There is always a lot going on in the last quarter of the year. In a content driven digital market place it is the perfect time for small business owners to consider a seasonal marketing campaign. A seasonal marketing campaign can present a great opportunity and reason to engage with clients and potential clients. However, as with any marketing campaign, if they are to be successful, seasonal campaigns need to be planned and well thought through, prior to being implemented.
What is a seasonal marketing campaign?
So what do we mean by a “Seasonal Marketing Campaign”? In a world where most marketing today is now driven by content, using events such as Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Christmas can provide us with a reason to engage with our audiences. These events can become the focus of the promotion of products or services. To give you an example if you are an online jewellery business, then to build your Christmas campaign around a particular offer, discount or incentive can really help you to maximise on the opportunity. Eg: buy one item and get the second one half price or free gift wrapping is included with any purchase. Knowing what to offer is important, think about your target audience’s challenges and how can you help them.
Of course these kind of campaigns might not be relevant for all businesses. For example if you are an Accountant then talking about a Christmas incentive would perhaps not connect with your audience, but focusing on tax returns in January might work better. Arguably you could incentivise people to submit their returns in November to avoid the last minute rush.
Seasonal marketing does not need to link to an ‘official’ event, there are many awareness days out there than can also create reasons for people to engage with your business at different times of the year.
Where to start?
For those of you who follow us, you will know that we talk a lot about marketing strategy and planning. It is really important to take some time to understand your business, think about the seasonality and ensure you plan accordingly. So when you are planning your seasonal marketing campaign, what do you need to consider:
- What do you wish to achieve? This is a really important place to start. Think about what success looks like for your campaign and define your SMART (Specific, Measured, Achievable, Relevant and Timed) objectives, to ensure you are really clear on what this looks like. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve. Are you looking for a year on year or month on month increase in revenue? Or are you looking to gain more clients?
- Who are you talking to? Once you know what you wish to do, to then understanding your target audience’s challenges will help to guide your proposition, media, creative or tone of voice. Going back to our earlier jewellery business example, if you see an increase in male customers in the run up to Christmas you could offer a wish list or gift wrapping service as your incentive.
- What is your message or proposition? Once you can visualise your potential audience’s pain points this will help you refine your messaging. Try where possible to add value rather than offer a discount. I am not saying don’t discount, just do so in a considered way, unless that is your brand strategy. A big brand example of this would be DFS, they are on sale for most of the year – with this in mind why would you buy a full price sofa from them?
- How are you getting your message out there? Once you have done some preparation, then think about how you are going to communicate your messages to your potential clients – what media will you use? Certainly activate your internal channels eg: blog, social media and email marketing but then decide are you going to invest beyond this. Other examples could be Facebook advertising, direct mail pieces or editorial activity to name a few.
- Decide on a budget. It is important to decide on your budget and how you will invest it, don’t forget that you need to allow for both creative development and media space investment.
- Track results. This is really important. Many businesses regardless of size forget to do this bit, so they never really know what works and what does not. In today’s digital world there are so many instant measures of success from website visitor figures, email open rates or revenues generated that it should be relatively easy to make some informed decisions on this point. Simply do more of what works.
A seasonal marketing campaign could sit alongside other more typical activity, but I talk a lot with my clients about having mini campaigns across the year. Why not invest in focusing on one message around key times of the year, it will help you achieve great cut through and there is more chance in connecting with your audience.
If you would like some help in getting started, please get in touch to arrange a no obligation discovery call. Good luck in planning your seasonal marketing campaign and please let us know how you get on.