When you think of the holidays, some probable images that come to mind involve family and friends; it’s doubtful many think of B2B marketing. But it would be a mistake for marketers to tone down their B2B campaign during the holidays just because business communication isn’t a holiday tradition. If marketers follow the same concepts implemented in consumer-directed marketing, they can still succeed in holiday B2B marketing. Think long-term, soft selling. You may not close major deals over the holidays, but you can reach people when they’re thinking about the year ahead and what they could do better in their business.
As throughout the year, the content of your holiday campaign must first be compelling and relevant. Sometimes the best marketing for B2B is to just keep on the business customers’ radar. During the holidays, there’s less B2B marketing email volume, so make your emails count when you send them. Make every communication point count by providing information on new products for next year or different ways businesses can enter a loyalty program.
The sense of fun and giving inherent to the holidays offers an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of your traditional message.
- Focus on mobile marketing. Make sure your website and newsletter links are mobile-optimized since many people will be out of the office but able to read useful information through mobile devices (like the husband sitting on the bench at the mall while his spouse is shopping after-Christmas sales at Nordstrom, or the wife avoiding her wacky uncle by reading on her tablet after turkey dinner).
- Social media is a proven game-changer for businesses. If you’re absent during the holiday season, people may forget all about you. Out of sight, out of mind. Being available for your audience helps build trust and name recognition, which may help your business when it’s time for them to make their purchasing decisions.
- Keep it light: Creating a lighthearted or fun marketing message is the first rule for B2C in the holidays. Businesses want to build off the levity of the season and infuse some personality and cheer in marketing. The same can be accomplished in B2B. Using holiday-themed graphics is a good idea; marketers can relax the rhetoric of their marketing message to fit the atmosphere of gaiety. Remember, you’re still marketing to businesses and a level of respect and formality is still required, though the rules can bend this time of the year.
- Make sure you consider everyone who has a hand in the success of your business. Use the holidays as a time to reestablish those connections and say “thank you” for everything they do for your brand.
Consider these strong themes for your holiday campaign:
1. Give Thanks
- Your B-to-B business partners are the cornerstone of your business.
- Tell them honestly and kindly how much your partnership means to you.
- An elegant e-card, personalized with subscriber info, reminds your contacts that business relationships depend on real people.
- Holiday e-cards can include animation, links to videos or holiday games, or simply an expression of your thanks in a well-crafted message.
2. Share Your Success
- Share some of your company’s big accomplishments over the past year, especially if your partners can benefit from those new features, products, or services.
- It’s a perfect time for an end-of-year recap of the progress you’ve made, and how those you do business with can benefit from that success.
3. Give A Gift
- If your resellers, agents, brokers, sales representatives or other B-to-B contacts drive your bottom line; allow them to share in the success of your past year.
- Whether it’s as simple as allowing them to choose the charity in which your business will make a contribution, or as big as an actual bonus, gifting via email always makes a big impact.
4. Look Ahead To Next Year
- Do you have useful insight on your industry or your company’s future?
- Will you be introducing new products or services?
- Offer your subscribers a sneak peek at what to expect from you in the upcoming year.
- For a playful reveal, consider sharing your big news in the form of a virtual gift: something that users can digitally “open.”
Time slows down a bit during the holidays; prospects have more attention to give. You are only as successful as your relationships and the holidays are a great time to build and strengthen relationships through the Know>Like>Trust>Try>Buy>Repeat>Refer Marketing hourglass.
A thoughtful holiday B2B marketing plan can help a company drive brand awareness, grow sales and increase community engagement.
For more B2B marketing strategy tips, call e-MaxCommerce now at (502) 251-3510.