how-to-prepare-for-holiday-marketing

The holidays are approaching fast, and for those of you in the marketing field, this is probably one of the most hectic parts of the year. Holiday marketing is extremely important for every business, as customers are spending more on average than they normally would throughout the year. In fact, experts estimate that consumers will spend an average of about $920 for 2019. That’s some serious dough.

So what does this mean for you as a marketer? Well it means you should be prepared for this holiday marketing season. But how? Let’s talk about it. Or, if you’re more into video content, watch more about how to prepare for marketing holiday, below.

Plan ahead

This is probably the most important tip for marketing in general. Planning ahead will help you narrow in on your goal for the season, and it will help you track your metrics a lot easier.

January-calendar

Simple things like creating a content plan, preparing materials ahead of time, and starting ad campaigns early are just a few examples of how you can get ahead of this holiday frenzy.

Believe it or not, a lot of those Christmas and Black Friday ads you see are prepared well in advance. Some of them are prepared while most of us are still getting our sun-tan on in the summer.

But probably the most important thing about planning ahead is simply being organized. It can be very, I repeat, VERY easy to get lost in all the confusion of the holiday season. Being organized will help cut back that confusion and allow you to focus more on the important stuff.

Start early 

We hinted at this in the first section, but let’s dissect it a little further. If you’re planning some sort of holiday brochure, flyer, catalog, or any sort of similar material, it is dire that you start early. 

For us at Flipsnack, we see a pretty big influx of Christmas holiday marketing materials as early as September. The earlier you can get your big sales and promotions in front of your customers, the earlier they can anticipate those sales.

black_friday_ad

But, as a side note, some people do get very annoyed with Christmas advertising if it’s too early. Plus, you don’t want to advertise so early that whoever sees the promotion will forget about it when it comes time to buy. So balance is key.

Make a schedule

Having a defined schedule is very important. The momentum leading up to the actual big event should build slowly, but not too slowly. You want to tease the customers, but you don’t want to irritate them. This may take a little practice, but there should be a very clear schedule for when ads are placed and items go on sale. Let’s give an example.

Let’s say that you’re building up your business that sells video games for a massive Black Friday blowout sale. Well, that industry has a lot of competition. You’ll want to define your schedule very carefully so that your customers have enough time to think about the sale, but not so long that they forget. How can you do this?

Black Friday is always the day after Thanksgiving. Most retailers will advertise about two weeks in advance. But the real trick here is to be ready ahead of time. You may want to start prepping ads as early as summer. A well-defined schedule is essentially a map with landmarks (deadlines), leading you to the treasure (sale day).

holiday-marketing-schedule

Be sure to sharpen this schedule over time. You will not get it right on the first go. Heck, you probably won’t even get it right on the 20th try. But, you will definitely benefit from a nice and organized schedule.

That being said, you can always prepare your materials early, and choose to release them at the most ideal time. For example, in our editor, you can create whatever you need, keep it safe within your account, and then set it to public or distribute it at any time. It doesn’t have to be right away.

Prepare your product catalog

Product catalogs are an incredibly important tool at any time of the year, but especially around the holidays. These are probably one of the simpler holiday marketing strategies out there. The idea is to set up a fast and easy way that your customers can see all the products, their prices, and a short description, all without having to go in the store.

If you run a retailer that sells a lot of products, this is even more important. There’s no way someone will be able to walk through the isles of a store and look at every single product. It’s exhausting, and nobody has that kind of time.

With a product catalog, you eliminate any sort of issues someone might have when looking for a specific product. They don’t have to wander aimlessly down the aisles of a store, wondering what’s on sale and what isn’t. Right on the front cover, you can tell them what they should expect, and then continue through the catalog with the various items, and list each discount.

You can even take a simpler approach and use something like a flyer. We have lots of simple and powerful templates that are great resources for really getting your products out there.

black-friday-sale

The flyer above is just one example of many. Whether it be a catalog, flyer, brochure, or magazine, we’ve got lots of templates to choose from.

Once your catalog is all buttoned up, it’s time to distribute it. There are lots of ways to distribute your catalog through Flipsnack. I think that a lot of people automatically think of a printed version when they hear the word catalog. And although you can most definitely download and print your catalogs, don’t forget that you can simply distribute them digitally through social media and email, too.

