15 Mar How to plan a seasonal marketing campaign
When it comes to marketing – social media marketing in particular – a well-planned out seasonal marketing campaign can be just the ticket to bring in sales, page views, social media engagement – whatever your KPIs! In fact, not just a one-off peak, but a continued success story, year after year. How then, can you plan an effective and successful seasonal marketing campaign? Let’s give our insight!
Who are we to lend advice?
First off, hello there and thanks for popping by! If you haven’t already peeped around our site and cottoned on, we’re a digital marketing agency with years of experience in the game – in social media marketing and digital PR! So, yes, we know a thing or two about planning seasonal campaigns and coming up with creative ideas. With that out the way, let’s get into it.
Begin with the brand
Whenever we talk about marketing, we can often sound like a broken record with the mantra of ‘know your brand’. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, you wouldn’t believe how common, and how easy, it is for businesses to lose sight of who they’re targeting, or rather, should be, and how to align with their branding. Get this wrong, even slightly, and your whole campaign can fail or be impacted considerably. And especially when we’re dealing with PPC and paid social, the costs can be immediately seen, and felt.
Before getting carried away with fun and new seasonal campaign ideas surrounding your specially crafted content calendar, remember your brand and these points:
- Tailor to the target audience
- Don’t stray from the TOV (that’s tone of voice)
- Don’t be lazy with your designs and imagery
- Communicate brand guidelines effectively across all contributing teams
- Understand the taglines, mottos and company ethos of who you’re marketing
- Share insight and lend your voice to relevant topics
- Question the narrative and tone of every idea and topic and how it syncs up with your brand and voice
- Don’t go for tenuous links, this can weaken your brand and the overall message
Be realistic with your budget
For the average SME, the chances of going all out on a campaign are pretty small. It would be amazing to have a limitless budget to plan and implement the most creative marketing campaigns… But we need to get real. Fortunately, we can still get amazing results even on smaller budgets! It’s why it’s so important to be realistic and detailed in your planning to align with costs. It’s no good putting the time in to gather heads to think of big ideas that don’t get the sign-off, or when it comes to research, you get smacked in the face with the realisation of the money needed. Use your connections to learn about budgets and their campaigns – hey, you may even get a mutually beneficial deal from that LinkedIn browse.
Get the right departments together
Don’t waste resources and time by making sure you’ve got the exact, right minds and assets on board. When it comes to seasonal marketing campaigns, more often than not, it’s the social and content marketing teams that come together to bounce ideas off one another. And if you’re a marketing agency it all depends on the clients’ chosen services. These teams tend to work together, so it’s crucial you have good management in place to plan ideation sessions, allow for opportunities to be spotted, issues to be addressed and to keep on top of projects and tasks in line with deadlines.
Use a content calendar
A social media or content calendar is your best friend for planning out seasonal marketing campaigns, for sure. And it’s all about being ahead and on the ball. And did we mention knowing your brand? Only put in the events and ‘National Days’ that your brand could add value to, and that links to. But, don’t be put off if your products or services aren’t directly or obviously linked. It’s all about being creative and looking out for those clever opportunities that could see your brand go viral. List the seasonal events and get your relevant teams to ideate months in advance to get your brand ahead of the curve. Be reactive though, as ideas can come at any time, especially when data or trends change.
Look at your competitors
No matter what stage you are at in the planning or implementation process, always be aware of what your competitors are up to. Use SEO tools to check out your competitors’ backlink profiles, content data and keyword visibility. Not only is it good to see how others in your field are performing and what they’re targeting, it’s useful to check you’re not doing the same things or campaigns. You don’t want to be seen as a copycat, unoriginal or land yourselves in hot water.
Have a strong goal and CTA
Whatever the idea or campaign, make sure everyone on the team completely understands the goal and the intention. The call to action will be different for all types of campaigns, as you may just want people to be more aware of your brand, or you may want to get more clicks to a certain page. You might find as you discuss the content or social media calendar that certain events might fit specific CTAs and goals. Make sure your creative teams are always thinking about the end goal in any action or decision and that goals are varied. For instance, have you realised that it’s the 10th campaign idea in a row that’s focused on getting more views to the same page when you’ve abandoned other areas?
Don’t forget about outsourcing. If your in-house team can’t deliver on a certain area, or an issue occurs, remember about your connections. They’re so experienced in jumping on board and getting stuck in. Don’t waste time and plan in outsourcing. Better yet, have a digital marketing agency take control and manage things altogether so you can have smoother and more efficient marketing campaigns.
Seasonal campaign ideas
Now that we’ve gone through the key factors to think about when planning your seasonal marketing campaigns, let’s get into some ideas!
Easter and spring
- Host a digital Easter egg hunt on your website and have people comment or email you how many eggs are spotted to be in with a chance of winning a product, voucher or gift
- Do your own spring cleaning tutorial video using your own products
- Have your customers share images or videos of when they’ve captured the Easter bunny on camera – using your brand’s home security camera, for example
- Write a thought-provoking piece on your brand’s commitment to sustainability (Earth Day) or maybe you have made great strides in helping farm animals
- Share a fun, informative piece on chickens! What do people not commonly know?
- Make a quiz that tells people what famous bunny they are with fun character profiles
Summer holiday season
- If you sell clothes or bikinis with holiday-themed designs, link each design with a fun post e.g. do you have a bikini with lollies on? Run a campaign to show the best homemade lolly recipes and have a team member or model make some alongside selling the bikini
- Do a niche travel guide linked to your expertise and service
- Maybe you can do a press release on the unknown things that can void your travel insurance
- Do a backyard BBQ video showing a range of food ideas to show off the products you’re selling e.g. maybe you sell outdoor garden products, so show how to create the perfect garden setting and BBQ
- Reach out to hotels and B&Bs to get their stories and comments for a blog on staycation tips
Halloween and autumn
- Do you have an artist in the team? Run an internal competition to carve the best pumpkin, you may end up with an amazing show-off design that could go viral! Have people online vote on a poll to increase your social media engagement
- Do a Facebook or Instagram Live through a ‘haunted’ building or even set one up for your office at night for fun with your staff being actors; encourage people to comment if they see anything!
- Do a collage or sponsored post for your Halloween related products, maybe add in scary graphics for people to spot in the background of product images
- Do a content piece on your pick of the best horrors or add a unique spin by listing horrors set in hotels, for example.
- Maybe dissect a horror film encouraging a discussion online to ask your audience how would they have handled something, or what tool or product of yours they would have used
Christmas and winter
- Make a blog on ’X sneaky places to hide your naughty elf’ and either boost it on social media or leave it as an organic post
- Make a company Christmas video to highlight the year and say thanks to your customers
- Conduct a survey to find out people’s most ludicrous Christmas gifts and do a press release
- Make an interactive graphic to show winter hazards to get people to spot them – link it to your products or services
- Run a competition for kids to write Christmas card greetings with the winner having theirs made to be sold – you could produce 100 with money going to charity
These are just some ideas that are just the bare bones of a marketing campaign plan, but as you can see, from just a few simple bullet points, more ideas can be generated with sparks flying everywhere! The key is preparation and time, which is not always easy when you run a business day-to-day.
Need some help? Get in touch with our creative team to see what kinds of campaigns we’ve planned and ran ourselves for many happy clients!