There’s a million holiday marketing campaign ideas out there. But what actually works?
If you sell anything online, you probably know the struggles of marketing in the chaotic holiday season.
You’re swamped with work, half your team’s on vacation (or sick), and the sheer competition for consumer attention is absolutely off the charts.
But success doesn’t depend on a Christmas miracle. Or a fortune’s worth of ad spending.
Stats and experience show that you can do a lot to boost your holiday sales if you use the right kind of data, make proactive moves, and apply some basic (but powerful) marketing psychology.
In this article, we’ll give you 7 of our best holiday marketing campaign ideas ‒ plus 3 essential tips to make sure you rock them.
- Leverage the Christmas Time Crunch
- Win Hearts & Minds With a Holiday Video
- Share the Love with Your Loyal Customers
- Ring In the Season with Holiday SEO Blog Content
- Conquer the Wish List with Price-Specific Landing Pages
- Make Gift-Giving Easy with Gift Card Promotions
- Embrace Holiday Themes Across Your Digital Presence
1. Leverage the Christmas Time Crunch
FOMO is your friend.
As soon as November rolls around, people start stressing about holiday shopping. And it’s not just about gifts, but everything else you need for the perfect holiday: festive decorations, holiday meal prep, plane tickets to Grandma’s, and more.
Time is of the essence, and everyone knows the best stuff is in short supply.
So, you can make fear of missing out (FOMO) and scarcity powerful allies in your holiday marketing campaign.
Now, urgency isn’t something you can just throw around without thinking. The modern consumer is pretty wise to vague statements like “limited time offer” or “while supplies last.”
You need to translate that urgency into something concrete and effective, like:
- Deadline for guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas. Consumers expect lightning-fast shipping these days, but they know things slow down over the holidays. Consider using it as a strength by putting pressure on people to make a purchase by a specific date. It has a very powerful effect.
- Countdown timer until Christmas or another big milestone. Adding a countdown timer to your landing page can boost revenue by as much as 9%. Over the holidays, countdown timers are extra effective since everyone already has “X days until Christmas” in their minds.
- Inventory warnings. “While supplies last” is vague, but it really works if you can give a specific number. This is a very effective strategy used by Amazon to move products in short supply.
It’s not just a holiday marketing trick. You’re giving your customers one last chance to purchase that perfect gift before it’s gone, and they’ll thank you for it. It’s just that a positive side effect of this is that conversions increase as well!
2. Win Hearts & Minds With a Holiday Marketing Video
A 30-second video says a million words.
As a rule, people are more likely to say ‘yes’ to requests from people they already know and like.
We’re all less likely to turn down a request if it’s from a friend or neighbor.
The same goes for you and your loyal customers. People who know and like you are automatically more likely to take advantage of any future offer you make to them.
Since the holidays are such an emotional time of the year, this is the perfect time to cultivate positive brand recognition and relationships that ultimately lead to more revenue.
And there’s no better way to do that than with a holiday video.
You don’t even have to make it long, expensive, or highly choreographed. Simply showing the faces behind your business and being relatable makes a big impact on people.
Basically, all you have to say is, “We’re so excited about the holidays, too, and we wish all of you who celebrate a Merry Christmas. Thank you for being part of our business.”
3. Share the Love with Your Loyal Customers
A little love goes a long way.
Reciprocity is a powerful thing. It is natural to feel obligated to repay someone when you give them something. It’s why free samples remain one of the most effective marketing tactics of all time.
And what better time to give something away than during the peak gift-giving season?
The holidays are a great time to shower your loyal customers with discounts, freebies, and giveaway contests to make them feel extra special.
Especially if you can tie in some urgency and a warm message of gratitude, too.
Leading up to December 25, many brands offer holiday-themed “12 Days of Giveaways” or “12 Days of Discounts” which successfully combine the seasonal spirit with persuasive deadlines.
Plus, you have plenty of options for spreading the word about these promotions:
- Email: You can reach your existing customers and followers through multi-touch email campaigns in the lead up to the holidays.
- Social media: Great for reaching loyal followers and catching the attention of new ones. You just need to make sure you follow Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms’ guidelines if you’re hosting a holiday marketing giveaway, since they can be quite prickly about the rules.
- Remarketing ads: Retargeting helps you re-engage bounced buyers to boost your holiday marketing ROI, and further build relationships with those who have already purchased.
It’s the holidays, after all, and there’s no better time of year to get something for free!
4. Ring In the Season with Holiday SEO Blog Content
Any businesses with a seasonal niche can benefit greatly from blogging.
For example, if you sell Christmas-themed decorations or clothing, a well-optimized SEO blog post will see traffic spike around the winter holidays year after year after year.
But what if your company doesn’t have a seasonal niche?
Putting out holiday-themed blog content is still a great way to increase traffic, sales, and revenue for businesses with no holiday-specific products.
Consider what kind of content people are looking for during the holidays and incorporate it into your holiday marketing ideas! For example:
- Gift ideas for specific customer segments/demographics: like 10 Winning Gift Ideas for Dad, or the Best Office Secret Santa Ideas Under $25.
- Holiday Buying Guides for specific product categories: like High-End Cookware Holiday Buying Guide, or the Holiday Gift Guide to Pens & Journals.
- Gift ideas that solve a specific problem: like the 10 Most Practical Busy Mom Gifts, or Impressive Gifts for a Father-In-Law You Just Met.
