be. Once these questions are answered, you can set goals that will help you reach your desired outcome and measure your progress toward it. One goal, for example, might be to generate 500 sign-ups for your business newsletter by the end of December. Another example might be to attract 5,000 visitors to your holiday sale’s landing page by the end of November. With these set, you’ll have benchmarks in place for measuring your progress.
- Determine the target audience you’ll be looking to reach with the campaign. Choosing as specific an audience as possible will help you decide on the best ways to reach these consumers. For example, having a specific audience in mind will help you determine where its members spend their time online, what forms of media they’re most likely to consume, etc. — all of which can help you more effectively direct your marketing efforts.
- Once all of the above have been determined, put some thought into how your business can use all of its marketing channels to build on the chosen theme, spread your holiday messaging to your target audience and work toward your campaign goals.
2. Create a compelling offer
Of course, one of the most effective ways to lure customers in during the holidays is to give them an appealing offer. And whether yours is a holiday sale, free shipping with certain order types or amounts, free services such as gift wrapping with qualifying purchases, a gift card discount, or a holiday giveaway, giving it some exclusive-to-the-holidays allure is a sure way to draw added interest from consumers. You can also add some urgency to the offer by making it run for a limited time or while supplies last. And to keep the impact of your campaign going well after the holidays, find a way to harvest leads with your offer, such as by having interested consumers provide their contact info via an online form submission or by otherwise giving you their email address, etc., for future marketing purposes.
3. Get ready to get the word out
Once all of your planning is in place, you can start firming up your strategy and building all the marketing assets you’ll need for your holiday campaign. Keeping your campaign goals and target audience in mind, design a promotion plan that leverages the right marketing channels needed to effectively achieve and reach each. Options to consider here include email marketing, blogging, social media marketing (paid and organic), PPC ads, television, print and radio. And with your campaign theme as your guide, create any assets you’ll need to execute your campaign, such as a campaign-specific landing page, campaign-focused videos and display ads, etc. With all of these prepared and ready to push out, you’ll be in a great position to move quickly when your campaign launch date arrives.
4. Make a plan for nurturing leads
If your campaign goes well, you should harvest a number of leads that you can leverage both during your holiday campaign and long after the holidays are over. So, before your campaign ever launches, it’s a good idea to put some thought into how you’ll qualify and develop your leads moving forward. You won’t be able to convert all interested consumers over the holidays, but if you can move them along the marketing funnel and closer to conversion, the positive effects of your holiday marketing campaign can reverberate well into the new year.
5. Launch your campaign
With all of the above steps completed, when the time is right, you should be ready to put your plans into action and launch your campaign! While some businesses may start earlier depending on their segment, position in the marketplace, overarching campaign strategy and goals, most businesses’ holiday marketing campaigns are run in November and December.
6. Dive into the data
While your campaign is running, employ analytics to closely measure your results, and be sure to carefully review your campaign’s performance reports. This will allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts by making adjustments to your campaign strategy as you discover what’s working well and what’s not. It’s also the best way to learn from your successes and failures — so that, moving forward, you can repeat more of the former and avoid more of the latter. By increasing your knowledge of what marketing strategies prove most effective for your business, you can leverage them in future marketing campaigns to grow your business and boost your bottom line.
Could your business use the assistance of a team of expert marketers to help you get ahead of the competition this holiday season? As a fully integrated marketing firm, Brandon can cover all of your brand’s marketing needs, including social media, email marketing, creative, SEO, analytics, media, public relations, brand strategy, web design, e-commerce and more. To learn how you can put our seasoned team of marketing professionals to work for your business, contact us today.