The holiday season is fast approaching. Customers are beginning to think about holiday preparations and gifts, and companies are starting to ramp up their marketing efforts to attract shoppers. Throughout November and December, the competition for attention will be fierce.
To keep your brand top-of-mind throughout the busy holiday season and bring new and existing customers through your doors, you’ll want to take steps to make your marketing efforts stand out from the crowd. Use these seven tips to give your holiday marketing a competitive edge.
1. Use tactics that grab attention
Especially during the holiday season, customers are overwhelmed with emails, mailers, catalogs, social posts, and other communications from brands—and their attention starts to dwindle. In order to bring your company front and center, your marketing tactics should be designed to immediately catch and hold the customer’s attention.
One way to make sure you do this is to reach out to customers across multiple mediums, both in digital and print. Increasing the number of touchpoints your customer has with your brand increases the chance they’ll remember and pay attention to you.
There are also many simple enhancements you can make to your marketing campaigns that will have a more memorable impression. For example, instead of sharing static images on social media, consider sharing GIFs, animations, or videos—the activity and motion will help to catch the viewer’s eye. On printed pieces, add embellishments like metallic foiling, embossing, or coatings to texturize mailers and provide something unique and special.
2. Tell your audience what sets your brand apart
Your marketing pieces shouldn’t be the only things that stand out from the competition—your brand itself should, too. Consider what makes your company different from competitors and let your audience know.
Customers are drawn to the unique aspects of a brand—what makes them more personable or what aligns with their own values. Perhaps all of your products are made locally, or you donate a portion of your sales to a nonprofit organization. Every brand has its own unique elements, so broadcast those to your audiences to let them know what you’re about!
3. Take a customer-first approach
It’s tempting to explain all the cool features of your products or services to customers, but think about things from their perspective. You want customers to see value in your offerings—to know that your products can make their lives easier, happier, or better.
Shape your marketing messages around what your products can do for your customers and how they will benefit from buying them. Tap into your audience’s emotions to convey the feelings and experiences they’ll have once they own your product or use your service.
4. Personalize your campaigns
Customers like to know that brands understand them, and there’s no better way to prove that you do than by creating highly targeted campaigns designed around their wants and needs.
Start by clearly defining your target audience. Understand who those buyers are and what they care about, particularly around this time of year. Then segment your audience groups—such as new leads versus returning customers—and craft separate messages for each group in both your content and advertising campaigns.
Try to identify pain points or challenges for those audience segments and offer solutions to make their lives easier. During the holidays, one of the biggest pain points is stress from gift shopping. Use demographics and other customer data to make personalized gift recommendations or highlight seasonal offers that are relevant to them.
5. Appeal to emotions
The holidays are a particularly emotional time of year. Your customers are bound to feel many strong emotions, such as gratitude, hope, nostalgia, delight, reflection, celebration, and togetherness.
Using these emotions can add a special element to your campaigns and directly align with how customers feel to create a more positive impression. Consider your audience and choose a few emotions or holiday sentiments that are most likely to resonate with them.
For example, parents might respond well to messages of togetherness and celebration, while younger shoppers might be more impressed with sentiments of wonder and excitement. Be sure to tie these emotions into the messages, imagery, and overall look and feel of your campaigns.
6. Keep up with your content strategy
Throughout the holiday season, all too many companies take a sales-heavy approach and overwhelm customers with endless discounts and promotions. Sales fatigue can weigh on customers and cause them to tune these messages out. Alternately, by sharing informative, inspirational, and seasonal content, your brand can stand out from the noise.
Content proves your value to customers and engages them instead of merely selling to them. Make deeper connections with your audiences by sharing content that is useful and relevant, that helps them solve a need or reduce holiday stress, and that positions you as a thought leader in your industry.
The holidays are the perfect time to share special, themed content. There are plenty of options to choose from, including holidays gift guides, recipes, how-to videos for DIY gifts, quizzes, and much more.
7. Share in the spirit of the season
The holidays aren’t just about selling—they’re a time to show gratitude and give back to those who help your business thrive. Make sure you spread some holiday cheer to your customers, staff, and community to forge even deeper connections.
Your brand can make an impact by doing good in the community. Have your entire team volunteer with a local nonprofit, or team up with a charity to raise money or donations.
The spirit of the season should also extend to your customers. Show gratitude to them for supporting your business by sending thank-you notes from your team or hosting a “thank-you” event and inviting local community members. If you have a few key clients or customers, you could even send thoughtful gifts to remind them of how important they are to you. Even a small gesture can go a long way!
Think strategically for seasonal marketing
Marketing during the holiday season requires a little extra effort to ensure your brand’s voice is heard. By paying close attention to your audience, your messages, and what helps your company stand out, you can craft creative marketing campaigns that bolster your brand’s holiday marketing efforts.