It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The holidays are indeed a special time of year, and, no matter where you go, you are surrounded by the season. The lights are up, the stunning decorations dazzle with brilliance, and, regardless of what you do, the music either haunts you in your sleep or fills you with hope. For many, this is a pleasant time of season that brings hope and joy as we enter the upcoming new year. However, channel partners can find this happy time to be extremely stressful as they close out the year and try to beat the dreaded holiday slump.
Sounds grim, right? Well, have no fear: VIPRE Security is here to help you win the end of the year with four tips to supercharge your holiday marketing and make the most of this season.
- Create moments for emotional connection with your brand.
Emotions tend to rule the holiday season. We find heartfelt stories that fill us with happiness, we hear of heartbreaking moments that can bring us to tears, and we can feel love for those in our family or circle of friends. However, you may be asking, “Why is VIPRE getting so soft and sentimental on me?” Do not worry–it is with good intention.
Jonah Berger, professor and researcher at the Wharton School, has focused the entirety of his research on word-of-mouth marketing and the dynamics of social influence. (If you haven’t read his book “Contagious,” it is highly recommended.) He found through his research that people share to feel good about themselves and when they care about something.
When a business kindles positive emotion in its marketing, it is likely to build a following that cares about the brand. “Emotion drives people to pass it on,” Berger says.
His research has found that word of mouth is 10 times more effective than traditional advertising for two reasons: It is trusted, and it is targeted. Berger goes on to state, “We are more likely to trust our friends, and, when we share, we select people who we think would find that given piece of information most relevant. So, word of mouth tends to reach people who are interested in the thing being discussed.”
Send gifts, take them out for dinner, create heart-melting content, or do whatever you can do within your creative limits to create positive emotional connections between your company and clients.
- Engage your client in multiple channels.
Make sure your campaign is everywhere that your client is, and, if you can, learn about and seek to understand how your client is using that channel (via automation and/or advanced digital analytics). Using this data, you will be able to target your marketing to best suit your prospect.
Looking at data from eMarketer, customers conduct research through a variety of channels before even considering your brand as one they’d buy from. You need to be where they are, and that’s even more important during the holidays. Most of your audience is on vacation, and appealing offers to non-email channels can be crucial. Your audience members are most likely going to be on their phones quite a bit throughout the holiday season rather than checking their work email on their laptops. Meet them where they are through non-conventional mobile channels.
- Have fun!
This is one of the best tips we can impart about holiday marketing: Have fun! Capture the energy and spirit of the season with your marketing, and don’t let the constraints of “what has been done” define your campaign. The more creative, fun, and innovative you are, the more you will stand out from your competitors and likely create deeper emotional connections that resonate longer with prospects.
- Measure your success.
As with any marketing program you launch, it is imperative to look back at whether you achieved your campaign goals. Your team needs to assess what worked and what did not. Additionally, evaluate the revenue if any was generated from the program. How can you do this? You can use early- and late-success metrics.
Early-success metrics will help you look for early signs of success. They can include social media engagement metrics, email click-through-rates and traffic to your site/landing page. Tailor your metrics to the specifics of your campaign. One size doesn’t fit all in these scenarios. These early indicators will let you know if you are on the right path or will serve as a warning sign
Late-success metrics will help evaluate the campaign after it has been completed when you have time to do a full analysis. A great place to start in evaluation metrics will be: revenue generated during your campaign period compared to the average or during another period at a different time of year, number of new clients, loyal client engagement, which channels were most effective for specific audience segments. These are just a few success metrics to track, but the sky is the limit as long as you can prove the effectiveness of your campaign.
As we conclude, it is wonderful to think of just how great a time of year this season truly is. Not only for the business reasons that we’ve talked about in this post, but for the hope and joy it can bring to all. Do not let this season be stressful for you. Plan effectively and have fun with what you do.
Holiday marketing is an increasingly critical component of the marketing plans of many businesses. Within this article, we have given some tips, strategies, and techniques to help you build, launch, and measure an effective holiday marketing campaign across multiple channels. We hope this helps you craft one of the best holiday campaigns you’ve ever made!
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.