The Holidays are coming (unlike Winter, which has taken 5+ seasons to get here) and us Small Business Owners are getting ready to sell sell sell for people who are ready to buy buy buy.

Creating a cohesive integrated marketing campaign

Instead of letting it overwhelm you or creep up on you (like ALWAYS), how about we make a plan together to make sure we hit all our platforms and are telling a complete and cohesive (read: all works together) story? Deal.

Where do we start?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times- start with goals. What are we trying to accomplish with our marketing campaign including visionary goals, monetary goals, and brand goals.

1) How does this campaign get us closer to our overall big mission in our business?

2) What is the dollar amount were trying to earn and in how much time?

3) How is this making our potential audience and peers perceive us in our industry?

If you want more in-depth help about setting SMART goals, visit this blog post- but trust me when I say every project should start with the End in mind.

Focus on the WHO

Who is most likely going to be purchasing from your Holiday Promotions? Make sure we are creating stories for your Ideal Clients or Customers NOT just things we like or think are good. It’s probably a good idea to get some feedback from your current best customers, or a target ideal customer like a friend or family member to see what kind of promotions or holiday deals they like to see. Another good thing to do some digging around on is what are some other brands they love to shop with for the holidays that are in your industry or a similar industry and how you could tie in with their promotions.

Next is the WHEN

Now you get to pick what dates you will have your promotion. This one is easy- Celebration Marking is based on dates the world has already chosen. Will you be celebrating Halloween? Dia De Los Muertos? Autumn? Pumpkin Spice Latte Launch? Thanksgiving? Football Sundays? Black Friday? Small Business Saturday? Cyber Monday? 12 Days of Christmas? Hanukkah? Christmas Eve? New Years Eve?

There’s literally so many angles you could work when you pick the dates of your promotion. If you think outside the box and do something unexpected, you have the opportunity to delight and inspire your customers.

One campaign I LOVED from last year was Magnolia Market, who was closed for business on Black Friday, but instead invited their customers to their location for “Family Friday” to celebrate the day after Thanksgiving together and remember why we celebrate the season. This was such a brilliant touch, and the best start to a fun and meaningful Holiday Season. Less about the money, and the crazy lines and door busters; and more about the connection and relationships and experience.

 

Create a Project Guide

This is basically a mini-brand guide. Everything you would create for your brand identity, you can create specifically for your campaign. Create a “Logo” for your Campaign, pick a color palette, choose your fonts, select your images (whether styled stock, or custom brand photography) and put it all together on a Brand Identity Board or just inside a Google Doc to reference when you create all your content. Stick everything you create and your photos in a specific Dropbox folder for easy access.

The one thing you MUST do, is be sure that it blends seamlessly into your overall branding. You can use different colors, or fonts, or graphics- but be sure you are not creating a disconnect with your audience and it looks like it came from you.

Create Your Content

What are the stories you need to tell? Are you creating blog posts? Build out the more “long-form” content, then pull out pieces to create your “micro-content” such as Instagram Posts, IG Stories, Facebook Posts, Twitter Posts, etc. If you are creating a Webinar, Podcast, or Live Broadcasts on FB Live or Periscope, you can build out your blog posts and micro content based on those more in depth stories.

Video, especially LIVE Video is becoming increasingly popular and more powerful, so start getting comfortable creating that content. All you need is your iPhone, and a simple video editing app like iMovie to put clips together or use an app to just create a GIF if that’s where your comfort level starts at, and plan those out for your Holiday Promotions.

Plan Ahead

What will truly save your sanity is to think about all these things way in advance. If possible, my rule of thumb is to have all your content created (and printed if you have a brick and mortar or local business) 2 weeks ahead of the launch of your promotion. I would then take the 2 weeks ahead of the due date to design and curate or photograph all your content (so start creating your content 4 weeks before) and then start the planning phase 2 weeks before that (which means your starting phase for your Promotion is 6 weeks before the launch date). For example, if you want a Small Business Saturday Promotion on November 26th, that means you need to start planning, at the latest, TOMORROW. #letsdothis

Also of note, if you choose to partner up with affiliates or business besties to join in on your promotion you’re definitely going to need to plan well enough in advance to give them enough time to work it in to their editorial calendars!

Here’s a handy Integrated Marketing Campaign Schedule to follow along with if you need a little accountability to motivate you.

 

Please let me know your thoughts or leave questions below in the comments! I’d love to see what amazing Collaborations you have up your sleeve, so please share in the comments as well!

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