The sun may be shining and you may still be spending your weekends at the pool, but it’s still not too early to begin planning your holiday marketing campaigns. We know it might seem a little over the top, but consumers are beginning their holiday shopping earlier and earlier each year.
During pre-pandemic times, “about 40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween,” and during the holidays in 2020, consumers began their holiday shopping even earlier due to the fear of delayed shipping times, products being out-of-stock, and any other complications that came with the pandemic. Although Covid has slowed in 2021, with the Delta variant on the rise, consumers may be struck with the same fears as last year and begin their holiday shopping extra early once again.
The Roadmap to Marketing Your DTC Products This Holiday Season
To create new and loyal relationships with your customers, and ultimately increase sales, companies should begin planning out their holiday marketing campaigns immediately. We have outlined a roadmap to developing your DTC product holiday campaign below to help you succeed:
- Determine Your Offers and Deals
The first step in a holiday marketing campaign is to determine what products you want to be emphasizing in your deals. To determine these products, think about what products have sold best in the past during the holidays, or contrarily, what has not and how you can remarket them this year in a better way. Additionally, if you have developed new products throughout the year, this can be a great way to introduce them to your audience and increase sales.
Determining what you are offering during the holidays changes with every business. Always look at your sales analytics and do a deep dive to really make sure you’re making the right choice here. See what is selling best, where there is an opportunity to grow, when products sell best, and what your future goals may be. Then, determine what is most important to you moving forward and try to select your deals based on that understanding. Is it purely sales? Is it growth? Is it testing for growth later in the year? How do you want to position your brand?
At the end of the day, you know what products your company offers best and what your consumers like the most, so it’s up to you to determine how to move forward. Once you have made your choices, stick with them and move on to step two!
- Which Holidays Will Be Your Focus?
Once you have decided what products and offerings you are going to be highlighting, it is time to decide which holidays you will market each product. There are so many options to choose from depending on exactly which holidays best align with the company, and logistically when your products are ready for sale.
While all of the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are always great opportunities, there are a few other shopping and major event days that can be equally as good, if not better opportunities for sales including:
- Mother’s Day – early May
- Father’s Day – mid-June
- Black Friday – 11/26
- Small Business Saturday – 11/27
- Cyber Monday – 11/29
- Giving Tuesday – 11/30
Keep in mind you may have less competition during these holidays, so don’t shy away from setting up a marketing plan to try to capitalize on these other major holidays. While there are “national days” to consider as well that can be very specific and only work for specific companies (think “world UFO’ day”) these work slightly different than holidays and do best with a social marketing plan. See a full calendar of these national days here.
- Identify the Right Marketing Channels for Your Strategy
Once you have decided when and what you will be selling during the holidays, the next step is to choose where you will be marketing. This is of course a big topic, so we’ve added a bit about the major marketing channels to consider and where you can learn more about getting started:
- Pay-per-click Ads. If you plan to include PPC advertising in your campaign, it is important to set the dates early and begin the campaign soon. First, get your creative team to create the holiday-themed copy and imagery for the ads. Set the date of the campaign in accordance with the holiday and get it up and running! Learn more here.
- Email Marketing. Email marketing is a perfect way to get the word out for your special sales, but is not as urgent. Typically, you will want to send out email marketing messages three weeks out, two weeks out, one week out, three days before, and the day(s) of to really get the word out. Again, be sure to get your creative team working first for the perfect message to be sent to your consumers. For the email marketing campaign, you can build a bigger customer base by asking recipients on your current email list to share with friends and family to also shop the deals you are offering. Learn more here.
- Social Media Marketing. The newest giant when it comes to marketing online is social media. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or TikTok, you can pick and choose the best platforms to reach your target demographic. Again, when it comes to your holiday campaign you should choose dates in advance to run your advertisements on each platform. Social media marketing gives you a really great option to reach your target consumers on the dates that correspond with your holiday deals and also gives you the option to pay for advertisements or run organic content on your social media accounts. Read more here.
- One last channel to market your holiday deals is on your blog. The importance of blogging regularly throughout the year is key to optimizing your SEO. “Search Engine Optimization will help you generate more organic traffic to your website and, if correctly implemented, it will help your blog to rank higher in the Google search results.” When it comes to holiday time, be sure to curate blog content that revolves around how your products can serve your customers during the holidays, how they can make a great gift or just general holiday season content. Again, through blogging, you can get your site ranked higher on Google search results which directly impacts sales. Check it out here.
In the end, beginning your holiday marketing campaigns right now will be incredibly beneficial for the growth of your company. By planning in advance, you will be able to not only create the perfect sales and marketing plan, but you will also be able to address any roadblocks proactively and solve them before the holiday craze begins!