Holiday Marketing Tips, Ideas, Campaigns

Holiday Marketing Tips, Ideas, Campaigns For The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Legend says the moment Halloween passes you start to hear tinkling of bells from marketers, all over the world, preparing for the much awaited launch of their holiday marketing campaigns.

Holiday marketing campaigns appear out of nowhere, with several companies scrambling to capitalize on a spending frenzy. Holiday emails, social media posts, and ads everywhere, it’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year!

It might seem like holiday marketing is cheesy and out of date, but you can’t deny how there are some brands who do it very, verrrryyy well.

These brands are the cream of the crop. They’re clever enough to know how in the midst of all the holiday marketing noise and chaos, to elicit feelings and encourage sharing. Sometimes even reuniting people with loved ones or collaborating with a nonprofit organization.

At Just Digital, our goal has always been to help your business grow and be the best version it can be. That’s why, as our holiday gift to you, we’re giving away some of the best holiday marketing tips and strategies.

What is holiday marketing?

What is holiday marketing

Holiday marketing is the production of campaigns centered on certain holidays and distributed through different channels. The campaigns usually come out around the end of the year and Christmas seasons. It usually entails advertising specific seasonal offers in order to boost income during the event.

As described in the definition above, the key to holiday marketing is to create campaigns aimed at capitalizing on customers wanting to make seasonal purchases

Holiday marketing has the potential to boost sales for a variety of reasons:

  • Demand and purchase intent are higher than usual: More clients are actively searching to buy throughout the holiday season, making your work as a marketer easier.
  • Holiday marketing campaigns are time limited: Holidays are focused on a certain time period, generating a sense of urgency that encourages people to purchase.
  • The joy of the holidays is contagious: Using emotion-driven holiday marketing initiatives to capitalize on your consumers’ joyful mood is a great sales approach.

But with the spotlight on seasonal sales, it’s easy to overlook the fact that this isn’t the sole advantage of holiday marketing. There are other opportunities for your business over the holidays, some of which include:

  • Gaining new customers: In addition to generating sales, holiday marketing can improve brand awareness and attract consumers to your business who might not be so interested in your business outside of the holiday spirit.
  • Building customer relationships: The end-of-year holiday season is perfect for relationship marketing. With the holiday spirit in tow, you can thank your loyal clients for their support over the last year by giving them a free gift or an exclusive discount.
  • Making your brand more relatable, more human: By spreading holiday happiness to your clients, you can make your marketing feel more personal, which helps to establish the trust that is necessary for retaining loyal customers.

What makes a great holiday marketing campaign?

What makes a great holiday marketing campaign

Creating an effective holiday marketing campaign in the midst of a pandemic might seem extremely difficult. But our advice, stick with what you know (the basics), and try not to overwhelm yourself:

Look at successful holiday marketing campaigns from the past

There’s still so much you can learn from the past…

Go back to your previous holiday marketing campaigns then take a look at the data you have. This can help you understand which holiday campaign strategies worked for you and which ones didn’t. Once you have your data you can try to emulate these strategies but with a fresh and modern twist.

Remember, there’s also a lot to learn from the bad. Take a look at your campaign again and check where you could use some improvements. Analyzing these can help you avoid making similar mistakes.

You’re not confined to only looking at your previous holiday campaigns, you can also take a look at how other brands created their campaigns.

Aside from your performance stats, try to check your customer data.Has your customer base changed significantly in the last year? What are the most important demographics to consider? What are their priorities? Understanding the important characteristics of your target customer can help you in developing a holiday message that resonates with them.

Determine which holiday marketing strategies are appropriate for your target market.

No two holiday marketing campaigns are the same. Don’t just copy your competitors’ strategies. Knowing your target group is crucial to a successful holiday marketing campaign. How else can you create a magical, emotionally charged message?

Create automated scheduled campaigns

The holiday season is all about working smarter — not harder. Look for content syndication solutions that can save you time and money while also giving your clients a more consistent experience.

Why is holiday marketing important?

