Every year, businesses, organizations and retailers ramp up their holiday messaging. “What should we post?”, “Where should we post?”, and “How do we keep it all on track?” are the three biggest questions asked at this time of year. This 3-part series for Holiday Communications will outline answers to those specific topics.
In part one of this Holiday Communication series, we’ll discuss the WHAT question: “What types of NEW information should I be considering during the holidays?” Here are five specific types of content recommended for consideration:
1. HOLIDAY MESSAGE:
- Thank customers for their loyalty and patronage over the last year.
- Remind clients about the great things accomplished by the business over the last year and how they helped make it possible.
- Showcase your associate of the month / year and how all associates are committed to helping the organization’s customers.
- Tell your company’s story. How did you begin? Why? How do your customers and associates help you keep growing?
2. HOLIDAY POLICIES:
- Adjusting your days and hours this holiday season? If so, it is extremely important to note this several times throughout the holidays so customers aren’t confused or frustrated.
- If you will be closed on specific holidays, let customers know in advance and let them know how to contact you or how communications will be handled when you’re open again.
- Retailers should inform customers about important order and ship deadlines. Simple messages such as “Order by December 15 to receive in time for Christmas” will help keep them on track.
3. VIDEOS & PHOTOS:
- Did you know: Videos have a higher percentage of being shared and going viral than a blog post or photo!
- Creating more personal communications is important at this time of year. Use your employees and customers to share your special holiday message.
- A short video or series of photos can easily be added across multiple channels and will catch the attention of more viewers than standard written content.
- Plan “staged” media as well as candid. Have an ugly holiday sweater competition, a cubicle or store decoration contest, hold a holiday open house for customers, or even shoot a video during a particularly busy (but well-run) day in your store.
4. SPECIALS & DEALS:
- Detail your specific deals and discounts available during the holidays. Be sure to include disclaimers where necessary.
- Consider using a “whisper code” on Facebook – only fans get it and they can use it to get extra discounts on in-store purchases. (Details for creating a whisper code will be included in the next post in the series.)
- Consider gift cards, corporate gifts, free shipping, daily deals, and contests as additional ways to generate business AND marketing.
5. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
- During the holiday and year-end period, companies should detail their community involvement, fostering goodwill into the new year.
- Partner with a specific non-profit organization and pledge donations to that organization based on sales, new Facebook fans or retweets of a specific message. Be sure to set a specific time period and a cap on the amount to be donated or you could get burned when it goes viral.
- Collect donations for an organization and offer discounts or prizes for anyone bringing donations into your business. Detail this event via various channels
One more note – don’t forget your internal communications! It’s extremely important that your associates and employees understand your holiday policies, your community involvement, and the holiday message you’re planning to share. Get them excited and on-board with your marketing plans and how they will be affected. Most of all, be sure to remind them how appreciated THEY are at this time of year, more than any other!
The next part of the series will cover the Channels for these content pieces. The third part will layout plans for creating an Internet production calendar. Check back for those posts coming later this week!