Are you doing anything this weekend to generate traffic to your website? If you’re a B2B marketer, chances are you’ve probably asked yourself at some point: How do I keep marketing effectively when nobody is in the office? You want to continue to drive traffic and leads, but you don't know exactly how.
The wrong thing to do is assume that nobody is listening on holidays or during weekends. Depending on your audience, this could actually be a good time for a new blog post, video release, or email. Data from a recent Xobni survey shows that people are still wired into work during time off: 68% of working adults say they check email while they aren’t working, and 27% of those people will check email more than once.
Here are some tips on how you can use this knowledge to the advantage of your marketing program.
Be Creative in Your Communications
Try something a little zany, and see what happens. Marketing on a day off can sometimes work in your favor because there’s less clutter in people’s inboxes and social media feeds. It could also make your job a lot harder because people don’t want to be bothered. This means you’ve gotta step it up!
The email below is a great example of what we're talking about. Aside from witty copy, the sender has an extra special offer:
The result of a creative message like this is not only traffic and leads to your site, but it's also an entertained email recipient. The readers of this email probably felt lucky even though they were working on holiday. And if your readers feel lucky to be getting an email from you on a day off, that's a wonderful thing! Think of creative ways you can stand out in your audience's social media feeds and inboxes during off-times or holidays by playing with witty language and special offers.
Test and Measure Your Marketing Tactics
If you’re going to try out some out-of-the-box communication tactics, you're going to want to walk away from the experience with some lessons learned. The best way to do this is to take a scientific approach through which you can use testing and data to drive future decisions.
An excellent example of a company that tried this is Brewer's Market. The test was featured on subscription site WhichTestWon.com as an example of how to test during the holidays. The goal was to determine which copy was most appealing to gift-buyers. The company did an A/B split test on its homepage and found that its control page performed 61% better than the treatment page from December 16th to the 23rd. The article concludes with an excellent insight:
Although in hindsight, it makes sense to adjust your copy length and benefits for your seasonal visitors’ perspective, the idea was a huge point of contention between the site’s execs, some of whom “hated” the winning version… before they saw the results data. Now, their 2012 design plans include tweaked homepage versions for all major holidays from Valentine’s Day on.
While this an example of how a business used A/B testing to optimize their homepage for the holiday season, holidays and off-hours are also a safe time to conduct tests in general, due to a reduction in traffic and attention. You'll just want to make sure you're still generating enough traffic to make your tests statistically significant.
Don't Quit on Content
Just because it's the weekend or a holiday doesn't mean your audience will completely stay away from the internet (in fact, we've heard of some people even using work as an excuse to take a break from a lot of family time). Maybe your audience just prefers to use Twitter more on the weekends. The only way to find out is to try using a variety of channels and analyze what works best for your individual audience. QuickenLoans, for example, recently used its blog during the quietest week of the holiday season to drive traffic to their site. The company posted a series of timely articles, from what to do with unwanted gift cards, to how to handle post-holiday returns, to fireplace alternatives that will keep you cozy and New Year's Eve safety tips. The takeaway here is that you shouldn't stop publishing content when people are out of the office. Instead, you should adjust your content so that it's timely and promoted using the channels your audience uses during their time off.
Use Data to Make Informed Decisions
If you know a certain segment of your audience is more likely to be working on Sundays (young and hungry entrepreneurs perhaps), you can use that knowledge to drive your decisions and create targeted, relevant content directed toward that segment. Likewise, if you know a certain demographic is going to be annoyed by certain messaging over the holidays, you can avoid a bad situation. The Xobni survey found that younger adults between the ages of 18 to 44 were most likely to feel annoyed or frustrated about receiving work-related emails during the holidays.
You can learn more about your audience's preferences by observing which demographics convert on certain days. If your landing page forms ask the right demographic questions, you can export your lead data, along with the conversion dates, and do tons of great analysis like figuring out exactly who converts on Saturday mornings? Knowing that will help you identify the kinds of people you should hit with your Saturday morning email send, for example.
Show Your Brand's Personality
Holidays and weekends are the perfect time to lighten things up, have a little fun, and show off the part of your brand's personality that makes it relatable to your audience. Google is known for doing this and doing it well. Its most recent treat was an interactive Google logo that played "Jingle Bells." This past Halloween, HubSpot released a video of our very own flash mob, complete with zombies and gore, to the soundtrack of Michael Jackson's hit, "Thriller." Not only did we have a blast making the video, but we also managed to give our audience a Halloween treat and show off our brand's unique personality.
Have you had any success with marketing during the holidays or off hours? What worked (or didn't work) for you?
Originally published Jan 27, 2012 6:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013