A Complete Guide to Developing a Successful Holiday Marketing and PR Strategy
With Black Friday nearly upon us, the most important thing on your to-do list should be strategizing your marketing and PR strategy to maximize your ROI and boost sales during the holiday season. Your company’s mission, budget, human resources, target audience, and goals will influence the direction of your holiday marketing strategy as you craft an omnichannel approach.
Although predictions vary, most sources predict a positive and active holiday shopping season. Mastercard forecasts non-automotive sales will increase 7.1% over last year, while Bain & Company predicts a nominal growth of 7.5%. Although predictions by Retail Info Systems and Retail Dive are less robust, early marketing and PR campaigns have already started.
Yesterday would have been the perfect time to get a jump on your holiday marketing campaigns. But if you’re not there yet, now is the perfect time to get started.
Update Your Social Strategy
Many social media companies have introduced new e-commerce integrations. The way you once marketed on TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and similar platforms in 2019 may seem antiquated today.
While integrated e-commerce may accelerate sales in some demographics, others may browse or shop online occasionally, but prefer human interaction. Seek balance in your social media strategy.
Before diving too far into your holiday marketing strategy, understand how each of your present social media strategies will lead (or not lead) to your ideal end results. Consider other messages or assets that may fill gaps, and develop a schedule for social media content so it will have the best impact possible.
Partner with Social Media Influencers
Influencers have massive influence over consumer purchasing decisions and can reshape digital PR strategy. An effective holiday marketing strategy involves carefully selected partnerships with social media influencers who can increase brand awareness and potentially boost sales.
In an online world where customers view influencers they follow as an authentic, credible source, building these partnerships allows you to tap into a broader potential customer base. When an influencer speaks, their followers consider this endorsement a trusted recommendation.
Influencers often accelerate their marketing campaigns during the holiday season, since they know their followers are primed for making purchases.
Focus on Email Marketing
Brands that have opt-in email lists or customer email lists should plan to ramp up email marketing in a well-coordinated, sensible way. Offer early access deals to your already devoted customer base, but be careful not to overwhelm them to the point where the perfect deal ends up in a spam folder. The key here is balancing promotions with valuable, engaging content.
Email marketing allows you to show customers that you consider them to be a high priority. Offering early-bird discounts and tailoring unique deals at specific times is an effective email marketing strategy.
Similarly, it’s important to reward your top customers so that the first-buy excitement they experience is not just sustained, but amplified. Combine email campaigns with shout-outs on social media to pique interest. Offer special deals to customers who are willing to share their photos and stories.
The key to email marketing (and every other form of marketing) is to add value to the customer experience. Offering discounts and promoting products or services is an important part of this equation, but authenticity and engagement are equally as important. Personal stories, and free engaging content can take your email marketing strategy to the next level during the holiday season.
Amplify Your Advertising
A successful holiday marketing strategy involves advertising that reminds shoppers of deals and deadlines, though not done in a way that excessively inundates a potential customer or client. After the massive exposure your customers have endured with political advertisements, they will be less receptive to advertising campaigns that seem to drone on or have a mushy-middle message. The idea is to stay top-of-mind, but to not come across as pushy, salesy, boring, or obnoxious.
Successful ads extend deals, including Black Friday marketing ideas and those you have created for Cyber Monday. Brands may also want to keep the marketing clock ticking by offering new or different promotions at given intervals, such as every hour or every day.
Plan these deals ahead, and announce them everywhere.
Post-holiday campaigns also add value to your marketing strategy. Some people cannot skip work on Black Friday, while others may have to deal with real-world situations and miss sales deadlines. A little flexibility and a campaign for those who “missed out” demonstrate that you care about these busy customers.
Most importantly, incorporate personalized ads for your loyal customers. Offer to extend a special deal to them and send personalized emails that share the positive experiences of other customers.
Use PR and Publicity to Your Advantage
A well thought out public relations campaign can tell your company’s story and amplify its mission. When created in a timely and effective manner, a media outreach campaign can convey your story directly to your targeted audience through the media and other secondary sources that repackage them.
A well-timed story, byline, podcast interview, or feature that conveys your value in the marketplace can be highly beneficial during times when customers and clients may be in the market for what you have to offer. Earned media simply offers a degree of third party validation and social proof that you don’t get with most other forms of marketing or advertising. This type of validation can set you apart from competitors, and increase your sales conversion rates.
If you’re new to the media outreach or PR arena, or if you just need some expert help, send an email or contact us using the form below to get started on crafting the perfect holiday PR strategy!