The weather is nice and you’re probably thinking about the beach and sunny weather, but now is the best time to start working on your holiday marketing plans.
Yes, really. It feels weird to think about Santa and holiday specials this early in the game but successful brands are strategizing for the holidays right now.
Why are business owners fixated on the holidays in Q3? The holiday season is an exciting time for business: during the stretch of time between Black Friday and Christmas this year, retail stores are expected to rake in $1.1 trillion in the United States alone. eCommerce sites also enjoy a significant uptick in sales, which may climb to $135.3 billion before New Years.
Do you really want to spend Q4 rushing to create content? Or do you want to set up your holiday marketing on autopilot for an easier transition into the new year?
Proactive planning will help you schedule your campaigns while things are quieter — and it can even help you save time and money. With holiday sales starting earlier and earlier each year, September/October is the perfect time to plan for the shopping season, which kicks off in mid-November.
Follow these five steps to improve your company’s sales and reduce stress during the hectic holiday shopping season.
1. Take a Look at Your Past Performance
Businesses that are effective learn from their past failures. Instead of launching this year’s campaign right away, take a look at your holiday marketing efforts from last year. Consider the following questions:
• What did you do well?
• What do you need to change?
• What did your competitors do that worked well?
• Did you receive any customer complaints about your holiday promotions, marketing or products?
Develop a data-driven assessment of your marketing efforts to help you focus on what works rather than revisiting previous failures.
2. Update Your Packaging
Holiday-themed product packaging gets people in the mood to shop. The issue is that businesses need a lot of lead time to change their packaging for the holidays — and this isn’t something you can accomplish a week before Black Friday.
Work with your product team to design unique holiday-themed packaging for your top-selling items. This is a fantastic method to bring joy to clients, get them in the holiday spirit, and attract more holiday shoppers with less work. Make sure you change your product images on your website, Amazon, and other selling platforms as soon as possible in November so that they reflect the new packaging.
3. Work From A Master Content Calendar
Q4 is the most hectic time of the year for retailers. To reduce the confusion, make a master content calendar for your holiday marketing efforts. This is far easier than attempting to navigate the holiday marketing stampede without a clear objective. Your content calendar should include:
• Channels (social media, email, YouTube, etc.)
• Dates and times
• Roles and responsibilities
This way, it’s clear how you’ll execute your content strategy this year. Better yet, plug your content calendar into a project management software like Trello or Asana to automatically remind your team of what needs to be done.
4 . Holiday-ify Your Content
Speaking of content, meet with your team to plan holiday-themed content for Q4. Pre-planning holiday content will save you tons of time during a busy season of the year.
Create helpful, valuable content with a holiday twist. It’s much easier to write, film, edit and schedule holiday content ahead of time. Pre-made content means you can focus on fulfilling orders or processing returns for a calmer holiday season.
5. Make Your Promotions and Ads Stand Out
Capture the Rush Traffic! The holiday season is one of the best times to spend your Q4 ads budget due to fluctuating but predictable surges in web traffic. Take advantage of the holiday rush and gifting audience!
- Seasonal copy – all the rest of the year, producing eye-catching copy can be difficult, but the holidays are writhe with inspiration: from one-time-only discounts to end-of-year projects, draw in clicks by connecting your brand with the holidays
- Seize the moment – time your campaign to be live when a high number of people will be sure to see it. The traffic surge kicks off with Black Friday and repeats on Cyber Monday the following week. It fluctuates through the entire month of December, surging again during and after Christmas.
- Retarget gift-shoppers – it goes without saying that much of the holiday surge traffic is concentrated on e-commerce sites. Consumers are researching products, click ads and abandoning their shopping carts. Retargeting will bring in a high CTA by specifically targeting those who haven’t found what they’re looking for yet.
The Bottom Line
Product businesses earn a huge chunk of revenue during Q4, so you need a solid holiday marketing campaign that gets results. Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you: To gain an advantage over your competitors, establish your brand ahead of the holiday rush. Follow these five tips to overcome the mad rush of Q4 for a more joyous (and profitable) holiday season.
The silly season is nearly upon us!
This year is going to be a big year for online retail, so having a solid marketing plan is more important than ever.