I know what you’re thinking … it’s much too early to be discussing the holidays ahead. You may not be ready to see winter wonderland displays set up in your favorite department store or hear Christmas carols on the radio, but when it comes to marketing for the holidays, even October is a bit late to get started.
According to this Forbes article, your holiday marketing content should really be in development three to four months ahead of the holiday itself. And we agree.
If you haven’t had a chance to develop any marketing materials for holidays that fall during the months of November and December yet, developing all new content isn’t your only option.
This is where one of our favorite techniques – content repurposing – comes into play. Instead of rushing to develop all-new marketing materials for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, you can make use of the most successful pieces you created in previous years.
With a few hours of research and a touch of creativity, previous blog posts, banners, newsletters, social media graphics and more can all be repurposed with ease. Here is where we recommend starting:
Review Previous Success
Chances are good that you have already have reports detailing your success in previous holiday seasons. Now it’s time to sort through that data once again, refreshing yourself on which seasonal marketing techniques, collateral and content resulted in the majority of the traffic to and sales on your website.
A few questions to ask yourself as you review the data are:
- What emails had the highest click-through rate during previous holiday campaigns?
- Which holiday coupon codes were used the most on your website?
- What social media posts had the highest rate of interaction?
Santa has a list and checks it twice – do the same with the statistics and information available to you to determine which campaigns were naughty and which were nice. The data you can gather from Google Analytics, sales reports, previous newsletters and social media accounts can provide the insight you need to develop a rewarding holiday content strategy without having to start from scratch.
Outline Your Plan for the Upcoming Season
Once you’ve refreshed yourself on the successes of previous campaigns, it is time to use the data to outline this year’s holly-jolly marketing plan. The first of your holiday marketing efforts typically come to light on Black Friday, the deep-discounts-fueled end to Thanksgiving.
Consumers will expect an onslaught of emails before the clock chimes midnight on Thanksgiving, and will also be checking the website homepage and social media accounts of their favorite stores to learn about the deals being offered.
It’s easy to get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of this big holiday shopping day, so if you plan to participate in Black Friday, be sure to let your customers know.
Putting your Black Friday marketing strategy together is just the start of the reindeer games! There is also Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday – not to mention the whole month of December – to think about. Recycle your resources wisely, outlining your campaigns with materials you can reuse for holiday shopping success.
Repurpose Old Content
Now that your holiday 2017 marketing plan has been outlined, it’s time to refine that previously developed content to suit this year’s needs.
There are plenty of scenarios where what’s old can be made new again with just a few clicks of a mouse and strokes of the keyboard.
Take for example last year’s Cyber Monday newsletter. Maybe it had a high open rate, but a mediocre click-through rate. This gives you some insight that perhaps the subject line you developed was enticing to customers, but the sale or promotion offered within didn’t give them quite the encouragement they needed to shop.
For this year’s newsletter, stick with an updated variation on that tried-and-true subject line, but swap out the promotion offered within the email with one that experienced previous success.
Not sure what type of deals to offer your customers this holiday season? Find plenty of examples here to help get your creativity flowing.
Since you already have all the design files saved from previous campaigns, too – ideally, at least – all that’s left to do is to make a few tweaks. That’s the beauty of repurposing content; you have all the groundwork laid out for you to experience success.
Schedule Where You Can
With all of your content updated to reflect the sales and specials you will be offering for the 2017 holiday season, the final step to take is the scheduling of social media postings, newsletters and blogs.
Leverage your platforms do the legwork for you, whenever possible, scheduling out as many pieces as you can ahead of time. The holidays are already a hectic time, and if you get bogged down with trying to manage your marketing at the same time your physical marketplace is bustling, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Most email marketing platforms today offer scheduling options, and there are services like Hootsuite and Buffer available that allow you to schedule social media postings out across platforms in advance. The majority of these products offer a free basic account, as well, providing a cost-efficient way for you to prepare for the busy holiday season ahead.
For the items that can’t be pre-scheduled, like updating the homepage of your website with a new promotional banner, we recommend putting a reminder in your phone for the date and time you would like them to go live. This way, your campaign will be synchronized for success.
Not sure what the optimal time to publish your content is? Check out our recent blog post on the topic for some quick insights.
Repurposing content is a simple place to start if you’ve found yourself trailing behind on holiday content creation. Think of it like taking canned soup or frozen pizza and adding a bit of seasoning or extra ingredients to make it better. Using this technique will not only help you jumpstart the development of your holiday content, but it will also assist you in the creation of strong, purposeful campaigns that rely on a foundation of previous success.
With all of your previous campaigns – good and bad – laid out in front of you to review, you can pick and choose from what worked best in years past to create an even better holiday marketing strategy this season!