B2B Marketers: Holidays are Prime Time for Engagement

December 19, 2019

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for retailers and consumer brands, but what about marketers with a Business-to-Business (B2B) focus? 

While it might seem counterintuitive, we wanted to see if there is an opportunity to get in front of B2B buyers over the holidays that marketers might be overlooking. To do this, we analyzed LinkedIn B2B engagement rates during the 2018 holiday season, zooming in on November through January. Here’s what we found:

B2B holiday campaigns are more impactful than you might think

B2B marketers might expect a decrease in online activity as people go on vacation or spend time with family and friends over the holidays. As expected, there was a dip in overall sessions over Christmas (the biggest dip of the holiday season is on New Year's Eve when people are getting ready to celebrate), however, LinkedIn members are highly engaged during this time.

Ad engagement for B2B brands on LinkedIn increased 18% in December 2018, compared to the average engagement rate outside of the holiday season (February through October). LinkedIn Members were reading and engaging more with content, particularly on mobile, as well as searching for new jobs. LinkedIn members were also more likely to volunteer to hear from brands during the holiday season — lead gen form submission increased by 22% in December.

By the second week of January, when members are likely refreshed and ready to start a new year with new goals, engagement rates were even higher than in November.  

There’s an appetite for holiday-specific content in December

Holiday keywords (such as holidays, New Year and Christmas) are effective for B2B brands, particularly with LinkedIn Sponsored Content. While B2B brands aren’t necessarily selling gifts, ensuring a brand's message incorporates the spirit of the holiday season with key terms will boost conversions and convert buyers into long term loyalists.

We can’t forget that decision makers at B2B companies are, at the end of the day, consumers, too. Marketers should be thinking about what’s inspiring and motivating them holistically. Content that creates a human connection or that is built around setting new goals in the New Year resonates. 

Software sees the best holiday results

For example, B2B Computer Software brands served 13x more seasonal ads on LinkedIn than any other industry in 2018, and it was worth it — the top five highest-performing brands in Computer Software serving seasonal ads saw 2.6X higher CTR on average.

High-Tech saw the highest impression rate with holiday ads, with 5X more ad impressions than average across all industries during the holiday season, followed by Finance (3X) and Corporate (1.3X).

As a best practice, how-to and tips articles saw high engagement rates for B2B holiday creative, such as New Year’s resolutions, checklists and holiday season survival guides. 

B2B marketers shouldn’t ignore the holiday season — engagement rates clearly show there’s an opportunity for B2B. So, set your own resolution early to take advantage of this festive time. 

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