Successful holiday marketing tactics can boost your business and set you up for a great year. There’s a lot of pressure to create winning Christmas campaigns. The trick is to blend your core message with an appeal to the holiday spirit and the sense of “auld lang syne” associated with that time of the year.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the most effective holiday marketing tactics that not only will help grow your online presence but will also boost your sales and revenue!
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Do Three Things Before You Put Your Creative Hat On
You’ve presumably spent much time and effort putting together your overall digital marketing strategy. Don’t get distracted by the fast-moving pace and buzz around the holiday season. Don’t hurl your long-term strategy in the trash—add a seasonal boost over the holiday period.
In the following, we share some essential holiday marketing tactics to ensure your campaigns bring in your piece of the predicted 2023 sales forecast of 957.3 billion U.S. dollars and continue to bear fruit long after the holiday season is over.
#1 Dive Into Your Data
Did people respond overwhelmingly to specific advertising or campaigns? Were the sales triggered by prices, emotional responses, or a question of timing? Why did sales peak two days before the New Year?
Did your competitor run out of stock, or did you offer a better deal? Which channel had the highest conversion rate? Which channel delivered the highest average order value (AOV) or ROI? You’ll have a baseline for this year’s campaign when you understand what worked well and what didn’t.
#2 Update Competitor Analysis
What are your competitors doing? Use a VPN to disguise your footprint while you hang around their social media profiles and websites. Get the best VPN for multiple devices because you’ll need to access all their channels on different devices. That’s the only way you’ll be able to spot focus shifts on specific platforms or devices.
Find out when the competitors will launch their campaigns, what products they will focus on, and what approach they will use. Analyze industry trends to see what’s likely to be popular this season. Ask your customers what they want most for this year’s holidays, and compare it with where your competitors are heading.
#3 Get the Logistics Right
Take a good look at the inventory. What were the top sellers last year? Did you get stuck with older models after product updates during the past year? Is this an opportunity to clear the inventory?
Will you have enough stock to prevent stockouts? Consider hiring temporary staff to handle a sharp increase in sales and avoid declining customer service levels.
13 Holiday Marketing Tactics
Ensure all your actions and content stay aligned with your long-term planning. And with that word of caution, let’s dive into our 13 pro holiday marketing tactics!
#1 Spruce Up: It’s the Holidays!
Revamp your branding elements with a temporary nod reflecting the festive spirit. You could add an instantly recognizable element like snow or gift wrapping to your logo and use it on product packaging, website banners, and social media profiles for only a specific period during the year.
For example, create exclusive holiday editions of popular products or discounts to nudge buyers into purchasing.
#2 Start Your Campaign Early
Shoppers are seeking and comparing the best deals year-round to help them get the best deals during the critical shopping period in November. Your message should be on point and ready to roll by August or September. Launch by November or December.
#3 Don’t Abandon Brand Marketing
During seasonal campaigns, you’ll be shifting gears to focus on selling products. Remember to anchor your message to your brand’s core values. It will leave a lasting impression on shoppers.
#4 Use All Possible Channels
Shoppers are bombarded with marketing messages, and they’ll need to see your message several times before it will register in their consciousness. Therefore, go wide to include more channels than usual and expand your repertoire.
If you usually focus on website content and blogs, be ready to use direct advertising on social media platforms. Allocate extra funds for festive promotions and branding because advertising costs increase around this time of the year.
Ensure you have the tools to monitor campaign performance and adjust elements in real-time.
Pro Tip: here’s how to use social media for your business the right way.
#5 Get a Quick-Response Team to Dial-Up Direct Customer Engagement
Now more than ever, interact with your customers on social media. Ask your customers how they feel about the season. Get them to share their stories or inspirational messages that evoke powerful feelings of nostalgia or caring.
Respond to all comments, both positive and negative, with personalized responses. Use hashtags on sites like TikTok and Instagram.
#6 Think Laterally
Whatever your product or service, you should be able to find complementary brands with elements you can use to position your product as a great buy.
For example, if you’re selling plant fertilizer or potting soil, you could produce content that offers advice on what plants to use for holiday decorations or what plants are easy to care for and would be suitable as gifts.
If you’re selling olive oil, create simple, no-cook recipes for holiday meals. Content that provides helpful information to prospective customers could motivate them to purchase more of your product.
