During the winter holiday season, customers have many things competing for their attention. From family plans and office parties to a multitude of holiday-themed emails, it can be difficult to stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
Fortunately, there are several digital marketing strategies and techniques that brands can use to keep their solution top of mind during this incredibly busy time of year. Check out our suggestions for how you can stay relevant and convincing to your customers during the holiday season.
1. Always Tie Back to Your Brand
Before starting any holiday campaign, take stock of your brand. While it may be easy to get creative and take your marketing in a new, holiday-themed direction, you should first make sure that each holiday initiative clearly ties back to your brand look, voice, and style. No matter what kind of content you introduce during the holidays, all communication should still look and sound familiar, so that it clearly comes from your organization.
Although you may offer marketing materials geared specifically toward the holidays, don’t lose sight of the mission and purpose that you communicate to your audience throughout the rest of the year. Familiar imagery and design elements can be used to remind customers of your products or services so that you stay top of mind as the best solution.
2. Develop Holiday Resources – But Keep Evergreen in Mind
Do you want to share something fresh and practical with your audience? Use the holiday season as a time to introduce gated downloadable content like themed email graphics, templates, and printables. To be most effective, downloadable resources should offer value or help solve a problem, while at the same time reminding customers about the impact of your brand.
Some on-brand examples of resources we’ve developed at RelationEdge include a content marketing challenge, and an ebook about cleaning up your PPC campaigns in preparation for the holidays. Keep in mind that these resources should be able to stand alone — even though they have a holiday focus. In the case of our resources, they didn’t detract from the brand or how we position ourselves, which meant they were not only effective marketing materials during the holidays but also throughout the rest of the year.
3. Spread Cheer on Social Media
Social media is a great way to stay top of mind with your customers during the holidays and a unique way to spread holiday cheer. Be sure to update your profile with some brand-focused, holiday-themed imagery, and engage with people who comment on or share your company content.
Another good idea during the holidays is to schedule your social posts in advance. You still want to have someone checking your profiles periodically, but by planning your holiday content ahead of time, you can keep your brand top of mind during the holidays, without having to work during them.
Lastly, consider developing a social listening strategy this holiday season. Search proactively for brand mentions and address concerns before customers bring them to your attention, so you can spread holiday cheer and improve your brand’s reputation at the same time.
4. Use Your Data
The holiday season is an overwhelming time of year, and no one wants to waste time or attention on marketing that isn’t relevant to them.
Use this time of year to focus on personalizing and segmenting your outreach efforts so that only those who would be interested in hearing from you will receive your marketing.
For example, you can use your data to:
- Identify prospects who are most likely to convert this time of year
- Target those who haven’t heard from you recently
- Avoid those that didn’t open any of your holiday correspondence in years prior
- Call out and reward your most engaged prospects with a special holiday offer
There is a multitude of ways that your data can be used to identify the right customer to hear the right message at the right time. Using your data to make sure that you’re targeting the right audience will create a better experience for your customers, and a higher conversion rate on your efforts.
5. Be Strategic With Your Email Marketing
Inboxes fill up quickly during the holidays with content about flash sales and special incentives. Keep this uptick in communication in mind when reaching out to your email list.
It’s critical that you refrain from overwhelming your audience with too many emails or with communications that aren’t relevant to their needs. In 2017, MailChimp customers sent 41 billion emails to their subscribers, with 1.9 billion sent on Black Friday alone — when your customers are already receiving a lot of emails, you need to make sure that the ones you send aren’t just going to add to the noise.
Before scheduling any email campaigns during this holiday season ask yourself; does each of your emails serve a purpose or enhance your offerings? If not, why are you sending it?
There are a few best practices to keep in mind when implementing strong email marketing during the holiday season. Around this special time of year, marketers should:
- Start email campaigns early enough to capture interest ahead of a busy season.
- Personalize emails based on previous behaviors or buying patterns.
- Remind subscribers to use your preferences center to change the frequency and types of emails they will receive.
- Use variety in email campaigns to hone in on different segments of your audience and what products they might need.
- Go above and beyond by introducing a new offering that can solve the unique problems that the holiday season offers.
- Connect to loyal customers by giving them an end-of-year update that reflects upon company growth and success.
6. Personalize With Handwritten Touches
Even though digital marketing takes place predominantly online, the value of a handwritten note cannot be undervalued. One research study shows that customers who received handwritten notes are three times more likely to open marketing emails and ten times more likely to forward the email communication along to others. During the holiday season, people may be especially receptive to these personal touches, so use them wisely.
As you look ahead to the new year, do you have a plan to turn your leads into loyal customers? RelationEdge Digital Agency is a full-service digital agency specializing in content creation, digital PR, social media, and marketing automation. Get in touch with our expert team so that we can assist you in your business goals over the holidays and beyond!