As we round the corner in September and look to the next few months, we've got nothing but green lights ahead as food marketers. With holiday gathers galore filled with stuffings and sides, casseroles and pies, and everything in between, so many opportunities abound for us to get our fresh produce brands in front of shoppers. But what should that look like exactly?
We dove into the nitty gritty of preparing your marketing for the holiday season in our recent Marketing Matters webinar. Here are a few things we shared.
What food marketers should plan to leverage
Ideally during the key holiday eating season spanning Halloween to Christmas, you're going to experience an uptick in marketing activity across the board to include:
- Increased website traffic
- Elevated engagement on social media
- More questions asked by shoppers
- Listening opportunities
- Increased sales
- Increased email open and click rates
Up your email game!
Speaking of open rates and click rates, did you know that email is responsible for 20% of online holiday site visits1? While you've got an eager audience interested in all things gifting, decorating, and meal planning for an extended period of time, make the most of it with a well-executed email campaign that helps weary holiday planners with helpful meal inspiration and time-saving solutions. A few email marketing strategies you should consider include:
- Welcoming website visitors with a way to “sign-up to receive more”
- Hosting a blog or a promotion and building a subscriber/participant list
- Investing in an email management system
- Using segmentation to reach the right people seeking specific types of information
- Analyzing email open and click rates to fine tune your approach
Why social media this holiday season?
Here's what we know - social media traffic spikes 73% for websites over the holidays.2 That is a huge indicator of the role social media can play in attracting a captive audience willing to give you their valuable time and attention. We also know that research is telling us 75% more messages are received on social media during the holidays than any other time of year.3 During this key season, shoppers are utilizing social media as a customer service tool to help them solve problems and find the information they need. Are you a brand they can turn to?
What else should you consider?
These are the typical activities that we execute on behalf of our clients during the eating season and find them to be successful.
- Product launches: Do you have a new meal solution coming out that pairs perfectly with the typical holiday dinner fare? Consider rolling it out during this timeframe simply because there are more eyes ready to receive the information.
- Partnerships: Whether you partner with fresh produce brands, influencers or both - the holidays offer a great time of year to foster great relationships that can continue into the next year.
- Flash promotions: Our social media team would tell you that while people are paying more attention, gain extra momentum on community growth and engagement with a flash promotion.
- Direct mail: Cards and well wishes are common during the holidays and into the New Year, so it makes sense that you would use this time as an opportunity to do the same for your brand. Engage with with consumers, customers, partners, vendors and your team with a stand-out mail piece!
Now get planning!
Are you ready to start building your holiday marketing plan? Here are five actionable next steps to guide you forward:
- Prepare your activity calendar - define the what, when and where of the tactics you will implement
- Establish a budget - how much will you allocate to each tactic?
- State goals/outcomes - what do you hope to gain from each tactic?
- Customer service preparation - who on your team can be involved in monitoring and engaging with your audience?
- Plan to report results - define a plan for gathering and measuring the results of each tactic
1Source: Campaign Monitor
2Source: Convince & Convert