Planning Ahead for Holiday Marketing

September 21, 2018

Ah the holiday season – a time for family love joy and gifts.

And for businesses an important time of year for sales. In fact according to the National Retail Federation holiday sales account for 20% of all retail sales worth more than $84 billion in the U.S. alone. But if you want a piece of that pie you’ll need to start planning now. Here are a few tips for a successful holiday season:

Plan and Promote Early

While only the die-hard holiday enthusiasts are excited when stores like Walmart load their shelves with Christmas decorations before Halloween is over there may be something to say about their seemingly premature promotions. According to Google Trends consumers begin searching for “Christmas gift ideas” in the middle of August. And even if customers do not purchase Christmas products that early it’s now on their mind and they know where to go to get it later.

Businesses that plan and promote ahead of the holiday season can catch consumers’ attention before they are inundated with other marketing campaigns. Planning well ahead of the holiday rush will also allow you to focus on your day-to-day sales customer service and fulfillment. Start by creating a content calendar targeting the main holidays as well as Black Friday Cyber Monday and the day after Christmas and New Year’s Day. Design your creatives for paid ads prepare email lists and remarketing campaigns and research current trends that will help you reach more consumers this season.

Use Holiday Hashtags

Consumers are using hashtags to find holiday gift inspiration and share moments and memories around the holiday season. Your content and ads should speak to the emotions of the season and offer gift suggestions based on top selling products. Hashtags that are relevant to your product or service and the season can help reach customers looking for ideas. Just make sure that you are using the right hashtags properly. A study done by Sprout Social showed that 41% of people will unfollow a company on social when the posts they share are irrelevant to the hashtags they use. You can also check the performance of particular hashtags and find the right variation that will gain the most exposure and engagement by using these free tools.

Schedule Paid Ads

Consumers are shopping with the intention to purchase. By placing strategic ads that offer top selling products with time sensitive deals you can create a sense of urgency that encourages consumers to buy now. Shoppers are also looking for gift inspiration on social media providing a prime location for advertising your product. Remarketing ads can also remind customers about the perfect gift they found on your website and provide them with another exclusive deal for taking action. Make sure your ads are appropriate for the audience placement and time.

Email Testing & Retargeting Campaigns

While other marketing campaigns should launch in August or September a study by GoDaddy recommends starting an email marketing campaign between Nov. 1 and 15.

Looking back at the last six months of this year build audience segments based on demographics products purchased and amount spent. Using these groups you can craft marketing messages that resonate more directly to the individual and their buying trends. Offers and promotions that feel personalized are more likely to bring previous customers back. And with self-gifting becoming a more popular holiday trend treating loyal customers to exclusive discounts will encourage additional sales. Holiday-themed email templates and gift guides can also help increase engagement sign-up rates and sales. Lastly make sure to optimize your emails for mobile and test different campaign types to see what works best.

Contact excelerate Digital for help creating an effective marketing strategy to drive holiday sales.