Are you one of those people that sees Christmas decorations on the shelves next to Halloween decorations and takes to social media to angrily post that the holidays are being thrust on us waaaaayyyyy too soon. Of course, you are looking for anyone that subscribes to the same feelings you have so you can revel in your Grinch-like misery.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to Christmas: Those that welcome Christmas at any time and get excited about the season; and those that feel that Christmas should stay in its lane and not rear its ugly head until after November 11th.
Regardless of what your personal feelings about Christmas are, the reality is that as a brand you need to start early and work smart. A lot of brands begin planning for holiday marketing in September, but some do it as early as June!
If you haven’t yet started at least planning, you are behind the holiday train, but you can still pull things together for the holiday season. Here are 5 things to know as you head into the the holiday season with your marketing efforts.
Go mobile or don’t go at all
More than 40% of holiday sales in 2017 were made on mobile. In 2018, this number is expected to hit over 50% in 2018. If you’re not ready for the mobile wave, there is still time. Two easy ways you can make it easy for your customers to interact with you on mobile are:
- Optimize your site for mobile: You need to think mobile first when it comes to your online brand experience. At the very least, consider how your audience navigates your website while searching on mobile. Make sure your site is mobile-responsive so that it appears properly on all sizes of screens.
- Go social: Social media can be your best friend during the holidays. Your audience is likely spending more time on social media and you should interact with them where they are. It is also a cost-effective resource for your marketing strategy.
Focus on what your customer wants
Use the holidays as an opportunity to connect on a more personal level with your audience. In fact, your marketing strategy should start with them. Consider the complete buyer journey as you put together your holiday marketing strategy. You should look at all touchpoints to find ways to connect with your audience.
While your audience has a higher tolerance for promotional content because they are looking for deals, you should look for ways to customize content to your community. It can be easy to get caught up in a salesy tone for the holidays, but look for ways to be authentic and personable.
Make your loyal community feel special
Focus on loyalty, not short-term success – what happens after the holidays? We always talk about how marketing strategies can’t happen in a vacuum, you always need to think about what’s next. One way to do that is to really look at building a community of loyal customers. During the holidays, you have a prime opportunity to offer exclusive deals to your community of followers – and those that are willing to join!
Stay true to yourself
While you might not be able to compete on all fronts with Amazon and other eCommerce giants, you can and should find ways to differentiate yourself in the online craziness. Otherwise you might drown in the sea of sameness. The important thing is to stick to your messaging and your brand story that you have worked so hard to build.
Have a plan
Whether you started planning early or you have gotten started late, make sure you create a plan and stick to it. It starts with a calendar of dates you are working towards. You can’t be all things all the time, so you need to figure out where you will be most profitable as a business. This involves getting to know your customer behaviour. For example, do they start their shopping early or do they do things more last minute? This type of planning will help you determine your marketing tactics and when to launch your strategy.
It’s never too late to start planning, even if you haven’t yet gotten started yet. If you are stuck and need help making the most out of your holiday marketing, be sure to give us a call!