2018 Holiday Marketing Guide: How to Prepare & Promote

Examples, Facebook, How To's

Most businesses spend each new year’s beginning developing a plan for the coming months. This program serves as a high-level guide to help you reach significant milestones for your business. Without it, goals are worth nothing more than the digital screens on which they’re displayed.

So how do you create a dynamic promotional plan and calendar to reach your marketing goals for 2018 — especially by leveraging time-sensitive events like holidays, major events, and seasons?

Here are five steps:

How to Create a Promotional Plan

1 – Outline Succinct Goals

Before you create your plan, outline your business’ top marketing goals for the year. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, and time-bound so that you can choose the right promotional strategies and appropriately measure the success of each goal.

For example:

  1. Gain 3,000 Facebook likes in 2018
  2. Increase an email list by 45% in 2018
  3. Increase new customer sign-ups by 15% in 2018

2 – Set Your Marketing Budget

The cost of running a promotion varies widely depending on tactics used to reach your marketing goals. A photo contest might cost you nothing more than a few hours of administration time and the cost of one product to give away. Meanwhile, a sweepstake for a lifetime supply of your best-selling product might cost thousands of dollars.

Also, consider how seasonally relevant content or promotions might factor into your budget as some quarters or months may require a heavier spend. For example, if you sell tax software, you might want to budget for a promotion at the end of March versus a promotion in August.

4- Choose Promotional Tactics That Fit Your Goals & Budget

You’ve set up goals and a budget. Now it’s time to decide what promotional tactics are most beneficial for your business.

To start, take inventory of what you’ve done in the past, examine what worked. Then use those examples to explore new promotional tactics that help your business grow in the coming fiscal year.

For example, you want to increase Facebook page likes. You might use a coupon campaign that asks the user to like your page before entering to receive the coupon code. Or, you could host a sweepstake where users earn additional chances to win by referring friends to the campaign.

5 – Build a Promotional Calendar Around Holidays & Events

Next, you must operationalize your goals and tactics by putting them on a promotional calendar. Before mapping this out, consider essential holidays and events that occur throughout the year.

Capitalizing on major holidays and events to create content or promotions that attract additional coverage and awareness for your brand is critical. When done correctly, seasonal promotions result in higher engagement and conversion rates. Why? People are already focused and interested in the event.

But remember: Quality seasonal marketing requires more foresight and creativity than simply publishing a topical post or promotion.

First, said marketing should internalize and honestly relate to the holiday and your industry or product. If you achieve this, customers can make a connection, and the marketing is more likely to resonate. So keep the content interesting, useful, or entertaining.

Last but not least, you probably want to avoid 100% on seasonal content — your promotional calendar should also have time-tested, evergreen content. A kind of relevant content your audience doesn’t quite get anywhere else, if possible.

Take a look at the following calendar with crucial marketing holidays in 2018 — keeping in mind the importance of choosing relevant seasonal holidays and events for your promotional efforts; these holidays will most resonate with your core audience.

JANUARY

Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day

Jan. 7 – The 75th Annual Golden Globes (NBC)

Jan. 10 – People’s Choice Awards 

Jan. 9 – 12 – Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 

Jan. 15 – Martin Luther King Day

Jan. 15 – Australian Open

Jan. 21 – SAG Awards

Jan. 28 – The 60th Annual Grammy Awards

Jan. 31 – Total Lunar Eclipse

FEBRUARY

Feb. 2 – Groundhog Day

Feb. 4 – Super Bowl 2018

Feb. 5 – 16 – New York Fashion Week 

Feb. 9 – 25 – Winter Olympics

Feb. 9 – 14 – Rio Carnival

Feb. 12 -13 – Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 

Feb. 13 – Mardi Gras

Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day

Feb. 16 – Lunar New Year

Feb. 18 – Daytona 500

Feb. 19 – President’s Day

Feb. 24 – Chinese New Year Parade

 

MARCH

March 4 – The 90th Academy Awards 

March 9 – 18 – SXSW

March 11 – Daylight Saving’s

March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day

March 21-23 – Global Pet Expo

March 29 – MLB Opening Day

March 30 – April 7 – Passover

March 30 – April 2 – NCAA Final Four

March 30 – Good Friday

APRIL

April 1 – Easter

April 1 – April Fool’s Day

April 5-8 – PGA Masters

April 7-8 – USA Science & Engineering Festival

April 11 – Stanley Cup Playoffs

April 13-22 – Coachella

April 16 – Pulitzer Prize Announcements

April 18 – Tax Day

April 22 – Earth Day

April 26-28 – NFL Draft 

MAY

May 4 -5 – Kentucky Derby

May 8-19 – Cannes Film Festival

May 13 – Mother’s Day

May 18 – June 14 – Ramadan 

May 19 – Armed Forces Day

May 19 – Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

May 19-22 – National Restaurant Show

May 21 – June 10 – French Open

May 27 – Indianapolis 500

May 27 – Scripps National Spelling Bee Week

May 28 – Memorial Day

May 31 – NBA Finals

JUNE

June 10 – Tony Awards 

June 14 – Flag Day

June 14-15 – 2018 FIFA World Cup

June 15 – 2018 NHL Draft 

June 17 – Father’s Day

JULY

July 2-15 – Wimbledon 

July 4 – Independence Day (U.S.)

July 7-28 – Tour de France

July 15 – 22 – 147th The Open

AUGUST

Aug. 2-5 – Lollapalooza 

Aug. 9-13 – Perseids Meteor Shower

Aug. 27 – Sept. 9 – U.S. Open 

Aug. 29 – Sept. 2 – Burning Man

SEPTEMBER

Sept. TBD – 70th Emmy Awards

Sept. 3 – Labor Day

Sept. 9 – Grandparent’s Day

Sept. 10-11 – Rosh Hashanah

Sept. 11 – Patriot Day (9/11 Remembrance)

Sept. 19 – Yom Kippur

Sept. 22 – Oct 7 – Oktoberfest

Sept. 27-30 – Ryder Cup 

OCTOBER

Oct. TBD- 2018 Nobel Prize Announcements

Oct. 8 – Columbus Day

Oct. 16 – Boss’ Day

Oct. 19-23 – Diwali 

Oct. 20 – Sweetest Day

Oct. 23-31 – 2018 MLB World Series

Oct. 31 – Halloween

Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 – Dia De Los Muertos

NOVEMBER

Nov. 4 – Daylight Savings Time Ends

Nov. 6 – Election Day

Nov. 12 – Veteran’s Day

Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving

Nov. 23 – Black Friday

Nov. 26 – Cyber Monday

DECEMBER

Dec. 2 – 10 – Hanukkah

Dec. 6 – Saint Nicholas Day

Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve

Dec. 25 – Christmas Day

Dec. 26 – Boxing Day (CA)

Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve

Parting Words

Stay tuned for month-by-month guides (Like January 2018 and February 2018 ) with even more information on essential holiday and hashtags!

The Woobox blog is here to help you succeed in your marketing efforts. Learn more about how you can leverage giveaways, coupons, and instant winsuser-generated content and contestspolls, quizzes, and gameslanding pages, downloads, and forms; and Facebook page apps with your seasonally inspired events to reach your marketing goals this year!

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