Yes, that’s right, 12 months in advance is the perfect time to begin your Holiday Marketing. Why? Because, relationships.
Just like everything else in the world, marketing is built on relationships with your audience. You’ll need time to gain their trust before it’s actually time to buy. When the flood of “sales”, “buy now”, “best price ever” and “we’re practically giving it away” posts and ads hit the internet and emails of shoppers, you’ll want to know you have a loyal following who will want a good deal, but who will also purchase because they like what you have or offer.
We often have clients contact us around November, asking us to do some holiday marketing and then are disappointed when people aren’t lining up to buy their products. Unfortunately, unless you have a marketing budget in line with the likes of Ford, McDonald’s (they spent $1.46B in 2016 just in the US, by the way) and Target, it is tough to crack the market during the busiest shopping (and therefor, advertising) time of year. Smaller, local and regional businesses obviously can’t compete with ad spend alone, so you’ll need to employ some other strategies.
When you begin your marketing this early in the year, you have plenty of time to analyze your data from the holiday that just passed. You’ll want to look at where your ads performed best, where they didn’t perform as well as you had hoped and where maybe you should have spent your money. We use a combination of Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Email statistics and good, ol’ fashioned, human documentation (Excel spreadsheet, anyone?). Then we factor in real-life situations that may have affected performance: a possible snowstorm on what you expected to be your busiest foot-traffic day, tragically your website went down for a period of time during a sale or there could have been a widespread news incident that took over the airways for a time. All of this and more could have an effect on how your marketing performed.
Once you have good data and you’ve documented it, you’ll need to come up with a strategy using that data. Teaser campaigns, drip campaigns and strategies that grow larger or more in-depth as the year goes on are great ways to reach a larger and larger audience. It gives you time to create great content that people have time to share.
And let’s be honest, we all know that December is not the only time people need to purchase a product or service. Spreading your marketing budget out during the year not only helps you gain loyalty from newer followers, it keeps you top-of-mind when there is a need during another season. Reviews you get from purchases in July make great marketing content in November. December inventory leftovers make great sales items in January. Holding an event in February when (mostly) everyone has the winter blues may bring in some new people who are willing to check you out, “just because”.
As any good sales person will tell you, selling takes time. Very few people will ever buy from you the first time they hear from you, regardless of which holiday is around the corner. So, get started today and give yourself several months to find out what your clients truly want and need and then sell them those particular products and services when they’re ready to buy.
If you need help with any part of this process, we’re ready to assist! From Marketing Strategy and Analysis to Facebook, Email and Video campaigns, our marketing experts are here to make your process easier and hopefully more lucrative.