I’m guessing that for you, the fourth quarter means more activity, anxiety, and income than other times of the year. While you can’t bury your head from what is the busiest retail season of the year, you can be smarter about how you market for it.
1. Start Planning NOW
Really, starting earlier would have been better, but go develop your plan the instant you finish reading this post! The sooner you build your marketing plan for the holiday season, the more time you have to put it into play without stressing.
- What promotions you’ll have around the holidays, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the weeks approaching Christmas
- What channels you’ll use to market these promotions
- Your budget for additional advertising or other expenses
2. Create a Kickass Content Marketing Strategy
In addition to your sales and promotions, you’ll need to think about your content marketing and build it around what you’re doing in the store and online. Create a calendar of the content you’ll create, and start working on it now. You can always schedule your content in advance so you can focus on other more demanding areas of your business in November and December.
Craft blog posts, ebooks, and whitepapers around:
- Products you’re pushing through promotions
- Holiday themed topics (“10 Client Gift Ideas”)
- Special offers given only to blog readers
3. Let Your Team in On it
Your marketing plan will only succeed if you get your staff on board with it. Getting their input will also be helpful and make them feel more vested in the plan’s success. Go through all the promotions and ask for suggestions in how you can spread the word and get customers excited.
Rally your employees around the holiday plan by:
- Setting up a contest for most sales with a great prize
- Creating a suggestion box for holiday promotions
- Meeting regularly
4. Diversify the Plan
Just offering in-store promotions won’t be enough to really maximize sales. But the more channels you use to market your business during the final weeks of the year, the better the results. Just be sure to pay attention to how well each channel did so you know what to invest in next year, and what to back off of.
Be sure to include:
- Email marketing
- Social media
- In-store displays
The fourth quarter can be the most profitable one of the year, and with some advanced planning, doesn’t have to be the most stressful.