It appears that the holiday season starts earlier and earlier with each year, online campaigns especially getting a head start of sometimes even two months prior to the first day of December. Your goal is of course to convince all your potential customers that your Santa is the real deal. But to get traction in the most competitive season for online advertising is not an easy feat to achieve.

Usually marketing campaigns are developed around one product or service and involve a well researched theme that is tuned to the best possible state and then rolled out into several campaign stages before finally reaching their target audience.

Stage 1 – Awareness campaign – Focuses on the main theme of the campaign, mainly done through the use of ads that highlight the predominant aesthetic and the main tagline.

Stage 2 – Conversion-driven campaign – Focuses on retaining potential customers by pushing out forms, FAQs and other methods of audience interaction that keep the user interested.

Stage 3 – Data-driven campaign – Focuses on the actual products and the numbers behind your offers. The final push of your services. The knockout for your competition.

For most companies that know what they’re doing, the above structure works like a charm. However, during the Holiday season the most unexpected things can and will happen because “target audience” loses it’s meaning very fast. Hence why your campaigns should be designed with adaptability in mind and less with precision. Studies have shown how approaching Holiday season, audiences are becoming extremely volatile and easy to turn around despite the fact that almost 60% of customers consider themselves well prepared for Holidays with lists and lists of wanted purchases. For more than 45% of them, promotional deals, price drops and limited coupons still appeal the most. Which in return translates to a very patient size of your potential customers as they wait for the perfect deal.

Additionally, as pleasing as discounts and limited price drops can be, customers are starting to be more and more aware of brand reputation and CGC (Consumer Generated Content). More than 30% trust authentic marketing campaigns that feature product ratings and customer reviews. Word-to-mouth content is the cheapest marketing you should wish for. A product with 5 or more reviews will draw 270% more purchase power than one with none. And since more than 25% of them react to social media campaigns, marketing often in this period on the most popular platforms is really a no-brainer.

Achieving user interactivity is always a bonus, whether that is through the use of web gadgets or through the simple use of social media hashtags similar to REI’s well-known and successful #OptOutside seasonal campaign. And yet, while all the data is important, your message for the Holiday season matters a whole lot as well. Make sure to be short and of impact. Your ads need to reflect warmth and joy. Be active on your social media and share Holiday songs in-between your seasonal deals. And some clumsy cats kicking over Christmas trees. Don’t forget to dress your Facebook page to look the part either.

Be like Hershey’s. Witty and celebratory. But more importantly, be yourself. And celebrate that with your customers. And last but not least, because we want to see you flourish, we’d like to throw a quick tip in the Christmas ring as well. Frame your QR codes too! They really look better in something like this. Be raunchy and festive! Happy Holidays.

Data taken from https://spiegel.medill.northwestern.edu/online-reviews/

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