With the holidays right around the corner, retailers and service providers alike are revving up marketing efforts in anticipation of what the year will bring. It makes sense, each year, the amount of money spent between Thanksgiving and Christmas increases on exponential levels 28% between 2011 and 2012 according to HubSpot, and that number is only expected to continue to rise.
Are you prepared? Is your company ready to attract holiday shoppers and clients? Are you putting your marketing dollars and time to work in the right places with the right efforts? These questions are essential for a successful holiday marketing campaign for 2013. Check out a few of the ideas below to get started.
- 1. Target the Right Markets with the Right Lists
If youre sending excellent messages to the wrong targets, your marketing efforts will fall short instead of being the great success they could be. Because of this, its important to take the time to check out your e-mail marketing lists. Chances are that by combining all clients and potential clients in the same list will lead to cluttered mailboxes and frustrated recipients instead of interested customers, leads and transactions.
Look at your lists and think of ways to segment into different categories. Customers you have not engaged in the past year, current clients, potential leads, customers whove used specific services and customers interested in specific topics are just a few places to start. When lists are properly segmented, sending the right content to the right groups ensures that your messages are received by the most receptive audience.
- 2. Think Special Offers
41.6% of customers indicated in a recent research study by Gig Coin that sales and special offers are the most important factor playing into their holiday purchasing decisions. With the current state of the economy, the value of each purchase is more closely examined than ever before. Use this to your advantage with this years holiday marketing campaigns.
Offer special deals, coupons and coupon codes to your followers on social media sites and those on your e-mail lists. Let them know they matter to you and that these deals are exclusive. Not only will this demonstrate value to your customers, but it will build your online community following; if potential clients know theres an advantage to follow your company, theyre more likely to engage. This is a classic win-win situation.
- 3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is critical to any marketing campaign. Its no different for holiday marketing campaigns and initiatives.
Take the time to examine your current social media presence. Are you utilizing all the networks to your advantage? Is your brand message clear? If not, put time into building a solid, strong social media presence. Share your companys message and exactly what you have to offer. Take the time to link your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts to be sure your content reaches the maximum audience. Remember, you can save a lot of time by posting the same content across all networks which also demonstrates brand consistency. To make the impact even deeper, be sure all content is mobile-ready for viewing on smartphones, tablets and other devices.
- 4. Keep the Surprises Coming
Customers expect email messages, they also expect to find easily accessible information. Past this though, brand expectations tend to stall. This is an opportunity to go above and beyond. By providing unexpected surprises, youll gain an edge over the competition.
What do these surprises entail? Make an effort to demonstrate the way you value your clients. Thank them personally and publically on social media networks. Share their stories. Set up a referral rewards program. Send personalized thank you cards, holiday cards and even gift cards, just because! By individualizing your customer relationships, youre showing that each transaction matters and that you are a company that cares. Surprises are always appreciated and usually reciprocated in the form of a purchase or referral.
- 5. Take the Time to Study Your Audience
Holiday marketing campaigns are no different than campaigns at other points in the year. Getting to know your target market is essential for success and long-term growth.
Look back at last years holiday season and at the trends for 2013 so far. What products have been your biggest sellers? What marketing efforts have led to the most successful measurable results? In some ways, replicating past campaigns with a few changes can lead to positive outcomes. Take the time to track your sales trends and tie them back into surrounding events.
The time to start your holiday marketing efforts is now. Its estimated that between October and November 40% of Americans will start their holiday shopping and that the most important motivating factor in purchase decisions are sales and discounts offered by retailers and service providers.
Regardless of your industry or target market, by making an effort to amp up your holiday marketing campaign with the simple measures mentioned above, youll be able to see noticeable results making this holiday season your most successful season yet.
Adrienne Erin is a blogger and internet marketer who helps all kinds of businesses succeed, from local businesses to motorcycle attorneys. She spends a lot of her time writing, but when she isnt you might find her working her way through a Jamie Oliver cookbook or brushing up on her French skills.