Why is holiday marketing important

Holiday marketing is important for many reasons: Starbucks brings back pumpkin spiced lattes, everyone’s frustrated about which gifts to give, and well, they benefit businesses a whole lot!

Other reasons can be:

Shopping trips have become a tradition

During ancient holidays, people would build fires, sing songs and dance, and sacrifice animals. Because us modern people are too busy for that, and because we’re all slaves to capitalism, we naturally substitute it with shopping trips. Though it may seem humorous, holiday marketing is a huge cultural phenomena.

Customers expect more as marketing standards are heightened

Customers have become used to heightened brand rivalry in a variety of fields, including search results, email inbox, and social media. Holiday marketing has taught individuals that they are entitled to more, and they now expect to be treated with an outstanding personalized buying experience throughout the holidays. It also raises the bar for brand excellence, causing them to strive for improvement.

Customers and brands gain from each other

Holiday marketing rewards businesses’ efforts with big income and better reputation while also providing excellent discounts and presents to customers.

The ability of the company to expand and adapt is put to the test

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday frenzy push businesses to the extreme. Participating in these holidays is unavoidable, and the holidays will only test brands to see if they can handle the volume of seasonal marketing. It also reveals whether or not particular businesses are adaptable and flexible enough to sort things out.

Encourages you to think beyond the box

Getting people’s attention during a busy Holiday season is a difficult undertaking. To win over savvy customers, marketers should push their creativity to its limits and create emotional, relevant content.

Holiday marketing can be a huge pain for marketers if they don’t know what they’re doing.

What to expect this holiday season

What to expect this holiday season

Now it’s time we soothe some of your expectations for this holiday season.

A survey by Google and Boston Consulting Group conducted last June 2021 reveals that this year, online shopping will have a significant part in consumers’ buying decisions this year. All thanks to Ms. Rona.. 🦠👁👄👁🦠

Due to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, there was a significant shift toward e-commerce. In 2021, however, more than 80% of consumers will seek in-person purchasing experiences.

With this information, brands must develop marketing efforts that cater to multichannel shoppers, using both offline and online touchpoints.

In terms of social media, Sprout Social predicts that stores of all sizes will receive roughly 18% more messages each month.

To prepare, brands should create a communication strategies online like:

  • Adding FAQs
  • Create a process for how social media managers can respond to complaints or concerns

Holiday dates to look out for

Holiday dates to look out for

Choosing which events to focus on is one of the first stages in developing an effective holiday marketing plan. Some are self-evident, such as Black Friday and Christmas, but don’t stop there. Other holidays that you may not have considered, depending on your business, could be important.

Here are some important dates during the holiday season of 2021:

October 31, 2021- Halloween

Start your end-of-year holiday marketing with an unique, spoooookyyy, eye-catching Halloween campaign.

November 25, 2021- Thanksgiving

This is the perfect time to promote your holiday early bird sales.

November 26, 2021- Black Friday

Black Friday is the focus point for many businesses, and for customers, it’s the day when they expect the biggest and greatest deals.

November 27, 2021- Small Business Saturday

This is a newer holiday devoted to promoting small businesses in your community. It provides the potential to obtain new clients and, perhaps, future loyal supporters. It can also increase sales through promotions.

November 28, 2021- Hanukkah

Christmas isn’t the only holiday! Hanukkah falls just after Thanksgiving this year, making it a great holiday to use to extend your holiday marketing strategy to December.

November 29, 2021- Cyber Monday

This is a holiday that ecommerce enterprises should not overlook. It’s the only holiday that beats black friday in record sales.

November 30, 2021- Giving Tuesday

This is a day for giving back, whether it’s through a charitable donation or offering your time. While a Giving Tuesday campaign might help non-profits raise funds, it can also help companies. You may, for example, assist consumers in doing good by contributing a part of your profits to a nonprofit organization.

December 24, 2021 to Dec 25, 2021- Christmas

Now’s the time to take advantage of the Christmas shopping season by encouraging customers to buy gifts from your store.

December 31, 2021 to Jan 1, 2022- New Year

This is your chance to welcome the new year, embrace new beginnings, and join in the fun. Enjoy the year’s end with your audience!

