How to Spend Your Holiday Marketing Budget Wisely this Season

The time to think about holiday marketing is right now.

Big brands such as Walmart and Best Buy often start their holiday promotions before Thanksgiving, creating a domino effect. Although the majority of customers will wait until November to start shopping, your brand should have themed content ready to roll out long before Black Friday.

Below we’ll take you through tips and tricks on how to spend your holiday marketing budget wisely and effectively.

Walmart’s home page easily sorts holiday gifts based on a consumer’s budget.

Use the Holiday Mood to Drive Sales

Happiness and giving are already on a customer’s mind during the holiday season, so now is the time to build on top of that and have those same feelings associated with your brand.

The holiday season could be a good driver for some users to make quick buying decisions, as they are more open to spending money on new products for gifts.

Other emotions you can play off of include FOMO, the fear of missing out. You can add a timer to your website, so customers know time is running out, urging them to make their purchases fast. You can also use this pressure to provide a solution for them, for example having a guide for last minute gift ideas.

Bath and Body Works sends out their limited deals in an email.

By catering to a consumer’s emotions, your message becomes much more effective and memorable. You’ll have them looking forward to next year or even the next holiday to see what else your brand has to offer.

Set up Campaigns for an Unexplored Audience

The holidays are a time when you can try changing up your tone or producing some new visual content. There’s a lightheartedness surrounding the holidays so you can feel free to break from more traditional approaches to connect with customers.

Walmart shows off their “ugly” Christmas t-shirts in a fun video.

For example, if you are an accountant, and need to find new customers during the holidays, you could run a campaign to target people who are registering new businesses or searching for a guide on setting up a corporation.

You could use this time to highlight some services or products that people may not know about or often purchase.

Indulge consumers in some humour and create a funny or viral post on social media to remind them of your brand.

Keep in mind that you still need to target specific audiences. Although you may want to market to everyone because it’s the holidays, targeting one audience will produce better results.

Forever21 posts a #relatable post on Instagram to engage their followers and relate to the holiday season.

Hold Contests on Social Media

Social media is an effective tool for holiday marketing, as customers usually turn to channels such as Pinterest or Facebook for gift ideas. Provide them with the guides they’re looking for to get your brand on their mind.

Create a landing page for special holiday offers and design holiday versions of your logo. You can use your landing page and social media channels to generate excitement about new offers. Feature a different product or discount for twelve days and have your customers guess what each day’s featured product will be.

Hawaii Revealed dresses up their logo for the holidays.

Hold a contest on social media with a grand prize. Incentives in the form of prizes work well to attract customers and are a cost-effective way to get your audience excited about your brand. Ask for referrals in exchange for gifts or coupons to big brands such as Best Buy and Amazon.

Social media channels are interactive, allowing greater engagement between your brand and customers, and between customers themselves. Invite people to submit videos, photos, or stories in order to win a prize pack. You could also feature this content in an ad for your company.

Bath & Body Works holds a social media contest encouraging consumers to share their holiday good deeds for a chance to win gift cards.

Get Personal

During the holiday season, customers are bombarded with emails and ads all following the advice we wrote about above. That’s why it’s imperative that you personalize your marketing to stand out from the crowd.

For example, you can send out a newsletter and ask customers to visit your website to check out special holiday offers. It’s a smart idea since emails generate 27% of holiday spending. However, customers that sign up during the holidays typically have low lifetime value.

Use email segmentation to separate your subscribers into different groups and send a personalized message to each one. You can split your subscribers based on geographic location and their interests. A different message will go to moms in your customer base versus millennials.

Make sure to have a special offer for loyal customers, as a way to make them feel appreciated by your brand. They will start to associate being rewarded with being a customer of your brand, creating greater returns.

Some other ideas for adding a personal touch to your marketing is to ask customers to submit photos of themselves dressing up or using your product in a creative way that’s related to the holidays.

Starbucks goes into full holiday mode with their signature holiday cups and a festive background.

Another touching way to market for the holidays is to make a video to show your brand thanking a customer this Thanksgiving.

You can also take the same route as Barnes & Noble and give out advice on gift ideas. Think of how your brand can solve some holiday stress for your customers and share this in a video.

Make Interacting With Your Brand Online Easy

Tie everything together and make your marketing campaign emotional, so people are more likely to share it. Make sure to include social media buttons so people can share your post instantly.

Convenience is an important factor for consumers. They are looking for a timely and affordable experience. Your marketing should follow suit by making it easy for consumers to see the best deals.

Take a look at your e-commerce site and app to see if everything is running smoothly. Are there any areas that could be made more efficient, easing the shopping process for your customers?

Your site needs to be mobile friendly, as most people do their research and shopping right from their phones.

Etsy’s mobile site features a clean and simple design.

One way to provide less hassle for your customers is to make sure your checkout process doesn’t require too much data input. Typing is harder on a phone than on a computer and can detract customers from completing their purchase.

The main takeaways from this article are to make your marketing:

  • Emotional
  • Personal
  • Easy to share

Above all, be real with your customers. Your marketing campaign should come from an authentic place that highlights your business, but not in a pushy, promotional way.

With these tips, you can have a successful holiday marketing campaign that utilizes less of your budget, while still producing exceptional returns.

What do you think of the marketing ideas we listed? Let us know your favourite holiday marketing campaigns in the comments!

Madonna Dennis is a Content & Digital Marketing Assistant at Markovate. In her spare time, she manages her cat’s Instagram account. You can read more of her work on the Markovate blog.

Originally published at www.markovate.com on November 2, 2018.

Markovate is an end-to-end digital marketing agency helping startups, small and medium-sized businesses with their online presence.