Do you have a plan yet for capitalizing on the holiday season? We know, we know: “It’s only October!” But we all know the holidays have a way of sneaking up on us before we’re ready. This year, why not plan ahead? That’s why we put together this quick guide to help you jump-start your winter advertising early. By following our suggestions in this blog post, you’ll promote your seasonal services and set yourself up for a busy, fruitful winter. (Better stock up on coffee now!)
Why Market Seasonal Services Early?
Before we get into the how-to, let’s explain why it’s a smart move to start marketing your winter seasonal services in October. First, if you start your advertising a few weeks early, you’ll give your ads a chance to gain traction. They’ll put the bug in people’s ears for holiday gift ideas, winter specials, and other seasonal services they might be interested in. As one business owner says, “It can really help to beat the noise by starting a seasonal campaign before everyone else.” Most people don’t consider it wintertime until at least mid-November (even though the winter solstice isn’t until December 21). So, if you start running ads now, you can get an edge on your local competitors. You’ll get your message across before everyone’s Google and Facebook pages are flooded with winter-themed ads. Of course, it’s not only about beating your competitors to the jump. By starting your marketing early, you’ll also reach those eager holiday shoppers looking for gift ideas. As Adam Heitzman writes for Inc.com:
“Starting in September, the internet comes alive with holiday fanatics who are already counting down the days to December. On top of that, a huge number of adults start their holiday shopping as early as October to space out their purchases. If your business peaks during these holiday months, start promoting deals, products, services, and ideas to reach those early shoppers.”
So, if you’re going to start advertising early, make sure you’re choosing products and services that are seasonal or time-sensitive. This will build a sense of urgency, which makes ads more effective.
What Kinds of Seasonal Services Are Good for Ads?
When we talk about seasonal services for the winter, we’re referring to any service that has significantly higher demand in the winter months. These could be popular Christmas gift ideas or just services relevant to the fall and wintertime. For example:
- Year-end accounting (seasonal service)
- Remote car starter (gift idea)
- Massage therapy (gift idea)
- Snow removal (seasonal service)
- Leaf removal (seasonal service)
- Firewood delivery (seasonal service)
- Electrical/handyman work for stringing up lights and decorations (holiday-specific service)
- Christmas tree pickup (holiday-specific service)
- New appliance installation (gift idea)
- New car stereo (gift idea)
- Home theater installation (gift idea)
…Just to name a few!
How to Run Sponsored Ads for Seasonal Services and Gifts
Whether you decide to advertise with Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, that’s up to you. As we explained in a previous post, both platforms are well suited to special, limited-time promos. Your decision will come down to your budget and what, exactly, you’re promoting:
On AdWords, your special must be for a product or service people are already searching for. On Facebook, the special has to be intriguing enough that it steals people’s attention away from their news feeds.
Also, keep in mind that AdWords is generally more expensive than Facebook. Meanwhile, Facebook will be easy on your budget and still allow you to reach quite a large audience. Plus, Facebook’s ads are highly versatile and customizable. Just remember that AdWords is more often credited for directly driving up revenues for businesses. So, while AdWords is expensive, it may turn out to be worth the investment for you. You can discover more about their differences here: “How to Choose Between Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.” Once you’ve chosen which ad platform to use for your seasonal services, it’s time to think about what you want your ads to say. Ad Creation Tips:
- Keep your message clear and straightforward.
- Make your ad’s headline count. Put the most important message right there in the headline so your audience can’t miss it.
- Use strong call-to-action language (e.g. “call now,” “click here,” “contact us today,” etc.)
- Don’t give too much information away. Instead, give your audience an intriguing preview so their curiosity builds.
- Create a sense of urgency by using phrases like “don’t miss out” and “last chance.” If it’s a limited-time coupon, include the end date.
- Use a high-quality image with bright colors and a high contrast. This will make your ad leap off the screen.
- Speaking of images, make sure your image has a visually interesting subject to grab people’s attention. In most cases, it should represent the particular product or service you’re promoting.
- Include your company slogan to increase brand awareness. Use other brand assets, like a signature font and logo, while you’re at it.
- Consider adding a giveaway with your promo to generate more interest and excitement.
- If you have the capability, create a video ad. Adobe reports that consumers who watch a video ad are 1.81 times (almost twice) more likely to make a purchase.
- Show off your sense of humor! Don’t force it, but if you can make a good joke in your ad, your audience will respond more strongly.
Two MUSTS: 1.) Whatever product or service you’re promoting must have a dedicated webpage your ad can link to. It can be a landing page specifically designed for this promo, or it can be a relevant page on your existing website. Just make sure the page contains all relevant details and displays your contact info prominently. A call to action would help, too! 2.) Give yourself some time for your ad to be processed and approved. To be safe, create your ad at least 24 hours in advance of when you need it to display. Feeling stuck? Need some inspiration? Check out this awesome list from AdEspresso: “55 Facebook Ads That Get the Holiday Advertising Right.”
Prepare to Be Busy!
If you use these suggestions to promote your wintertime specials and seasonal services, and you start advertising NOW, then you’ll be in great shape by the time the holidays roll around. In fact, this scene might start to look a little too familiar: