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Using a blended digital marketing approach to support your seasonal marketing

Author: Tom Walkden, head of paid media, idhl performance Seasonal marketing is nothing new. But just because the concept isn’t necessarily shiny and cutting-edge doesn’t mean… View Article


Using a blended digital marketing approach to support your seasonal marketing

Author: Tom Walkden, head of paid media, idhl performance

Seasonal marketing is nothing new. But just because the concept isn’t necessarily shiny and cutting-edge doesn’t mean it isn’t still an incredibly powerful tactic for retailers. Curating campaigns or content that feeds into trending topics helps brands become part of the conversation and, when done right, reaches audiences that hopefully convert.

However, this is easier said than done. The retail sector is more competitive than ever before and with higher consumer demands, it can seem like a losing battle trying to tap into seasonal trends. Retailers need to think carefully about their strategy to prevent their campaigns from missing the mark, wasting time and resources.

In this article, we take a look at how retailers can make the most seasonal marketing and some useful performance tactics to help your campaigns succeed.

Creating a calendar to support your goals

If you Google ‘key dates for marketing 2024’, literally billions (yes, billions) of results pop up. Creating a calendar filled with events and holidays is a tale as old as time, but when you take a deeper look at these results, it quickly becomes apparent that we’re drowning in potential days to target.

But are they worthwhile?

We’ve all seen it before. A well-known brand latches on to a trend that has nothing to do with its core offering and leaves consumers shaking their heads at this clear case of jumping on the bandwagon. Instead of creating a positive association for their business, it can have the opposite effect and dissuade prospects from shopping with you.

It’s important for you to take the time to identify relevant topics and events throughout the year that naturally align with your brand. Alongside the mainstream holidays, such as Christmas and Halloween, you need to create a marketing calendar that is peppered with topics and trends that are specific to your products and niche.

Let’s talk about peak

We can’t talk about seasonal marketing and not talk about peak, this is a publication for retailers after all. Running from October until the New Year, peak is one of the most important times of year for retailers. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas all occurring during this period, the implications of missing the mark with your marketing can be huge.

Retail is undoubtedly an over-saturated industry and even the most-well thought out seasonal campaigns can fall flat in the face of fierce competition. Conveying your key messages in a sea of similar brands can feel like an uphill struggle, regardless of how compelling your storytelling may be.

Embracing integrated marketing can help retailers to deliver campaigns with real results. But what does this mean?

Using different digital tactics to help propel your seasonal campaigns

There are a vast number of digital marketing tactics, from digital PR to SEO, and from paid media to CRO (conversion rate optimisation), the possibilities are endless. Which is the best use of your budget when trying to make your mark online? For seasonal events, historically businesses have opted to put the majority of their budget towards PPC (pay-per-click), which is often dubbed as the tactic that reaps the results fastest – making it perfect for events and holidays. And while PPC is undoubtedly a great tactic to utilise, as the online market has evolved, retailers are having to rethink their approach. With CPC (cost-per-clicks) increasing and more competition flooding the market, relying on PPC alone to achieve your goals is not for the faint-hearted.

A blended approach to your digital marketing looks to use a mixture of disciplines together to deliver one, multi-pronged approach, reaching target audiences at various stages of the purchasing funnel. So, what kind of tactics can be used:

  • Paid media: It’s more than just PPC – Paid media is a great tactic for seasonal marketing, letting you control where you want your budget to go and help promote your products to relevant, targeted audiences. While many people hear paid media and immediately think of PPC, paid advertising is actually much more diverse. Some key tactics include paid social, PPC, retargeting and programmatic.
  • SEO: Don’t skip the fundamentals – Often considered a long-term commitment, SEO can be an underutilised tool by retailers for events or seasonal promotion. But, when done right, SEO is always a beneficial tactic to incorporate into your marketing strategy helping to drive traffic to your site and build your audience over time. Using a curated list of researched keywords and implementing them across relevant landing pages onsite, a well-executed SEO strategy can be extremely effective for your seasonal campaigns.
  • Earned media: Outreach and digital PR can propel your marketing efforts – Outreach and digital PR can be used to help expand your reach, putting your campaigns in front of new audiences that might not have engaged with your brand before. Sounds great, right? But for your content to reach these new audiences, it needs to be a cut above the rest. As earned media, if your campaigns aren’t eye-catching, engaging and downright interesting, your story won’t be covered.

The benefits of a different approach to seasonal marketing

Lights4fun are a well-established decorative lighting company in the United Kingdom. No strangers to seasonal trends, alongside year-round products, Lights4fun offer a wide range of seasonal lighting for key events through the year. As peak approached, they wanted to change their tactics, moving away from PPC-led campaigns to look at their campaign more holistically.

Using a multi-pronged approach, Lights4fun implemented a full-funnel strategy, targeting their audience at each stage of their journey online. Using paid social, programmatic and paid search, they focused on brand awareness whilst drip-feeding their Halloween and Christmas products to a select, highly relevant audience.

With a new strategy in place, Lights4fun went on to not only reach their targets, but to surpass them by 15 percent. You can read more about their success story here.

Using digital tactics together, not in silo, for the most impact

Each an important discipline in their own rights, SEO, paid media and digital PR all help retailers to reach audiences at various stages of their purchasing journey, from awareness right the way through to checkout. While some brands may choose to focus their efforts on one tactic, putting their all into crafting the perfect PPC or SEO strategy, for many, a seamless multi-disciplined approach can deliver the best results.

With competition high in the retail sector anyway, when busy times of year such as peak come around having a digital strategy that targets audiences every step of the way, through organic search, retargeted ads, or creative PR, ensures you stay at the forefront of their mind until it’s time to convert.


Interested to know more about our approach? Visit idhl’s website to see how they do things, or connect with them here.

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