By Candace Huntly
This is not a drill… The 2021 holiday season is coming whether you like it or not. I know… It’s still warm outside, but that doesn’t mean you should put off planning your holiday marketing! Pumpkin spice lattes are in season, we’ve had a few sweater weather days, your Instagram feed is likely full of fall DIYs, and Halloween has taken over the seasonal sections in your fave stores.
We’ve talked about 2021 consumer trends to drive your holiday strategies, things you don’t want to forget while planning, and even how to put together the best PR packages to send out to media and influencers. But what about just having a little fun with marketing your business during a traditionally emotional time of the year? While it’s always good to start with what you did last year to see what worked and what didn’t, sometimes you need a few ideas to boost your creative brain to build the best strategy you can for your business. So here are a few fun holiday marketing ideas that might be right for you!
#1: Run a Holiday giftaway – I mean giveaway
Giveaways happen throughout the year, so why not carry that over into the busy holiday season? If you have done the work to build up any sort of following and engagement on social media, then you should use your social media platforms in a variety of ways. Running a holiday giveaway is a great way to have a little fun leading up to the holiday season while encouraging shoppers to consider gift buying at the same time.
With any giveaway you always need to set your goals, because that will determine how you run your giveaway. A few goals to consider are increased brand awareness, generating buzz leading up to your product launch, and gaining more social media followers. Depending on what your goals are you could ask people to comment, share, like, sign up for your email list, share a photo and tag you, tag friends in the comments, etc. Remember, that if you are running a contest on social, there are rules you need to follow for each platform!
Tip: giveaways are a great way to partner up with other local businesses for an added marketing punch (more on that later!).
#2: Host virtual events to showcase personality, expertise, and products
Most of your customers haven’t gotten back into the swing of being fully comfortable with in person events and experiential in-store shopping experiences. Also, if your goal is to keep people moving through your storefront (if you have one!) then in-store experiences may not be the best idea. As part of your holiday marketing strategy, why not host a few virtual events? You can do things like tutorials (for example, makeup tutorials, styling workshops, floral arranging, colour matching, baking or cooking classes, etc), educational events to showcase organizational expertise like a holiday sales webinar, or even a fun immersive scavenger hunt (Story City is an amazing, one-of-a-kind platform for this sort of thing).
The trick with these sorts of events is you want to try to make them related to what you do or sell – with a holiday-themed twist.
#3: Drive emotions – and awareness – with User Generated Content
The biggest compliment you can have as a brand is to have customers sharing happy stories about you. Any time you can get customers sharing photos or reviews about your products/services increases both brand visibility and credibility among your target audience. Launch a holiday campaign focused on User Generated Content (UGC) to get your customers sharing snaps of themselves and tagging you. You could consider a fun holiday photo contest, or even just a storytelling campaign where you get your customers to talk about what the holidays means to them. Even more creative? Why not start telling a story and have your customers come up with the ending?
#4: Throw a holiday party
Whether for your clients, VIP customers, or new leads, don’t write off a holiday party purely for entertainment this season. You could either do an event that allows for physical distancing with a limited guest list or do a more drop-in style event where there will be small groups of people at any given time rather than all at once.
Not ready for in-person entertaining? You can still do amazing events virtually. A lot of performers have adapted to the pandemic and gone virtual – whether magicians, illusionists, or musicians – and are available to do performances online. You can even take your event up a notch by sending special deliveries for all attendees to enjoy during the event. Deliveries could include drinks, snacks, a full meal, and even party favours. If your budget is smaller, you can still do simultaneous delivery, but you may need to have a smaller guest list to make it happen on budget.
#5: Make customer appreciation a priority
It doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive gesture, but every little bit of appreciation counts when it comes to building better relationships with your customers. Make it your holiday gift to them. Here are just a few ideas to consider:
- Free gift with purchase
- Free gift wrapping – either before shipping it out, or an in-store gift wrapping station set up
- Extra loyalty points for shopping during the holiday season
- Free downloadable resources (eBooks, gift guides, etc.)
- Offer pre-booking sales to boost future sales if you are a seasonal business
Whatever holiday marketing strategies you do, make sure you make it easy for your customers to participate and get through to the end purchase. It’s important that you don’t put too many barriers in place otherwise you won’t get the results you want in the end.
If you aren’t sure where to start with your holiday marketing campaign or you think you need a little extra help, book a free 20-minute consultation with us and we’ll get you on track.
Come back next week for 5 more fun holiday marketing ideas!