As consumers, we’re used to being bombarded with seasonal and topical messaging, whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Easter or the arrival of a Royal baby. But what’s the point? If everyone’s doing the same, will your marketing activity really stand out, or will you be simply following the herd?
Like so many things in our business, it all boils down to what you’re doing, how you’re doing and why you’re doing it in the first place.
Boosting peak period and directly related sales
Food, gifts, perfumes, booze… whether they’re Christmas-branded or not, we recognise the ads as part of the seasonal campaign that kicks off in September. Chocolatiers and florists will drive their activity ahead of Mother’s Day and Easter. And if you’re a car manufacturer, you have two peak seasons a year for new registration, so the build-up to each will be part of your marketing programme. Whenever your peak sales period is, you’re looking to make it last a little longer, drive it a little harder and promote your seasonally-relevant products, services and offers to maintain and gain market share.
Capitalising on the national mood
If you’re a baby products manufacturer or retailer, celebrating the arrival of a Royal baby makes perfect sense. Tennis clubs are never busier than during the Wimbledon period, and events such as the Commonwealth Games, the Olympics and World Cup football are a great opportunity for sports clubs, retailers and manufacturers to be reaching out to potential customers while they’re in the right frame of mind. Even big movie releases can be leveraged to drive a campaign, if they’re relevant enough.
Doing it because you think you ought to
Yes, FOMO happens in marketing, too. Usually because someone comes breathlessly rushing into the office at the last minute, saying “We need to post something on social for Pancake Day – everyone else is!” or something along those lines. But, really? Do you?
It’s different for B2B
By all means, post ‘Season’s Greetings’- style messages if it’s appropriate. But when you consider that channels such as LinkedIn are already clogged with irrelevant and trivial posts, adding to them is not a good idea (especially if the holiday season means that you’ll have fewer visitors to the channel anyway). However, with a little prudence and planning, and some creative thinking, B2B campaigns can still benefit from seasonal campaigns – providing they have originality, appeal and relevance.
Below shows an example of work we’ve previously done for SEAT, including seasonal campaigns that ran for Summer and for Winter. By changing the message and being relevant, you can create something quite interesting that appeals to you audience.
Our tips for leveraging the seasonal calendar
- EVALUATE: Review your seasonal activity in previous years. Your analytics and social media monitoring should enable you to identify peaks in activity, sales and attention. What worked? What didn’t? What opportunities did you miss? What did you competitors do?
- PLAN: Before the year begins, make sure you have established the key dates and events that you want to capitalise on, and be ready to leave aside anything that’s irrelevant. Consider your target audience and what will interest them most. Consider how long the lead time to the event should be. This marketing calendar will be the framework against which you can build your campaigns and generate content, so that you’re ready well in advance and not having to run around looking for assets at the last minute.
- BE CURRENT: Remember that current affairs can be as important as seasonal events, for some brands. But if you’re reacting on social media, always check the hashtag to make sure you’re posting something relevant – unrelated content doesn’t just annoy your readers, it can also be seen as violating Twitter’s rules.
- MOST OF ALL, BE MEMORABLE: Whatever the time of year, if you’re going to jump onto the marketing bandwagon, then make sure you stand out from all the others. Competition will be fierce, and one seasonal message can start looking very similar to another if you’re not careful. Unless you’re Poundland, of course, who spent just over £25 on a risqué 2018 campaign that hit the headlines for not necessarily the right reasons. In fact, according to Kantar, last year’s most successful Christmas ad was the un-festive but highly emotive palm oil campaign from food retailers Iceland. Which just goes to show that an original approach and meaningful message will carry far more weight than conforming to the traditional expectations.
If you still don’t know if social media is for you, check out our article on social media in business and the low-cost, high-reward benefits for getting in the social media scene.
If you need some help with your marketing campaigns, get in touch today.