Biz Tips: Plan holiday marketing before it’s too late

Biz Tips: Plan holiday marketing before it’s too late

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Plan holiday marketing before it’s too late

Dhariana Lozano has a host of resources to support marketing campaigns.

Whatever the holiday, marketing campaigns have the best chance of success when planned well in advance.

Not one to shirk, Dhariana Lozano not only gets into the spirit early, but also has a guide: 8 Last-Minute Holiday Social Media Campaigns to Try This Season.

The social media and digital engagement professional co-founded Supremacy Marketing. She talked with marketing entrepreneur Madalyn Sklar about how to get a jump on the competition for the holidays and all year round.

The relationship experts at Hootsuite offered suggestions for successful advertisements.

“Urgency, strong copy and retargeting are key to holiday ads,” they said. “You want to make your target audience feel there is a finite amount of time your deal will last. That’s true: They have until the day of the holiday to purchase a present.

“Then, if they don’t purchase but click-through, you’ll want to retarget them with similar ads to call them to action — get them to purchase the product being advertised,” the experts said.

They published a related article, 6 Tips for Creating Holiday Ads that Convert.

The Advent of calendars

“This year I’m releasing a gift guide, but my big push is for my Social Media Advent Calendar,” Lozano said. “It’s 10 days of social media marketing resource gifts. I’ve started pushing it on my website, sent a few emails, and I’ll ramp up posts well before the holidays.”

Planning holiday campaigns, it’s virtually never too soon to start.

“The earlier the better,” Lozano said. “Too close to events can be a little late for more intricate campaigns. Ideally, you want enough lead time to build buzz and let your audience know something is coming. But it’s never really too late on Twitter.

“You can always drop a surprise giveaway, or have a simple retweet campaign,” she said. “You have to know your audience and read them to know how early is too early. That takes testing. Usually, your social audience has to see your message a few times to purchase.”

To bring extra visibility online during the holiday season, Lozano recommended holiday hashtags, going live to promote and ads to support posts that do well.

“Try using video in your Twitter marketing,” Sklar said. “It’s an amazing way to bring visibility to you and your brand.”

The holiday season is also a good time to add levity to online profiles.

“Have fun with that header image,” Lozano said. “It’s a big piece of real estate and a great way to bring that holiday feeling to your account. You also can tweet a nice holiday message and pin it to the top of your profile.”

Sklar prefers “a snazzy holiday-themed header image” with a festive profile picture.

Tap into influencers

Besides individual efforts, entrepreneurs can partner with influencers in their industry.

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest ways to grow on social media,” Lozano said. “Some simple ways you can partner with influencers are having them host a giveaway with your product or service, letting them review your product or letting them take over your account.”

For end-of-year holidays, Lozano said an Advent calendar could be fun.

“The calendar helps you count the days ’til Christmas,” she said. “Each day has its own box you pop open for a treat. Using this model, you can offer a free Advent calendar on Twitter.

“Each day tweet out a gift,” Lozano said. “For example, offer a new graphic or a discount, and tweet the gift out at the same time every day. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your account and delight your audience.”

Sklar said analytics are the best way to track holiday campaign results, such as on Twitter.

“Tracking holiday campaign results will depend on what kind of campaign you run,” Lozano said. “Concentrate on your key performance indicators. For example, if you run a photo contest, you’ll want to keep track of how many photos are posted.

“Some people may concentrate on sales or landing page views,” she said. “With any campaign, I always suggest creating a campaign-specific hashtag. Then you can take a look at things such as reach and impressions.”

Create a special holiday hashtag. Then be sure to use it early and often so it catches on and draws others to you and your service.

“It is absolutely worth the time and effort to create a specific hashtag for your holiday campaign,” Lozano said. “It’s essential to track your results so you can create an even better campaign the following year.”

Sklar favors branded hashtags, especially those with holiday themes.

She and Lozano continued exchanging holiday marketing ideas during a Facebook Live conversation.

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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