B-to-B Online Marketing Around the Holidays

As the holiday season grows closer, many of us associate it with the busiest shopping season of the year.  But for B-to-B the inverse is often true.   While consumer shopping spikes business to business transactions often lag.  Consultants, trainers, and professional coaches need to modify some of their online marketing plans to account for the decreased activity without abandoning the time period as a lost cause.

There are two bad plans for your B-to-B marketing over the holiday period (late November through the early part of January in the US).

The first is pretending the time of year does not matter.  While you’ll want to schedule any informative content that you regularly provide, sales or offer emails are unlikely to convert well.  For example, if you run a monthly event to find new opportunities, it’s likely that registrations will suffer.  Instead of forcing your regular events an alternative “gift” incentive might be more appropriate.  For example, offer a free whitepaper download or training webinar as a thank you to people that subscribe to your email newsletter.  Make the offer simple to redeem.  Prospects don’t even need to leave their office to take advantage of either example.  The holiday period is a challenging time to get people to take advantage of more elaborate or expensive offerings, so find ways of providing simple value add incentives.

The second bad plan is giving up the holidays as a lost cause.  This plan abandons regular communications because “no one’s paying attention now.”  Your regular informative emails or newsletters are a given.  If you publish monthly or bi-weekly, then you need to meet that expectation.  True, rates will likely be somewhat lower but being consistent with your offer assures your audiences that you will deliver on your commitment.  Furthermore, this time frame is not a total lost cause for B-to-B.  Some businesses might have put off a decision until the end of the year.  If their budgeting cycle will reset, they might be primed to close a deal with a consultant, trainer, or professional coach.  Keeping your online marketing churning through this time period provides an opportunity to stay top of mind with prospects and clients.

Take the holidays into account for your online and email marketing.  It’s not the boom time that consumer businesses experience but it can be fruitful none the less.