So, it’s October 1…
And that means that 1 of 2 people now emerge:
- The person that is so festive that your holiday decorations go up as soon as the Texas heat drops below 100 (or maybe they virtually never came down to begin with)
- You refuse to celebrate or decorate until the month (or even week) of the holiday
Whichever type of person you are, your business needs to capitalize on the start of the holiday season.
The only problem?
Everyone has a different definition for the exact timing of the “holiday season.” In fact, most businesses would consider the marketing holiday season to start right after Thanksgiving ends.
You know that little thing you may have heard of called Black Friday?
And while that is a very key time and big market to capitalize on, to focus just on that one month is honestly myopic and overlooking a pretty big piece of the puzzle.
So, for the sake of this blog, and you utilizing the information in it, the holiday season your business needs to capitalize on runs October 1 and January 1.
Why be so different than other companies?
Because in that span of 3 months, there are 4 major holidays.
Of course, the holidays are fun to celebrate – no one is denying that. But more importantly, the holidays give you an extra chance to market your business. Especially in a new and fun way.
Just think, those are 4 times in 3 months that people are used to being marketed to and, if done right, actually don’t mind being targeted and marketed to.
But how do you know if you’re doing it right?
Well you can’t ever really know, but that’s not to say you can’t follow some great strategies to capitalize on the most wonderful time of the year (…too soon?)
Email is a great tool for any business to utilize at any time. But around the holidays, it can be extra special moment to connect with your audience.
Email is a great way to tell a captivating story while still relating to people. So, share your favorite holiday memory, story, or folk tale story that you remember hearing or experiencing. This content type along with the festive feelings can create a great connection between you and your audience.
Now with the content, you do want to make it relevant to your reader, otherwise they’re not going to pay attention. However, you also shouldn’t feel the need to strictly follow your marketing plan to the “t” during the holiday season. Use this time as an opportunity to show your personality a bit more and have fun with the festivity of the holidays.
Lastly, don’t get caught up in just the content. Utilize all parts of the email—headlines, photos, colors, etc.—to ramp up the holiday cheer. That could be Halloween headlines, Thanksgiving photos, Christmas colors, New Year’s confetti
- Tell your favorite holiday story or memory
- Share a story or holiday talk that warms people’s hearts
- Make use of every part of the email
There’s something about this time of year that brings back some of the best memories and magic that people had as kids. Dressing up and trick or treating. Gathering around the table with family at Thanksgiving. Decorating for Christmas. Seeing Santa Claus or building a snowman.
Playing into these feeling-filled emotions will create a strong, positive feeling among your consumers. Just think why the Disney parks are so successful. Because they’re a place where adults can experience the magic of being a kid again.
Tap into that exact same nostalgic feeling with the holiday marketing for your business.
- Use old photos and/or black and white photos
- Bring up nostalgic memories on various channels
- Allow customers to chime in with their own stories, memories, nostalgia, etc.
‘Tis the season for gift giving, right? And I mean hey, even the candy is free when you go trick or treating. Similarly, ‘tis the season for giving free gifts or a big sale to your prospects and customers too.
And I’m not just talking about Black Friday deals. Utilize the language of these holidays to set up your messaging throughout the whole holiday season. For example, Spooky good deals, Our thankful for you thank you gift, A present for you under the tree, or New Year new deal.
- Free shipping, a free small gift, or some big sale/deal
- Provide a special value offering that’s only during the holiday season
- i.e. a finance or accounting business could offer a free webinar or video on how to manage money during holidays – available only until December 25
Of course, offering a small gift or big deal is great to any and all of your audience. But with that, a special sale or thanks to you current customers—especially loyal, repeating customers—can be an extra touch of cheer this holiday season.
This lets them know that you truly do appreciate them as well as fosters further customer loyalty in the future.
- Create a special code or discount for loyal customers (followers, email list, repeat-purchase customers, etc.
- If you’re a local business and/or have the capacity, you could send a hand-written thank you letter
- If not, send some sort of thank you email for being a loyal customer
Don’t use the holiday season to go on a holiday break from posting on social media. In fact, it should be the exact opposite. Create a festive feed that followers can’t help but rave about!
This is another time where the common corporate-esque conversations can take a back seat to more, fun, festive, holiday posts. Post nostalgic topics or holiday videos that pull on heartstrings (see above), share fun recipes, or holiday decoration tips.
Yes, you still want to involve your brand, but it doesn’t (nor should) always have to be about your business or your product/service.
- Create a festive feed
- Host holiday contests
- Post videos or polls
- Go after niche social media markets like Pinterest (creating holiday boards)
Mobile users account for approximately half of web traffic so far in 2019. Especially during the holidays, most people are shopping on their phones or at least using them to look things up.
Utilize this by targeting ads to using mobile or local users if your business is local. Another important thing to remember here is to think how special holiday landing pages, websites, offers, emails, etc. will look on mobile devices.
- If your business is local, use local targeting with ads
- Use the capabilities of ads to target people using mobile in specific areas
- Think of how special holiday landing pages, sites, offers, etc. will look on mobile
These are themes, strategies and tactics that will help you market your business this holiday season.
The biggest thing is that when we hear “holiday season”, we typically just think of Christmas. But don’t forget that there is so much more.
I promise you will stand out from your competitors if you’re being festive from October all the way to January 1 because not many other businesses are utilizing this time.
Go out and have a great holiday season!