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06 Oct 2014
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Merry Marketing: How To Ramp Up Your Strategy For the Holidays

Ring in the Holidays

While most people spend the beginning weeks of October sorting their Halloween costumes, buying candy treats, and pulling out their fall coats, savvy businesses are already solidifying their holiday marketing: they know what’s going to marked down for special promotions, they’ve designed brand new landing pages and email templates, and they’re ready to deck their website and social media with Christmas tinsel well before the Halloween episodes start their annual re-run.

It’s really no surprise marketers celebrate the holidays more than other industries do – October through December are prime advertising periods. No other time of year compares – even the most patriotic day in America only pulls in $645 million in fireworks: pittance compared to the $3.12 trillion spent on Christmas alone.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that your job is easy simply because Americans are ready to swipe their credit cards to stock up on gifts during the holiday season. Because of the potential of this term, it’s important to enter into autumn with the know-how to get the most out of your advertising, your holiday promotions, your social media presence, and the holiday spirit of gift-giving that can make or break your annual sales. Thankfully, there are many unique ways of boosting your holiday ROI: just look at some of these companies that are doing it just right.

Give Them A Gift of Their Own

Personalizing your content can drive customers to your site and give them a little fun to boot. OfficeMax perfected this with their Elf Yourself tool, which created a fun video that could be shared with friends and family. Coca cola did something similar for Christmas, and featured a “Christmas Sweater Generator” on their website. They incorporated it into a contest, and those whose sweaters got the most votes on social media were rewarded with the finished product.

InterContinental Hotel Group’s Holiday Inn ad boosted brand awareness by launching a karaoke app, Family Rock Out. It encouraged users to record themselves and their families singing along to Christmas rock and roll songs and the like. The app allowed users to post the videos of themselves to the Holiday Inn Rock Out Facebook wall, where they were entered into a drawing for over £1,000 worth of prizes. It was a perfect way to encourage fun and family, while driving hundreds of people to their site and social media pages – holiday marketing defined within a simple app.

Don’t be Afraid of Some Sap and Nostalgia.

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years are important holidays on the American agenda: it’s the time when consumers are seeing (or missing) family, connecting with old friends, and reminiscing on holidays past. The holidays offer a dependable time of year when everyone’s going to be a little nicer, more generous, and more sentimenal.

Take a hint from John Lewis and link into that sentiment. Their marketers started an impressive ad campaign with a simple premise: they created a heart-warming advertisement that featured a bear and a hare on Christmas. The video not only got 13 million views, but their marketing team connected the campaign to a #bareandhare hashtag, and suggested viewers follow their story further on their website, which featured an interactive eBook for tablets, a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the advert, and a link to buy the song featured in the commercial on iTunes. The Bear and Hare became featured sculptures in their London stores – ingratiating themselves as a delightful holiday mascot. Stuffed versions of the characters are even available as toys.

It is the perfect example of well-rounded marketing that hit the holiday spot: it was sweet, it was simple and as a home and garden company, it sold themselves as the perfect resource for some traditional, home-bound Christmas warmth.

Be Charitable

Outside of being an appropriately altruistic time of year, linking your marketing campaigns to charitable causes is a win-win: you can help one or several charities at a time when many need it most – while also boosting your brand image, as statistics show 92% of Americans have a more positive image of a company that supports a cause they care about.  Waitrose did it right, by offering free tokens with every purchase that customers could drop into different slots for different charities. Each token gave a small amount to each cause. It made the customers feel good about themselves, about the business, and about their purchases.

Give your holiday marketing campaign a boost of reindeer-power: and prepare for the holidays now with our in-depth guide. Merry Marketing!

Holiday Marketing Infographic

 

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Search engine marketing expert with 15 years of experience in the industry, working with small mom and pop shops as well as large corporate websites. I have experience with all aspects of inbound marketing, including SEO, Link Building, Social Shares, Usability, Conversions, PPC, Email Marketing, and more.

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