#7 Partner With Product-Adjacent Brands
Take your exercise in lateral thinking a little further: The fertilizer/potting soil seller could team up with a niche plant pot manufacturer to bring festive or decorative plants into people’s homes for the holidays.
The olive oil seller could collaborate with a local or regional farming co-op to promote fresh, farm-to-table veggie goodness pairing.
#8 Lure Customers With Prices
Studies show that around 70% of holiday shoppers make their final buying decisions based on price and are more willing to consider new brands. Grab their attention with one or more of these holiday marketing tactics:
- Membership programs. Early access to discounts or exclusive products, gift bundles, special editions, or free gifts.
- Loyalty programs. There are plenty of formulas to boost sales with loyalty programs, for example, “Spend X amount and get a discount on your next order” or “Spend X amount to get a free entry in an exclusive competition.”
- Incentives. For example, “Download our free app and qualify for 10% off all in-app sales.”
- Competitions and giveaways. “Share this offer and win.”
- Limited-time offers and flash sales. Create urgency with time-sensitive discounts or promotions.
- Offer free or faster or guaranteed shipping if they order before a specific cut-off date.
- Make it easy for people to treat themselves while they’re out buying gifts for others. Throw in a little something—free gifts are one of the most compelling holiday marketing tactics.
- If you make holiday savings a tradition, you’ll be building an enduring sales pipeline for the future.
- Bundling and gift sets. Offer complementary products packaged as a set at a reduced price for convenient gift options. Partner with other complimentary brands if you can.
#9 Spend More on Digital Advertising
The competition for low-cost SEO keywords heats up, and advertising fees on social media platforms like Facebook could go through the roof. Nevertheless, don’t vanish from social media because of the higher advertising costs.
Start your campaigns before prices shoot up to get broad exposure. Narrow down your demographic target group and adjust your bidding strategy during the countdown to special shopping events like Black Friday.
If you know your target market, you’ll have the confidence to spend your money on one or two big salvos rather than dilute your spending over a broad front.
#10 Double Down On Email Marketing
Holiday shoppers don’t have time for consultations or phone calls, but you can be sure they’ll check their mail to catch special offers! Refrain from bombarding your audience, but you can increase the frequency, format, or length of your emails to put the spotlight on special offers or products.
Use your precious customer data to retarget your customer base. Send them personalized emails based on past sales or another defining data point.
For example, your customer loyalty program should be able to identify all females who buy active wear. Send them a message of appreciation for their support with a special offer for discounted or special edition gym gear.
Personalized marketing should never be so detailed that people regard it as creepy, but people appreciate the personal touch, making them feel valued.
#11 Use the Power of Emotional Marketing
The holidays stir up a mixture of emotions. You will only succeed if your campaign recognizes these emotions. However, keep in mind that a sizeable segment of the population doesn’t celebrate Christmas as a religious occasion, so don’t alienate customers with religion-specific messages.
Remember that many people loathe the commercial fuss associated with the holiday season, even if they feel pressure to participate in the traditions. Don’t go over the top with sentimentality or nostalgia. You could focus on the pleasures of taking a break, recharging and caring for yourself and others, and the promise of a fresh new start in the coming year.
#12 Take a Festive Direction
This is a distinct, unavoidable part of the year, so even reluctant Christmas grumps who hate the fuss associated with the season will be on the lookout for those traditional special offers and savings!
Identify what feeling you want to awaken, for example, comfort or fun, and then adapt your campaign message to convey that core feeling. Choose the right music and media to leverage that connection between your product and this particular time of year.
Don’t go overboard, but make the season a part of your ad copy and media. For example, use words emphasizing the holiday, like: “Get the perfect gift this holiday season.”
#13 Show Gratitude to Old and New Customers
No matter how loyal your long-term customers are, they may shop around for better prices during economic pressure. It’s time for a gentle reminder that you’ve been a part of their lives before and that you hope to continue the association. Show loyal shoppers how valuable they are to your business with “Thank you” messages, discounts, and special offers.
A Few Final Words
By this time, you should be ready to create a holiday marketing campaign that will be a game-changer for your business. Blend your core message with an appeal to the holiday spirit to reap the rewards over the long term. Use your data, stay on top of your competitors’ actions, and get the logistics right to make your offering shine long after the last baubles get packed away.