The holiday season is officially upon us. (I can’t believe it either.)
While this is often a time for joyful celebration, it can also be a very stressful few weeks. Businesses big and small are laser-focused on hitting their winter sales goals, with some heavily depending on the revenue boost that holiday shopping brings. Without this, many companies could be looking at a very rocky first quarter.
To set your company up for a successful shopping season, it’s time to start building your holiday marketing strategy.
Holiday marketing plans have many of the same foundational qualities of traditional marketing, just with a festive flair. This season offers you the opportunity to invest more in personal connections with your customers and clients, highlight accomplishments from the past year, offer your audience a few gifts and show off your company’s values.
Let’s walk through our favorite tactics for a successful holiday marketing plan:
Time to Decorate
Adding seasonal touches to your branding and marketing assets can be a relatively small step that makes a big difference. Holiday-themed logos, ads and social graphics quickly catch the eyes of potential and returning customers, making them curious to see what your company is offering (and what savings you might have!)
There are several areas where you can add in some new holiday features, including your:
Social media profile pictures, cover photos and post graphics
Website and landing pages
Paid advertising graphics
To add some holiday cheer to these designs, start by considering your color scheme. You may choose to pair or replace your company colors with seasonal mainstays like red, green, white or light blue. Or, if you’d like to keep your original graphics or logos the same, you can add small holiday-themed accents, like snowflakes or candy canes.
Now, how do you go about creating these new visuals and logos? If your team doesn’t have a graphic designer, it’s an exciting opportunity to try out one of our favorite free marketing tools, Canva.
Canva is a user-friendly design application for people of all artistic abilities. It offers the freedom to create new graphics from scratch for those with a creative streak while providing hundreds of beautiful templates for beginners.
Here’s an example of a themed logo our team uses. Yes, it’s for Pride Month, not the holidays. But notice how we incorporated rainbow colors into our existing format for a celebratory touch!
Check Your Keywords (Twice!)
A successful holiday marketing campaign may start with a festive logo, but it doesn’t end there. There’s work to do behind the scenes in order to achieve results.
Keyword research is a crucial step for your marketing strategy all year round, but even more so during the holiday season. With the last two years causing an e-commerce boom, more people than ever are looking to buy products online – especially during the hectic holiday season.
Here, we’re not talking about researching whether or not your company can compete in the #merrychristmas hashtag. We mean taking a closer look at your current keyword success. Are there terms that were once pushing you towards the top of Google’s search results, and now not doing you any favors? Are there new products you haven’t had a chance to add into your keyword rotation?
Once you’ve solidified these terms, you can add in variations of “sales,” “discounts,” “Christmas presents,” “Hannukah presents,” “gift cards,” “stocking stuffers,” etc. But your main goal is to ensure your main product keywords are as optimized as they can be to get in front of the right holiday shoppers.
Statista is estimating that holiday e-commerce revenue will hit $207 billion in the U.S. this winter. With so many more people purchasing products and services online, competition will be tough.
Paid campaigns on platforms like Google and Facebook can help boost your brand identity, sales, lead generation, website visits and more, depending on your goals. They’re highly customizable, meaning it’s up to you how long your ads are shown, when and where they’re shown, how much you’d like to spend and who you’d like to see them. With so many people browsing online for the perfect present, it’s crucial to target the right audience.
In the past, we’ve detailed how to launch your first paid advertisement campaigns on Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. To go one step further, check out the official holiday paid advertisement guides from Google, Facebook and Instagram themselves (looks like LinkedIn is a little late this year!)
How Do Your Competitors Celebrate?
Take some time to do a little reconnaissance on your competitors to review their current strategy and those from years past. Do they use holiday-themed posts? Special offerings? Did they create animated videos or record season’s greetings from their employees?
When it comes to checking if they’re using Google paid advertising campaigns, search for your competitors with a few holiday buzzwords, like deals, savings, sales, gifts, Christmas gifts, etc. Are they popping up in the featured ad section at the top of your results page?
To check for competitor ads on Facebook and LinkedIn, you can find tutorials here.
The most helpful piece of information you can glean from your competitive research is the type of engagement your competitors receive. Make a note of what types of content or offers are gaining traction in terms of views, likes and shares, and which ones are not. This can inform what you decide to include in your plan.
Season’s Greetings from Your Team
Now is a great time to let your customers look behind your company curtain. Show off your employees’ smiles by adding some photos to your monthly newsletter, social media posts or even a holiday video with good wishes from your team.
This is an especially helpful tactic for small businesses. Maybe your clients have emailed nonstop with your employees but were never able to put a face to a name. Now, they’ll be able to see the person behind the email address or conference call.
For new customers, photos or videos of your team help your company look more approachable and relatable. Seeing people as opposed to just products helps spark emotional connections, which customers are more likely to act on when clicking “Purchase.”
If you’re feeling VERY generous this holiday season, why not go above and beyond? A small gesture to your loyal current clients can go a long way. By sending them a token of your appreciation, such as branded merchandise, candy or even special discounts, you can continue to build your working relationship for the year to come.
The holiday season presents the perfect opportunity to show what’s most important to your company. Are there nonprofits or charities you support? Does your team volunteer routinely at a local organization? Have you considered doing a donation match with your customers for an important cause?
For example, take our client’s client gift last year. Instead of sending a small token, they wanted to support a local charity in the name of their customers. We helped them put together a campaign asking current customers if they’d like a $50 donation to be made in their name to this worthy cause.
Through this campaign, our client was able to raise over $500 to give back to the Chicago community.
Steps like these give potential and current customers an idea of the type of company you are at your core, beyond the products or services that you sell.
Get a Little Nostalgic
We know that the last two years have been tough, so it might not feel like the right time to highlight your past year’s achievements. On the contrary!
The successes you’ve had despite the circumstances deserve to be put on display, especially when you can put them in the context of your customers. How many projects did you successfully complete? Were there any especially meaningful customer testimonials you’d like to share? How did your company grow within the last year thanks to your customers’ support?
Go ahead, brag a little! Posting about your positive experiences and accomplishments will only help you as new customers browse your page and feel moved to give your products or services a try.
We’re Here to Help
Whether it’s winter, summer, fall or spring, our team of marketing experts is ready to take your company’s marketing strategy to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our services.