With the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the mad rush of the new year, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the marketing during this time. Customers are inundated with deals, deals, deals! How can you still show your customers you care about them during this time?
B2Bs should not only look at the holiday season as a time to boost their revenue and turn a profit, but it should also be a time for them to grow their contact book and maintain visibility.
While there are plenty of resources out there to help you create an effective campaign strategy, it’s often hard to figure out where to begin.
This article is designed to give you a basic framework for creating a successful holiday marketing campaign strategy. Hopefully, it will help you get started on the right foot.
You can change things up as needed later, but make sure that you know where you’re going before you go anywhere else.
What to include in your B2B holiday marketing campaign?
Here are the fundamentals to keep in mind while planning your next holiday promotion:
Start With Your Target Audience
“Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.”unknown
Who do you want to reach? This may seem like a no-brainer, but many business companies don’t think about this. If you’re going to spend money on advertising or other promotions during the holidays, you have to know who you’re trying to reach.
For instance, if you’re selling software, you’d likely focus more heavily on technical professionals than on salespeople. And vice versa.
It’s important to remember that every demographic has different needs when it comes to buying decisions. So, even though you may find yourself focusing on certain groups, you shouldn’t neglect others.
You should also consider the demographics of your potential customers. Are they young adults? Older people? Men or women? What kind of education level do they hold? Do they live in rural areas? Urban areas? Which industries do they work in? How much do they earn? Do they love entertainment – movies, sports? Which social media platform are they typically using? These questions can help you narrow down the list of clients or customer lists you want to reach.
Once you understand this information, you’ll be able to determine which type of content will work for them. For example, if you sell high ticket software products, you might want to focus more heavily on educational contents.
With this information, this also means that you may not necessarily need to spend money on every channel. Some channels just aren’t right for certain types of companies.
Your audience’s motivation
The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.Leo Burnett
Once you know who you’re speaking to, you can begin designing your message for your B2B holiday campaign.
The key here is to think about what motivates them.
- Why do they care about your product/service?
- Are there certain features that appeal to them?
- Maybe they love the fact that they see options for your services.
- What resources do they often look for in your industry?
Whatever it may be, try to identify the reasons behind their interest in your product. Once you do, you can craft messages that address those concerns directly and create an effective holiday campaign.
You can use tools such as Google Analytics to learn about your visitors’ interests.
Your holiday campaign budget
“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”henry ford
Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can determine how much money you have available to invest in your campaign.This is where budgets come in. You’ll need to decide how much money you want to allocate to each channel.
There are several things to keep in mind when making these decisions.
First, you don’t want to overspend. That means you won’t be able to reach everyone you wanted to.
Second, you don’t want to under-invest either. The last thing you want to do is end up spending less money than you planned.
In addition, you’ll need to make sure that your investment matches the amount of time you expect to spend on your campaign. If you only have 30 minutes per day to dedicate to your campaign, you’ll need to set aside at least 1 hour per week. This includes planning, writing, editing, posting, etc.
Know which digital channels work best
Once you’ve identified your audience, you’ll need to decide how you want to communicate with them. Will you use email? Phonecalls? Social media? Or maybe even text messages? The answer to this question will depend on your budget and your audience. See above, that’s why those are important.
Define success means for your holiday campaign
Your holiday campaign should a goal or objective.
What are you hoping to achieve by running it?
For example, maybe you want to increase website traffic by 25%.
Or perhaps you hope to convert more leads into sales.
Or maybe you want to increase social engagement.
Whatever your goals are, make sure that you clearly define them before you start.
So let us go further and now talk about how you can apply all this knowledge to your own holiday campaigns.
Creating an effective B2B holiday campaign | the nuts & bolts
Start by making a list of activities you need to complete.
You won’t know exactly what kind of response you’ll receive until you actually launch your campaign.
So, try to think about what you expect to happen before you begin. This will help you determine the right type of content to create and distribute.
The earlier in the year you plan for your holidays marketing, the better off you will be. This means you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.
However, if your campaign is getting closer to the holiday, you don’t have to go big. Do small.
Think about timing
Holiday seasons tend to attract more attention from clients.
But they also mean more competition. So, you may find yourself competing against other businesses for the same customer base.
That’s why it’s important to consider the timing of your B2B holiday campaign..
Consider your audience too.
Do they visit your site during the week or weekend?
If you’re planning to send out a press release or other holiday promotional material, consider sending it out close to the date that people usually start shopping for the holidays.
