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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Slepian

Holiday Marketing Strategies to Finish the Year Strong

The fourth quarter of the calendar year can be a make-or-break for businesses and organizations of all sizes and across all categories. Marketing your product or service for this season of shopping is important, and getting started early with the right strategies will help ensure a solid finish to the year. Here are eight surefire tips to help you meet your goals and get your message out.

1) Spend money on ads, and start early

The early bird gets the worm, especially when there’s a budget involved. Many holiday shoppers have a dedicated list of people they’re buying for, as well as a budget for their gift giving. You want to get in on the ground floor and be one of the first places people think to spend their money.

2) Offer incentives that set you apart from the competition

What can you offer to help entice people to shop with your brand? Lowering prices, limited-time deals, two-for-one offers, and special in-store shopping events are all ways to bring in business and get people excited about your service or product. If you’re really trying to go big, try a 12-days-of-holidays themed sale, punch cards for frequent buyers focused on the holiday months, or gift discounts for people shopping for others on the list.

3) Run a social media campaign with specific timing

It’s never a bad idea to put some money behind key ads on social media, whether it’s promoting a holiday special or updating customers on existing opportunities. The holidays are a particularly good time to do this, as they have a specific start (sort of… it gets earlier every year) and a very specific end. Plug holiday campaigns by assigning a deadline to get the special, centered around the holiday you’re focusing on. Engagement can be increased by setting time limits and having seasonally relevant messaging.

4) Follow trends in your consumer base

What is your customer base looking for this season? Are they shopping in-store or online? What percentage of their spending is happening during sales, and have they been following your marketing messaging? Knowing what your category trends look like will help you target your messaging and maintain a greater understanding of your consumer base and the best places to send your ad dollars.

5) Promote a special holiday deal via email

Email marketing can be tricky, but one of the best ways to increase opens is to promote a holiday special with the email newsletter as one of the tools. We love easy discount codes and incentives, like signing up for the newsletter will get you a percentage off your next purchase, or a discount code to apply at a later date. This will increase your newsletter reach and subscriber list, which will also help share messaging and incentives down the road.

6) Create a holiday-themed video

As we’ve discussed before, video is one of the best ways to be seen by a wider consumer base. Videos are shareable, can play well on a variety of platforms, and have been proven to be more engaging than visual or audio advertising. Creating a holiday-themed video ad, or hiring someone to do it for you, will help increase engagement and spread the message about your product and seasonal promotion.

7) Write a gift guide centered around your product or service

We’re seeing more businesses following this model as the holidays ramp up, and we think it’s a pretty darn good idea. We’re so used to seeing gift guides from publications, but think about creating a gift guide centered around your category, and the things you can offer. These are simple to put together and can be posted as a blog, as a slideshow on social media, or through your newsletter. Pick the items that fit best for a variety of categories and recipients, link to each one, and write a brief description to give people ideas for how to shop for everyone on their list from your business.

8) Let your customers know how much you appreciate them

This should go without saying because we know you value your customers and clients, but let them know! This doesn’t have to include an incentive or discount, but sending out a heartfelt message or including something in the newsletter can help your customers feel recognized and valued. Make it personal and from the heart, and let them connect to you in more in-depth way than as another anonymous business.

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