What You Should Be Planning for the Holiday Season

Wine glasses and tree ornaments on a wooden table. There is also a lit up Christmas tree in the background.
Written by: Connections Marketing

By the end of summer, many companies are already hard at work on their end-of-year seasonal campaigns. About a fifth of retail sales are generated in November and December, according to the National Retail Federation, and the figure is much higher for some businesses. Yet time gets away from us. It’s easy to get caught in a late-summer lull – only to be so slammed later that you have to scramble just to keep up.

For just about any growing business, the holiday season is an excellent time to target new customers. But those opportunities don’t just fall in your lap. The clearer you are on how your plans will be orchestrated, and what needs to happen by when, the more you can maximize the whole team’s efforts to make this year’s season a success.

Review Your Game Plan

Any significant holiday plans should be discussed early enough so that by June the organization has a vision of what the next six months will look like. Which is to say that, come September, a detailed structure needs to be in place to keep those plans afloat, with all the moving parts functioning at the right time.

With what special products or services will your team promote your brand? What channels will be used to accomplish this task? Sales and promotional plans should also be established in advance, in addition to any metrics that will be used to gauge their effectiveness. Having solid, high-quality services or products will always play a key role in that, but tools such as Google Analytics – now known as GA4 – can help you monitor your campaign so you can make any necessary adjustments in real time.

Plan Backward from Important Events, Marketing & Advertising Deadlines

As you fill in the details of your marketing and advertising plans, broader business questions may come into play. Will there be enough resources and talent in the coming months to handle all of your company’s demands? Be sure to communicate with others throughout the company so that key players are in agreement around your shared goals.

Items that multiple departments might work on include:

  • Event Invitations
  • The Creation of Specialized Customer and Client Lists
  • Product Shipment and Deliveries
  • Branded Holiday-Themed Items
  • Coordination with Vendors and Other Stakeholders

Processes that are in place, such as email sub-lists for different seasonal events, should be built up gradually rather than thrown together at the last minute. You’ll want to schedule in time for testing and remedying anything that needs it with time to spare.

Your Content Calendar: Fold Holiday Themes into Social Media Strategies

Elements of your creative strategy likely include a healthy mix of tactics. By late summer or early fall, your team might be hammering out some of those creative details, as well. For instance, more brands are using holidays to leverage user-generated content to their advantage. Now is the time to think about creative ways that customers can contribute this type of content and do some of the legwork for you.

Here are some details that will help fill out your content calendar:

  • When user-generated content can be solicited and incorporated into your messaging
  • Which posts should appear on multiple channels
  • Seasonal images, keywords and content that will be needed to alter your website
  • Specific themed hashtags to include in your socials
  • Localized SEO to tie to holiday events
  • Partners and vendors that will be instrumental in bringing your plans together

Some brands run seasonal content early with small groups to test and improve ads or videos that will be improved for a larger audience. Even if that won’t be your plan, look for ways to build up anticipation for fun, celebratory moments to increase your RIO between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Connections Marketing Helps SMBs Create Successful Digital Holiday Campaigns

The build up to the holidays can be a time of stress as well as excitement for businesses struggling to grow their brands. The fact is, not everyone has time to come up with realistic holiday campaigns for their product line, let alone do everything it takes to make them a success. That’s one of the major benefits of working with a reputable digital marketing firm like Connections Marketing. Our specialists can let you know what’s missing from your plan and help you fill in the gaps so your resources are used as efficiently and creatively as possible.

Need help with your holiday marketing plans? Connections Marketing can assist with every aspect of your next campaign. We will provide high quality content as well as help you optimize your brand’s image across channels and use proven metrics to track your success. Contact our team so we get you started on a great campaign today.

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