Every B2C company knows how important holidays are for their business.
The retail strength of holiday shopping seasons are felt throughout the entire globe. If the past few years are any indication, both F&B businesses and brands selling physical products, will be pulling up their socks leading up to the kickoff of their big holiday promotions.
Shopify raked in a whopping $1.5 billion in sales within the Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. They saw almost 11,000 orders per minute! That’s insane!
But do we really need to wait for those big global holidays to win our sales?
On Singles’ Day (a holiday that Alibaba created from thin air) in 2019, the company hit a record sales of US$38 billion. If they can start their own holiday, why can’t the rest of us?
“But they’re loaded and they’re huge!”
While it is true that Alibaba is massive, the strategy of seasonal and holiday promotions still works. We know it works because we use this same marketing technique with our client and we see the results.
If you’re like us, you see one thing…
The opportunity to be the solution to your consumer’s gift buying problem.
Here’s the basis. Several things go into creating a successful digital holiday campaign:
- Creativity is key in order to win mindshare (you have to be DIFFERENT to stand out)
- The right media channel is necessary to win sales
- Returning customers and new buyers have different purchasing behaviours
As we mentioned before, having promotions are just reasons for you to talk about yourself and remind your customers that you exist.
Most businesses we work with do the same thing every year and it’s boring. For F&B, it’s the same old Chinese New Year offer and Valentines’ Day special. And then they have a dry spell all the way till the Christmas period.
Sometimes we ask them what’s their current outreach strategy to get new customers. And their answer…word of mouth.
I’m sorry but word-of-mouth is not a strategy. Word-of-mouth is like banking on hope. Quick question, using this word-of-mouth “strategy”, can you predict exactly how many new customers you’re going to get tomorrow? How about next week? Next month? Can you make a forecast? Chances are, the answer is no.
When you cannot predict your sales, that’s scary. It means you’re not in control. And every business owner knows that’s bad for business.
The following holiday marketing tips and promotional ideas will help you make the most out of your efforts to ramp up sales and profit CONSISTENTLY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
- Plan early and test thoroughly
- Simple is effective
- Be ready to react and adapt quickly
- Use a more content-driven approach
- Keep it interesting, make it different
- Create a real reason to buy
1. Plan early and test thoroughly
If you haven’t thought about how to execute your holiday campaigns, you’re already behind.
The first step is to figure out what holidays your audience cares the most about. For different market segments, your customers may care more about one holiday than another. For example, if you’re a business selling cakes, you know customers care more about birthdays, anniversaries, big festivals like Christmas etc.
Get your ad campaigns ready, optimize your pages for an influx of traffic, test your email marketing automations to ensure it won’t screw up, check your pixels are firing on your various pages.
It also helps that you plan your post-mortem campaign for after the holidays. For example, if you ran a giveaway campaign for Chinese New Year, you could have an “In case you missed your chance” type of offer, while your brand is still fresh in their minds.
2. Simple is effective
It can be overwhelming to hold a massive campaign for your holiday promotion. But it could be as simple as celebrating “International Thank Your Mentor Day” to promote your restaurant. You could create a special menu for all the mentors and mentees who visit you.
The trick to making a successful holiday campaign is to pitch one idea, one benefit and one emotion in each message.
The IDEA is the outcome your product/service can provide. The BENEFIT is what the buyer gets out of this, and the EMOTION is what draws them in and helps them visualize their future.
3. Be ready to react and adapt quickly
The saying “all hands on deck” rings true, especially when you’re a growing business.
If you run your ads well, you’ll be seeing visitors flooding and you better be ready to deliver.
Make sure all relevant resource contacts are available and on-call. The last thing you need is a problem with Google Ads or Facebook ads with no rep to help out during the most crucial periods. — Caleb Siegel, VP, Group8A
It goes far beyond the tech and digital space. Consider your customer service, shipping, operations team and all other parts of your product chain to handle the extra orders.
Most importantly, you need to be agile when things don’t go as planned.
4. Use a more content-driven approach
Holiday campaigns have been going on for decades and customers are more familiar with them than ever before.
Because consumers see the same thing happening year after year, they’re getting bored of the traditional sales and marketing tactics.
However, using content marketing as a method to reach customers, we’ll see brands offer more personalized shopping experiences, like holiday gift guides or digital shopping assistants.
Your content helps your customers spend with you more easily.
This helps holiday shoppers get a full picture of your products and why they might be better suited for one persona over the other. – Jessica Lago, Manager of Marketing & Partnerships, iMedia Inc
Even better if your brand stands for something, has a mission or seeks to solve a major problem. Use your content to tell consumers of that effort and weave your story throughout your holiday campaign. They’ll be more willing to spend their money if it aligns with their own purpose too.
5. Keep it interesting, make it different
“Different is better than better” – Sally Hogshead
In this noisy world, it’s hard for you to attract your customers’ attention if you’re going to look and sound like everyone else. When they know what to expect, it’s just not fun. Their eyes will glaze over your “just another promotion” and continue about their busy lives.
A couple of years ago, REI made a splash with its announcement that the company would close their doors to its retail locations, headquarters, and distribution centres on Black Friday (which is, as we know, one of the biggest promotion times). Instead, REI invited its community to join employees in taking Black Friday off from work — and from shopping — to do what they love most: being outside.
6. Create a real reason to buy
Shoppers are smart. Online customers know how to spot a good deal and they know how to find the deepest discounts and offers.
When creating your holiday marketing plans, make sure you’re incentivising shoppers to visit your ecommerce store or brick and mortar store to complete their purchase. It could be through a voucher, a discount code or a tag-comment-share campaign on social media.
Whatever the promotion you decide to run, make sure there’s a non-BS reason for customers to buy NOW.
For example, if you’re running a campaign for your ramen noodles that’s rated #1 in the country, and you’re sold out within 4h of your opening…plus your restaurant normally sees reservations up to a month in advance, definitely tell your customers to act NOW!
Or if you’re DogVacay, you only have limited spots. Once you’re full, you’re full. Create a FOMO campaign to get people acting on your offer.
There is a fine line between throwing our discounts randomly and creating a relationship with your customers. You don’t want to devalue your brand and your product to the point everyone just thinks you’re cheap. Because if that happens, they might not be compelled to be associated with you.