Marketing during the holidays can feel like a stressful task, especially with the current rise in inflation and average consumer spending. That does not necessarily mean that this holiday has to end in disaster. From small businesses to large corporations, there are many ways to market your company during the holiday season, but how do you know what will work best for your company?
Within this guide, we will showcase a variety of different marketing strategies and tools used during the holiday season that can benefit a wide range of businesses' needs and marketing goals.
Being More Personalized (But Not Too Personalized)
With the holiday season being about giving back to loved ones, now might seem like the best time to offer very curated and personalized deals to customers. The truth is a lot of personalization to advertise to customers based on their previous shopping or even browsing history can be a major turn-off. Research shows that people are more likely to give up on brands that over-personalize than brands that don’t personalize at all.
Now that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be personable at all when it comes to marketing. Building trust and listening to customer feedback is always important. Using a small amount of user data to send either helpful responses, exclusive offers, or things within that realm come across as more genuine and not invasive to their search history.
Personalized marketing can be used when sending your holiday newsletters out and not by any means do you have to be advertising a sale, service, or anything of that nature. Just sending a ‘Happy Holidays’ to those loyal customers subscribed to your newsletter can help strengthen the relationship between your company and your customers.
Be Consistent Throughout your Channels
Don’t let new or even old customers get stuck within the marketing funnel. When a lead is about to turn into a potential customer, they may do more proper and thorough research on your company before they decided to fully commit to purchasing a product or service from your business. This means all your channels from social media, website copy, and email newsletters all of the channels your company is on should have the same similar and consistent message.
It might be wise to map out the customer journey to see how your leads are turning into customers just to be sure that all of your clear and consistent branding and marketing is clearly coming across no matter what channel a lead might discover your company on. With the holidays approaching, mapping out how leads can stumble upon you can prepare you to update any needed details about your service or products for the holiday season. Added details like expedited shipping or holiday gift cards are important to market and advertise to potential new clients since they are most likely holiday shopping for someone other than themselves.
On average it can take 8 interactions with your brand before a lead decides to follow through with becoming a customer. This is why consistency across channels makes a huge difference in getting your point across. Thoughtful Call to Action (CTAs)
Be mindful that thousands of competitors are going to be striving for customers’ attention and having more thoughtful and urgent CTAs can urge them into clicking on your website, making a purchase, etc. The right call to action can make for a more impactful ad and improve your conversion rates.
The most common CTAs you will see are: Click here to learn more, Call today, Join Today, Try it today for free, and so on. Another idea is if you are hosting a holiday giveaway to use the CTA ‘Enter today to win’ for your giveaway campaign. Think carefully about the message you are sending and what you want the customer to do. For example, if you want them to sign up for your newsletter you might want to try something like: Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a $10 off coupon on your next purchase. Something simple to the point and gets you more users to sign up. Try and be as creative as you can since during this time there will be thousands of competitor advertisements vying for customers’ attention.
The Season of Giving
Hosting giveaways or charity drives are one of the most popular marketing strategies you can do since the holidays are synonymous with giving back. Showcasing how your company or team gives back to the community during the holiday season can build more trust and respect between new potential customers who live within your community who may not have heard of your company before. Or having a “proceeds from X will go to this charity” can give an incentive to new or old customers to shop with your company since you showcase that you care about others.
Hosting giveaways is also just a good way to increase awareness of your company or brand, depending on the type of giveaway you can also increase sales, social media followers, or website visitors. Be strategic when you’re doing a giveaway of what the purpose of it is other than to give back to customers because this is a good opportunity to create new leads for your brand. Some brands even get really into the holidays and do a ‘12 Days of Giveaway’ to boost their social media retainers and generate new leads. Holiday Email Marketing
Email marketing is best suited for the holiday season, mainly because it's one of the easier ways to showcase holiday promotions. Emails are perfect for people who are mobile shoppers and spend more time on their mobile devices than on desktops.
A lot of companies even send out a holiday gift guide email newsletter to showcase different products and services that you can give to a loved one within a certain price range. Having flash sales customers can discover via email newsletter is good for loyal subscribers and for last-minute shoppers.
