The massive whirlwind that was the biggest shopping weekend of the year has just passed. This year, we participated in sales for all three of the big days. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday all took place within four days and, while we thought we were prepared, there were a few things that we learned to take with us heading into next year.

Plan Ahead

We knew this one; we tried to execute this one, but sometimes time just gets away from you. While you have another twelve months to plan, take our advice and lessons learned and put some real time and thought into your holiday marketing strategy for next year. Put something together now, while it’s all still fresh in your mind.  Then, re-evaluate that plan in six months and then again about a month before everything should start kicking off. Being over prepared for three of the biggest shopping days of the year is never a bad thing.

Promotion is Everything

“If you build it, they will come.” Well, maybe. If you have a great deal, and no one knows it exists, is it such a great deal? Promotion is the meat of marketing. It’s what you need to get your sales and services in front of customers. Frequency, consistency and creativity are imperative to getting the most eyes on your content. Again, while it’s still fresh and all around you –take a look at what everyone is doing. What is working for them? What isn’t? How can you translate those strategies and build on those for your own business?

Grab Attention

If you can’t create an attention grabbing line, you’re not going to grab any attention. I’ve learned this the hard way over and over again. You really have to consider article titles, wording of social media posts and texts on graphics as your first impression. If you’re not drawing viewers in, then you may as well be pushing them away. There are plenty of tools and programs that help you to make your text and headlines more appealing. Use them. I’ll do the same.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are each individually a frenzy. Put all three of these events in such a short succession and it’s pure madness. People are looking for deals. Quick, easy, and apparent. If your sale doesn’t catch their eye, they will quickly move on to one of the millions of others. This is the most important time to be on top of your marketing game if you are looking to pull in new customers. Planning far, far in advance is the best advice I can give from what we’ve learned this year. Execute those plans on time, each time, so that your entire strategy doesn’t fall behind. And, as always, learn and regroup. Get going on next year.

What has your experience been this holiday marketing season? What lessons did you learn that you’ll be rolling over to next year? What did you do right? Comment below!