The holiday season brings a combination of opportunity and fear for businesses. Customers pour into stores with orders and sales going up as the need for gifts and sales bring in the bodies.
The fear pertains to the equally high demand to show a solid 4th quarter. Businesses that fail to bring it in at the close of the year might not see the new year.
While it is true that 19% of sales occur in the final 2 months of the year, the fear doesn’t have to be real. With the right holiday marketing ideas, you can bring in the returns and enjoy the opportunity.
The following ideas capitalize on the themes of the year. These ideas also leverage the need to buy mindset of the holiday shopper.
Holiday Marketing Ideas
Marketing happens year round. With that in mind, consider that many of these can be used throughout the year.
1. Peer Endorsements
Loyal customers bring in their friend and family because they want to share good things. This intensifies during the holiday season as the emphasis on friends and family spreads everywhere.
A strong referral policy can up the amount that people want to share and talk about your business. Doubling points on loyalty cards for the season ensures extra foot traffic and page views.
The pinnacle fo peer endorsement is passive social engineering. When customers are excited to announce that they are at the store and publish this on social media, it gets noticed. Create online posting opportunities with a selfie frame area or a digital check-in that offers a discount.
2. Share Your Success
Take out Christmas print ads that announce your previous year of successes. Include personal information as well as financial.
You want the customers to feel like your business is part of the community. Rely on those feelings of togetherness the holiday brings. The numbers speak of your success, but they also speak of the care and interest the customers have in you.
Listing new hires, milestones, and important events in a recap makes the business about people.
3. Additional Gifts
Holidays are the time for giving. So embrace that concept in your Christmas marketing.
Offering a free branded gift with any purchase (or better, two) gives something extra to the customer. They feel the added value and you capitalize on the extra marketing.
One gift gives them one to keep and influence in their own circle. Two lets them pass one along and create even more reach.
When considering what to give as a free gift you want to consider a few factors.
Giving a free gift adds value to the customer but costs you. If you give away the farm to attract some customers, you won’t have anything left.
You want the cost to you to be an average of 30% of the return you would expect to see from a typical customer purchase or sale.
This ROI point helps you keep afloat and doesn’t cost more than you would expect from a typical marketing budget.
The free gift should have some utility to the customer. An object that they will never use just goes into a drawer or a glove compartment. Something that has everyday uses gets your branding out there more.
Customers also will think more fondly of a gift that they can do something with.
Small objects, like keychains, have some usability and a low price point but lack visibility. If you go with small objects, you want them to be something people look at.
It is better to go with medium sized objects that have higher visibility potential. Cups, mugs, mousepads are all things that people use and get a lot of visibility.
4. Gift Card Pre-Game
Get people interested in shopping before the season, or buying up interest in limited items by selling gift cards.
Marketing limited use gift cards redeemable during key holiday days at a discount before the holiday primes the pump. Customers can be given the same discount on a limited holiday sale by getting a gift card early.
You want to make certain the language for gift card use doesn’t double discount or at least be aware that some will try to capitalize on that. By selling cards early you broaden your holiday sales reach.
It also ups your word of mouth as people work to remember to use their card for limited purchase items in the right window.
5. Design Contests
You already know that engagement creates better loyalty with customers. The psychology on that has been set for almost a decade. Finding fresh ways to get existing and new customers to engagement becomes the challenge.
A design contest for special holiday-themed items makes for excellent engagement. Customers get to think about your product as they design and have a personal stake in the outcome.
Repeated annually, it gives customers more time to consider what they think about your products.
From a data perspective, you can correlate patterns in the designs you see to understand value. This feedback loop is hard to beat in terms of planning ongoing or future campaigns.
6. The 12 Days Approach
The popularity of the 12 days of Christmas and the existence of multiple day holidays offer opportunities. You can start small and get bigger with new and better deals each day.
You can also offer combination discounts for visiting on more than one day up to a maximum amount. Many Christmas marketing ideas rely on catching the interest of a specific group.
By offering 12 promotions instead of one, you open your marketing to a broader audience. However, you also make it possible to see which of your items has more overall interest. This can make finding sales price points and potential easier.
Don’t forget that collectibles are also cool. Offer a different free gift or branded item with each visit. This spreads out your marketing while offering incentives for customers to participate.
Usually, you would hold a raffle or other type of drawing in which participation over time leads to better odds at a bigger prize.
7. The Event Approach
Even without hitting the multiple days themes, you can hit multiple events. Not everyone celebrates their Christmas the same way. For some, the day before is as if not more important.
Some people live for the sales on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Advertising for the season risks target customers procrastinating while they juggle their schedule.
One day sells and advertising with the key dates provides a time-pressure incentive. any deal that can only happen on one day and with limited availability, pushes people to plan ahead.
You might consider using the popularity of global sales days to promote an off-target day sale. This can set you apart from the pack and cater to a crowd that has to work on other targeted days. Some companies have seen high success with marketing that puts the pressure off of pre and after holiday day sales.
8. Emotions Sell
No amount of sound reasoning and logic ultimately convinces a person to pursue a line of action. They need an emotional connection to get going. The holidays provide a lot of fodder for growing some emotional responses within.
Ads that tell a story and focus on nostalgia, in particular, bring promises of hope and comfort to customers.
The rest of the year is hard and sometimes unrewarding. The holidays give a sense of closure and value to the struggle of the rest of the year.
Phrases about hope, peace, and family may sound hollow and trite in May but are embraced in November.
When branding merchandise, consider adding facts about your charity projects or community support. Give the customer a sense that doing business with you spreads farther.
9. Blanket Coverage
Christmas marketing ideas need only be a part of your holiday plan. While 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, multiple celebrations are on the rise.
New Year’s and Thanksgiving fall in the same season and are widely participated in. Other religious festivals such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah feature multiple days of giving. This makes it possible to advertise smaller items for multiple occasions.
The general winter themes and celebration overtones lend to many generic options to catch attention.
Holiday promo ideas that simply promote ‘holiday’ in general face less backlash each year. People that celebrate want to celebrate and the what is less important.
Offer specialized products that have specific appeal to your demographic. Also, offer general products that give you targeted and bulk inclusion.
10. Team Up and Crawl
Work with other local business (not competitors) to create a tour. This can be done physically or digitally. Customers that visit multiple participants earn a bigger discount at a chosen business.
This spreads your business into the community and allows you to catch customers outside your normal demographic.
Make an Impression
Only a few of these holiday marketing ideas exist in isolation. You can pick and use several to maximize your holiday season.
Don’t wait until next year to get started on your plans. Contact us today to find out what we can do to aid your strategy.