The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a fantastic opportunity for your business to connect with its customers in a fun, new way. There’s still time to take advantage of the holidays and resonate with your audience throughout the season. Here are 13 ways to inject the holiday spirit into your digital marketing strategy, starting with social media tactics.

Spread holiday cheer through your marketing strategy.
Spread holiday cheer through your marketing strategy.

Holiday Spirit in Marketing: 13 Strategies

  1. Combine Social Media with Traditional Marketing Strategies

You put lots of effort into all aspects of your business’ marketing, from printed advertising materials like fliers, brochures and advertisements, to pamphlets, handouts or coupons. This holiday season is the perfect time to offer seasonal deals like a Holiday Doorbuster sale or New Year’s event. To get the most mileage out of your efforts, be sure to combine your social media tactics with traditional marketing strategies. Include social media handles on all content you produce so customers can find you everywhere.

  1. Update Your Profile and Cover Images

Get in the holiday spirit by customizing your profile and cover images with holiday flair! Find a seasonal graphic (that you own the rights to), and use a custom editing tool like Canva to make it your own. Be sure to include your business name, logo and other important details to maintain brand consistency. It’s also a good idea to stay all-inclusive to avoid alienating your customers, so steer clear from overtly religious references and make way for all beliefs and holidays this season.

What makes a great social image? Here is some advice:

  • Showcase your authenticity
  • Enlist the help of a local celebrity or community leader using your product
  • Show your personality
  • Include a call-to-action
  • Use consistent branding include colors, fonts and imagery
  • Include your logo and business name
  • Use high-quality images that you own the rights to
  • Pay attention to recommended image dimensions
  1. Hold a Holiday Contest

Contests are a great way to engage with your customers and the holiday season is an excellent time to get into the giving spirit. Offer a prize to your fan who correctly answers a holiday trivia question, or ask your followers to guess the theme of your newest product or service. A contest will excite your audience and help raise your online engagement.

Have you ever held a social media contest?
Have you ever held a social media contest?

While contests are incredibly common around Halloween, they also do well during the holiday months, since people spend more time online due to inclement outdoor weather. Make sure you hold a contest that is both relevant to the holiday and to your brand. Some great examples are an apparel company holding an ugly sweater competition over Facebook Live video, or an animal sanctuary hosting families for a White Elephant gift exchange.

  1. Create a Limited Edition Product or Service

Many business owners focus mainly on products and this lends well to holiday marketing. Create some limited edition models of your most popular products, with a holiday theme like a new pattern or print. Then offer them as a special product that customers can buy only during the holiday season, or as stocking stuffers. Consumers love being part of something exclusive, and offering something for a limited time increases demand.

In addition to products, you can also promote holiday services, like gift certificates and events for the holidays. Make sure to spread the word by announcing it in local media, through a customer email blast or hire a publicist to get the word out. Just remember to get the word out about your event or service in a timely manner, as publications have strict lead times you should be aware of.

  1. Try a Holiday-Themed Sale

    Offer something of value to give customers a reason to make their purchase now.
    Offer something of value to give customers a reason to make their purchase now.

The holiday season may be long, but it goes by quickly! Your customers are likely busy as the year wraps up, so planning ahead is key. Be sure to offer them something of value and give them a reason to make their purchase now, instead of next week. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are obviously big shopping days, but you can take advantage of lesser known themes like a 12 Days of Holidays Sale, where a different product is discounted each day. Holding a themed sale like this will insert urgency into your consumers’ minds and build their anticipation.

  1. Publicize Your Holiday Events

Promoting your business’ events is as important as planning them. You put lots of effort into planning and executing events, so don’t let that go to waste! A happening is only successful if your target audience attends and you are able to reach as many potential customers as possible. Be sure to spread the word through many different avenues, including press outreach, blogging, sending e-newsletters, posting physical fliers, contacting local influencers, sharing on social media and encouraging word of mouth. A robust marketing strategy has many different moving pieces that work in tandem.

  1. Share a Virtual Holiday Card

Email marketing is another arm of your digital marketing strategy that could benefit from holiday cheer. Creating and sending a virtual holiday card of end-of-year themed company newsletter provides another way to reach out to your customers on a personal level and build rapport. They’ll see you as a company that cares, and it will raise your brand awareness this holiday season.

  1. Create a Holiday Hashtag

Hashtags offer businesses the power to distinguish themselves within their market, while raising their updates’ visibility on social platforms. All you have to do is create one! When holding a holiday-themed event, offering a limited edition product or sharing about your holiday plans, be sure to use your custom hashtag to file each update together. The best ones are short, sweet and to the point, like #WinterWonderland2016 or #FallFestivalFun.

You can also try jumping on current trends and holiday hashtags, like #SnowSunday, #FestiveFriday or #WrappingPaperWednesday. These hashtags don’t need to always be directly connected to your service or product, but should be a fun way to keep your fans and followers interested in your page among the holiday hustle and bustle.

  1. Encourage Partner Engagement

Many times, holiday events are hosted by several organizations as a joint effort to help lower the cost for each company. This is a great way to make your event as large as possible, while also encouraging beneficial partnerships within your community. You can also pull in a local personality or influencer as a special guest. Just be sure to encourage the engagement of your partners; if you’ll be publicizing the event via social media, they should as well. You can also take to social sites like Twitter and thank them for the attendance after the event.

  1. Leverage Social Media Advertising

Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough to set up an event page on Facebook and expect guests to begin to RSVP “Yes.” We also encourage using native social advertising like Twitter ads, Facebook ads and promoted posts. These tools offer a unique way to target your message to specific geographical locations, down to individual cities, so you can be sure your message is reaching the right local audience.

  1. Give a Behind-The-Scenes Look

Not everyone will be able to attend your holiday event, so finding other ways to involve non-attendees is a great idea. Give a behind-the-scenes look at the event setup to raise anticipation, offer a short sneak-peek interview with your special guest, live stream videos from the party as it happens and share photos of attendees. This can help anyone who is not physically there still feel like they’re included and part of the holiday magic. As you share these updates, it’s also a great time to thank sponsors, partners and vendors for their help with your happening.

  1. Share the Love

If you host an event that garners the attention of local media, that’s fantastic! Getting media coverage is an exciting thing for any business, and it’s something that should be shared far and wide. Post social updates thanking the outlet for mentioning you and tag them. It’ll show you are grateful for their attention and help build the relationship for future events. If you get a reporter to cover your party, they are only an email away the next time you want them to know what’s going on.

  1. Assess Your Success

Come January, the holidays will be over. While this is time to appreciate the success of your holiday marketing efforts, it’s also the time to go through your strategy with a fine-toothed comb. Track analytics like online conversion rates, social mentions, event attendees, holiday sales, new social fans, website hits and advertising costs. Assess the overall success of the project and meet with your team to see how the approach could be improved for next year.

These 13 strategies will surely excite your customers and get them excited about your business this holiday season.

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