In this week’s post and video, I talk about “Marketing For The Holidays“.
This is mapped out by large corporations and big business well in advance but is something small business and small business owners often overlook or don’t plan for.
Whether you run an eCommerce store, have a trade or sell via a store or shop you really need to make a plan to market your business in the upcoming various holidays.
One of the things we do at XenMedia (my agency) when we start working with a new client is sit down and map out any events or holidays they could run offers on.
It’s important to map this out early since adverts need to be designed, email newsletters need to be written, staff need to be hired and depending on how big their online presence is, we need to increase bandwidth for their website.
Table Of Contents
Saint Patrick’s Day
April Fools’ Day
New Year’s Eve/Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Chinese New Year
Back to School
Bright Color Schemes
As you can see, there are several opportunities throughout the year to market your products and services.
These days and events matter. In fact, a lot of BIG business make the vast majority of their income around the festive season (generally considered to run from late November to early January).
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin
An oldie but goodie quote by Mr Franklin. Even though it has been worn to death, it’s still highly relevant in our society today!
This may seem like an obvious statement, but you need to start planning your marketing campaigns as early as possible.
We’re not talking 1 year in advance like some fashion houses, but enough time to get your house in order.
On average, 4-5 months is probably a good length of time to plan your marketing campaigns. Where possible add them onto your work calendar or schedule so EVERYONE can see it.
Where possible add them onto your work calendar or schedule so EVERYONE can see it.
It is important for the whole team to get on board and be in sync about up and coming promotions for your business.
To have a successful holiday marketing campaign will need the help, drive and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the business.
SEO short for search engine optimisation will be the process you use to get free traffic to your website or blog.
I really hate using the word “FREE”, since the time it takes to plan and write content either takes up a lot of your staff or your time or you may even have to pay to outsource this work to a third party.
However, once the content is written and promoted you will see spikes in traffic when carried out effectively.
I added the video above by a chap called Brian Dean ( a top authority on keyword research and backlinking) who takes you through the process step by step of carrying out keyword research for your website.
Since keywords are seasonal, it’s so important to start researching and writing your content well ahead of time.
It gives your article enough chance to be self-promoted, shared by your readers via social media and to gain authority in the search engines.
You can also use excerpts, produce images and even video content for your future campaigns. The earlier you get the content written the more time you have to repurpose that very same content.
Email marketing should be a big part of your holiday marketing strategy. If you have subscribers on an email list who you regularly send emails to. This is a ready made marketplace for your future promotions.
Whether you are doing print advertising or online advertising they need to be tested for conversions and effectiveness with your future audience.
The effectiveness of your ads will pretty much determine how well your promotions do. For some (especially if their business is seasonal) this could be make or break.
You might also need to outsource the design and implementation of your adverts with a third party. If this is the case, you will need to provide them with a comprehensive brief and your ideas early on.
I mentioned email marketing earlier in this article which is just one of the databases you can tap.
You can also tap into your client relationship management system (CRM) too (if you have one). This is a database of past, present and potential clients who may be interested in your future promotions.
If you do have these databases, it’s a good idea to start building up interest, anticipation and excitement about up and coming promotions.
Don’t you think this is effective?
Most of the major Hollywood film studios start promoting their films and series a full year ahead of time.
Not only does this build excitement and interest, you also have a year long conversation via social media by the very people who will pay good money to go and watch this film.
If you run your own eStore or eCommerce store you may need to increase the bandwidth of your website around these promotions.
It’s not uncommon for websites to go down during high traffic spikes due to the sheer amount of web traffic.
You don’t need me to tell you how much potential money and revenue will be lost if your customers don’t have access to your website.
Simply informing your hosting company to increase the bandwidth when you are running a new promotion will eliminate this problem.
Note: It might also be a good idea to inform your payment processors too! Paypal is just one of them that springs to mind. These guys are a pain to deal with when you need something sorting out quickly.
If you run a business that holds stock, it’s a good idea to take a look at last year’s promotion to see how much stock you sold.
This should help you determine an approximate level of how much to increase or decrease your stock by. It also gives you a chance to sell old stock at a discount to make way for new stock.
I have left this one till last for some reason and I don’t really know why. It’s one of the most important factors to get right when holiday marketing for your business.
Even if your ad has been designed, tested and tweaked, your content is in place and well optimised and you have the correct stock levels. Nothing will let the business down more and upset your customers than not having the right level of staff.
Even more important, not having trained staff that know your products and services like the back of their hand.
So, like everything else on this list (there’s a theme). Start Early!
This means interviewing, hiring and training your staff ahead of the rush.