Fall is here, and while the weather outside is somewhat unseasonably warm, the cold weather, and a red-hot holiday shopping season and start of a new calendar year are around the corner! Your brand, business, products and services are all unique, and you’ve spent a considerable amount of time, effort and money to build your brand and your business into something special. Now is not the time to drop the ball and let the holiday shopping season sneak up on you!

It’s time to start organizing and planning your digital branding and advertising initiatives, before it’s too late. Luckily, you can still create an effective and powerful holiday campaign with a reasonable investment of time and resources, because it’s all about identifying and targeting a specific audience.

Fewer Shoppers Are Waiting Until The Last Minute

When we think of holiday shoppers, we have an image of a harried parent, rushing through a shopping mall on the evening before a holiday. Truth is modern shoppers are organized, savvy, and plan early – in fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 23 percent of shoppers have already started their holiday shopping. Most will have finished by the end of November! Your business, like that fictional harried shopper, simply can’t wait until the last-minute.

Choose An Audience Early

A key to successfully organizing and implementing your digital branding and marketing initiatives for the holidays is to identify your audience as early as possible. You’ve already identified your target market and ideal client, but to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing and stretch your resources as far as possible, you need to pinpoint a specific audience for the products and services you will be offering during the holidays. In our previous blog post, we highlighted the importance of utilizing a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system to get to know your clients. This has helped you to further refine your marketing and advertising based on the uniqueness of each client. Even if you don’t have the time or money to implement a CRM system within the next few weeks, you can still take steps to pinpoint your audience using personas.

Who is This Persona?

A buyer or marketing persona is a detailed but fictional representation and profile of your ideal client. Without the detailed records maintained through a CRM system, you can create a persona by relying on what you already know about your customers. There are many resources available online that will guide you through the process of creating a detailed persona. Once you have created your persona, use it to write content marketing directly to your ideal client. You can then purchase social media advertising that pinpoints potential customers who closely match your persona, and use it to inspire and shape your other holiday branding and advertising initiatives.

Don’t Panic At The Last Minute

If worse comes to worse and you accidently wait until the last minute to organize your holiday and end of year advertising, don’t panic and waste time and money on broad and unfocused campaigns that are thrown together at the last minute. Luckily, in the same manner that technological tools and services have changed the way we shop, you can put together a holiday campaign at the last minute. Though it may not be ideal, it’s still better than blasting out an advertisement to everyone within a specific geographical region.

If you don’t have time to formally create buyer persona, jot down a few common characteristics that you’ve identified over the years. Even a basic or thrown-together persona that still reaches a segment of your target market is better than a scattered effort that likely won’t connect at all!