This will give your news plenty of time to spread through social media and search engines
It might sound cliché, but creativity is one key to success during the holiday season. Think outside the box when creating your B2B holiday campaign content.
You can go beyond standard email marketing templates and opt for something more interesting.
Don’t copy your competition; come up with a unique idea.
Make it personal
People buy from people.
Make sure that your B2B holiday campaign reflects who you are as an organization.
Think about how you can connect with your customers.
Maybe you could do something special for your most loyal customers.
Or maybe you could offer a discount to first-time buyers.
Either way, remember that every person is different. Hence, the need to personalize your marketing campaign.
Data is the lifeblood of every successful holiday marketing campaign – or any marketing campaign.
Instead of focusing solely on the process, focus on outcomes.
Depending on the goal of your holiday campaign, you can include tracking metrics related to traffic, conversions, sales, and customer satisfaction.
- more downloads
- more product demo requests
- more registration to your webinars
- free trial
Determine which metrics matter most to your organization. Without it, you won’t know whether your efforts were worth it.
Remember why you’re doing this: because you want to be successful next year.
Don’t forget about SEO
Search engine optimization is an essential part of any B2B holiday marketing campaign.
In fact, SEO is even more important than ever.
Why? Because it allows you to reach potential customers who are searching for information online.
When you rank high in search results, you get more visibility.
More visibility means more leads.
And more leads means more sales.
So SEO all your contents for the holiday season, whether that is your website or social media posts.
Make sure your website is ready
If driving traffic to your site is your goal, make sure that its speed is optimized. Your web visitors shouldn’t have to wait while your page loads.
Your site should load quickly and look great on mobile devices, if your business customers use it a lot.
Focus On What Makes You Different
The best way to stand apart from competitors is with unique value propositions (UVP).
In other words, what sets you apart from everyone else? Is it because you have better prices? Better customer service? More experience? What kinds of offers will encourage sales? How can you tie your offer back to one of your core values?
All these things matter when your business customers make purchasing decisions.
And since most clients don’t want to spend time comparing different options (hey, there’s one client motivation), they look for ways to save money, time or avoid hassles.
Test different channels (offline and online)
Consider using multiple channels to reach your target audience.
There’s no single way to market successfully over the holidays.
Test various options to see which work best for your B2B company.
- Email blasts
- Social media posts
- Promotional videos
- Content marketing
- Direct mail campaigns
- Referral programs
- Free trials
- Sales letters
- Live events
- Text messages
- Phone calls
- Print ads
- TV commercials
- Radio spots
- Online ads
- Display advertising
- Product demos
- Press releases
- Landing pages
- Mobile apps
Consider using multiple channels to reach your target audience.
Social media is great because it allows you to connect with your current customers and potential new ones.
But it also gives you access to other platforms, including blogs, videos, podcasts, ebooks, and even live webinars.
The key is to experiment as much as possible. This allows you to identify trends and determine which techniques produce the most leads and/or sales.
It’s easy to lose track of everything during the busy holiday season. That’s why it’s important to stay organized. Here are a few ways to stay on top of things:
- Create a spreadsheet to organize your tasks.
- Keep a calendar handy for tracking deadlines and events. Make sure you stick to one central calendar for all of your holiday marketing activities.
- Use a task management system if you don’t want to use a spreadsheet, like Plutio to manage projects, assign tasks, and set due dates.
As you go through each step of your holiday marketing campaign, you might notice something that needs tweaking. It’s OK!
For instance, if you notice that email campaigns aren’t working as expected, try adjusting the frequency or subject line. Or maybe you realize social media isn’t producing the desired response.
In either case, don’t hesitate to change course before it’s too late!
Your strategy could evolve based on unexpected events, like a natural disaster or political crisis.
So always remain open-minded and ready to improvise.
Just make any necessary changes and move forward.
It takes more than just creativity to pull together an effective campaign.
Hire professionals to assist you and handle the heavy lifting.
They can provide expertise in areas such as SEO/SEM, PPC (pay-per-click), social media, graphic design, video production, email campaigns, and so much more.
Include a call-to-action
Include a clear call-to-action at the end of your message.
This helps prospects know exactly what they should do next after reading your content.
A good example would be: “Click here now to learn how this product can help you.”
Competitors may be doing their own holiday marketing efforts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take note of them.
Learn from their mistakes and successes, and use those insights to improve your own holiday marketing strategies.