Choose your words wisely

Let’s be real here, you’re going to have a lot of competition during the holidays. I don’t say that to discourage you, but to sort of keep you focused instead.

You know the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword”? It’s incredibly true. Words (even though we usually type them nowadays) are such powerful tools. Very few things in the universe can build something so elaborate, and tear it right down just as easily.

Translating that into marketing terms: your words, depending on how accurate and compelling they are, can either attract customers or push them away. Choosing the right thing to say, whether it be in a brochure, an online catalog, or anything along those lines is absolutely dire.

Content is a very important part of the holiday marketing season because people have a natural attraction to stories. They want something they can relate to. If you manage to capture that relationship in your words, then you have a new customer, my friend.

Keep it simple

Simplicity is a very important aspect of holiday marketing. Potential customers can get very confused if you’re not straightforward. Confuse them too much, and they’ll go right to the competition.

Nobody wants that, right? Simple and powerful ads that point customers directly to what they want with straightforward calls to action are the best approach any brand could take. 

But the trick here is to remain simple and keep your brand’s voice unique. So without trying to be ironic, it’s not so simple being simple. But, with the right amount of preparation, and clean execution, it’s perfectly possible. 

Be genuine

This kind of plays along with the points above, but it deserves a separate section here. Being genuine is incredibly important. Customers aren’t dumb. They know when they’re being tricked.

What does this mean for you? It means that you should be bringing something to the table that the customers can be excited about. Shoppers wait all year for certain items to go on sale. Let them know what the wait was worth it.

merry-christmas-ad

Creating great deals is the perfect way to retain existing customers and attract new ones. It really is as simple as that.

Optimize your mobile experience 

Optimizing your mobile store is more important now than it’s ever been, especially for holiday marketing. So much so, that if you don’t have a way for users to interact with your brand on mobile, you need to get that started right now.

mobile-users-2019

There were over 5 billion unique users on mobile in 2019, and that’s just this year. So it’s no surprise at all that people not only want something that they can interact with on mobile, but need it.

Think about all the times you’ve looked something up on your phone, but the website you went to was all out of whack because it wasn’t optimized for mobile. I’m sure that there’s probably not even a unit of measurement that can accurately measure how quickly you clicked away. 

If dealing with an unoptimized website on mobile isn’t enough to convince you to optimize your own website, then nothing is.   

Use social media

Just like most people are using their mobile devices, most people are also on social media. Social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest realized this and made it possible to promote your brand directly on their platforms. It’s honestly one of the most successful ways to advertise out there right now.

Facebook, for example, has a catalog-style promotion tool that allows you to display your products in a carousel. Customers can click to slide left or right and view your beautiful products. 

From a marketing standpoint, there are always social media trends that you can follow to bring a little brand awareness to the table. Even if it’s not about brand awareness, and simply about making a sale or interacting with existing customers, social media platforms are always a great and quick way to get things done nowadays, so don’t miss out.

A great example of holiday marketing

One of my favorite clothing brands, H&M, is a mastermind when it comes to holiday marketing. They bring an element to the table that really nobody else can, all while maintaining their brand story. Just check out this video ad they created with Wes Anderson:

In fact, they have a long history of creating meaningful advertisements with the help of celebrity influencers, and not just for holidays.

H&M are considered titans when it comes to holiday marketing. It would almost be an understatement to say that they know what they’re doing. They create trends, and others follow. For example, they launch a completely new and unique Christmas collection each year.

On the social media front, H&M rock the show, too. They create visually pleasing yet fairly simple ads that get the message out there without overwhelming the viewer.

H&M-christmas-sweaters

Outside of the holiday season, they remain customer focused with their social media campaigns and brand apps, constantly updating them on sales and special promotions. 

To summarize all of this, H&M absolutely crushes it year round, but especially during the holiday season when it comes to marketing.

Don’t be afraid to break the mold      

As important as it is to follow in the footsteps of the successful ones in front of you, it’s also important to make a name for yourself, too. Sure, all of these tips above work great, but there’s no way possible to explain every holiday marketing strategy, simply because there is an infinite number of them.     

There are a few things that we could suggest. For example, starting early is always a great idea. But, only you know your audience. You know what they respond well to. If that means breaking out of the mold to appeal to them, then by all means, shatter it.

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    About Zach McDaniel

    Car geek, self proclaimed zoologist, and snake charmer on the weekends.

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