Social media provides an opportunity for brands to grow their email lists and collect valuable data from their audience. And the holidays are prime data-collection season. According to Hootsuite, 58% of marketers who have been using social media for three years or longer state that social media has helped them boost sales.
We recently dug into data that was collected from more than 360,000 campaigns built using ShortStack.com. Our research showed us that businesses create 50% more campaigns (promotions, giveaways, landing pages) during holiday months (September-December).
As a result, businesses see a 73% increase in lead generation (emails collected) during the holidays.
These numbers are huge, and provide some valuable insight into business and consumer actions during the holidays. They also serve as motivation for businesses large and small to be active on social media throughout the holidays.
How do marketers take this data and leverage it for their own holiday marketing strategies?
To start, here are some takeaways we can immediately draw from what we learned:
• Data-collection is a top priority for businesses during the holidays.
• Consumers are more open to campaigns, giveaways and ads during the holidays.
• You don't need to increase your budget to run a successful holiday Campaign.
Here are 4 ways to enhance your holiday marketing
1. Create Multiple Campaigns
It's only mid November, and it's not too late to build and run a Campaign, even a few of them! We recently released 20 Thanksgiving Campaign ideas that marketers can have up and running within a day (within an hour in most cases).
The amount of time your Campaign runs will vary based on your business and what you're offering, but if you're looking for somewhere to start, two weeks tends to be the sweet spot.
If you start now, you can run a Thanksgiving promotion, a December promotion and a New Year's promotion. That's three opportunities to grow your list, engage with your fans and take advantage of the heightened social activity of your audience.
2. Use a Form to Collect Data on Each Campaign
Whether your holiday marketing consists of promotions, giveaways, landing pages or simply displaying contact information, you always want to include a data-collection form on your Campaign.
When building your form to collect data, remember to only collect what will be most valuable for you. If you don't need someone's address and phone number, then don't ask for it. Discover which data is most important to you, and space out your collection over several Campaigns. This is another benefit to running a variety of Campaigns and not just one.
3. Cross-Promote your Holiday Campaigns
Cross-channel marketing is a necessity for promoting your Campaigns and other valuable resources you want to provide to your audience.
We no longer see businesses with one social media account or one online marketing channel.
In 2014, 80% of marketers planned on running cross-channel marketing Campaigns, so we imagine that number has only gotten greater.
In order to run any successful Campaign, it's important to understand the marketing campaign elements funnel.
Here's a great graphic from Business2Community that shows the elements of an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Having a strategy in place before you start promoting your Campaign will ensure that you don't simply post your Campaign and forget about it.
Promotion of your Campaign should last throughout the timeframe that your Campaign is running. A follow-up strategy should begin immediately after your Campaign ends. (I talk more about this in the next point.)
4. Have a Strong Follow-Up Marketing Strategy
Before you start your Campaign you'll want to make sure the tracking of your Campaign is in place.
You want to track all components of your Campaign plus the overall success.
We often see businesses collect a ton of emails and then do nothing with the information.
While we understand that not all businesses are interested in growing their list, there's most certainly always some way you can use the information you're collecting from your audience to better understand them and/or market to them. If nothing else, you can and should always use the data to make your next Campaign better.
The most valuable thing you can do is create a follow-up marketing strategy that keeps you communicating with your audience.
Whether it's an email marketing strategy, a direct mail strategy or even a targeted ads strategy, think of how you can keep in touch with your audience and leverage all the new data you've collected. Three things you should do include; eliminate low-quality leads from your list, segment your new list, and share a relevant offer. To hear more about each of these ideas check out this article about 3 things to do after your social media giveaway is over.
Whether your business fits in with the holidays or not, any business can take advantage of the uptick in social media users and willingness of social users to interact with brands during the holidays and jumpstart their marketing for next year.