Originally published on the Jifflenow blog.
January and February are big months when it comes to B2B events. As a result of their timing, much of the pre-event marketing falls in the holiday season. This season most people are interested in Christmas trees, gifts, gingerbread cookies, or glasses that say 2017. Since attendees are already in the holiday mood, getting them to pay attention to marketing messages about trade shows can be difficult.
At the same time, if your event is in Jan or Feb, marketing the event through this season is a requisite for getting the right kind of traction. Let’s look at how we can continue educating target audiences and driving attendee traffic through the yuletide season.
Use holiday message themes — stand out or merge in.
We’ve all seen multiple examples of Holiday Marketing and the kind of emotions that they aim to co-opt. You already know what is run of the mill. So in order to stand out, we need to begin a search for what has not been said yet.
How do you stand out? Different strokes for different folks, but we recommend being authentic to your brand and keep your messaging relevant to your product.
We believe in tying in your company’s value proposition with the spirit of the holiday season.
For example, if you are Dunder-Mifflin, you could talk about how paper helps communicate ideas and emotions, and about how the holiday season is about communicating how much the people in your life mean to you — maybe even organize a hashtag campaign around it.
There’s no point shying away from using old ideas either. As long as they are repurposed in such a way that it ties in with your company, and maintains a semblance of relevance to your customer.
Where do your customers spend their time online during the holidays?
People might not think about work during their holidays (well, at least they try). This might mean they do not check their emails, but they are still hooked to their phones. Which means their screens are still spewing content from Facebook and Twitter, maybe even Instagram or Reddit.
Depending on your attendee persona, you would know where they spend their time. (If you haven’t make a buyer persona, see how to make one here.) Once the channel has been identified, go forth with campaigns tailor-made for each channel.
Check out Splash’s Holiday Ode to Event Planners Video Card
For example, on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter tactics will fall flat. So you’ll have to spend a little more time scouting for the most relevant subreddit, see what kind of tone of language performs the best, and seek to incorporate that into your Reddit posts. More on Reddit marketing here.
There’s some time between the event and now, so keep the messages emotional
There’s a bit of time till your event starts, so in order to give maximum thrust to the messaging, appealing emotionally to the attendees needs are a good way to go. Remember the key holiday emotions — feeling grateful, fostering a sense of family, being home for the holidays and so on.
Check out this video from Microsoft employees going caroling to deliver a message to their ‘friends’
Another key aspect of a holiday campaign in shareability of your posts — can it go viral?
It would be a good payoff for you to specifically tailor your content for maximum shareability.
When people share content on social media, they take part in the exercise of image-building. They feel like they are the collective sum of their shares. Use this insight when you are making your communication — make sure that at least a percentage of your content is specifically made for easy shareability.
How do you pick up speed with day-after marketing?
A quick primer: Day-after marketing activities are those activities between the day after Christmas until New Years. This can be a tricky time, sandwiched between two holidays — people recovering from one holiday, and getting ready for the next one, at the same time. But they’re likely to check their email, because they’d want to get some work done.
This is the time people are thinking about their resolutions, gearing up for a ‘new’ start to their life. The predominant emotions are ‘starting over’, ‘a fresh start’, maybe even ‘a second chance’. Campaign messaging that uses these kinds of emotions have a better chance of resonating with your target group.
They’re also likely to check their emails now, so an email campaign with the above sentiments, clubbed with offers or discounts would be effective.
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The common thread among all these tips would be empathy for the customer’s state of mind during this holiday season. Keep that in mind, and you can do no wrong. Well, almost.