Stranger Views: Thoughts on B2B Seasonal Marketing Campaigns
Happy Halloween! Tonight’s the night for ghosts, goblins, princesses, and Pennywise the Clown (apparently one of the hot costumes for this year). It’s the annual ritual where children finally crash from their sugar high and parents raid what’s left. I’ll pass on the Tootsie Roll’s and go straight to the Hershey Milk Chocolate mini-bars.
In honor of both Halloween and Stranger Things Season 2, our friends at Vidyard launched a video series last week called Stranger Views. It’s a fun culture content series featuring my favorite robot V-Bot and the disappearance of a lead.
Stranger Views got me to thinking how (and if) B2B seasonal marketing campaigns should be used by marketers. The answer to if is an emphatic yes! There is much to leverage – from tapping into people’s emotions and nostalgia, to aligning to annual buying patterns, to boosting your social media following.
Connecting emotionally through B2B seasonal marketing campaigns
As discussed in last week’s post on Storytelling, connecting with buyers emotionally is critical in driving B2B buying decisions. A well-executed B2B seasonal marketing campaign can soften even the most hardened of B2B buyers. Especially one that connects them to a nostalgic experience – summer vacation, Christmas, Halloween.
The campaign must be well-executed and cannot be contrived or exploit the season it is celebrating. The best B2B seasonal marketing campaigns are clever. They entertain, and perhaps inspire. At the end of the day, you have to really know your buyer personas well and what will be meaningful to them.
Aligning with fiscal and calendar year patterns.
B2B seasonal marketing campaigns are about much more than aligning with holidays. A much bigger economic impact can come from aligning to the fiscal year patterns of your clients. For example, the fiscal year for many of your clients may align with the calendar year. How can you align your B2B seasonal marketing campaigns for maximum impact when they need to spend end of year budget funds? Identify products or services that you can sell into them using these funds. Start marketing them well in advance of the end or beginning of the year.
One key when selling into an end of fiscal year buying agenda is identifying products or services that can be consumed quickly so that the expenses don’t get accrued into the next fiscal year. Workshops, training, templates, and blueprints are all good options.
The calendar year is also another consideration. In Europe, vacation seasons can mean significant portions of a market are out of office for a chunk of time. This can be both a significant issue, and an opportunity. Is it really your entire market who is out of office, or does it just seem that way? Is there less noise and hence can you break through better?
I advise our clients during the summer to package up their best content into Summer Series (blog posts, on-demand webinars). Your resources are likely thinner too at this time of year, so it’s a great time to recycle and re-use.
Boost your social media engagement
Recognizing seasonal themes in your social media program helps you connect with your followers on an emotional level. Embedding your logo into a pumpkin graphic shows the warm, fuzzy “human” side of your company. Infographics outperform all other social media offers by over 30%. Think of how you can tie seasonality and your product or services together in an infographic.
At the end of the day, B2B buyers want to see the human side of your organization. Nothing is more human than the patterns and rhythms of our lives, as reflected through the seasons and holidays that mark the passage of time.
Now if you will excuse me, it’s time to get back to raiding my daughter’s Halloween stash.