The Fourth of July marketing guide (21)

Coming soon: fireworks.

And hot dogs. And burgers. And lots of red, white and blue tank tops.

Oh, and an effective July 4th marketing campaign from your brand, agency, retailer, or charcoal, gas, or electric grill company.

Yep, Independence Day is approaching fast. Anyone looking to market something — from gyms with summer specials to auto dealers looking to move metal — should have a plan in place.

Whether you have goods to sell or a message to deliver, the following tips will help you win the coming weeks.

Build the right audience

First, you need to know you’re targeting the right people. If you’re an auto company, make sure you’re targeting messages about your Fourth of July sale to people who are actually shopping for a car. If you’re selling grills, target people who are Googling “grills” (genius, we know). If you’re an online publisher looking to increase subscriptions with a special Independence Day offer, make sure you’re targeting the types of readers most likely to pay for news.

All of this is to say: use your existing data to create an audience. Once you find success with this audience, create a “lookalike audience” for even more wins. Wins beget wins. Sales beget sales.

Promote contests on Instagram, and make sure your storytelling is on point

Instagram accounts that hold contests grow their followers 70% faster than accounts that don’t. Running contests, in a paid or organic fashion, is a no-brainer for retailers and brands looking to sell something. You’ll also see some long-tail benefits past the Fourth.

Make sure your storytelling is on point. Instagram’s image carousels — a series of up to 10 images for users to swipe through — allow for good opportunities in that department. You can share before and after pictures to promote a beauty product or walk people through the correct way to grill a burger. Carousel posts generate more interaction than single image posts. (However, single image posts still get the most overall engagement.)

Native videos can garner big results on Facebook

On the subject of Facebook engagement: video is king. Although they’re harder to make and thus take up a small share of total content produced (compared to links and photos), videos can garner a massive amount of engagement on Facebook.

This video recipe for red white and blue marshmallow dip, originally posted by Delish, is an example of a video that worked. The video was slickly edited and took more man-hours to produce than an image carousel would have, but, as NewsWhip points out, its various iterations garnered 21 million views.

If you want to roll the dice on hitting an absolute home run, try investing in video, and putting money behind it on paid social.

Start planning your emails now, then unleash them a week before the holiday

In 2017, MailCharts and 250ok looked at 1,000 emails sent by top retailers for July 4th. 71 percent of Independence Day emails went out before the day (most were sent a week out), 22 percent were sent the day-of, and seven percent were sent after July 4th (most of these were “last chance” emails).

Even if you plan on sending emails the week of, the time to start planning is now. You want to make sure your message is right, and aligns with other parts of your campaign, like display, social, and mobile.

As for the content of the emails in the study, these were the most-used incentives:

  • Percent off (65%)
  • Dollars off (19%)
  • Free shipping (6%)
  • Buy one, get one free (2%)

Use identity resolution to tie it all together

Build your audience. Make sure your storytelling is on point, and you’re hitting all the right notes with your creative and messaging. Work with a partner who can offer you solutions for display, mobile, email, social, connected TV, and programmatic audio.

Once you have those bases covered, it’s time to make sure you’re hitting real, verified people across the litany of devices they use. The key to this is identity resolution, a data management process through which an identity is analyzed between data sets to find a match. It’s how you target your customer while they stream Netflix on their tablet, check sports scores on their desktop at work, and use Instagram on their smartphone at night.

The key to effective ID resolution is first-party data, which is data that’s collected by brands and publishers directly from their customers. Second-party data, meanwhile, is collected by data companies your trust from these brands and publishers. This creates scale.

Also key: working with a company who sources their data ethically, and is honest with their customers about how they use it.

If you have all of these pieces in place — the right audience, effective messaging across channels, and identity resolution — you’ll see your share of fireworks come July 4th (sorry, we had to).

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