'Tis the Holiday Marketing Season

Are you feeling that holiday spirit? Is your company’s social media? Today is officially the start of December, and no, it’s not too late to start thinking about a holiday marketing campaign that’s both full of magic and successfully engages your audience. It’s time to start spreading some holiday cheer!


Get ready to check this list twice, because it's a handy dandy marketing checklist to get you on the right track. Let's do this thang.

What are your goals?
Before you start slapping a little snowman on the corner of your social media graphics this month, think about what you actually want to accomplish. Do you want to make sales? Do you want more people to know about your brand? Are you looking for more comments, likes and shares? Just some more followers? Think about how you want your company to finish up 2017 and start off the new year. 

Brainstorm this goal (or goals, but keep this list short) on actual paper, and make it as specific as possible. So instead of jotting down, "More followers!" write out something like, "Add 20 new followers who could be customers to my Instagram before January 15." Sit down with your staff, business partner, or a trusted business bestie (you can even reply to this email and talk to us if you need to!) and ask them what's important to accomplish before the year's up. You might get some really useful insight from an outside observer!

How are you gonna hook 'em? 
Strategy time! What's going to incentivize your target audience to pay attention to your product or content? When it comes to the holidays, people certainly love two things: gifts and genuine emotions. 

  • It’s a present: Nearly everyone is hitting those malls and online stores hard right now, with $923 billion holiday-related sales expected. Yes, you read that right, $923 billion! How can you stand out? Think about what would surprise or delight your target audience, like free shipping, a limited time offer, or a free present with purchase. (These tactics are really successful. I mean who doesn't like a present after all?)
  • Feeling the spirit: Think about what emotions tend to bubble up for your audience around this time; for example, if you're a photographer selling sessions for new moms, write out the emotions they might be feeling in early December. They might be overwhelmed by things to do, excited for baby's first Christmas, and/or under pressure to impress their in-laws. How can you solve their problems through your offering? Maybe an at-home holiday photo shoot package, with a complementary personalized ornament for each set of grandparents?

We probably sound as repetitive as Jingle Bell Rock right now, but remember to put your audience's needs first while you’re brainstorming your concept. The more you can tailor your offerings specifically to them, the more likely they are to connect with your message and brand, because you get them on a deeper level than the company that's offering something generic.

And if you're not selling a product, you can still tune in to those emotions. Picture your audience sitting around a cozy fireplace with stockings hung with care, just waiting for you to tell them a story. What kind of story are you going to tell through your campaign? Are you evoking childhood nostalgia like Google’s SantaTracker? Are you making them laugh with all too relatable stories about odd relatives, like HotelTonight’s campaign?

Do you have a budget?
This is a good time to test out social ads if you haven't been doing it already. Start by looking at the platforms where you already have an engaged following. If it's not quite as engaged as you'd like, do some research to figure out where your target audience is already spending their time.

Once you have an idea of where you might want to throw some dollar bills behind a social media post, start small. Promote posts that you're already planning to publish and try some different targeting to see who you can reach. Treat it like an experiment and see what you can learn. Here's a quick guide for FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest to get you started

How will you measure success?
Finally, note what numbers you will be tracking so you know if you’re reaching your goals! No matter how amazing your story is or how good your deal is, you will need to prove your concept’s success so you can start learning for next year. After all, next December is only a year away! 

Now that you have a concept in mind, start creating posts for your editorial calendar, make some festive holiday graphics, and begin posting! Next week, we’ll help bring your end-of-year messaging to life with some fresh content ideas. It’s time to finish out the year strong!