How to create your holiday marketing strategy

How to create your holiday marketing strategy

Now you’re ready to start planning, designing, and executing your holiday marketing campaign!

Any holiday marketing campaign must involve a few stages. The efforts may not pay off in the end if these steps are not mastered:

Plan ahead

A Christmas marketing strategy should be planned way before the holiday season. Remember, holiday marketing success is the result of a well-thought-out and intentional strategy, so each brand should determine which marketing channels will be most effective, who to target them to, and how to create a message that speaks to their audience.

Choose the most effective marketing channels

The holidays are social and emotional in character, making it very humane. This means the marketing platforms you use for holiday campaigns should be human as well.

A comprehensive, cross-channel approach to Holiday marketing is usually the most effective.

Sending targeted messages to people who have already expressed interest in your company is very beneficial with holiday email marketing. Meanwhile, SMS marketing helps you capture clients’ attention immediately. On the other hand, social media platforms provide a means of reaching a larger audience.

And, if your budget allows, consider paid ads on platforms like Facebook to boost your exposure.

Gather user data

It’s a good idea to collect as much valuable information as possible in order to provide clients with targeted and customised offers. Gather the data ahead of time then use it to create the right message for your holiday campaign. One way to do that is to customize subscription forms to collect data for future holiday marketing campaigns.

Create a schedule

It’s important to plan out what you want to do and when you want to do it before you start your campaign.

Here are some important steps to consider for your Holiday campaign:

  • Increase awareness: While you don’t want to start your seasonal promotions before your customers have even started thinking about their Christmas buying, you should start building anticipation ahead of time. Creating a teaser campaign will help your brand and products get traction.
  • Promote your deals and offers: Once the Holiday season has arrived, it’s time to start promoting your deals with targeted ads on your preferred platforms.
  • Stay top of mind with customer follow-ups: Don’t be tempted to loosen up once your sales are over! Holiday promotions are fantastic for gaining new customers, but retention is important to reap the benefits. This means you’ll need to show some love to your new customers and urge them to buy from you again. For example, you might accomplish this by giving them a discount on their next purchase.

Create your campaign’s messaging & content

Now comes the exciting part: creating your campaign’s messaging and content. Build your content around the schedule you’ve planned and the channels you’ve chosen, then tailor your messages to different customer segments and campaign stages.

Create a dedicated landing page for all information relating to your seasonal offers aside from promotional content like emails, ads, and social media posts.

And once you’ve finalized your content, you’ll be ready for the holiday shopping season.

Just Digital’s list of holiday marketing strategies that’s naughty and nice

list of holiday marketing strategies

Let’s start with the good!

The following Holiday marketing strategies can help you in fine-tuning your efforts to increase sales during the most profitable season of the year:

Nice list

dos of holiday marketing

Keep it simple

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of Holiday preparations. However, starting small with your holiday campaigns is preferable in the long run, especially if this is your first holiday season as a business.

During the holidays, even larger shops that have been in business for decades typically return to the basics. It all hinges on your team’s bandwidth and the level of help your operations receive over the holidays.

The holidays are not the time to try out new customer strategies or techniques, even if you’ve done extensive testing and discovery all year to nail down the right messaging.

There is too much at stake. You can always try A/B testing if you want to be extra creative and explore a new approach.

When clients are looking for the ideal present from Santa or a gift card for their loved ones, the reputation you’ve earned with them over the years will be one of the deciding considerations. Make sure you’re ready to provide them with a customer experience that’s similar to what they’ve had in the past.

Be ready to respond and adapt in whatever situation

Regardless of the scale of your website, you’ll need a quick-response staff to address any problems that arise on your site, in your holiday ads or elsewhere.

It encompasses more than just digital and content preparations. To accommodate the increased visitors and orders, make improvements to your customer service, shipping, fulfillment, and operations teams.

When things don’t go as planned, you’ll also need to react quickly.

Make your campaign content driven

Online shopping has only made customers more aware of Holiday marketing tactics. They see the same things year after year, so typical sales and marketing approaches may cause their eyes to glaze over.