Last-minute gift ideas for people in a rush are one of the best ways to push last-minute sales. You can always offer digital gift cards also known as e-gift cards for people in a real rush to get something for their loved ones. Setting up automation based on user activity so if someone on your website leaves an abandoned cart they can automatically get an email about the items they’ve abandoned.
Sending emails with a link to a specific landing page can also help direct traffic directly to the pages you want and leave you more in control of your website's conversion rates. Having attention-grabbing CTAs will work strongly to get people to directly click on specific links within your email. But be sure that the deals you offer via email are available sitewide so that if a customer does not immediately purchase something via the email they received, they can go to the website later and still get the sale.
A follow-up holiday email is also a good way to thank new and old loyal customers and maybe showcase what might be in store for the new year. Email marketing is always a good strategy to try and get an influx of interaction. In 2021, email marketing was considered the most reliable content distribution channel. So don’t feel like it is an ‘outdated’ channel when it still reaches a wide range of audiences!
Boost Your Social Media
Now is the time that hundreds of thousands of competitors are going to be posting on social media. In fact, 74% of consumers make purchasing decisions via social media, more companies are spending more time on social media. So how do you utilize social media to get the best results this holiday season?
Hashtag research is definitely very important in order to reach your target audience. While there are a lot of competitors posting out there, there is also a lot of spam on social media. Generating genuine content will interest users to interact more with your content since it is hard for a company or brand social media posts to feel genuine especially during the holiday season when it feels like people are just trying to boost sales.
Having CTAs that allow users to interact with the content whether it be a poll on a social story or a question within your post that asks the users for their opinion. An example would be something like ‘Which do you think is the perfect stocking stuffer?’ or using other callouts like ‘Tap the link in our bio to snag these for yourself!’ can be helpful to interact with users.
Remember, social media is supposed to be social so do not be afraid to use CTAs to get more comments and interactions with your posts. Reposting UGC (User Generated Content) is also a good way to promote your products and showcase happy customers to new potential leads. Whether it is photos, videos, or just a testimonial, reposting organic user-generated content looks really good for your company because it shows real people enjoying your service or product.
Staying active on social media is a good way to generate leads, especially since during the holidays more users are active. People want to get into the holiday spirit, so your posts should reflect the joy and excitement of the holiday season to get people excited and interacting with your brand and posts.
Scheduling all your holiday posts in advance can allow you and your team to relax and take the stress of the need for holiday marketing off your plate. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even with TikTok you can schedule videos, static posts, and tweets to go live to hit those specific target dates. Schedule as many posts as possible and kick back and enjoy the rest of the holiday festivities.
Pulling at Heartstringngs
When it comes to advertising campaigns, a majority of companies will try and take a Patho strategy and appeal to the emotional aspect of the holidays. Same with donating to charities and doing charitable campaigns, having advertisements that are more emotionally based can work better for the holiday season since this is a major time when people feel more loving and celebratory.
With any marketing campaign, it is always important to map out the goals and audiences of who you are trying to reach and appeal to. It might not suit your business model or brand image to do more emotional advertising, but that is why creating a holiday strategy is important. The holidays are one of the biggest times of the year for advertising campaigns and marketing strategies so take your time and use all your available resources to ensure that you are hitting your goals and target demographics.
Whether you are a new brand trying to establish yourself, or you are trying to rethink your holiday marketing strategy from previous years, it is a pivotal time to gather new clients and loyal customers. It can be really stressful to know what the best marketing tactic to use is when it can feel like you’re drowning in a sea of competitors. This is the biggest time of the year for consumers to spend, so do not get lost in the sea and make sure your team is ready for an influx of new sales, customers, and clients. eCommerce especially gets a rise in sales since online holiday shopping is much more convenient.
If your team still feels unprepared for holiday marketing campaigns and strategies, then hiring a digital marketing agency like LSM can help take the stress out of the holidays, while boosting your sales. From social media to Google advertisements, to SEO strategies, LSM can help with a variety of marketing needs. If you're interested in utilizing our expertise in digital marketing strategies for your business, book a free consultation with LSM today!