Now that we have back-to-school season out of the way, it’s time we start talking about the holidays (or what we like to call ‘the eating season’ here at DMA)! If you aren't familiar with this term, the eating season is the time period we recognize between October and December when people’s mindsets shift to meal prep for the fall holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
What does this mean for food marketers? Quite a few things actually - increased website traffic, elevated engagement on social media and more questions from shoppers, just to name a few! Understanding this, it's important to align your marketing efforts and capitalize on this shift to food during the cooler weather months. Here are a few key marketing tips to help get the ball rolling as you begin to plan for the upcoming holiday season.
Planning Tips for Your Holiday Marketing
First, let’s review the facts. Email is responsible for 20% of online holiday site visits. If you are still wondering about the value of initiating an email marketing strategy, wonder no more. Email marketing works. According to Sparkpost, 58% of leaders polled believe email marketing efforts drive value and positive impact on their business. Additionally, 44% noted they increased their email marketing budgets in 2020 and were ready to invest in 2021 as well. Lastly, 44% of leaders reported their organization hasn’t yet developed a way to estimate the value of an email address.
So how can we capitalize on marketing for our fresh produce marketing efforts? You need to think less about what you’re saying and think more about the experience you’re offering to encourage people to provide an email address you can later use to develop an email marketing strategy. Here are a five ways to take that first step in building and managing a contact database:
- Welcome website visitors with a way to “sign-up to receive more”
- Host a blog or a promotion and build subscriber/participant list
- Invest in an email management system
- Use segmentation to reach the right people seeking specific types of information
- Analyze email open and click rates to fine tune your approach
“Today is not about ‘get the traffic’ - it’s about getting the targeted and relevant traffic." SEO Strategist at Blend 360, Adam Audette is spot on. When speaking of web personalization, we are talking about correctly targeting an audience, bringing them to a site and being ready to offer solutions for what it being searched. Basically, "let me help you find what you're looking for."
But, how do you find the right audience to target with the correct messaging? Take a look at website traffic overtime and pay close attention to areas where there are spikes. This will tell what people are interested in searching during that time and it can help you cater your website personalization accordingly.
Social Media AdvertisingGuy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist at Canva said, “A large social-media presence is important because it's one of the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing." Still not buying it? Here are some stats to help further emphasize the need for social media in your marketing plans:
- During the holidays, social media traffic spikes 73% for websites over the holidays.
- In addition, 75% more messages are received on social media, meaning it would be a good idea to prep your customer service team to respond to messaging on social platforms.
- Facebook expects a 35% lift in advertising dollars spent in Q4 over Q3 of this year!
- In 2020, Pinterest experienced a year over year increase of nearly 40% in Q4 alone. For you, take this as a cue to invest in Pinterest with social media ads on recipe content for these holidays.
What else could you be thinking about relative to your holiday mix? These are the typical activities that we execute on behalf of our clients during the eating season and find them to be successful.
- Product Launch
- Flash Promotions
- Direct Mail
Immediate Next Steps
So, what can you do RIGHT NOW to prepare for the holiday eating season?
- Prepare your activity calendar
- Establish a budget
- State goals and desired outcomes
- Customer service preparation
- Make a plan for reporting results to help you make decisions for 2022
We know that was quite a bit of information to digest (pun always intended). If you have additional questions or would like to chat about your current marketing plans for the holiday season, schedule a call with our team and let us help you!