Hannuka, Kwanzaa, Christmas, boxing day, New Year’s Eve… The end of 2022 is fast approaching and many B2B tech businesses (alongside most regular people) are winding down and figuratively cosying up on the sofa with a blanket, while listening to festive tunes.
The winter holidays have traditionally not been the strongest time for B2B businesses when it comes to revenue – with other organizations slowing down their operations, or even closing down for the holidays, attracting prospects and capturing attention is not easy at this time of the year. But… (there’s always a “but”) those that do get it right, can see positive ROI and lead rates. You probably already know this, which is why you are reading this blog. So… you’ve decided to take a chance on a holiday campaign this December, now what?
Steps to follow when creating a B2B holiday campaign
- Define your goal – We take it you have already defined the audience you want to target, so it is time to define your goal. Whilst B2C marketing campaigns tend to have the objective of driving sales, tech B2B holiday campaigns have less pressure and more flexibility to cater to either sales, or other business objectives – such as brand awareness, corporate social responsibility, or client loyalty.
- Make a plan – pick your marketing channels, content, and strategic approach. Remember to make it simple. This isn’t the time to be bombarding clients with dense whitepapers, or technical reports. Just wish them happy holidays and remind them that your product is worth keeping in mind, or even buying in preparation for the new year. Make engaging with your brand a light-hearted, holiday-fitting experience for clients who can now dedicate more attention to your brand due to the lower business activity.
- Tailor your communications to each client – Having a generic campaign for a wide audience is fine, but it still needs to feel personal. Don’t make the mistake of thinking personalised content is only effective in B2C marketing, simply adding your client’s name to the email subject line can add the personal touch they need to engage with you, and the proof is in the open rates (13-28% higher).
- Track and analyse your content marketing ROI – Once the campaign is over, look at the data obtained and extract insights so that you can optimise your marketing efforts next year. Bonus points if you A/B tested areas of your campaign for even more accurate takeaways!
The truth is that even though these are great as a high-level guide throughout your marketing process, you will still need a creative idea. Finding inspiration, best practices, or examples of successful B2B festive campaigns is extremely hard (we know), so it can leave you feeling stuck as to where to even start – which is why we’ve done the research for you…
1. Google’s Santa tracker
Each December, Google’s Santa tracker lets users check what Santa and his elves are up to on the North Pole. This initially-B2C Christmas campaign was taken a step further when they expanded it into a B2B campaign targeting developers. Their strategy was to share the tracker’s code and other elements of the tool as open source with developers, in order to allow them to create their own festive assets – a little Christmas gift from Google, to your business.
What makes it great?
The beauty of the campaign is that Google barely had to produce new assets, content, or communications – it was basically done through a blog, and tailored communications. They used an already-finalised campaign and, by adapting the approach and changing the angle in their storytelling, ended up with a comprehensive campaign that adds true value to their target audience. Brilliant.
2. Airbnb’s Opening bell campaign
In 2021, Airbnb chose to put their hosts at the centre of the season’s celebrations, by making their campaign a modern thank-you card. Through a festive video and landing page showcasing hosts’ profiles, the company shows appreciation for the millions of hosts around the world that make it possible for Airbnb to function. By being present during the season and doing so by embracing the spirit of giving, appreciation, and gratitude, they are ultimately increasing customer loyalty and engagement.
What makes it great
Considering the context, the campaign is spot on. In 2020 and 2021, the travel restrictions caused huge losses to Airbnb, and this campaign gracefully thanks those who kept hosting through the platform, for effectively keeping the company afloat. Plus, although it is focused on the hosts, it tailors to both B2B and B2C audiences by highlighting the personal side of the service and reassuring potential guests.
3. Canva’s inspirational campaigns
Canva is a graphic design online platform, and a great example of embracing the B2B opportunities of the season. Their campaigns involve inspiring their B2B subscribers with different designs (most of which are premium) to market products during the holidays and its related shopping events, like Black Friday.
What makes it great
The campaign adds real value to their B2B customers, who will undoubtedly need to come up with different seasonal designs. Through their email communications, as well as the look and feel of their homepage, Canva helps users whilst gently nudging them towards purchasing premium accounts and/ or images.
In a nutshell
You cannot create a successful B2B holiday campaign without following four simple (yet crucial) steps: Define your goal, make a plan, tailor your content to your audience, and track the results.
When approaching your campaign, don’t overcomplicate it. Remember that less is often more; aim to add value to customers in a simple way – it will make your life easier too! And finally, use that value to drive them to your goal, whether that is a sale, enquiry, or higher customer loyalty.
If you would like help creating, executing, and analysing your B2B content strategy (holiday-themed or not), please get in touch at [email protected].