The holiday season is officially underway. You’ve already seen tweets from McDonald’s wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. You’re going to see hundreds of other bland corporate tweets before the end of the year.
How can your small or medium-sized business separate itself from the competition with effective holiday marketing strategies? How should you approach the holidays from a marketing perspective? Today, we’re highlighting some of the strategies that have proven to be effective when marketing a business around the holidays.
Take Advantage of Video Marketing to Create Something Special
Around this time of year, the world’s largest brands are competing for a simple prize:
To create the viral video you want to share around the Christmas dinner table
Which cute holiday video are you going to show your grandparents this year? Which video is going to make everyone in the room stop and say, “Aww”?
Brands create cute holiday videos every year. Some are quickly forgotten. Others are etched permanently into our memories.
There’s never a better time for your SMB to embrace video marketing. Video marketing is bigger today than ever before. From Instagram to Facebook to Twitter, some of the world’s largest advertising platforms have begun heavily emphasizing video marketing.
Create a Locally-Oriented Holiday Marketing Campaign
If you’re an SMB, then you don’t have the budget to create a professional, Superbowl-quality commercial video. The cute Christmas commercial you create today isn’t going to compete with the commercial created by Nike or GEICO.
Instead, we recommend focusing on your strengths: create a locally-oriented holiday marketing campaign. Focus on your local outreach. Emphasize how your SMB’s products and services are making a difference in your local community.
Or, create a video purely for brand engagement and awareness. Highlight how your employees are volunteering in the community for this holiday season, for example.
Embrace the Spirit of Christmas By Giving Away Free Stuff
A growing number of businesses are embracing the spirit of Christmas by giving away free stuff. It’s a great way to reward your customers and community while also boosting your brand image.
Canadian airline WestJet, for example, had a viral smash hit in 2013 with its “Christmas Miracle: Real-time Giving” promotion. A few weeks before Christmas, WestJet created an interactive display for passengers waiting for their flight at the boarding gate in Toronto.
That interactive display featured areal-life Santa Claus asking passengers what they wanted for Christmas.Passengers told Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Then, they boarded their flight from Toronto to Calgary.
While the 4.5-hour flight was in the air,WestJet employees in Calgary were quickly visiting stores to buy all of the presents on the customers’ wish list.
When the passengers landed, they were greeted with a special surprise: Santa Claus had delivered all of the presents they had asked for. It was a Christmas Miracle.
That video now has 50 million views. WestJet’s original goal was to get 200,000 views. It became a viral hit while painting WestJet in the best light possible.
Your SMB can do something similar: embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season. It’s a great way to reward customers while also boosting your brand image. WestJet spent a few thousand dollars on gifts for passengers but generated millions of dollars in positive marketing value.
Embrace Short-Term Holiday Sales and Marketing Campaigns
People still use their devices around the holidays. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, people might be looking for a great deal. Your customers might already be driving around visiting malls and stores. Why not give them a quick sale?
Embrace the art of the short-term holiday sale. Launch a 48-hour Christmas sale in the days leading up to Christmas.
Or, take advantage of the spending frenzy that occurs in the days after Christmas. Launch a December 26 sale. Your customers are hitting the malls and stores armed with gift cards and holiday cash. Capture their attention to take advantage of the holidays.
Stay Subtle on Social Media with Heartfelt Holiday Posts
Some brands try too hard to be relevant on social media during the holidays. It’s easy to go overboard with memes and trending topics on social media. This can be appropriate for certain holidays, but it’s tricky to do it right around Christmas.
Instead, we recommend taking a more subtle approach:share heartfelt and genuine stuff on social media during the Christmas season. Consider uploading a few photos showing how your office or employees are celebrating the holidays.
Or, ask customers to share photos highlighting how your product is making the holidays better. It’s an easy, interactive way to showcase your product in the best possible light.
Remember: Don’t Work Too Hard Around the Holidays
More money is spent around the holidays than at any other time of the year. It’s a big time of the year for marketers – but it’s important to not work too hard. Your brand image might take a hit if customers find out you’re forcing employees to work overtime around the holidays!
By implementing the marketing strategies above, you can maximize your brand’s outreach this holiday season.