Every year, there are several holidays and events that digital marketers can build campaigns around. By prepping campaigns that align with events like Mother’s Day or Black Friday, you can tap into a highly relevant audience, in a relevant moment. This strategy is called seasonal marketing.
What Is Seasonal Marketing?
Seasonal marketing is any marketing that revolves around national holidays, cultural holidays, and events like Mother’s Day, the back to school season, and the Super Bowl. Events like these create heightened excitement, which forms the perfect foil to support your marketing efforts.
Why Seasonal Marketing Is Important
Adding a seasonal marketing plan to your digital strategy is important because ultimately, it can drive personalization, higher customer engagement, brand awareness, and sales throughout the year.
Because these occasions have meaning and bring people together, tapping into the emotional aspects of them can help you inspire your target audience. These events involve consumer purchasing, and so it’s an opportunity to personalize your marketing and reach receptive consumers. For example, holiday marketing will reach an audience that is likely ready to purchase gifts for friends and family.
Seasonal Marketing Example
Festive holidays like Christmas are a perfect time to leverage a seasonal marketing strategy that focuses on capturing the attention of holiday shoppers.
A retail brand may want to leverage interactive creative formats like shoppable video ads. These ads showcase products while allowing a user to browse right in the banner. This format reduces the steps a user has to take between awareness and conversion.
From there, a retail brand can use dynamic retargeting to serve ads that feature the most recent product page that a user visited. They’ll see a creative containing the exact item they viewed, reminding them of the product they showed interest in at some point in their online shopping journey. During the holidays, when a retail brand’s ultimate goal is conversion, this tactic will help drive results.
Tips for Including Seasonal Marketing in Your Digital Strategy
1. Choose the Right Seasonal Events
There are several key events throughout the year that are relevant to marketers across a number of industries. It’s up to you to decide which events align with the digital marketing goals you have for a brand, product, or service.
Here are seasonal marketing events in North America that you’ll want to take note of:
- Sporting events like the Super Bowl
- Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Summer travel season
- Back to school
- Holiday season events (including Black Friday and Cyber Monday)
Not every seasonal marketing event is a good fit for every brand. For example, the back to school season should be a priority for brands that sell clothing, accessories, and school supplies because these are typically the leading retail categories for back to school shoppers.
2. Plan for Key Seasonal Marketing Events
Once you know which seasonal marketing events are a good fit for your digital strategy, it’s time to plan. Factor these events into your digital marketing plan with enough time ahead of the season to implement a strong campaign.
Don’t wait until the very last minute to launch a seasonal campaign. In general, you want to launch three to six months ahead of the season for optimal results. For example, it’s a marketing norm to start planning holiday campaigns in July.
3. Know the Latest Trends
Looking at historical data is always beneficial to planning seasonal marketing campaigns. Reviewing your prior seasonal ad campaigns can give you insights into current trends, and what products or services to focus your new seasonal marketing campaign around. For the most relevant insights, look at data from the previous two years.
Another great source of data is to look at general consumer trends around specific seasonal events. These insights can help you understand what products or services will best perform during a specific season, and also provide insight into how consumers are shopping.
For example, the National Retail Federation (NRF) publishes consumer trend findings every year for back to school retailers. Their reports are full of valuable insights that marketers can use to inform their next back to school campaign.
4. Determine Your Seasonal Marketing Goals
Before you launch seasonal marketing, it’s important to understand the goals you want to achieve with your campaign. Your campaign goals will inform your seasonal marketing strategy, and will enable you to effectively choose and track the right key performance indicators (KPIs).
To determine your seasonal marketing goal, you’ll want to figure out what it is that your business wants to accomplish. The goal may be to drive traffic to a brand’s website. It could be to drive brand awareness and boost brand engagement. Or, the goal could be conversions and increased revenue.
5. Know Your Seasonal Marketing Audience
You’ll want to build customer profiles for your ideal seasonal marketing audience. Your shoppers can span across various demographics, so understanding who they are in detail will benefit your seasonal campaigns.
Customer profiles describe everything you need to know about a specified group of customers. You can leverage that information to create a seasonal marketing strategy that aligns with the wants and needs of your audience.
A customer profile will help you make informed decisions about campaign messaging, creative and channels, and which targeting tactics to use. Customer profiles are especially important when there are different types of customers shopping for the same occasion.
For example, Christmas shoppers include couples buying for each other, children buying for their caregivers or parents (or vice versa), friends buying for each other, and even employers buying for their colleagues.
Christmas is also the peak time of the year for marriage proposals and engagements. A jewellery company might plan multiple campaigns targeting very different customers.
There could be a campaign targeting parents buying something special for their children, as well as a campaign targeting people who are planning to propose to their partner.
Seasonal Marketing FAQs
Seasonal marketing works because it taps into the heightened excitement that revolves around seasonal holidays and events. This forms the perfect foil to support a brand’s marketing efforts. Because these occasions have meaning and bring people together, tapping into the emotional aspects of them can help marketers to inspire a receptive target audience.
Seasonal marketing has the potential to drive personalization, higher customer engagement, brand awareness, and sales, by aligning marketing efforts with holidays and events throughout the year.
During the holiday season, a retail brand might leverage shoppable video ads to showcase products while allowing a user to browse right in the banner. Then, the brand can use dynamic retargeting to serve ads that feature the most recent product page that a user visited. The user will see a creative containing the exact item they viewed, reminding them of the product they showed interest in at some point in their online shopping journey.
Get Started With Seasonal Campaigns
Measuring the performance of your seasonal marketing efforts is crucial for understanding which touch points in your marketing funnel are generating the most value.
Programmatic campaign reporting will be your map to success! Not only will it help you to optimize in-flight, but you can leverage that reporting to inform your seasonal marketing strategy in the following year.
Want to build exceptional seasonal marketing campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.