The holiday season is arguably the most wonderful time of the year. Whether it’s sinking your teeth into the Thanksgiving turkey, unpacking the Christmas presents or counting down the seconds on New Year’s Eve, the holiday season is reserved for spending quality time with friends, family and those who matter to us the most. For marketers, however, the holidays represent one of the biggest retail opportunities of the entire year and every brand wants a piece of the pie.
Sales during the holiday season account for a fifth of total yearly sales and continue to increase year after year, as marketers all over the world struggle to bring out some of their best promotions in order to capture the imaginations of shoppers right when they’re most likely to purchase presents for loved ones.
Taking advantage of the whole holiday season craze requires a thought-out marketing campaign capable of placing your brand right in front of your target consumers. That said, what are some of the most innovative, attention-grabbing marketing ideas you can use to boost your 2018 sales and when is the right moment to start preparing for the massive holiday splurge?
Let’s dig in!
The Key Events
The average person might think that preparing for the holiday season as early as September is a bit of an overkill. Quite the contrary, a successful holiday marketing campaign takes careful consideration and planning ahead to provide you with the best ROI and ensure you don’t fall off the wagon during the rush.
The key events to look out for include:
– Black Friday and Cyber Monday
– Christmas and
– New Year’s
Starting with 31st of October, Halloween marks the start of the holiday season, which stretches all the way to 1st of January or the New Year’s Day. Considering that experimental campaigns take up to 12 weeks on average to launch successfully, it’s wise that you take your time and devise a strategy that captures the imagination and tempts consumers to shop from you instead of your competitors.
Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive by Giving Back to Your Customers
Thanksgiving is arguably the best holiday to offer discounts, gift cards, coupons, and gift certificates. Furthermore, you can offer your products and services as free gifts and keep the campaign going before, during and even after Thanksgiving, keeping the festive spirit alive throughout the holiday season.
Alternatively, you can set up a contest and have people perform a specific action before they can redeem their prize and share that on their social media accounts. This is very helpful for solidifying brand authority, increasing brand visibility and widening your existing market.
You can offer free gift cards for referrals, free products with every purchase or personalized gifts for purchases that exceed a specific price. At the end of the day, what you’re aiming for positive action to that benefits your business, increase traffic and sales improves your bottom line.
For example, HBO has developed an excellent early Christmas campaign for its HBO Now service by allowing paying customers to send a link to those without an HBO account who can use it to view 12 episodes completely free of charge. HBO enlisted a number of celebrities, including those starring in their own original shows, to promote the video streaming service and try to convert those clicking on the link into paying customers. It’s safe to say that their campaign gained massive worldwide success.
Help Consumers Find What They Need with Special Gift Guides
Gift guides are perfect for helping out customers during the busy holiday season. You can help them pick just the right present for those they care about and increase conversions and sales while doing it. Some of the most popular brands in the world rely on gift guides to market products and services and provide shoppers with inspiration while they’re looking for that ideal present.
The simplest and most effective way for retailers to promote their gift guides is to use dedicated landing pages that separate various parts of the guide into shopper-friendly categories. That said, creating an effective landing page, especially during the holidays, is something that is best reserved for individuals and agencies that already have some previous experience.
Just like customers go through a number of different brand portfolios before settling for those that resonate with them the most, so should brands go through portfolios of different web development companies and pick those that resonate with their brand image, team size, budget preferences and so on.
Be Creative with Holiday Hashtags
Hashtags are a simple, yet highly effective way of conveying a message and reinforce brand image. While there are generic hashtags that companies seem to use each year during the holiday season, it’s better to focus on creating catchy branded hashtags. With branded hashtags, you’re making sure you’re reaching just the right customers and reminding them of your holiday offering, while general hashtags tend to pass by unnoticed most of the time.
Barns and Noble have succeeded in creating the perfect holiday hashtag #BNGiftTip back in 2014. While it may not sound as much, the hashtag was actually used as a way for their experts to share book recommendations with their consumers who were struggling to find just the right book for their friends and family.
The in-house experts offered highly-personalized advice free of charge and helped connect consumers with various brands, book publishers and oftentimes new and exciting writers that people might have not previously even heard about.
These are just some of the most prominent holiday marketing ideas and there are many more to choose from, both on- and offline. Whether it’s making fun, holiday videos, setting up a yearly holiday tradition that people can partake in share the festive spirit with their friends or holding contests and giveaways, the most important thing is that your campaign adequately reflects your brand.
The most successful marketing campaigns are those that we don’t view as simple marketing ploys, but rather fun and creative moments that challenge both the brands and their consumers to come up with new and exciting ways to enjoy everyone’s favorite time of the year.
About the Author: Angelina is a content creator with a background in digital marketing. She could also be tagged as someone who enjoys reading, vending machines and camping. She is positive and hard-working, but can also be very geeky. Find her on Twitter here!