B2B Holiday Marketing: How To Get The Most From The Slow Season

B2B holiday marketing doesn't work like B2C holiday marketing.

If you’re going to survive the notoriously slow holiday season, you’re going to need to look at some new B2B holiday marketing strategies.

Things change this time of year for B2B businesses.

Many companies take the time off for the year to focus on what they’ll do at the start of the new year.

However, they don’t take the time to build momentum now to start the year strong.

So, most B2B companies don’t get things going until March or April, wasting a full four months every year.

Small brands can’t afford that kind of wasted time.

To counter that, you’ve got to put effort into your momentum now.

Take advantage of the holiday season to build your potential leads and visibility through the end of the year.

Smart B2B holiday marketing strategies can help you do that.

B2B Holiday Marketing Won’t Make Your Clients Behave Differently

Before you get started, you need to understand one thing of importance.

Your clients will generally behave the same during the winter holiday season regardless of your marketing.

As will most of your target audience.

This is the time of year that has your retail clients swamped, handling customers who are buying gifts and searching for deals.

And your non-retail clients have their annual budgets tightened with the season’s slowness.

This time of year slows dramatically for the B2B world, with many customers either taking the season off or, conversely, being completely swamped. Click To Tweet

Using effective B2B holiday marketing strategies won’t get people to loosen their budgets or be less busy.

However, it will prime them to make decisions earlier in the next year than they might otherwise.

Additionally, it gets them focused on your brand while your competition is still sleeping.

That’s going to give you an advantage when they’re ready to buy what you’re offering.

You’ll also have the advantage of engaging the leads that are still within the lengthy B2B purchasing process.

From that, you’ll help nudge them through to the next phase faster than if you took the season off.

But no matter what B2B holiday marketing strategies you use, their behavior will stay the same during the holidays.

If you know where you’re headed, though, it will be easy to handle.

Build Into Next Year With Solid B2B Holiday Marketing Strategies

While you may be able to earn a few extra sales during the holiday season, you must focus on the coming year.

Beginning the year with strong momentum can change everything for your brand.

In the world of B2B, holiday marketing is the difference-maker.

It’s not just about marketing during the holiday, though.

The type of marketing you do matters more than anything.

For most B2B brands it’s more important to choose the right kind of marketing than it is for retail brands.

That’s because retail brands have the advantage of appealing to impulsive behavior.

Your B2B clients simply aren’t buying on impulse. That means giant discounts won’t help your B2B brand generate any sales during the holiday season. Click To Tweet

But we know that the B2B world simply doesn’t work like that.

A typical B2B sales process takes much longer than a retail one, and we have to plan for that.

Therefore, the ideas I’ve got for you aren’t designed to create immediate sales (though they might speed up a few).

B2B holiday marketing is focused on building momentum and setting your brand up for a bigger new year.

So, by starting now, you can begin your year with amazing momentum and see your growth earlier.

And these ideas are going to help you do that.

Shift Your Marketing Timing

During the holiday season, it’s normal for your B2B clients to shift their working hours.

Depending on who your brand serves, your audience may be working longer hours or finding more time off.

Therefore, it makes sense for you to adjust the hours you publish content.

For the audience that may be working longer hours, it’s time to make a few long-hour changes to your schedule.

Begin publishing content outside of normal business hours and sending emails at later times.

Give your target audience leeway to help their customers through the season and find content that will help them later at night.

And, for the audience that may be off more, consider publishing content during the normally busy hours.

It’s during these hours that your audience is most likely looking for something to fill their time with now that they’re on vacation.

Your content might be the perfect piece of knowledge they’re looking for.

By adjusting your B2B holiday marketing publishing hours to match your audience’s adjustments you improve your odds of getting seen.

When your content provides value to your audience, you improve your odds of keeping their attention.

If you have their attention, you can begin the process of nurturing them towards becoming your client.

Starting your new year off right.

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Focus On Personal Connections

People tend to get personal around the holidays.

They want to connect with people, express their gratitude, and share the sentiment for the season.

And that leaves you an opportunity for genuine connection.

If you create b2b holiday marketing emails (and other content) that focus on the connections with your audience, you’re on the right track.

Check-in with your audience with a message of holiday cheer.

There are several ways you can do this.

  • Write an email expressing your gratitude for having them as your client.
  • Wish them the season’s best in a non-generic, brand authentic way.
  • Invite them to take part in supporting a cause that matters to your brand.
  • Create personalized content to send them a message.
  • Share holiday traditions that matter to you.

By no means is this an exhaustive list.

However, you get an idea of how many ways you can connect with your audience.

Anything you can imagine the builds the bond between you and your clients, leads, and content viewers is fair game.

Just make sure you keep it to the holiday theme if you want to cut through the clutter.

Making connections like this with your audience strengthens the trust, fondness, and loyalty they have for your brand.

It helps assure that clients remain clients and leads eventually convert.

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Plan Campaigns For The Long Term

The B2B sales process has never been a fast thing.

