‘Twas the month before Christmas, and in every house
Not a customer was buying, not a click of their mouse
Sound like a holiday nightmare to you, too?
As a business professional, the holiday season is a crucial time of year to meet the needs of your customers and clients. Whether you’re a B2B company or retailer, a successful holiday marketing strategy can help build or solidify relationships with your customers, promote your brand and boost your bottom line. To help maximize your profits this holiday season, consider these creative, holiday marketing tips and ideas.
- Get creative and send out a customized, holiday card or e-card to your mailing list. This helps your company stand out during the holidays and lets your customers and colleagues know they’re appreciated, especially this time of year. Click here to see our Christmas card design from last year.
- Create a limited-time offer to encourage your customers to buy your products or services — today! You never know what’s on your customers’ gift lists, and that added incentive and deadline might be just the push they need to buy. Here’s an example. Our client and Maryland winery Big Cork Vineyards recently offered free online shipping for the holidays. We created this ad to spread word of the discount in the Frederick News-Post’s print and online editions.
- Launch an email marketing campaign. Think about what the people on your contact list need during the holiday season, and offer something of value to them by email. Whether it’s a limited-time offer or tips for holiday home entertaining, keep the message simple and be festive in your design.
- Consider mailing direct mail postcards to your customers with coupon codes for a special offer or sale. This encourages your customers to visit your website or storefront and enter a discount code to purchase your products or services.
- Switch up your website design and social media images to reflect the holiday season. It’s a quick, simple way to connect with your fan base by reminding them of what you share in common.
- Get personal on social media. Share employee holiday photos, stories of your favorite holiday memories, family recipes, holiday playlists and other fun, personal anecdotes. Last Thanksgiving, we shared personal photos and quotes of what our team was thankful for on Facebook, then tagged each team member (you can see our photos here). This led to a huge increase in engagement, and friends, family and clients loved seeing familiar faces. Plus, it was a great way to get the entire staff in on the holiday fun.
- Don’t let the communication be a one-way street. Encourage your followers to share photos of their favorite holiday moments and more to boost engagement on social media.
- Make charitable donations to organizations or initiatives your team cares about. Then, let your clients and customers know about it. Write and distribute a press release about your donation, or post a photo of your team collecting items or dropping off donations across your social media platforms.
- Pushing a mobile and tablet-friendly strategy has never been as vital as it is this season. Because so many people will be out and about, shopping and visiting family, your holiday marketing must easily reach them on their smartphones. Monitor your insights and consider the days, times and frequency of your social media posts to ensure you’re reaching your audience when they’re online. Make sure your email marketing is optimized for mobile devices and you have a responsive web design, too.
- Host a holiday kick-off event or open house to bring customers into your business or sales center. This could include a tree-lighting ceremony, holiday party complete with a visit from Old Saint Nick, or a “sneak peek” at new products or services you’re launching this season.
- Launch a holiday contest on social media. Contests are great ways to generate buzz about your brand while increasing engagement and fan count. This can be anything from a caption contest (i.e. Guess which one of our products is in this gift-wrapped box and win X!) to selecting a random winner once your page hits a certain number of likes. Choose a relevant prize, run your contest through a third-party app (see Facebook’s official contest rules here), and make sure you include social sharing options.
- Write a blog with advice to navigating the holiday season, as it applies to your customers. Your audience is always looking for timely, valuable content, so make it easy for them to find on your website. This time of year, many people are worried about the costs of holiday gift shopping. We wrote this blog for our client Horizon Goodwill Industries featuring 10 tips for saving money for the holidays.
- Set up a toy or donation drive drop-off at your store or business location. This not only encourages goodwill and charity this time of year — it also brings potential customers into your store. Don’t forget to promote the drop-off location on your website and social media.
- Keep your eyes and ears alert for holiday buzz, and be ready to jump on it. In other words, LISTEN to your customers. Monitor content that’s performing well (what your customers are responding to) and share it. Retweet content relevant to your followers, respond to what your customers are saying about you, do what you promise plus more, and always be open and honest.
- Last, but most importantly, make sure your holiday marketing is measurable. The goal is to track the return on your investment so you can create an even more profitable campaign next year. A landing page for your email marketing campaign, for example, can help you monitor and track conversion rates and fix what’s not working.
What effective holiday marketing campaigns have you launched? Share your ideas below or on our Facebook page.