Holiday Marketing 2019: Are You Ready?
Now that it’s October, that means holiday marketing 2019 is here. It’s time to get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, not to mention Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even Festivus! If you haven’t yet started, you don’t have much time to get up and running, but with some tricks and tips, you can be ahead of the curve instead of behind it. And with more prep at the end of the year, that means you’ll be ready to head into 2020 with your ducks in a row!
Who Needs to Plan Holiday Marketing 2019?
In short, if you have a business that drives traffic in the fourth quarter (or wants to), you need a marketing plan. But there are variations in the way it looks.
- A plumber may push to fix plumbing disasters following guests staying over, starting with Thanksgiving.
- Retailers will want to drive Christmas shopping starting just after Halloween (and sometimes before!).
- Marketers may want clients to start planning for 2020 now to begin January 1 with a bang.
- Knowing that this is a big time for families to come together, estate planning attorneys may want to start an educational push about wills and trusts prior to Thanksgiving.
You can probably think of different holiday marketing 2019 ideas for your business. There’s no right answer as to what you’re going to push now, but given that it’s a holiday-heavy quarter-and the last quarter of the year-you likely want to get some more exposure before heading into the new year.
A Blueprint for Creating Your Holiday Marketing 2019 Plan
No matter your industry, there are some marketing best practices to keep in mind throughout the season.
Start at the End
When it comes to events and event marketing, it’s always smartest to work backwards. That means you start at the end and plan each day, week, month, or quarter back to today. Some of the milestones you may want to include are:
- Daily social media posts
- Weekly blogs, newsletters, or emails
- Monthly live events or webinars
- Press releases and advertising efforts starting 3–5 weeks prior to any events
Make a Plan
Once you start to consider your timeline and what you want the end to look like, you can create a calendar to ensure you reach your goals. Planning is imperative to accomplish everything and especially to do it on time. Remember, you have a little more than two months to the end of the year, and every day counts.
Your plan should not just include what you’re doing that’s “new.” Consider all of the things you have in place now. For instance, if you rely heavily on your website for purchases, ensure that any updates are completed before the shopping season begins. Otherwise, you run the risk of your site being down when you need it most.
Everything you’re doing during the year normally should likely continue during your holiday marketing 2019 plan. You’ll just make it more focused and potentially add more components.
Be Ready to Adapt Your Plan
For all of your pre-planning, you also need to be able to pivot as needed. As BigCommerce states, “Plan early, and plan more than you think.” You should have a plan A, B, and C. What if you can’t get the air time you want for your ads? Or your press release isn’t picked up?
Create multiple ways to reach your target and existing customer base and test to ensure that what you’re doing is resonating. If it isn’t, shift. The best plans are always adaptable.
Set a Budget
In addition to having a plan and timeline, you need to know what your holiday marketing 2019 plan is going to cost. Of course, your costs could be in hard dollars, but they could be in time invested as well. Do you need to hire a marketing firm? Will you have one of your existing employees or teams focus on these efforts? Are you doing it all yourself?
When considering your budget, look at what you’ll spend now as well as what you’re going to gain from it. If you invest $2,000 in your last quarter for marketing, yet you’re pretty sure two clients could come of it, each of whom is worth $1,000, that’s a wash. It’s important to look at the ROI for any marketing plans. Invest wisely.
Use Your Holiday Marketing 2019 to Catapult 2020 Plans
Since you’re going through the work to develop a strong marketing plan to end the year, why not roll that over to the upcoming Q1? While you may not be marketing the same things throughout the year, there are plenty of other holidays and events upcoming. And you can use the same principles you develop October through December during the months of January through September.
Continue to plan backwards and be flexible enough to pivot. Since you have ample time to try things during the off season, do it! Play with press releases and public relations, Facebook advertising, newsletter and blogging frequency, and even your website. Do some A/B testing and see what works better. Then, when you’re ready to build next year’s holiday plan, you’ll have even more tools in your toolbox!
Need Help with Your Marketing?
Not quite up to par with what you need to nail your holiday marketing 2019 plan? Ink & Quill Communications can help. From full-scope solutions to piecemeal components and support of your existing marketing efforts, we have you covered. Contact us to schedule a brief 10-minute discovery call and see how we can help elevate your results-in Q4 and year round.