Similar to the rest of 2020, the holiday shopping season is going to be unpredictable. Usually, the holiday season is a time of joy and prosperity, but this year, much is still unknown.
One thing that is known, is that marketers are going to need to reevaluate their holiday marketing strategies to accommodate the new reality we are living in. Trying to forge ahead with the same old holiday marketing strategy used in past years is not going to cut it.
As the holiday season approaches, here are some tips to make your marketing efforts strong, even during these unparalleled times.
Keep a Healthy Budget
Any marketing professional knows that budget heavily impacts every area of the marketing efforts. If a budget is too low, the marketing team will not have the resources to hit their goals.
Typically, the holiday season is the time of the year when marketers tend to ramp up their production. A portion of the annual marketing budget may actually be held for the holiday season. In fact, in 2018, marketers revealed that a quarter of their budget was allocated to holiday marketing efforts alone.
This year, more companies than ever are slashing budgets, and rightfully so. COVID-19 has upended the world and with uncertainty on the horizon, spending money on some Christmas ads may not seem like a top priority.
Do know that marketing will be just as important this year as any other, if not more important than past years. While some companies are going to be cutting their marketing budgets, others will be riding out the storm. Keeping a healthy marketing budget will help you capitalize on a less crowded holiday shopping season.
If your organization is worried about having the capital available to continue marketing during COVID-19, there are other funding options available. Applying for a small business loan may be worth exploring this holiday season. The money gained from a business loan can be used to help level up your marketing efforts, without having to have to dip into your savings.
Utilize Communication Technology
A silver-lining of COVID-19 has been the rapid trail run of remote work across a variety of industries. Remote work has long been a possibility, but there was not an apparent need to move to remote work before this.
Now with the trial of remote work complete, many businesses have decided that they want to remain working remotely for the foreseeable future. While adopting a remote work policy will come with a load of benefits, there will also be some drawbacks of remote work as well.
Maintaining constant communication and collaboration across all departments has been one of the most challenging issues associated with implementing remote work. For years, it has been easy to walk over and ask a coworker a question, but now that is not possible.
To help guarantee your holiday marketing success this year, we recommend that you invest in using communication technology to promote teamwork in your marketing department.
Leveraging a powerful communication technology offering will only help keep marketing teams connected with each other and with other departments. In this digital world, being able to video chat, instant message, send files, store files, and just communicate will be essential in determining your success.
Maintaining constant communication will allow your marketing team to better work together to develop ideas and strategies. Being able to instantly connect with any member of your team will help maintain project timelines, hit deadlines, and manage expectations.
Focus on Social Media Marketing
There has long been a shift away from traditional marketing efforts. Most marketers have realized that digital marketing is the future, and the pandemic has only accelerated the growth of digital marketing.
As you develop your digital marketing plan, take the time to investigate what channels will make the most sense to go through as you diversify your marketing output. One area of marketing that you should try to focus on is social media marketing. Right now, there are more people than ever on social media, and that number is just going to continue to grow. If you are not active on social media, that is a large segment of consumers that you are most likely missing out on.
Before, merely having a presence on social media was enough for some brands to cash in on the holiday season. Now, as this space becomes increasingly crowded, and as consumers become more technologically savvy, it is going to be harder than before to stand out.
This season, make a concerted effort to upgrade your content on social media. This means truly think about:
- Who are you trying to reach? The targeted sect of consumers you are after will dictate the rest of your efforts.
- What are you going to say? Content needs to be engaging, timely, and informative if you want it to resonate with your audience. Simply putting up content for the sake of having content can actually damage your brand.
- Where do you want to be? The digital marketing industry is so fragmented that you will need to figure out where your consumers spend their time.
- When will you be posting content? Similar to the where, when is going to be important, in regards to your social media content this year. Making sure that you are hitting your target audience with messaging at the right time is important. Consider using a content scheduling platform to keep your content streamlined and consistent.
- How will you say it? How you convey a message is the most important part of a marketing strategy. Make sure that your digital efforts are conducive to creating relevant and engaging content.
Creating an effective social media marketing campaign will be easier said than done. Make sure that you are using the relevant tools available to you to ensure that your campaign is successful.
Provide a Sense of Normalcy
Last, but not least, this holiday season, try to exhibit a sense of normalcy around the season. While it will be wise to be mindful that this year has been anything but normal, the effort you take to create a normal holiday experience for your customers will be worth it.
This holiday season, commit to being festive, emotional, and cheerful. Your customers don’t visit your site just to see more doom and gloom news. Keep your content full of holiday cheer and the customers will keep coming back.
On top of keeping your marketing messaging festive, we recommend that you try to offer some sort of holiday deals, even if in a limited capacity. Consumers, this year more than ever, will be looking forward to some holiday savings. If you choose not to offer any deals, customers could look elsewhere for a similar product, but at a better cost.
Offering sales will keep your customers coming back, but more importantly, will keep the holiday season feeling from years past. If you cannot offer as great of sales as you usually would, tell your customers that! Being honest will show your customers that you are a transparent brand that wants to deliver the best experience possible.
Hopefully, this holiday season will be a great success for your business, and more specifically, your business’s holiday marketing efforts. Make sure that you develop an updated marketing plan to accommodate the times we are facing.
Above everything else, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong this holiday season!