The holiday season is here. For many people, that means binge watching holiday movies, consuming large amounts of raw cookie dough (one of my guilty pleasures...), and scrambling last minute to find the perfect gift in a massive crowd of people trying to do the same thing.
But, for us marketers, the holidays mean something different. They’re the perfect time to craft unique marketing campaigns, connect with new prospects and hold onto existing ones. But, planning a successful holiday marketing strategy is easier said than done.
Steer clear of these 4 holiday marketing mistakes and exponentially boost your campaign’s effectiveness.
Mistake #1: Not offering holiday themed gifts and promotions
Here’s something you might not know about me: I love anything holiday themed. Tie a big red bow on it, decorate it with snowflakes or a dancing reindeer, and chances are I’ll buy it. And I’m not alone.
For the most part, people love the holiday season and anything that reminds them of this time of year, including holiday-themed products and services. If you don’t appeal to their love of the holidays, you’re missing out on a valuable marketing and sales opportunity.
Holiday-themed products and marketing materials help you expand your reach and forge an emotional connection with your audience. A holiday-themed product or marketing email can evoke feelings of nostalgia and happiness and fuel interest in your brand.
A special holiday deal or sale engages existing customers and entices new ones. 41.6% of consumers said that sales or price discounts are most important in purchasing decisions, and the average person will spend over $130 during the holiday season to take advantage of holiday deals for themselves or family members.
There are so many ways you can market your business during the holiday season. You could promote a limited time offer for your services, repackage your product in a holiday theme or design a holiday page with gift suggestions or great stocking stuffers. Even sprucing up your website’s homepage, monthly newsletter or promotional emails and adding a holiday theme can do wonders. Look around, see what other companies are offering and get inspired by their campaigns.
Mistake #2: Failing to share holiday-themed content
In all the hustle and bustle of holiday marketing, content creation may be put on a back burner. But content marketing is just as important, if not more, during the holiday season.
Readers love, consume and actively share content during the holidays. While they’re incredibly busy running holiday errands and shopping for gifts, they spend more time researching and reading content in their down time.
A Forbes Insights/Synchrony Financial survey of 250 retailers found that 82% of customers research online before making a purchase. Your content offers can help consumers make well-informed buying decisions, compare different solutions and realize why your product or solution fits their every need.
Create holiday-related content such as a holiday gift guide, holiday stress tips or a holiday marketing checklist. If your hectic schedule leaves little room for new content creation, repurpose old content and search for blogs or content offers that can tie into a holiday theme. You can even round up insightful tips, statistics and how-tos and turn them into a holiday infographic.
Mistake #3: Forgetting to send holiday greetings to loyal customers
While reaching out to new business is a priority, you can’t overlook your loyal customers too. Sending out holiday greetings to your customers keeps business relationships alive and helps you build and sustain a thriving business. A holiday card not only shows your customers that you’re thinking of them during the holiday season, but also thanks them for their continued business.
Taking the time to write a handwritten card speaks volumes about your brand and deepens relationships with customers. You can even reward your most loyal customers with holiday gifts like chocolates or a gift card. If you’re tight on time or budget, you can send holiday greetings through email or an automated service.
Mistake #4: Neglecting or ignoring social media during the holiday season
Take a few minutes and look at your Facebook news feed. Don’t worry; I’ll wait. As you’re scrolling through your recent updates, what do you see?
If your news feed looks anything like mine, you’re seeing holiday promotions and posts scattered amongst the baby photos, Buzzfeed quizzes and recipe videos. Consumers flock to social media during the holidays to research gifts and review their favorite products. 51% of holiday shoppers use social media to get gift ideas, while another 50% search social websites for discounts and sale information.
Posting consistently gives your brand momentum year round and widens your reach. If you only post before and after the holiday season, your followers may forget about you or, even worse, unfollow you. Keep followers actively engaged throughout the holiday season with these post ideas:
- Holiday gift ideas
- Event notifications
- Product reviews
- Holiday-themed blogs and content offers
- Holiday infographics
- Your brand’s story
- Special holiday deals
- Customer testimonials
When planning social posts, keep in mind that humans are visual creatures. 65% of readers are visual learners, and content with images gets 94% more views than content without images. Capture notoriously short attention spans with images, videos and gifs. Share highly relatable, targeted and relevant visuals that tug at their heartstrings and break through the clutter.
For example, Coca-Cola’s timeless and iconic holiday videos capture the nostalgia of my childhood while creating a tangible brand presence. After watching these commercials, I can’t help but associate their brand with fond memories of past holidays spent with family and friends. And I almost always crave an ice-cold Coca-Cola immediately after.
Research shows that emotionally connected customers buy more products or services. In fact, 80% of buying decisions are based on emotion. Focus on creating heartwarming videos that celebrate the season and that your audience can’t help but share.
Did we miss any holiday marketing mistakes? Let us know in the comments below.