Harnessing the Holidays

Oct 28, 2013 admin

After Halloween, expect your inbox to begin its annual inundation of holiday marketing and promotional sales encouraging you to try new Thanksgiving recipes or to start your Christmas shopping early. While most of us still consider the holidays to be a wonderful time of year, new mediums for advertisement, online tracking and real-time bidding can make them feel overwhelming in our digital world. Not to mention tough times mean more aggressive promotion. The Government shutdown, among other economic factors, is leading top sellers to predict only a modest increase in sales from last year, and according to Ad Age, Experian Marketing Services noted that 49% of marketers plan to launch holiday campaigns before Halloween to mitigate the financial impact.

As PR experts, we need to navigate the holidays strategically to keep content marketing alive in the business space. The following tactics can enhance content promotion and engagement to catch and maintain our target audience’s attention in the hectic, but exciting next few months:

  1. Increase social during off-hours: An Outbrain survey that reviewed how Americans consumed holiday-related content during the 2012 holiday season indicates people are active online more late at night and during the weekends than they are during the rest of the year. In fact, late night consumption between the hours of 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. increased by 136% around the holidays. This rise in online traffic outside the typical high-volume hours provides more opportunity to engage audiences through social media platforms and syndication sites. Even if you maintain a normal sleep cycle and go to bed before midnight, make sure you schedule a few tweets and Facebook posts promoting the new company blog post during those late night hours to capture that audience’s attention and direct it where you want it.
  2. Make content mobile friendly: The same survey revealed that more people access sites from mobile devices around the holidays and smart phones saw 251% more content consumption than the rest of the year. Understandably people are busier than normal planning parties and finishing gift shopping on-the-go. Therefore, it’s crucial the content you are promoting is mobile friendly or can be accessed through a company app. Anything that saves time and makes accessing content easier for your audience will improve the traffic rate and increase the amount of time visitors are on your site.
  3. Make lists: We all love to-do lists and will definitely be making them to survive the holidays, but lists are also extremely effective for presenting content and engaging readers. This past month, BuzzFeed’s top trending articles have been various creative ideas for Halloween costumes presented in their list format (26 Hilariously Clever Halloween Costumes). Audiences want to partake in the holiday spirit and will be looking to read themed content. Think outside the box with your business to create holiday lists that incorporate your branding and get strategic messaging across in a fun and festive way.
  4. Use videos: Videos are also a great tool during the holidays and those that employ humor, in particular, can be a strong driver of audience engagement and sharing. I wrote a post about how brands can use Instagram and Vine videos to showcase new products, a major announcement or other company news, and during the holidays, these video tools will be better at breaking through the congested online marketing environment to get attention. Norton, the anti-virus software developer, made a great holiday video during the 2012 season that used humor and incorporated the brand’s message into the holiday theme. Check out the video below and start planning for the holiday season!




Topics: Blogging, Content, Marketing, Public Relations, PR, Social Media

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