by Alyx Holder
Planning for the Holidays: 5 Must-Do's for a Successful 4th Quarter Part I, explained that businesses should utilize cyber deals, update their staffing, and prepare according to Covid-19 guidelines. Part II provides the last two points on how to plan for a profitable 4th quarter through digital marketing.
When it comes to digital marketing, awareness is key. While your loyal customer base may frequently check-in for new products and deals, sustaining your businesses requires visibility to new prospects and staying relevant. In digital marketing, this means creating personable, timely posts that invite your audience to learn more about your company or browse your online store.
For the fourth quarter, this is usually done through holiday messaging that focuses on the warmth and togetherness of the season. Restaurants and catering businesses offer families a chance to bond and spend time together without worrying about cooking. Retailers entice customers with promises of the perfect gift for themselves or that special someone. Even businesses like law firms and medical providers get in on the holiday messaging by making their clients feel like part of the family and assuring their availability should their services be required.
No matter what industry you serve, now is the time to focus on brand awareness so you are at the forefront of your audience's mind.
Some easy tips for planning your fourth quarter messaging:
Be inclusive: non-denominational imagery with a simple 'happy holidays' message avoids ostracizing your audience. If you choose to be specific about a holiday, keep the message warm and light.
Maximize engagement: do some simple research to see when your audience is most likely engage with your content and create your posting schedule based on this information. If your accounts are newer, there's plenty of general engagement data per platform you can utilize. Make sure you give your customers plenty of time to plan around big sales or new releases!
Be consistent: one post just won't do, especially during the holidays. Avoid getting lost among other posts and advertisements by posting regularly. You may even consider increasing your schedule slightly during this time. Just don't post too frequently; you may risk disciplinary action by the platform, Google, or lose followers.
Cross-promote: it's likely most of your audience doesn't follow you on every platform. To maximize exposure, make sure you're promoting all major news and announcements across all your accounts. While the tactic may vary based on the platform (what works on Instagram may not translate well to LinkedIn), consistency across all social media is key to digital marketing success.
Check out our free content calendar template here to help you get started!
As previously mentioned, scheduling is just as important as the quality of content when it comes to digital marketing during the fourth quarter. It doesn’t matter how great your social posts, blogs, videos, or podcast episodes are if no one is around to see them. Thankfully, an editorial calendar and social posting tools like Hootsuite make it easy to stay on top of it all. In fact, you can plan out your entire fourth quarter posting schedule in just a matter of minutes. Here’s how:
1. Determine post frequency: the more often you post, the more visibility you gain, right? While this makes sense in concept, it may not be the case. Posting too frequently may lead your audience to unfollow your accounts or get them marked as spam. Instead, aim for a consistent posting schedule that is frequent enough to maintain interest but not so frequent it is annoying. Your post rate is unique to your business, goals, and audience; test what works best for you!
2. Research platform best practices: a good rule of thumb is that consumers prefer video and graphics to text-only posts, but that doesn’t mean you can just schedule the same content across all platforms and go. Take the time to learn what works best for each social media site and audience. Repurposing content that you already have or jumping onto trending topics is a great way to generate posts.
3. Determine topics: moving beyond trending topics, it can be difficult to know what you should post. That’s where evergreen content comes in! As the name suggests, evergreen content is always relevant. These pieces typically answer some common questions within your industry, explain or describe a product or service, or provide other valuable information. Creating content that supports and can be linked back to your website is a great way to build engagement and increase visibility.
4. Leave room in your schedule: if you can’t come up with topics for every day of the fourth quarter, that’s okay! Something is bound to come up that is more intriguing and you will want to have the flexibility to interchange posts as necessary. Having a few simple posts as back up for when you (or your audience) need a break is a great idea.
Let us know how you plan for the final quarter of the year in the comments below!