Have Yourself A Merry Little Marketing Plan: B2B Holiday Tips

in Digital Marketing Strategy & Trends | by Emily Joseph

The holiday season, also known as Q4 in marketing land, is quickly picking up speed. (Don’t blink or it’ll already be 2018.) While most of the holiday marketing hoopla is geared toward B2C companies offering free shipping and 50% off deals, B2B brands have a unique opportunity to better connect with customers and even get the ball rolling for a prosperous new year.

As your trusted integrated dgital marketing agency, we rounded up our top tips to help you do just that. An early holiday gift, if you will. Let’s go walking in a digital wonderland…

Check Your List (Twice)

The December customer is different than the average customer during other months of the year—but it’s not all bad news. In fact, many businesses have “use it or lose it” budgets. Your objective is to understand your customers’ needs, target them appropriately and then intertwine your goals.

For example, consider your various prospects:

  • Bottom-of-the-funnel prospects are working toward closing a deal, so any actions toward this group should, as always, be focused on fostering your relationship and keeping them engaged in the conversation. Sending those prospects a little “surprise and delight” in the form of a small gift card or industry-specific gift (ex: premium coffee for us in #agencylife) is a great way to stay relevant.
  • Middle-of-the-funnel prospects are still considering your offerings, therefore, send them personalized, non-monetary gifts, such as premium content pieces related to your services and industry. See #2 below for some ideas.
  • Top-of-the-funnel prospects need to simply understand your business. This isn’t a place to get too specific or flashy with your product, rather, create more surface-level content to send via email. (Middle-of-the-funnel requires more detail than this group). Again, see #2 below for some ideas.  

When it comes to your current customers, this season is all about appreciation—with a hint of up-sell and cross-sell. As these customers have already proven their value to your company, first let them know you are thankful for their business, and then offer a discount for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Along with that, consider sending a personalized, handwritten note, as well as an additional gift, like gift cards or a nice bottle of wine (no one wants a big basket full of stale crackers and jams). Happy current customers = happy 2018.

Give the Gift of Content

Your content marketing strategy doesn’t get a winter vacation. In fact, you need to work a little harder to keep your voice heard over the bells and flashy sales. Cut through the clutter by creating relevant and timely content, like industry-specific trends reports, year-in-review blog posts and even new year checklists. With one piece of premium content, you can then develop related infographics, email campaigns, teaser blogs and social media posts.

For example, last year, Sparxoo wrote a 2017 Digital Marketing Trends report – a premium content piece. To support it, we created additional blog posts and published them throughout the first quarter of the year. (Shameless plug for two of our favorite posts: 2017 Digital Detox: Part 1; Three Steps to Total Marketing Integration.) This allowed us to deep dive into different aspects of the trends guide and keep the conversation rolling through to March.

And don’t forget to leverage your top performing content from earlier in the year as well. That piece you wrote in March? Turn the topic into the basis of a Twitter chat. The webinars and videos you recorded? Make a montage of the highlights and distribute as “tips of the year.”

As for social media, continue to post throughout the month, but adjust your schedule for the holiday season. (Hint: Refer to last year’s analytics to see what worked.) It’s ok to decrease in frequency, as long as you maintain audience engagement and interaction.

Resolve to Evolve

You should now be finalizing your budget and business plan for 2018. Pro tip: If you’re working with an integrated digital marketing agency, they’ll lead the planning for your SEO, content, PPC and email marketing strategies. If you’re going on your own, before you make any decisions, look at what worked for you last year and compare that to your current goals. Are they aligned?

After that, do some research. Connect with clients and prospects to uncover their pain points and learn how your business did (and can) help in the new year. Also, evaluate your competitors and where you stand in the marketplace, both locally and nationally. Other ways you can evolve include ramping up your content marketing (hello, video!), taking a mobile-first approach to design and development, and even starting an influencer marketing program.

‘Tis not the season to be a Scrooge. Luckily, adding a little holiday cheer into your marketing isn’t as hard as you think. With some upfront planning and creativity, you can have your pecan pie and eat it too.  

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