Almost every commercial brand looks forward to certain holidays with great anticipation. Taking advantage of these seasonal spikes in business can occupy the better part of a marketing department's calendar year, and for good reason: Some industries see the bulk of their annual sales generated in a single month leading up to some of the most sales-heavy holidays.
With digital and traditional channels to choose from, you have a lot of options at your disposal to create a successful seasonal campaign. That means making the right choices while avoiding costly mistakes. Here's a primer on how to build a local strategy that accomplishes both goals.
Do Increase Local Targeting As Holidays Draw Near
Last-minute shoppers are rarely organized in the days leading up to a holiday. The closer a holiday draws, the more the balance tips in favor of brick-and-mortar sellers, which have the benefit of in-stock products to override challenges of shipping from online purchases.
Nowadays, you can also push an omnichannel strategy in which consumers can place orders online and pick them up at a nearby store, saving them the hassle of hunting down certain products. These options can be promoted through a range of local marketing channels, including social media and mobile display ads, to reach relevant consumers and drive nearby sales in short order.
Don't Misuse Holiday Symbols In Your Campaigns
Putting together a holiday campaign that's in poor taste is a surefire way to alienate your consumer base. As B2C notes, many holidays have religious or cultural associations that consumers hold dear. Lighthearted advertising is fine, but when content borders on insulting or disrespectful, it can cause serious brand damage.
That's true at a local, regional or national level. Upsetting your consumer base can serve as holiday sales repellent, and it could be years before your brand is able to recover.
Do Participate In Digital Content Sponsorships
Content sponsorships are valuable at any time of the year, but they can be a great way to push out engaging holiday-themed content at certain times of the year. A gadget company, for example, might find it beneficial to invest in native advertising in the lead-up to Father's Day, assuming their target consumer demographic is heavily male.
These content partnerships can help your brand reach a new audience at a critical time and build momentum that carries well into the future.
Don't Wait Until The Holidays To Start Planning
Holiday campaigns aren't cooked up overnight. They require a lot of time, planning and coordinating across departments to pull off fluidly. Begin planning months in advance for your brand's biggest holidays of the year. For the winter holiday season, that means you should sit down in September and October and map out your strategies across every digital and traditional marketing channel at your disposal.
The worst thing you can do for any holiday advertising campaign is to wait too long to hatch your plan. By then, your competitors are well ahead of you, and there won't be time to catch up.
Effective local holiday advertising is the foundation of any successful seasonal boost in sales. With many channels and strategies to choose from, evaluating these options for your business will help you get the ball rolling.