'Tis the (Social) Season - Tips for Smart Holiday Marketing
With Halloween and Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, it’s time to gear up for the second half of the Holiday Season. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day are just some of the notable special occasions celebrated throughout the cold months. No matter which your brand chooses to endorse and/or celebrate, each holiday has its own associated imagery and traditions that your customer base will easily recognize. Before launching your next holiday-centric campaign, consider these tips for smart holiday marketing and make sure you’ve checked them twice:
Stay True to Your Brand:
One challenge with holiday-focused promotional campaigns is preventing them from overtaking your brand’s core images and values. Rather than using holiday themes as a substitute for your usual branding, treat them as a supplement.
Use festive imagery to excite the customer, but still keep your brand at the forefront. This will ensure that your audience will retain your company’s image even after the season has come to an end.
Don’t Focus on One Holiday:
The media tends to put the most focus on Christmas and New Year’s during the late December-early January time frame. However, there are other holidays that take place around this time as well. Implementing a more inclusive marketing approach at this time of year will attract new audiences that will appreciate your efforts to represent the holidays that they celebrate.
Stick to a Schedule:
Creating a successful marketing campaign involves developing strategies that are flexible and ongoing. See October through February as one heavy-hitting holiday marketing season and create a schedule that allows your company to adapt to these changes. Pick a specific date to change your building’s theme from Thanksgiving to a winter holiday. Have another date determined in advance that will then signal changing decorations and promotions from the winter holidays to New Year’s. Not only will this make transitioning the store’s appearance more predictable and easier to execute, but it will also give you plenty of time to make sure you have the best decorations.
Give, Give, Give:
Holiday seasons revolve around giving. This is the time to show your customer base that you appreciate their patronage. Create a flexible promotions system that adjusts to the sensibilities of the next upcoming holiday. Discounting goods and services during this season is a way to bring in customers in large numbers, and it also has potential to draw in new patrons. Give a little during this season and receive more on your end by strengthening customer bonds and appreciation.
Capitalize on Momentum:
After the stretch of holidays comes to an end, that does not mean it’s time to put your marketing efforts on the back burner until the next year. Take the momentum gained from holiday-specific campaigns and continue to engage with followers. Some tips for accomplishing this are:
- Create an email list for customers to sign up for during the holiday season that you can continue messaging at other times during the year (one tip for accomplishing this is have them give their emails to you as part of entering a sweepstakes or giveaway).
- Implement a unique hashtag during the holiday season and target others who used it during that time period after the campaign ends.
- Analyze what sold the most, what social postings had the greatest reactions, and any direct customer feedback that your company received during the holiday season and create similar content throughout other parts the year. These posts should match the tone and style of your holiday-centric ones, yet focus on themes that are more appropriate for the time of year.