The same ecommerce trends that arose last year will apply to Holiday marketing strategies as well.

The “content-first” approach that creative and trendy brands are adopting now will be a popular trend throughout the holidays. We’ll see businesses provide more personalized shopping experiences, like discount coupons and Christmas gift suggestions, using content marketing as a technique of reaching customers.

Expect to face stiffer competition

Email marketing is the most important marketing channel you have during the holiday season. Make sure your email marketing helps you stand out from the crowd by clearly communicating the advantages of doing business with you over your competitors.

Avoid creating a false sense of urgency

If panic buying has taught us anything, it’s that customers might feel compelled to buy when they believe something they need or desire will be sold out. The Holiday season is notorious for big price cuts that are only available once a year, and savvy consumers know how to pick the best deals.

Make sure you’re explicitly motivating customers to visit your online store and make a purchase during your holiday marketing campaign. Don’t just do random giveaways or discounts, be clever with it. Plan things out because you wouldn’t want your brand to lose its value to the point where people believe it is cheap. This might cause them to lose interest in buying from you ever again.

It’s not only about making money over the holidays; it’s also about building relationships with consumers who will return to purchase during the off-season. Always keep client retention in mind when making holiday marketing decisions.

Care for your existing clients

The visitors to your website during the holidays are likely to be a good mix of new and returning clients. The process to buy for a returning customer differs significantly from that of a new customer, so keep both in mind when making your holiday marketing plans.

Work with a non profit

After a tough year in quarantine, people are looking forward to the cheer of the holiday season.

For many, this involves doing good deeds and giving back. Consider collaborating with a non-profit to get into the Holiday spirit while still communicating your brand’s core values with your clients.

If you’re not sure where to begin, consider collaborating with a local organization or asking your consumers about their favorite charities.

Not so nice list

donts of holiday marketing

While not every campaign is made equal, there are several practices you should avoid at all costs. Let’s have a look at some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

Not knowing your target audience

The most important piece of advice for every business is to know who your customers are. This advice may sound like it’s been given before, but it’s more important than ever for your Holiday marketing success.

A digital marketing strategy tailored to your buyer personas can help your company stand out from the competition and keep your consumers’ attention.

Limiting your marketing tactics

Using only one marketing strategy limits your possible customer base and lacks the innovation and authenticity that consumers want.

While you might spend most of your time focused on one or two marketing tactics, such as influencer marketing or display advertisements, the Holiday season is a great opportunity to branch out.

Preparing last minute

Whether you’re a large company or a small business, late planning is one of the most typical holiday mistakes made by businesses.

You’ll need to start implementing your marketing efforts in a similar way for those early holiday shoppers. You don’t have to wait until after Halloween to start planning your next campaign.

Bombarding your subscribers with promotional emails

Count how many promotional emails you receive in a day in your inbox. It’s most likely more than you want.

Now, consider which emails drew your attention. What was it about them that made them stand out?

It’s easy to go overboard with holiday email marketing, but the emails that provide value and are creative are the ones that catch users’ attention.

A simple yet memorable subject line can pique curiosity, but writing a value-add email will boost your click-through rate.

Keep track of how many emails you have in your inbox and what each one is for. Your staff will have less work to do as a result, and overall client happiness will improve.

Holiday marketing best practices

Holiday marketing best practices

  • Set your goals: Think about your Holiday marketing goals and the resources you have available to achieve them. Santa can’t make miracles happen, so attempt to set realistic goals and decide what sorts of discounts you want to offer.
  • Leverage on holiday emotions: Create one-of-a-kind emails for your customers and base it on actual data that describes their likes, wants, etc. Start your holiday campaigns with sincerity, this way you not only provide individuals more generous holiday offers, but you also spread cheer and glee.
  • Don’t be overly persistent: The best way to irritate consumers is to barrage them with proposals when they aren’t ready.
  • Aim for all-year holiday promotions: Don’t let Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas put an end to your holiday marketing efforts. Now is the time to start planning your niche holidays. Think siblings day, world animal day, or even family day.
  • Make your email and SMS campaigns personal: Email and SMS campaigns may be personalized. Use data from the previous year or two to figure out what your consumers are looking for in Holiday emails. Make an effort to satisfy their needs by tailoring your suggestions to their particular needs.

