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Us humans, we love holidays, festivals and special occasions! It’s time to dress up, get festive and do fun things. Whether your startup is a B2B or B2C, you are promoting something to someone. To people. Here’s why and how to join the holidays party, delight your target audience, and boost your product / service, all at the same time.
Why should your startup marketing include events and holidays?
People pay extra attention to holiday related visuals, texts, promos or anything else that comes to mind. We are used to seeing holiday related campaigns in the B2C world (e.g., consumer electronics) but actually, almost every company can spice up its marketing activities with holidays’ or special activities around events. Your startup is B2B technology oriented? You are an online / mobile / early stage product company? Sure. If you’ve got social pages, website, mobile app, content marketing activities, email marketing campaigns and so forth, you should pay extra attention to this post, as your marketing will surely benefit, a lot.
Before we talk about how to make special events and holidays campaigns happen, let’s go through how you decide on which events (out of the endless options) you should focus on.
Which events or holidays should I focus on?
1. Create an events calendar
Now is the time to create, a comprehensive holidays and events calendar. An annual one. Just search the web for “holidays marketing calendar template” and you will get many results, some with and some without specific holidays already planted inside. Here’s one example
Now, search for events and holidays that are:
- Relevant to the countries you focus on. Many events tend to be country specific, others are celebrated differently in different countries.
- Relevant to your target audience. If your audience is made of several segments, try to stick to the common denominator, and mark differently the events that are relevant for all versus those that are relevant for one segment only. Example: If your product addresses students, than you should check for major student events in your target geos. But if students are only one segment out of the several you target, then try to find events that are appealing to all of your segment, and mark those that only relevant for students.
- Big enough. The bigger your marketing team is, the more holidays/events marketing campaigns you can support. If you can support only a few a year, go for the major ones only. If you can, support campaigns around local or even ultra-local events (e.g. major sports event in a specific city…). For most early stage startups, the team is very small, so you’d better stick to major holidays and that are worth it in terms of both reach and ROI.
- Related to different interests. Given that you focus on your target audience, keep an open mind. Don’t just search for the traditional holidays (tend to be religious holidays). Think about sports events, major festivals and so forth (e.g. spring vacation, back to school, black Friday, April’s fools, the Olympics, mother’s day etc.)
Once you are done, you should set priorities and look at the big picture. It’s important to see that the events chosen have a reasonable spread throughout the year, so you are able to support them with a relatively small team, and from a budget perspective as well. Just be realistic with regards to your marketing resources, and search for the events that are big enough but are still relevant to your target segments and geos.
2. I would recommend a super simple events calendar that looks like this:
You should now have a picture of the holidays / events you will want to build marketing campaigns around.
What kind of marketing activities should I include for the prioritized events?
Holiday campaigns can involve many activities, from dressing up your marketing communications materials, to special offers during the event. Here are some examples:
- Dress up the look & feel of your website / social pages / email marketing with visuals and messages that are related to the event:
- Offer a special promo for the holiday / event time
- Send designed greetings to your customers (include some real value in it, even if it’s a virtual guide, eBook or something similar)
- Dress up your offices (and share pictures from the office)
- Send event / holiday give-a-way to VIP customers
- Create a social media activity with prizes. Make sure it’s related to the event but somehow to your product too.
Drupe Android app for managing contacts has created and promoted visual themes and marcom materials to support both global events (Holidays) but also to promote celebratory milestones for the app, such as reaching 250K and 500k users.
The company dressed up its Google play visuals and social pages covers. It has also sent a push notification to users, offering them to get a celebration theme for FREE, and posted about it in its social channels:
Good luck! Happy to hear and promote your special holiday / events case study