Quarter 4 is only a few weeks away, and now is the time to optimize your marketing strategy for the final push of 2022. This time of year is traditionally associated with a ton of consumer spending, with holiday sales projected to total $1.45 to $1.47 trillion from November to January. According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 4% and 6% in 2022.
The opportunities to reach your customers are endless. But you need a plan! Keep reading for a few key steps to creating a Q4 marketing strategy that packs a punch.
Set SMART Goals for Your Q4 Marketing Strategy
The first step to creating your marketing strategy is to set goals. Start by identifying your key performance indicators (KPIs) to give your goals tangible value. Whether it’s revenue, ad spend, email signups, or lead generation, KPIs allow you to measure your progress and make any adjustments along the way.
To make sure your goals are attainable, keep them SMART:
- Specific: Identify exactly what you want to accomplish
- Measurable: Quantify your results
- Achievable: Set goals that you can realistically achieve in Q4
- Relevant: Make sure your goals match the stage and season your business is in
- Time-bound: Give yourself and your team specific deadlines
Each of your SMART goals should include the specific KPI you’re trying to target, how you plan to quantify it, the benefits it will bring, and how long it will take. An example might be, “By the end of Q4, we will increase sales up 10% from last quarter by creating a lead generation magnet around our best-selling product.”
Create a Content Calendar to Use as Your Map
One of the biggest challenges to a marketing plan, especially in the end-of-year chaos of Q4, is organization. A content calendar is the most essential tool in your arsenal when developing and implementing your strategy.
Creating and maintaining a content calendar saves time by helping you determine your workload, plan ahead and efficiently use your resources in the right places. It also helps to make sure your brand voice is consistent across all of your marketing channels from local marketing and digital ads to email campaigns and social media.
Life is easier when you aren’t scrambling for content, or worse, when you haven’t posted anything at all. Planning and organization takes a tremendous amount of stress off your shoulders, freeing up mental space for running the rest of your business – and even enjoying all the holidays that are packed into Q4.
Determine How to Implement Your Q4 Marketing Strategy
Once you have your SMART goals and content calendar in place, it’s time to map out how you’re going to put it all into action. What channels should you use? How do you combine inbound and outbound marketing? What spaces align best with your brand, your objectives, and your target audience?
Here’s a quick overview of the various marketing channels and what type of content fits best on each:
- Website: Blogs with relevant and useful content
- SEO: Incorporate keywords and backlinks and update your site speed
- Email Campaigns: Sales, promotions, and updates
- Paid search: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) digital ads
- Paid social media: Social media ads and influencer-generated content
- Organic social: User-generated content (UGC) and brand awareness
Speaking of brand awareness, there are some marketing efforts whose impact you can’t necessarily measure but are still a crucial piece of the overall strategy. Think customer experience and customer satisfaction. These elements should always be top of mind when thinking of the goals and objectives that you can calculate.
After you have your implementation plan in place, have other members of your marketing team give it a final look to see if there are any red flags, objections, or room for improvement. Then it’s time to kick things off!
Put Your Plan Into Action
Your Q4 marketing strategy should have very clear directions for each member of your marketing team. Everyone should know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and when they need to do it. Just like your SMART goals, your implementation plan needs to be specific, achievable, and time-bound. Adding dates and to-dos to a shared calendar or collaboration tool can ensure that everyone stays on track.
And finally, it’s time to measure your success! How will you know your plan is working unless you track it? Your SMART goals gave you KPIs to measure over time, so all you have to do is figure out how often you need to check the progress for the quarter.
Take a high-level overview at the end of each week in order to catch any red flags. And to keep on top of your quarterly goals, it’s a good idea to take a dive deep into your analytics bi-weekly. This way you can keep track of your budget and ROIs to make sure your time and money are being spent wisely and in the right places.
Bonus Tip to Super Charge Your Q4 Marketing Efforts
Whether you’re a B2C or a B2B brand, there are plenty of benefits to take advantage of in Quarter 4.
For B2C brands, there are endless opportunities to reach customers. Of course, get in on the big sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but this time of year is also great for building a relationship with your audience. Embrace the season’s themes of gratitude, appreciation, connection, and love.
And for B2B, Q4 can be a great time to reach out to companies that may have leftover money in the budget that they can allocate at the end of the year. Also, because some businesses may have lighter workloads over the holidays they may have more time to learn about your products and services that could help them in the new year and beyond.
Need Help with Your Q4 Marketing Strategy?
If your marketing team is stretched thin but you still want to make Q4 the best quarter yet, Fly Pages can help! From a la carte services to a fully integrated digital marketing campaign, our digital marketing superheroes want to help you make your digital marketing strategy easy, affordable, and effective. Learn more about our flat rate packages here, or reach out and let’s chat!