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Why you should plan a seasonal campaign this year – and start before the noise

By Mark Stecker


Seasonal digital marketing content boosts brand visibility and relevance, introduces new products to your audience, and expands your reach.


As digital marketers and business owners, we can be hyper-focused on a target market and overlook individuals adjacent to it. When done right, seasonal content widens the net and injects a little personality into your brand.


Remember NetFlorist’s Relationship Hotline? From Mothers’ Day to Valentine’s sack-waxing (don’t ask), Harold had you covered. In fact, Harold was so popular that radio listeners demanded that he return after his character was replaced.


Seasonal campaigns can get a bit random, though. Did you know that 30 January is World Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day? Neither did we, and unless you’re PostNet, an emailer about the joys of bubble wrap probably won’t land with your audience.


So, depending on the seasonal campaign you opt for, it’s important to keep your marketing aligned to your brand and what you offer – but more on that further down.


Having said all of that, we do want to point out that 24 July is International Tequila Day…



Seasonal is not just about selling stuff


Sure, the main reason for using seasonal content is to sell stuff. Whether you celebrate or not, we see it big-time at Christmas. Another example is Halloween – think about it, when did 31 October even become a thing in South Africa?


We might be giving away our ages (again), but growing up in South Africa, there was no such thing as trick-or-treating in boomed-off estates. Search its origins on Google, and you’ll reach a few dead-ends, baring results for ‘Do Africans celebrate Halloween’, ‘Is Halloween big in South Africa’, and a slightly concerning one, ‘Why don’t South Africans celebrate Thanksgiving’.


Apparently, it was only in the ‘90s that Halloween celebrations started happening in parts of Eastern Europe after the end of the Soviet Union (around the same time as the end of apartheid).


Now, Halloween is a thing. It’s an excuse for the kids to have fun – and for you to give them life-long trauma by dressing up like It. Savvy brands have jumped on that carved-out pumpkin like nobody’s business. Brands have realised that associating their business with a seasonal event showcases who they are. And it shows your audience that, even if you’re in the B2B space, you can have as much fun as the retail guys. 




Start before the noise


We can’t over-emphasise how important it is to plan in advance. We often see rash decisions being made when brands or clients want to jump onto something at the last minute. Take the time and map out your seasonal plan at least three months ahead of the event or holiday.


Think about who you’re speaking to and why you want to target them. And consider who you’re excluding if they’re part of your target market. This is especially true for religious-based holidays, because not everyone celebrates Easter or Christmas. And, as hard as it is for us to understand, we know that not everyone drinks tequila.


Take heed: it's expensive to compete with cost-per-clicks during popular periods because every business is pushing the same thing. So, start before the noise. You can even book an advertising block ahead of time on some platforms. Did you know you can book a reach ad on Facebook for a period in advance, so you're guaranteed that reach and return on ad spend, even if it's a super busy period? Now you do.


Remember, we see Christmas decorations in the malls in October because retailers fight for space during the festive period. So, whether you’re B2C or B2B, you need to be ready when that push comes.


Don’t be disjointed


Before launching a seasonal campaign, you need to make informed decisions, or things can get disjointed. Is your marketing department just jumping on a bandwagon, or is it something that will benefit your business? Does it align with your digital strategy, or is it completely off-base?


For example, if you’re a tombstone manufacturer, should you have a Black Friday special? (We rate a hard no, but We also came across a big-name retailer who sent out an SMS campaign entitled ’16 Days of Deals’ during the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. Careful what you pick is all we’re saying.


careful what you pick


Plan strategically and think about what kind of holidays or events would be appropriate for your brand. Your B2B offering could have broad relevance across markets, but there’s always an opportunity to be visible and meaningful.


Speaking of opportunities, think outside of the box. Say you're a divorce lawyer; Valentine's Day is a great way to advertise your services. You're focusing on people who are excluded from the retail holiday, and you've captured a new market of single people who may need a divorce lawyer.


Whether you’re B2C or B2B, a seasonal campaign can increase visibility and relevance. It should be more than a hard-sell because people will see through it, and your campaign needs to be appropriate. Next up on the seasonal calendar is Valentine’s Day – so, are you going to have some fun with it?


The Firewater team (and probably Harold) will drink to that!



Let us help you with planning your next seasonal digital marketing campaign. Contact us; we can show you how to go beyond just selling stuff.


Why not drop us a message?