3 Keys to a Successful B2B Winter Marketing Campaign
November 23, 2015 | Dan Trefethen
For many of us, the days turning colder and nights getting longer can mean only one thing: holidays are on their way.
This week is, of course, a big one, but the winter months are chock full of both mainstream and obscure holidays to celebrate. And it’s not just for B2C companies – businesses selling to other businesses are still, at the end of the day, selling to people, and can pull the same heartstrings B2C brands regularly tug.
For marketers, the winter months bring a wealth of opportunities to connect with your audience around what really matters to them. Staying in sync with your audience’s day-to-day – whether that’s seasonal themes, holidays, or major cultural events – lets you reach them as people and have more authentic conversations.
But connecting to a holiday in a way that feels meaningful (and not forced) isn’t always easy, especially for B2B marketers. These three simple rules will help keep you on the right track.
1. Choose the right holiday or theme
Every major holiday, there are all too many stories of a brand elbowing in where they’re not welcome.
For holiday marketing to be successful, it has to feel natural for your brand to be there. For example, Burger King should be all over marketing around National Burger Day. In fact, it would be weird if Burger King didn’t celebrate the day. But does BK have anything to add to the conversation around National Cat Day? Or Oatmeal Muffin Day?
For any company, B2B or B2C, tapping into a holiday is all about relevance. Is there a good reason for your brand to enter the conversation?
Here’s what a good reason looks like:
- Your brand has a direct connection to the holiday – Burger King and National Burger Day. No-brainer.
- Your brand has an indirect connection to the holiday – This category is a little more broad: think of what your brand stands for or how you want to be perceived. A big part of Starbucks’ brand identity is community and togetherness, so Thanksgiving and other family-oriented holidays work well for them.
- Your audience has a connection to the holiday – For this to work, you have to know your audience really well. If you know your target buyer LOVES cats, a campaign all about National Cat Day would be a perfect fit.
If you’re considering marketing around a holiday but don’t meet one or more of those criteria, it’s probably best to save your marketing resources for a better fit holiday.
2. Create the right kind of holiday content
Alright, you’ve chosen your holiday – now what will your campaign actually look like? You’ll need to create content that builds on the conversation you started by bringing in the holiday.
Interactive content is the perfect blend of conversation and fun to make a B2B holiday marketing campaign succeed. Think about where you’re interacting with your audience (social media? email? blog?) and how you can tailor your content to meet that medium.
Here are a few ideas for the upcoming season:
- Festivus: “Air Your [Industry] Grievances” poll
- New Year’s: “Workplace resolutions” survey
- Trivia Day: “The Hardest [Industry] Trivia Quiz Ever” quiz
- National Fun at Work Day: “Most Fun Workplace” photo contest
- Groundhog Day: “Are You Stuck in [Industry] Groundhog Day?
- Valentine’s Day: “Perfect Match” product picker
You don’t need to create a pile of new content to run a holiday campaign. Small touches with a little bit of fun holiday flair go a long way, and can be quick to create.
3. Hook into larger themes and campaigns
Once you’ve created your amazing seasonally-themed content, keep the conversation going. Starting a conversation with a seasonal hook is just that: a start. You’ll get the most return on your holiday marketing investment by finding a way to connect your broader marketing messages.
Winter is on our doorstep, and your marketing campaigns need to keep up! Use seasonal themes to build a stronger relationship with your audience, tying in your longer form assets and having a little bit of fun.