B2B Holiday Marketing: What to Keep in Mind

B2B Holiday Marketing: What to Keep in Mind

The changing of the leaves means one thing: Pumpkin spice marketing season is upon us. That means it’s time for businesses to start thinking about their marketing efforts during the holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday—and we’re not even into December yet).

While B2C companies can rely on traditional, cheesy holiday marketing campaigns, B2B businesses have to seek out more authentic and realistic ways to approach the holiday season.

And the earlier you start thinking about the holidays the better. Here are some things you should keep in mind as you start planning your B2B holiday marketing campaigns.

Set realistic goals

Some businesses wait until the end of the year to sign the dotted line; others put big efforts on hold as they get into the holiday season. Converting leads into sales is the goal for most B2Cs during the holiday season, but that isn’t always realistic for B2B businesses.

When prepping your holiday strategies, it’s important to consider what success will look like for your business.

In some cases, your goal might be to just nurture your audience or reward customers for their loyalty. If that’s the case, a good ol’ gift basket might do the trick. But if you’re looking to warm up some lukewarm leads, you might want to consider a more traditional approach to marketing with targeted advertisements and email campaigns.

Get into the giving spirit

Spend some time brainstorming sales or specials you can run. This is the easiest and most obvious way to capitalize on the holiday season. It’s what consumers have come to expect from the brands they work with, so it’s important that, if it’s an option available to you, you should capitalize on it.

Even if you can’t necessarily offer a BOGO deal on your product, maybe you can throw in a free eBook or consultation with one of your experts.

My favorite brainstorming tip? Get a group of people in a room, set a timer for seven minutes, and have them write down as many ideas as they possibly can for one topic. We do it on sticky notes and then go around the room and share our ideas. You might find the most creative ideas come from somewhere unexpected. Usually for us, we combine a few good ideas into one really, really good idea.

Tailor your message

You should be segmenting your audience in order to tailor your message. This much is true at all times throughout the year. But when it comes to the holidays, making an authentic connection is even more important to you and your customers.

A CFO might think a personalized, direct mail holiday card is a great way to build a relationship, whereas a tech startup CEO might want a clever email in his or her inbox.

Use this time to really deliver a personalized message to your audience and make them feel like part of the family. After all, that’s what the holidays are all about!

Update your recurring ads

If you run ads throughout the year, it’s worth your time to take a look at them through a red-nosed lens to see if there are opportunities to target any holiday-appropriate keywords that fit in your niche.

Look for ways to implement merry and bright phrases like “Free Shipping All Season Long” to help your ads stand out in a crowded B2B marketplace.You don’t have to go headfirst into a cornucopia of cheesy holiday design and content with your advertisements (in fact, Google might flag you if you do), but they should feel seasonally appropriate.

Be purposeful—not annoying

Your audience is going to receive tons more marketing messages during the holiday season. According to Campaign Monitor, these were the numbers of marketing emails sent during the 2017 holiday season:

  • Thanksgiving: 95 million
  • Black Friday: 115 million
  • Cyber Monday: 106 million

That means your messages are more likely to get lost in the holiday-inbox abyss. And for some marketers, the idea is to then send MORE messages in order to stand out (it’s harder to ignore 10 emails than just one or two), but for B2B, that’s definitely not the case.

Your audience is busy handling all their own marketing and holiday efforts, so if you’re going to join in on the marketing madness—make it worth their while. And don’t be annoying.

The moral of the story is: Be authentic with your audience, especially during the holiday season. If you’re going to market to them during the busiest, most wonderful time of the year, make sure it’s worth their while.

And if it’s worth their while, that’s how you’ll know it’s worth yours too.

Taylor Sansano is the content strategist at MAKE Digital Group, an innovative digital marketing agency specializing in forward-thinking marketing strategies for small businesses. She works with clients to conceptualize and implement an authentic and business-centered approach to their content marketing. To schedule a free analysis of your content marketing strategy, email Taylor at taylor@makedigitalgroup.com.



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