Haven’t Planned Your Holiday Campaigns Yet? There’s Still Time

plan-last-minute-holiday-campaign

It seems like every year the holiday season comes out of nowhere. I blame Costco for putting Christmas decorations out right after back-to-school. Nothing against Costco. I love Costco. I was literally there today.

Back to business…

If you are a small business, just keeping up with day-to-day tasks, customer service, business development and any other ongoing work that needs handling keeps you busy enough. And now Black Friday is less than three weeks away and you need to get you holiday campaigns figured out.

And don’t think the holiday season is just for retailers. Professional service companies can also take advantage of the holiday season to try to end the year on a high note. Remember, your clients may have some extra “use-it-or-lose-it” budget left. Make them want to spend it on you.

Here are 5 things to consider that can be done without a lot of lead time so you can still partake in the madness that is marketing during the holiday season.

Analyze Last Year’s Campaign

What strategy did you employ last year? What offers did you run? What were your goals? What was the outcome? Depending on the level of success you saw last year, adjust your goals and strategy accordingly.

What Will You Offer?

Determine what offer(s) will be most enticing to your customer. Is it a percentage off, free shipping, or limited time service package? Make

Timing is Everything

When will your offer be valid? Black Friday? Cyber Monday? The entire Black Friday weekend? Last minute holiday deal? Consider running your offer over multiple time periods to catch the planners and the procrastinators. If you have a product that requires shipping, be sure to run your offer with plenty of time for your customer to receive it.

What Channels Will You Use to Promote Your Offer

If you are just now planning your holiday campaign, don’t even worry about any sort of print advertising. But that’s fine—you’ll have a larger budget to capitalize on your digital channels.

Do you have a large email list? Be sure to let them in on your deal. If you don’t have an email database, make a New Year’s resolution to build one. A strong subject line, simple, professional design and timing your email properly are all essential to the success of your email campaign.

Utilize your social media campaigns to spread the word leading up to, and throughout your campaign. Create (or have someone create) eye-catching graphics to utilize on your pages. And be sure to comply with the most recent social media image sizes so your graphics look great on all channels. Put some of that budget you saved not doing print advertising behind your social posts to promote them.

Be Consistent and True to Your Brand

Do not allow the hoopla of the holidays distract you from your brand and your message. Be consistent in your offer, messaging and imagery. And be consistent across all media. Whether that’s through your messaging, imagery or the use of a hashtag, don’t let the last minute frenzy throw you off course. You do not want to spend 2015 rebuilding a brand you’ve worked so hard to create.

If you have any questions, or would like help implementing your 2014 holiday campaign, contact me.

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2 thoughts on “Haven’t Planned Your Holiday Campaigns Yet? There’s Still Time

  1. This is interesting considering Christmas is a pretty difficult time to break through the clutter. I agree with the points made here but still find it difficult to stand out solely through promoting ads on Facebook. I mean, what about smaller companies that have a very small social media following.. will paying for promoting ads on Facebook really help them gain the awareness their looking for? Companies need to come up with novelty ideas at this point to really stand out and create that shareable content needed to gain awareness.

    Feel free to check out my blog and let me know what you think about the different aspects of using social media, both for personal and company branding… http://www.jenniferrefalo.wordpress.com

    • Hi Jennifer. Thanks for you feedback. You are right…the holidays are incredibly saturated with offers and promotions. But smaller companies should not be afraid to participate. Ideally, leading up to the holidays, a company would be working daily to build their social media audiences (if those are the right channels for their business) so that they do have an audience to talk to. Unfortunately, Facebook has become a “pay-to-play” model, but can still be a valuable channel, even for small businesses. And I agree, creative campaigns that stand out from the clutter are amazing. But they do take time, and this is all about what companies can do with limited time.

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