Because of that, you’re already used to longer-term marketing campaigns than the average B2C business.

But during the holidays, those processes are going to slow down further for most of your leads.

They’ll also start later for many of your potential leads, who won’t be looking to make decisions until after the season.

By getting on their radar now, you have better odds of earning them later.

There will, however, still be a long wait to see the results of your B2B holiday marketing.

To be sure the campaigns you start now are successful, you need to think of how they’ll evolve.

You need to decide where they’ll lead your audience.

Planning the ways these campaigns will shift away from the holidays after the season and continue the effort is important to their consistency.

How will you continue to drive the same message and further the process without remaining in the holiday spirit come January?

That understanding will help you guide your audience in the right direction, converting more of them to leads and clients.

And it will prevent you from judging your results too early and abandoning campaigns before they deliver.

It gives you the ROI you should be earning.

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Spend More Effort On Social Media

Many of your clients, especially those who aren’t in retail, will be spending more time on social media during the holiday season.

Social media is the medium people use to share their lives, including their holiday festivities.

With the added time they’re spending on social media you gain opportunities to get your content in front of them.

Therefore, your B2B holiday marketing plans should include increased use of social media.

Producing more content on social more frequently allows you to get more of your message in front of your target audience.

Because they’re spending more time looking they see your content more often, which keeps your brand front-of-mind.

They may not act on it right now due to the standard end-of-year constraints.

But they will think of you first when they explore what they need from your industry.

Earning the first shot like that is the most valuable part of increased brand awareness.

And the holiday season is a great time for your B2B company to expand its brand awareness.

Taking advantage of added social media attention is also low cost and simple to do.

Making it an effective use of your marketing resources.

Considering you likely have the same end-of-year budget restraints that many other small businesses have, that’s exactly what you want.

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Produce Holiday-Themed Content

When talking about B2B holiday marketing, it seems like a no-brainer to suggest your content be holiday-themed.

However, many B2B brands feel it doesn’t make sense for them.

Because they don’t deal with products or services that are affected by the holiday season, they don’t know how to tie in a holiday theme.

The confusion is rational, so if that describes you, don’t be alarmed.

To fix it is simple, though.

It’s a matter of ignoring what you believe the expectations of your brand are.

If a brand can’t connect what they do to the holiday season, it’s because they’re thinking from their perspective more than their clients’.

For example, this content is for my B2B audience to do a better job building during the holidays.

My services don’t change during the holidays, nor do they warrant special pricing or discounts.

So, instead of tying my content directly to what I do, I tie it to what my audience needs.

Your job is to take the same approach to your audience.

What do they need most during the holiday season that your B2B holiday marketing content can focus on?

Providing the answers they need will assure they’re paying attention to your holiday messages.

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Festively Update Your CTAs

Ok, let’s put something out there right now.

When it comes to B2B holiday marketing, there’s nothing wrong with a little random festivity.

The decision to decorate parts of your site – especially your calls-to-action – with a holiday theme and wording can often make a difference.

People who visit your website to find out about your brand also want to know something about you.

They want to see a company with a human side instead of a cold, faceless entity.

Demonstrating a little seasonal silliness shows your audience that side of your brand in a way that makes sense.

Seasonal changes to websites are expected by most people.

So, finding them on yours may be a surprise, but not a shock.

In making the changes, you’re letting your audience know that you’re a brand that doesn’t take everything overly seriously.

You allow yourselves to have a little fun when it’s appropriate.

That’s a quality that people would rather have in a working relationship because it makes things much more fun.

If you can help your clients better enjoy working with you, you’ll earn greater loyalty from them.

And that means they’ll be back to you sooner and more often when they’re ready for your offerings again.

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Get Your Team Involved

The relationship your team builds with your clients is the greatest asset your brand has.

Anything you can do to make that stronger is a huge benefit to your marketing efforts.

So, for your B2B holiday marketing, get your team in on the content.

Turn your content to focus on a variety of subjects.

You could have each team member record a video of their favorite things about the holiday season.

Or you could share what your team is thankful for about each team member.

Optionally, focus your content on the season’s greetings your team has for your clients.

There are a ton of ideas you can use, and you don’t have to limit yourself to one.

Mix them up and create content that focuses on those ideas.

It might even be a good idea to focus the theme of your B2B holiday marketing on the relationships your team builds.

By bringing the focus onto your team, you build the connections that make your brand feel like family to your clients and audience.

Coupling that with the season’s focus on family, their feelings toward your brand begin to shift.

As you begin the next year, your audience will think of your brand first when they’re ready for what you offer.

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B2B Holiday Marketing Helps Build Momentum

The holiday season doesn’t have to mean you take time off of your B2B business.

Instead, focus on creating stellar B2B holiday marketing content and campaigns.

They’ll propel you into the new year and help create the momentum you need to grow like never before.

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B2B Holiday Marketing: How To Get The Most From The Slow Season

by Michael McNew Read in 9 min