‘Tis the season to be stimulating marketing buzz. Can you feel it? If you rely on Fourth Quarter to make your annual revenue plan, you’d better be feeling it. Even though it’s only September, later I’ll share eight ways to get your buzz on now.
For years, both in my professional life and personal life, the Christmas season lasts about half of the year. My regular readers and followers probably recall that I perform with Vocal Majority, an international championship chorus. One of my responsibilities is overseeing the marketing and advertising of show tickets, events, recordings and fundraising.
We planned our Christmas and Spring Season themes last May. Throughout June and July there was sales planning. Over the summer we introduced content marketing campaigns to warm our patrons and build buzz that Christmas tickets would soon be on sale.
And now that it’s September, the Christmas and Spring season is announced with tickets on sale. The first week of sales smashed prior records, due in part from the pre-buzz. Now the marketing focus narrows to only the Christmas Show with heavy email, social content, social targeting, video and direct mail.
Why is this campaign successful? It’s in the “pre.” That is, generating buzz that creates energy and demand for a product or event before it goes on sale.
When anticipation builds over time before the product goes “now on sale,” a floodgate of demand opens. So here are my eight recommendations for a pre-marketing, buzz-building strategy.
- Create content that teases without revealing the entire story. Let your audience know you’re planning and that they’ll learn more in increments.
- Give your prospects and customers the future timeline of when your event or product will become available. Then, on the day you go live, make it a big push!
- Flood your prospective customers across every channel available to build story. We primarily use email and social media pointing to video. Facebook has become very effective. We embed video for high visibility boosted with sponsored digital ads served to Facebook users who were matched from our email list, and who have visited our website in the past 30 days.
- Encourage your social media followers to share your teaser posts with their followers and friends.
- Pose pre-launch questions about making your life better, such as: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could …”
- If it’s a product launch, take pre-orders and/or create and promote an event to make the announcement.
- Post milestones of pre-order quantities, or seats sold (and seats remaining), leading up to the event.
- Have a closer strategy. Direct mail remains our deal-closer channel. Yes, email and social media sell for us, but we’ve learned that when we mail more frequently in the season, we ultimately sell more tickets.
Enjoy the buzz of marketing your long holiday season!