You know the holidays are a momentous time for business – but there are a few keys to successful promotions that sell. This podcast is all about how to set yourself up for success with a marketing plan fit for the holidays. I’m talking about…

Your BEST audience for holiday promotions + sales
How you can stand out (even when there’s more COMPETITION for ad space!)
Why ease + clarity will WIN over your potential customers

Tune in for a few key tips (in under 10 minutes!), and then take some time to plan your holiday sales… ahead of time!

Key Points:
[1:40] The mistake that costs you $$
[3:30] How to stand out when there’s more competition
[4:57] Set yourself up for success (i.e. how to plan ahead)
[6:33] How to plan for more expensive leads
[8:17] Remember: Ease + Clarity for the WIN!

Next month we’ll be sending out the Hirsh Marketing Report with all the details about what worked and what didn’t for promoting holiday sales this season. If you want access, go to HirshMarketingReport.com and sign up!

Episode Transcript:

In today’s episode, I’m going to you guys about setting up your ads for holiday promotions. So, this time of year we have holiday, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, New Year’s, lots of prime time for a lot of companies to promote, but also people get really worried about how expensive it’s going to be. So I have a separate podcast [episode] that’s about, will my ad cost go up? This one is specifically about how to set up your ads for success with your holiday promotions in your company, because it is a great time to run ads, but there are a few key things to remember here.

The first and most important thing is, in my opinion, ads that are going to be run for holiday promotions are really for your warm traffic. For your existing following, for people who are already … they know you, they know your brand and then they see a promotion, a sale, and it’s a no brainer. So the mistake that people make that makes it really expensive is they promote ads … they think, let me run ads to a bunch of cold traffic and tell them about this holiday sale, and for some companies, that does work, especially more in the e-commerce space, that could work, but still this is relevant to all industries, holiday promotions and sales are best for your warm traffic, because you’re going to have a … yes, you’re gonna have a lot of competition out there with holiday promotions because basically buying ad space on Facebook gets more expensive because it’s more competitive right now because more companies are marketing during the holidays, but you don’t have as much competition with just your warm traffic, ’cause it’s smaller and it’s people who already know your brand so you’re not paying to reach the masses, right?

This is where it’s super important that you see marketing as big picture and long game too, because not that you’re building up your warm audience for the entire year just for Christmas and Thanksgiving, but it’s really … building your warm audience consistently and doing that phase two visibility and brand awareness of The Hirsh Process, consistently pays off when it comes time to promote something like a holiday special.

So holiday promotions are for warm traffic, that’s where you’re going to see the most success, that’s where you’re going to make the most ROI and it can be extremely profitable. I have companies, several companies, where November, because of Black Friday is sometimes their best month.

The next thing is how important it is to stand out and be funny and be creative. I, way too often, see people’s ads that are like, the holidays are coming, get this, or something so basic, and it’s like really? It’s going to be more competitive out there, whether you’re targeting warm or cold traffic, it’s going to be more competitive, there will be more ads going out right now, and so it’s even more crucial, it’s always crucial to do this, but it’s even more crucial that your ads stand out and that’s starts with the creative. That means the graphics, the videos, the copy. Put thought into it. Have experts do it. Because it’s really important for your brand and to even get somebody to pay attention to the ad, that it stands out.

Not only is going to be competitive in the ad space, but also people are just busy. People get overwhelmed for the holidays, they have a lot to think about, a lot of gifts to buy, a lot of things to coordinate. People actually feel stressed. So you’re going to have to just even go an effort to get them to click and take an action on something more so than you would during a different time of the year. It’s super important to speak to pain points, have creative with bright colors that stands out, that’s not boring. Videos, same thing. Engaging videos that people like stop the scroll, they want to watch. You’re going to have to go the extra length for your ads to stand out and that really, really starts and matters with the creative and it’s so, so key.

The next thing is, don’t promote last minute. Right now I’m recording this episode and it is early November. We’ll release this soon because holiday promotions are coming up, but everybody should literally be thinking about their holiday promotions now. Don’t plan your Black Friday sale and your promotion and the ads you want to run, the week before. Don’t think about your New Year’s promotion the night after Christmas. Put some time and effort into this so that you’re not stressed, so that you’re not overwhelmed, so that the last minute piece of it doesn’t come out in the creative and in the ads, because if you take time to plan out the promotion, and what I mean by that is, like okay, we’re going to do a Black Friday promotion. When are we starting ads? What’s our budget going to be? How many versions of copy and images do we need?

