If you haven’t started crafting your plan for your holiday online marketing efforts yet, it’s time to get started—and not give up. With more than $460 billion spent every year on holiday gifts in the United States and millions of users online every day, you’d be foolish not to use online marketing to make your customers aware that you can help them check off a few boxes on their gift list.
While that all sounds well and good (and easy), there is a difference between a holiday marketing campaign and a successful marketing campaign. The difference? Value. We’re not just talking about a discount, or giving your customers the best deal, but delivering value to their doorstep (and on their computer and smart phone). That value can be advice, information, answers to their questions, entertainment, products, services, customer service—any resource that solves their problem. So how do you plan a holiday online marketing campaign that delivers value to your customers? As you wrack your brain for holiday marketing ideas, our gift to you are the guidelines that make your marketing plan successful:
Target your efforts
You can’t run an online marketing campaign without social media nowadays. It’s a missed opportunity, but don’t feel like you have to be on every social media channel: on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and all the other social media platforms. Be strategic about your social media marketing efforts. Target your efforts to social media channels where you know your customers are, and focus your efforts. If you’re a bridal salon, focus on Pinterest and Instagram. Both social media channels have a strong female demographic of followers, and are very visual social media platforms. If your business caters to other businesses, focus your efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter which are proven B2B marketing tools.
Yes, your products would make great gifts. Yes, the world should know. But remember that social media marketing is not advertising (though you can take advertise on social media). “Sell, sell, sell!” tactics are an act of sabotage on social media, and decrease your chances of engagement with your followers. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell your products or services on social media, it means that you shouldn’t ONLY sell on social media.
Identify their pain points
What do your customers want to know? What resources can you provide and share that answers their questions? The holidays may be the jolliest time of the year, but it does bring with it a bit of holiday stress (and cleaning and hustle and bustle) as well as questions about gift choices, how to make life easier, and how to handle any holiday crisis that may arise over the holidays.
Invest in media
Videos and graphics are not optional in a successful media campaign. A wide variety of visuals is a must-have to capture your customers’ attention. Make sure you know the ideal size for each of your social media channels; if you are using Instagram, make sure your photos are high resolution for best results.
A list is one of the most popular kinds of content that capture people’s attention, so use it. Create a holiday countdown on social media, or a list of gifts (perhaps a list of funny or unusual gift ideas?). Don’t feel your lists have to be solely about your products; remember you are trying to bring value to your customers.
Tell a story
Storytelling is still one of the most effective strategies in online marketing. Use it to your advantage in your content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing efforts. Include photos and videos for optimum results.
Don’t treat your online marketing as a standalone effort
Too often business owners and managers don’t let the proverbial left hand know what the right hand is doing; they think that traditional marketing channels is its own animal, and online marketing exists in a bubble. In short, integrate your efforts into a marketing plan so you can use a consistent voice and brand across traditional and online marketing channels.
Bring in back-up
The holidays are crazy both professionally and personally. Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals for assistance in your online marketing. Outsourcing can be the solution that guarantees that your business runs a successful holiday marketing campaign, so you don’t end up with a bag of coal at the end of the holiday season.