Topics like these will attract people who are actually interested in what you sell, and they don’t require you to bend over backwards to fit the holiday theme. It’s just a matter of describing the products that you already have available, with a festive bow tied around it.
Start publishing this year, and by next December, you’ll have plenty of content on your site that will get your visitors excited for the holidays again. Next year, just update your holiday SEO blog content (and your holiday marketing campaign as a whole) with new products or trends. You’re good to go!
5. Conquer the Wish List with Price-Specific Landing Pages
Speaking of gift guides…if you sell online, here’s another way to reach eager holiday shoppers:
A landing page that highlights products within a specific budget range to appeal to gift shoppers.
For example, a landing page featuring “Gift Ideas Under $50” or “Stocking Stuffers.”
These pages make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for, which means more conversions for you. They’re especially a huge hit with last-minute shoppers or Secret Santa participants who don’t have much else to go on.
But this holiday marketing campaign strategy doesn’t only benefit sales of your cheaper products ‒ because a lot of people value not underspending on certain people in their lives.
People shopping for significant others or close friends or relatives might be drawn to a page featuring only more expensive items (even your most expensive items).
All you need to do once you’ve created the pages is get the word out, which is easy to do by:
- Email campaigns with ultra-specific and attractive subject lines are designed to catch the attention of shoppers in a certain price range in search of ideas
- Organic social media posts that encourage your loyal fans and followers to share your posts with their networks for free
- Social media ads, especially when combined with a sense of urgency…save big on your last-minute shopping with these awesome products for under $50!
The price point is the decisive factor for many people when they are shopping online, and this tactic makes them feel like they are getting an exclusive deal just for them!
6. Make Gift-Giving Easy with Gift Card Promotions
For people who are struggling to find the perfect present, gift cards save the day.
But just because you’ve got gift cards, that doesn’t mean shoppers know about them. It will be up to you to spread the word.
Don’t let the holidays pass you by without promoting your gift cards to your target audience. Once the shipping deadline for the holidays has passed, shift your digital advertising efforts to digital or physical gift cards.
Gift cards are also great to include in holiday giveaways and promotions. Providing a free gift card for those who make a minimum purchase, or to the first few purchasers, can be the tipping point that gets people to choose you over your competitors.
7. Embrace Holiday Marketing Themes Across Your Digital Presence
Picture yourself walking downtown on a mid-December afternoon, when the stores are all crowded and Christmas is in the air.
You’re mulling over which of two stores to visit for a must-have gift item. One store is decked with garlands and wreaths, playing holiday music, and scented with gingerbread cookies; the other is sterile, dark, and overall a bit uninviting.
Obviously, most people would go for store number one. The festive ambiance gets them in the mood to shop.
And there is more to it than just warm feelings ‒ we associate holiday designs with holiday savings. You know there’s a deal to be had and you want to learn more.
Why not apply this same idea to your digital presence?
It’s easy, inexpensive, and effective to incorporate holiday-themed graphics, colors, and messages into your website, landing pages, emails, and social media accounts.
It has the same positive impact of putting up Christmas decor, without the hassle of climbing ladders or untangling lights.
3 Tips For a Successful Holiday Marketing Campaign
You can make your holiday campaign as simple or as complex as you like. Regardless of the approach you choose, these tips will help you make your campaign a success!
1. Review Previous Holiday Marketing Campaigns
Don’t let the Ghost of Christmas Campaigns Past come back to haunt you.
Even if your previous campaigns aren’t as relevant now, you can still learn a few things from them. Past performance helps you better understand your audience and what works (and doesn’t work) for them.
Don’t just focus on your performance stats, look at your customer data too. Have you seen a significant change in your customer base? Knowing your customers will help you create holiday messages that will hit home.
2. Get Ahead of the Holidays
Customers can hardly stand the wait; so please, reader, don’t be late!
We’ve got bad news for all the procrastinators out there: most people plan to finish their Christmas shopping before December even starts.
In fact, 58% of shoppers plan to be done their Christmas shopping in November. You’re losing out on tons of potential sales if your holiday marketing campaign isn’t in full swing before December.
By planning ahead, this will allow you more time to focus on other aspects of your business like customer service and inventory when the season is actually in full swing.
3. Put Customer Service First
He knows if you’ve been bad or good. So do your customers.
89% of people have switched to a competitor after experiencing a poor customer experience.
And up to 95% will spread the word about that negative experience with other people.
So no matter how awesome your holiday marketing campaign is, if you don’t back it up with rockstar customer service, you can’t call it a success.
If your customers have any questions or problems, your customer service team needs to be ready to help. If you ship products, you need to make sure they’ll arrive on time.
About your website. Is it able to handle the number of people shopping at once? If there are any technical issues, do you have a team on the ground to deal with them?
Given the mad rush this time of year, it’s not always easy for companies to handle customer’s complaints and requests with the efficiency and dedication they deserve. However, you cannot afford to ignore it.
The answer may be outsourcing your holiday marketing campaign to a professional digital marketing agency.
Outsourcing your holiday marketing campaign will give you more time to focus on customer service and get back control of your business while still reaping the benefits of being active online.
Marketing Your Way to a Merry Christmas
Marketing is an important part of any business, especially around the holidays. It’s a chance to create a lasting impression and to remind your customers what your brand stands for.
We can help you put together a great holiday marketing campaign that will get you in front of your potential buyers and support your sales goals. Get in touch with our digital marketing experts to learn more about our services here at TrafficSoda.