Let’s plan all of those pieces out so that it’s just scheduled. Just like you would your email series and any other promotion, schedule out the ads from the actual ad to the budget and the goals, and what your threshold is when you run those ads. All of those pieces are so important and if you just like, oh my gosh I have to do a Black Friday sale, let me throw something together, put up an ad and just throw a hundred dollars at it. What if it does really, really well and you’re like man I wish I would have spent a thousand dollars on that, or more than that, it depends on your warm audience, how much you can spend, how big it is. But still, be intentional, set goals for what you want to achieve and then work backwards and set a budget and a threshold and then go out the gate and you’re setting yourself up for success with these promotions. So that’s so, so key.

The next thing is, I kinda touched on this with the warm traffic piece, but cold traffic is going to be more expensive. If you’re running something that consists of, for example, the fitness industry in January, a new challenge, right? If you’re running a challenge because you have a promotion, like January is prime time for a lot of businesses to be launching, ’cause everybody’s in that new year mindset, cold traffic will be more expensive. So if you’re planning for that, start building your warm traffic now with video views. Plan that it will be a little bit more expensive, although it is a time of momentum to get people in a fitness challenge, it’s also, a lot of other people are running that, right? So you’re gonna compete for ad space, so you might have to have your threshold for your cost per lead fifty cents higher than you normally would. Plan the budget around that just in case and remember that cold traffic will be more expensive. Everything you can do beforehand and all year to plan for these things, of building up your warm traffic, is so important.

I’m going to say it again, Step Two of The Hirsh Process, brand awareness and visibility; this is why it’s so important because it comes time to promote something, when everybody’s in this competitive space or you have a promotion that you want to put out there, and you have this massive audience that you’ve been building up and giving value to, who really trust you already, it makes your promotion so much easier. So marketing is that long game, that snowball effect, and I can’t even like emphasize it enough especially when I talk about something like this, it just shows you that the people who put time and money and effort into that brand awareness and visibility and just like, no questions asked, put a percentage of ad spend into it every single month, they are the ones that get so far ahead when it comes time to promote something like a holiday promotion.

The final thing that I wrote here that I wanted to talk about is just convenience. So, this is a … I mean it’s kind of a small thing, but it goes to, the user is going to … your customer, your potential customer is going to be overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with ads and overwhelmed with things to do and just an overwhelming time of year. Convenience and just like taking a step back and thinking about that customer journey that you set up, that ad that you’re running to or that landing page that you’re running to, convenience is important here. This might not even be something that you think about because you get so wrapped up in the marketing piece of it and getting all the things checked off to get the promotion out, but I want you to just … it’s so important in marketing to step back and actually look at what is going on with my customer in their head right now and emotionally where are they and physically, all those things because if you make the purchasing process easy and you make the customer journey clear, it’s going to do better for you because of the convenience piece.

What do I mean by that? So, for example, if you add in the ability to pay through PayPal because they can do it without whipping out their credit card, or you’re in e-commerce and you have an awesome shipping deal that makes it so it can get there faster, it’s free or something that saves them time, people are going to value that, it doesn’t have to be the front facing thing of your marketing, but I want you to just think about, in your customer journey, really like your landing pages and the way you’ve set it up, it needs to be clear and convenient for people. That’s true, not just in the holidays, that’s really true all the time. People are always looking to save time and do the most efficient thing. But it’s even more so true in the holidays and if somebody’s considering your company from another, they’ll most likely choose the easier option if they’re considering those.

So, those are my tips for running ads during the holidays and if you guys want to get access to the Hirsh Marketing Report, which we will release after November and December, and share the most successful campaigns during that time for our clients, it could be really interesting for you. You can go to hirshmarketingreport.com and download that report, it’s something we send out at the beginning of every month. We report on what worked, what didn’t work, what changes on Facebook, the amount of ad spend we manage, how much revenue we generated, our clients’ top ads, it’s crazy valuable. I work really hard on it every month and I’d love to give you access to that for free.

Hope you guys have so much success with your holiday ads and remember, like the key thing from this is the importance of building your warm traffic, so when it comes time to promote you have those people to promote to.