How to Use Holidays as a Marketing Tool for Your Business

holiday-marketingWe all know that the holiday season is just around the corner, and for many businesses, the holiday season is the busiest time of year. While you may understand that sales will increase during the holidays, you may need a little help maximizing your sales during this time of year.

If someone were to ask you if using holidays as a marketing tool was necessary, you’d probably answer with, “yes!” That’s because you understand how spending habits change throughout the year. If you are going to making a larger percentage of your profits during the holiday season, doesn’t it make sense to increase your marketing efforts around this time in the hopes of increasing profits even more?

The real trick isn’t using the holidays as a unique opportunity to market your company, it’s doing so the proper way. There are many great ways to promote your business or products during the holiday season, but we are here to help you find what will work best for your company or products.

Start Early

The biggest mistake many companies make is waiting until it’s too close to the holiday season to start their holiday advertising. If you don’t start advertising until December 10 each year, you are missing out on Black Friday and the early holiday shoppers. Plus, starting early gives you an advantage over the other companies who waited until later in the season.

In reality, you want to start planning your holiday marketing campaign as early as possible. While not everything can be planned eight months in advance, take what you do know at that time and get started. At the very least, you will want an idea of the products or services you want to promote around the holiday season and how you want to promote them. It doesn’t need to be concrete, but if you haven’t started five or six months in advance, you may not do as well as you want.

The worst-case scenario for starting early is that something will change and you will have to edit your campaigns. It is better to have to edit your ads than to start from scratch without enough time to prepare a thoughtful and productive campaign.

Use a Variety of Avenues

While holiday advertisements are common on TV and radio programming, there are other resources you can use to advertise your products or services for the holiday season. According to Business.com, e-commerce is currently growing faster than any other retail sector in the United States. If your customers are already buying online, why not try to advertise to them online?

Social media has increased in popularity as a way to advertise to potential customers. Sites like Facebook and Instagram make it pretty easy to promote your company and products without spending tens of thousands of dollars. While you can easily pump a lot of money into social media advertising campaigns, you don’t really need to spend big bucks to get your message out to a large number of people on social media.

Email marketing is still an effective tool for advertising as well. Make sure your emails are compatible with mobile, so your customers can view them from anywhere. Emails may prompt people to make a purchase immediately, and you can continue to send email throughout the holiday season.

Consider trying a number of different platforms well before the holiday season to see if one particular platform works best for your products. This way, you can devote more attention to that platform than the others.

You may also want to test a number of different ads to see what resonates with your target audience. Running split tests can be a good way to see what people respond to. The best way to run these tests is with a sample-sized audience, so you don’t spend too much money before you find what is working for you. This trial and error strategy is what makes it so important to start your advertising campaign early.

Create Holiday-Themed Ads

While this may seem obvious, you want your customers to know that the product or service you are providing is relevant to the holiday for which you are advertising. Holiday marketing needs to be obvious to your customers. If you want people to buy the latest electronic gadget for all their loved ones at Christmas, your advertisement needs to convey that.

You may not choose to use images of Santa Claus or a Christmas tree, but having some sort of holiday idea behind your ad campaign might help your audience connect with your product around the holiday season.

Consider All Holidays

While the traditional holiday season is one of the best times to market your business or products, there are a number of other holidays that may deserve your attention as well. Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween and the Fourth of July are all popular holidays that you may be able to feed off for your business.

Consider what you are selling and how it can play into any holiday around. Even though the major holidays will probably be the most helpful for your business, consider all the small, and often times silly, holidays that you can use in your marketing plan.

For example, if you are selling pet supplies, look up holidays that you could utilize in your marketing efforts, such as World Cat Day (Feb. 17), National Dog Day (Aug. 26), National Walk Your Dog Day (Feb. 22) and Chip Your Pet Month (May). Restaurants can use National Chocolate Day (Oct. 28) to promote themselves by showing off a few festive desserts to honor chocolate.

On social media, these silly holidays are all the rage, and often become trending topics. Make the most of the little holidays that can pertain to your business; see what kind of success you can have with them.

Using these tips can help you make the most of your holiday marketing campaign. While each company will find success in different ways, these are good starting off points for using the holidays to market and sell your products.