The holiday shopping season starts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday until Christmas. For most businesses, yours included, it can be the busiest time of the year. 🥂
So, have you started brainstorming holiday marketing ideas to increase brand awareness, reach prospective customers, and boost your sales? With the increase of online shopping due to the pandemic, it’s important to start planning ahead to maximize every sales opportunity while meeting your audience’s expectations.
In this article, we’re going to show you the best holiday selling tips that will help you cut through the noise and make this season a memorable one.
What Makes a Great Holiday Marketing Strategy?
Here are a few important reminders for implementing those holiday marketing ideas so that they work to your advantage:
#1: Set goals. What result do you expect from this campaign? In addition to driving sales, do you also want to grow your email list? Get new social media followers? Build your own online community? Whatever the goal, make sure it’s SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive.)
#2: Segment your audience. To ensure that people find your marketing offers valuable, you should group them according to their stage in the marketing funnel, behaviors, and preferences.
#3: Pick your channels. On which social media channels will you share your campaign? Choose the most relevant once based on your target audience. You might also want to think about running a paid promotion, like Facebook ads, to increase your reach.
#4: Look at past results. If you did a holiday campaign in the previous year, make sure to analyze its performance. Check your conversion rates and other important metrics. Doing this will enable you to create a better strategy and avoid making the same mistakes.
#5: Have a holiday marketing calendar. Create a timeline for every part of the campaign. Set deadlines for your design assets, copy, offer, and launch dates. Never leave your planning to the last minute.
Holiday Marketing Ideas to Try This Season
Now, let’s take a look at these seasonal marketing tips to build holiday buzz!
1. Create a holiday gift guide
As the term suggests, a holiday gift guide eases your prospects’ shopping experiences by making it easier for them to decide what to buy. Usually, these guides are curated based on certain factors to make them more personalized.
Gift guides are actually one of the ecommerce holiday marketing strategies companies use to boost their sales.
American Eagle, for example, takes their gift guide campaign to the next level by creating a fill-in-the-blanks quiz. Customers can choose from pre-written options then click “GET YOUR PICKS” to get relevant recommendations.
If you don’t have the time to put together a quiz like this, you can, instead, organize gift guides by personality, price, and product category. Or you can offer one-on-one help by providing an option to chat with your support or converse via email.
2. Promote user-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content is any kind of content (image, video, testimonial) that’s created by customers showing their experiences with a brand.
Whenever you find people unboxing, using, or reviewing your products on social media, make sure to showcase them. Share them on your Instagram page, feature them on your holiday landing pages, or add them to your promotional emails.
Here are a few tips to start generating more UGC content:
- Send post-purchase emails encouraging customers to write a product review.
- Send product samples to your fans and let them create visual content.
- Create a branded hashtag that’s specific for your UGC campaign. It should be memorable and easy to spell. Then, invite your audience to share their photos with your product while also using that hashtag.
- Add a section on your website that invites people to share their experiences. In return, you can offer an incentive.
3. Run a delightful holiday giveaway
Speaking of incentivizing, people enjoy receiving freebies. This is why giveaways are so effective. You know what’s great about giveaways? They’re a cost-effective method for generating hundreds to thousands of leads in less time.
Brands in the ecommerce space and other niches as well have used giveaways to spark interest and product sales during the holiday season.
Take, for example, Rachel Ollen who gave away an ultimate toddler prize pack to moms who entered, shared the campaign, and invited as many friends as possible to participate.
Her simple holiday giveaway resulted in 4,552 leads, plus it helped grow her private Facebook group. 💥 If you want to know the details of her giveaway, check out her case study here.
Giveaways done using UpViral have also generated other amazing results for our users, helping their businesses and agencies grow. Check them out:
- Holiday With Your Dog Giveaway Generates 64,748 Leads and Increased Chalet Bookings
- How Michael Winter Went from 0 to 3,100+ Leads In Less Than A Week
- How Shire Talk Got 800+ Leads and 20,000 People to a Christmas Market
4. Collaborate with influencers
A lot of businesses this holiday season will be turning to influencers to recommend their products.
If you decide to launch an influencer marketing campaign, consider working with micro influencers (people with 10,000-50,000 social media followers). Micro influencers are more focused on their vertical and have a highly relevant audience.
You wouldn’t want to sound too salesy in your pitch, and you should definitely plan their compensation.
The right influencer can help you in many ways, such as including your product in their holiday recommendations, reviewing your product on their blog (or adding it to their roundup), or promoting your holiday giveaway for their audience to join.
5. Offer free shipping
With the holiday season fast approaching, free shipping becomes more valuable than ever for winning more customers or getting repeat sales. Free shipping lowers cart abandonment and increases average order value (AOV).
Here’s how to offer free shipping so that it doesn’t hurt your bottom line (while satisfying your holiday shoppers):
- Provide free shipping only on selected items.
- Offer bundles (pre-select a group of products and sell them as one unit).
- Do it only for your most loyal customers. It’s a great way of showing that you appreciate them at this special time of the year.
- Limit free shipping only to certain locations.
Keep in mind, though, that free shipping isn’t for everyone. You have to test it out and monitor the response you get. You can always start small!
Don't Make These Holiday Marketing Mistakes
While implementing the holiday marketing ideas above, you’ll also want to avoid these mistakes. Even the best holiday promotion ideas for small businesses won’t help you reach your goals if you’re not watching out for these.
1. Not planning for the influx of orders you might get
An influx of orders is great news; however, it can backfire if you’re unprepared. The key here is to plan for the worst.
What would you do if your best-selling items ran out? Does your customer service team have the knowledge to answer common and difficult customer questions? Can your servers handle increasing website traffic during your launch?
2. Failure to review your sales funnel
Check that all parts of your holiday marketing funnel are working efficiently. Imagine yourself as the customer. Are you able to go from beginning to end without experiencing any friction?
3. A lack of an email marketing strategy
Email marketing is an important channel for the holidays — not to mention, it’s cost-effective. To reap the benefits of email marketing when carrying out your promotions, do these:
- Segment your email list based on who might be interested in your offerings.
- Personalize where possible. The subject line is a good place to start!
- Measure everything. A/B test to refine your emails.
Having an email marketing strategy also doesn’t mean you should start spamming your audience with messages. Focus on writing just the right amount of emails while making them as strong as possible.
Bring cheer this holiday season and increase your results in business by implementing at least one of the holiday marketing ideas above. Whether that’s running a giveaway or another strategy, make sure that you offer something of value.
Actually, you can put your own twist to make your campaign unique and more memorable. There you have it!
Interested in doing your own holiday giveaway using UpViral? 🎁 Check it out and get full access for 14 days.