This time of year, retailers are very busy, both in-store and online. But for other businesses, the end of the year and the holiday season are changed.
For example- we work mostly with technology companies, businesses that offer hi-tech products, technical services, and professional services with the help of technology companies. For many of our clients, as employees take time off, and customers shift to holiday activities, there’s usually a downturn in web traffic and other digital business and engagement.
This time of year, our clients demand how they should use their digital channels over the end of year holidays. So, with less traffic, and some people to engage, what should you do?
I’m going to talk about some possibilities for changing your engagement strategies around the holidays to help B2B businesses manage their digital marketing works and get better results with less stress.
As noted, many businesses see diminished activity this time of year – customers are focused on closing out year-end projects, not starting fresh ones.
Resources are also often stretched at this time of year – employees are helping close out their projects (or) heading out for vacation. That implies less time to create content or offer other social media and community engagement tasks.
So the questions that surely come up are:
- If there looks to be a downturn in content being announced in my industry, should I continue to curate content?
- Is it meriting engaging with the community at the same level?
- Should we change when we publish content?
- Is there a “holiday publication schedule” we should adopt?
- Mostly, what should remain consistent?
- Should we run campaigns during the holidays?
1: Continue to Curate Content over the Holidays
If you’re doing things right, you’re interested in the field that you work in, and content curation is merely an extra step tacked on to the edge of your content consumption. Keep doing it.
There may be a downturn in activity, particularly as the holidays approach, but after being away for a few days, people will get back to consume content.
For many people – catching up on content I’ve meant read is one of the things I see forward to the maximum over the holidays. So proceed to curate content. Your community might not get to it right on, but many will sooner or later.
2.Continue to Publish
Each organization is different. It’s okay to reduce the amount of original content published over the holidays. This year, we’re posting half the as much original content.
Hopefully, you create your content well ahead of schedule, so you have content ready to publish, if not, here are some ideas:
Consider updating and re-releasing previous articles.
Do a ‘year in review’ article to highlight your successes or those of your clients.
Republish one bit of content each day over the holidays as a retrospective of problems, successes, tie the articles to some other theme in your industry. This approach can help you grow followers and get some fantastic traction.
As always, while you can create content in advance, and automate when it’s published, you must have someone watching your social media channels to respond to comments.
3: Posting Less
Frequently is Fine
It’s okay to post less frequently over the holidays.
There usually isn’t as much fresh content available, and your audience will be distracted holiday activities.
At my company, we reduce the amount of curated content by about 1/3 during the two weeks at the end of the year. We also take this opportunity to reshape and reshare some of the most popular content we’ve curated.
4: Maintain Community
Engagement at the Same Levels as Non-Holidays
If your social media resource stifled and have to cut some things down, diminish content before reducing customer engagement.
Social media is about connections, and relationships and commitment are key. And no single social media approach does more to raise feeling than being responsive.
Thank people. Respond to comments. Address customer service issues immediately.
Even with all the year-end craziness, your community managers need to encourage their communities. Set up a fair and manageable schedule for your community managers so your team can remain engaged, responsive and confident.
If, for any of the reasons we’ve noted, you’re doing less content posting, adjust the seasons during the day when you publish content.
We’re a B2B business, and during the holiday season we see more engagement or action early in the day, and less late. People are coming in soon, working, then checking out a little early, so we move our publication times to fresh in the morning, through early in the afternoon, leaving evenings free. We publish our original content in the morning to catch or make people during work hours.
What should you do? Look at your analytics. Analyze engagement trends to see when your community is online and engaging. Also look at content consumption and engagement stats for a holiday. Those statistics can provide you some insights for optimising your end of year content schedules.
6:Awareness Campaigns Can be Successful but Understand Your Calendar
If you’re in an industry that sees a slowdown time of year, we’ve had success with an end of the year campaigns for ourselves and our clients.
The most critical thing is to understand is the impact the holidays have on campaign engagement – for example, we put our Inbound Growth Plan on sale between November 1, and January 31st. It’s an excellent planning service we offer, and the end of the year and the start of the year are times when people are doing preparation which is why we put the service on sale.
But we manage the campaign as if it has three phases mapping to the customer engagement period we see this time of year:
Step 1: End of the year engagement. Between November 1st and December 15th, we actively try to get companies to spend the leftover budget on planning for next year. We cross-promote on our digital channels frequently and pay for search engine and social advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Step 2: Awareness campaign for the start of the year engagement. Between December 15th, and about January 10th, we don’t expect there will be much direct engagement. However, we keep promoting on our digital channels and will even run low cost, finely targeted Facebook campaigns to get and keep the word out and build awareness for mid to late January when people are willing to buy again.
Step 3: Start of the year engagement. From January 10th to January 31st we actively pursue new Q1 budget for planning. As with the end of year engagement, we cross promote on our digital channels frequently and pay for search engine and social advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn.
7:Instagram Over the
The Holidays are a great time to honor your businesses people, clients, and community, and Instagram is a great way to showcase this.
We assist all of our clients in using Instagram to present the human side of their company by showing behind the scenes images, highlighting key people, and interacting with the community. The holidays and holiday festivities make for a particularly great time to share these types of images.