This post originally appeared on startupnation.com/grow-your-business
The holiday season is an interesting time to observe marketing trends within any industry. On the one hand, consumers are shopping more than any other time of the year, and on the other hand, there’s more competition for consumer attention than ever. This means that there are more opportunities to connect with potential customers, but only for those brands with truly effective seasonal marketing campaigns.
Consider the following elements to ensure the content of your marketing campaign is valuable:
Is it simple?
The holiday season is a notoriously stress-filled time of year. There is a finite amount of time, money and mental energy that your customers have available to spend. This means one thing: Brands must choose their words carefully, get straight to the point and make the value of their offer immediately obvious.
Customers should be able to look at promotional materials and quickly deduce why they need it and how to get it (or how to participate) due to your campaign’s clear call to action (CTA). The fewer steps to participating in an offer, the better. In today’s digitalized world, people greatly appreciate simplicity, and this is especially true during the holiday season.
Does it cater to loyal customers?
A general offer to the public is good, but it’s especially important for your business to consider your loyal customers at this time of year. They are the ones who deserve the best that you have to offer, whether that’s simply attention and relationship-building efforts, or discounts and special offers.
This group doesn’t want the same thing that the general public has been offered. A simple discount or coupon is a start, but it’s somewhat impersonal, and doesn’t particularly show that you understand your loyal customers and their needs.
Your offer to tried and true customers should be exceptionally thoughtful. Ask yourself, “What product or service would complement what they already have? What additional support could we offer to take their positive experience a step further?” This doesn’t always have to be a product offering, but rather a sincere experience or excellent customer service that makes your brand endearing and remarkable.
Is it relatable?
Assess your seasonal marketing campaign (ideally at an early stage) with this question: “What emotion does this campaign evoke?”
If the answer isn’t obvious to you, it probably won’t be obvious to your audience, either. If it doesn’t make people laugh with recognition, get excited about a new idea, or feel touched by something heartwarming, it’s not generating enough of an emotional connection.
In other words, a campaign is only relatable when there is a deeper human element to connect with. An effective marketing campaign is more like a conversation with your audience than an ad or a sale. If it doesn’t evoke an emotional response, you’re not truly communicating.
Again, ask yourself: “Would our audience be moved by this? Is it something they could relate to?”
Here’s a great example: TD Bank mastered relatability in its #MakeTodayMatter campaign. The bank gave $30,000 away to 24 random citizens around the U.S., and millions of people watched as regular citizens accepted their surprise gift in astonishment.
Is it really useful?
While there are still plenty of consumers who rush out for Black Friday throwing money at any deal they can find, just as many are sitting back and waiting for something useful. Thus, an effective seasonal marketing campaign serves the conscious consumer; the one who’s looking for something innovative and responsibly-made. A good offer provides something intrinsically important to the consumer.
Barnes & Noble mastered both usefulness and simplicity with the creation of #BNGiftTip, a hashtag for anxious last-minute shoppers to solicit gift ideas. The campaign helped soothe shoppers’ anxiety by providing ideas for what books to buy. The brand didn’t even have to advertise or create a special deal, they just offered a much-needed service in a quick social media format.
As consumers are bombarded with both in-store and digital holiday marketing offers, sticking to the basics is more important than ever. Keeping your startup’s seasonal marketing campaign simple, relatable and useful will remind your audience how trustworthy you are, even amidst the holiday chaos.
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