Create a sense of urgency
Holiday marketing campaigns work best when they include a sense of urgency.
When you create a sense of urgency, people tend to act quickly.
That means making your customers feel as though they have limited time to act.
Test different messages
A lot goes into crafting a compelling message. You want to ensure that your message resonates well with your target market.
If you don’t know what works best for your brand, then it’s unlikely you’ll ever find success.
That’s why it’s so important to test different messages and approaches before settling on one.
Consider how your target audience responds to certain words, phrases, images, colors, fonts, etc.
You want to test different versions until you find the one that works best.
Keep things simple
Simplicity is key.
You only have so many hours in a day.
Don’t make your holiday promotion overly complicated.
People don’t have time to read long paragraphs and complicated instructions.
If you do, people won’t understand it.
Holiday marketing shouldn’t feel stressful.
Make sure your team has fun while executing your holiday marketing plans.
After all, it’s supposed to be a joyous occasion.
13 B2B holiday marketing campaign examples
Now let’s take a look at some of effective holiday promotions that have worked for other B2B businesses:
- B2Bs can create relevant content that encourages your leads to download their free whitepapers.
- You can run a holiday promotion campaign in building more awareness for a blog that is getting more traffic to your site – and getting you more sign ups to your newsletter. If possible, include some sort of incentive for downloading these files, such as a discount code or coupon.
- Promote limited number of free trials. This gives potential clients a chance to try your product before committing to buy. It also allows you to collect valuable feedback from your users.
- Use the holiday season as an opportunity to promote new features and upgrades to your existing software. For instance, if you’re launching a new version of your CRM system, host a webinar where you walk attendees through the new features. Or, offer a special deal to current users to upgrade early.
- Give back. While it sounds obvious, it’s also true that people buy from those who care about their community. And when it comes to the holidays, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful country. So, why not give back? An example is a holiday campaign that CISCO pulled off in 2012 where they asked their customers this: “How Do you Give Back?” For each response CISCO donated 4 meals to a charitable organization. That sparked a lot of engagement for the brand.
- Do a Giving Grid. Giving grids are a strategy in which companies donate a certain amount of money to a charity for every customer that visits their website. For example, if a company has 100 customers this year, they will donate certainin amount of money to charity.
- Create a contest. You could ask your customers to submit photos of themselves using your product. Then, you could choose the winners based on creativity, quality, and originality.
- Run a sweepstakes. It doesn’t matter what type of product you sell; you can run a sweepstakes. Just make sure that you have a clear winner and a good reason for choosing one person over another.
- Host a giveaway. Another popular holiday promotion is giving away something like a gift card or a freebie. Be careful though; don’t just hand out random gifts. Make sure that you only give away items that your target market would want, or it is something that’s tied to what you sell and do.
- Don’t forget your employees. You can show your company culture to your customers by including your staff. You can create a series of videos called “I’m Thankful For…”. Each video featured a different employee talking about what he/she is thankful for.
- Sponsor a fundraiser. Many organizations hold fundraising events during the holidays. These events are usually focused around a specific cause and are typically held at local businesses. They’re a great way to raise awareness and funds for your cause.
- Partner up with other brands. A great way to increase your reach is by partnering up with other brands. You can do this by creating a branded gift basket or by offering a discount on your products.
- Include your fans. Ask your fans for ideas on how your company should celebrate the holiday spirit. Give them options.
As you can see, there are plenty of B2B marketing options available to you.
All in all, it doesn’t matter where you start; just make sure you do something!
So how does one decide if promoting during holidays is right for them?
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself these questions:
- Will my target market respond well to my promotional messages? (P.S. You’ll never know unless you try!
- Can I afford to invest more resources into my campaign?
- Is it possible to measure the success of my holiday campaigns?
- How much time am I willing to devote to my campaign?
- What kind of return will I expect?
- Do I have an existing holiday marketing plan? If yes, is it effective? If no, why not?
- Are there any special considerations that apply to me?
- Does my industry have any special guidelines regarding holiday promotions?
- Have I ever done a similar promotion before? How was it received?
- What are my competitors doing? What did they say?
- Did I receive feedback from previous campaigns? Why or why not?
- Do I have enough data to predict outcome?
Keep it Merry and Bright
In conclusion, holiday marketing is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. With the right tools and resources, you can pull it off successfully.
Did I miss anything? Is there a social media or digital marketing topic you want me to cover next time? Comment below!
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