5 of the best holiday marketing campaigns

As you create your heartwarming completely endearing holiday marketing campaign, try to take a look at these examples from the best-performing campaigns across the years.

Coca-Cola Canada

This recent Coca-Cola ad tells the story of a father who goes to great lengths to send his daughter’s letter to Santa Claus.

While pondering what to do with the letter, the father enjoys a Coke, leaving us with the impression he won’t make it in time.

As he hunts for Santa, we witness him sail over the sea, trudge through the woods, ride across the desert, and climb a snowy mountain. Finally, he arrives, but Santa is closed for the holidays. Just when we think the situation is hopeless, Santa arrives on a Coca-Cola-branded truck and whisks the father away.

The little girl’s wish? For him to be able to spend Christmas with his family. (Cue the tears!)

As always, Coca-Cola’s campaign appeals to emotions showing us the great lengths a dad will go through for his daughter, and that the finest gift you can give to your loved ones is your presence and time.

Peach & Lily

Peach and Lily Halloween email

You don’t have to be a huge brand like Coca-Cola or Amazon to create holiday campaigns. Just take a look at Peach & Lily’s Halloween email. It’s simple, it’s clever, and it works!

The skincare brand is offering Halloween deals for those who would rather stay in and watch horror movies all while pampering their skin. It’s also an amazing way to treat your skin after all the Halloween makeup!

Apple

This ad starts in a very relatable, almost nostalgic, way. You’re first introduced to a family going to see relatives around the holidays (you know how hectic that can be).

The beauty of the ad is that the iPad appears to be the only thing keeping the peace during their trip.

But then the ad takes a bittersweet turn as we see their grandfather struggling with the loss of his wife. An unexpected (but also very expected) thing happens. The granddaughters use the ipad to make a gift for the entire family.

What makes this ad stand out from Apple’s usual ads is the emotional appeal. Apple’s ads are typically feature-heavy, emphasizing utility above everything else. But this time they leverage emotions and use the product as a tool to tell the story.

Disney

In this Disney Holiday commercial, culture, history, and festive spirit come together. The media powerhouse uses its long-standing name to transport us to 1940, when a small girl receives her first Mickey Mouse plush toy.

As the film progresses, we witness the tiny girl mature into a grandmother. She passes the plush toy on to her granddaughter, who, as she grows older, does not like it as much.

The granddaughter recognizes how much the toy means to her grandmother and works to restore it to its former beauty. When Grandma opens her Christmas gift and sees her old toy mended and restored, we’re immediately taken back to her childhood with parols lighting up the night sky.

We were expecting something heartfelt from Disney, and it did not disappoint. We really admire how Filipino culture has been shown to millions of people around the world.

Airbnb

This is a terrific example of a Holiday ad that highlights the idea of community and thankfulness without outright mentioning the holidays.

Airbnb is celebrating the season by thanking its four million hosts for welcoming strangers from all around the world into their homes. The video shows a variety of hosts from various nations ringing the doorbell and opening it. We travel across the globe and we love how each of these countries is mentioned in its native tongue!

This campaign proves that you don’t need string lights or fake trees to produce a fantastic Holiday campaign. You can promote your company’s ideals, celebrate your victories, and thank people who have contributed to your success.

Be merry and bright!

Happy holidays greeting

With an increase in people buying online and a steady stream of competitors, it’s more difficult for companies to flourish over the holidays. However, there are actions you can do ahead of time to place your brand above the competition and attract loyal customers.

A key takeaway from this guide is that planning is essential to the success of your holiday marketing. You need to dedicate your time, effort, and resources to be able to fully reap the benefits of the Holiday shopping season.

Start preparing today, optimize your content, keep your customers in mind, and don’t forget to build lifetime value with your brand.

We wish you a warm and cozy holiday season, from our family to yours.