7 Ways To Improve Your Holiday Marketing to Take Your Small Business To The Next Level

7 Ways To Improve Your Holiday Marketing to Take Your Small Business To The Next Level

There is still time, but it's good to start thinking before the holiday season kicks off. Let's plan how to improve sales during that holiday in 2024.

Seasonal marketing never goes out of style. As we jump from Valentine's to Easter to Christmas, every holiday across the globe is another opportunity to get creative with your branding.

Holiday periods often rake in the largest bulk of sales for a business. Whether you’re online or in-store, seasonal branding is the key to maintaining high conversions all year round, even when your brand faces low spending periods.

In fact, according to experts at the National Retail Federation, more than $276 billion of revenue was generated during the Christmas holiday season alone in 2023.

The question is, how do you ensure that your business takes a cut of holiday sales profits? The key is to focus on your seasonal strategies months before your holiday campaigns go live.

With that in mind, lets take a look at how to build a holiday season campaign and ensure that your 2024 seasonal branding takes your business to the next level.

How To Approach Holiday Marketing In 2024

A well-executed holiday marketing campaign could see your business rake in sales from all angles in 2024.

One thing that unites all demographics is the holiday season. Whether that is a religious holiday, an independence day or an annual seasonal event, holiday event spending continues to rise every year.

These moments provide brands with a brilliant opportunity to profit from mass shopping for gifts, decorations, and themed goods. No matter your business or industry, if you have a product to sell, there's always a way to gear it towards holiday shoppers.

From innovative in-store campaigns to seasonal manufacturing, there are many ways to approach the holiday season as a business.

Here are some of the key things to consider when preparing your business for holiday season marketing:

  • Your campaign objective: Before you begin your seasonal campaign, ensure that you define a clear objective to follow. This includes creating KPIs and specific campaign goals that you can strive towards when creating and releasing your holiday marketing campaign.
  • An original angle: Holiday marketing campaigns are overwhelmingly common. This often means that the competition is on between brands to create and sell the best seasonal products. If you want your seasonal campaign to shine, hunt for a gap in the market or a new angle you can take with your campaign to reduce competition and attract new customers. 
  • Your channels of communication: It’s important to consider what channels you’re going to use for your holiday marketing campaign before you start crafting a seasonal strategy. Leveraging more channels, including social media platforms provides you with more opportunities to target and capture holiday leads.
  • Methods of lead nurturing: Holiday marketing campaigns are a great way to capture consumer attention. However, once you generate a new lead, how do you plan to carry it through to the checkout? Ensure that your campaign is backed with retargeting strategies and a brilliant festive funnel for a greater number of sales.
  • Your monitoring strategy: Last but not least, once your holiday campaign is live, it’s vital that it is monitored from all angles. From social listening to analytics, your monitoring and reporting help your business understand what works and, more importantly, what needs to be changed before you release your next seasonal campaign.

How To Improve Your Holiday Marketing In 7 Simple Steps

Now that you’re ready to approach your next holiday marketing campaign let’s have a closer look at how you can improve it in 2024.

From tapping into nostalgia to leveraging SMS marketing, it’s crucial that you step outside of the box when it comes to optimising your seasonal strategy.

1. Establish Your Target Audience 

First things first, you must pour focus into your campaign planning stage. While it can be exciting to start creating innovative content and seasonally-themed products, too often, these have been targeted at the wrong demographic on the wrong channels.

The more information you can gather about your target audience, the more successful your campaign will be. 

One way to do this is to create a buyer persona that you can model your marketing efforts. This is an ideal candidate for conversion and exhibits all the characteristics of your target demographic.

Things to think about during the audience research stage are age, location and the platform they tap into your brand from. For example, if your demographic has a stronghold over social media, targeting your campaign across your social platforms is a great way to ensure it is visible to your most likely leads.

Better still, monitor the way in which your audience interacts with your brand. What device are they using to access your content? Is your campaign accessible to all target audiences? Think about how your content performs on different screens and in different locations. The more thought that goes into this process, the more likely your campaign will thrive exactly where it needs to.

2. Tap Into Nostalgia

Once you’ve delved deeper into your target audience’s needs and gratifications, it’s time to start pulling on their heartstrings. 

Nostalgia has recently become one of the greatest marketing weapons across the globe. As we see household names like Coca-Cola turn back the clock to nostaligic ad campaigns of the past, many brands have followed suit during the holiday season.

The holidays are defined by nostalgia and memories of childhood magic. For brands looking to improve the traction of their seasonal campaigns, tapping into this concept is a great way to get their target audience on side.

Consider rejuvenating viral adverts from past campaigns and turning them into a modern take on brand nostalgia. Whether you’re revamping your online store or brick-and-mortar display, finding new ways to get your customers talking about ‘the old times’ is a brilliant way to increase your seasonal conversions.

A great example of this comes from Google. Their 2018 Home Alone campaign was a Christmas comedy based on nostalgic Home Alone films from the early 2000s.

(Image Source: Unilad)

In an attempt to advertise their Google Home Assistant, they devised a skit starring Macaulay Culkin, which saw him relive classic Home Alone moments as an adult.

This played on the audience's heartstrings and leveraged nostalgia, which quickly encouraged mass sharing and engagement as holiday tech sales soared.

3. Strengthen Your SMS Marketing

Next up, let’s talk about how you can leverage SMS strategies to improve your seasonal marketing.

In 2024, 96% of businesses claim that SMS marketing aids their overall sales. In a smartphone dominated generation, leveraging the power of SMS in any sales campaign is vital, however, brands can take this one step further during the holiday season.

From last-minute gift discounts to holiday shopping reminders, a text message could be all it takes for a customer to convert during the holidays. The key is to find creative ways to advertise your brand via text messaging.

Take this example of quick-fire SMS campaigning from Round Table Pizza. During the Valentine’s Day holiday, the pizza house sent a text message to all existing customers on file with a Valentine’s Day-only offer code. 

(Image Souce: Screenshot)

Cleverly offering 14% off all pizza for one day only, the brand created a sense of urgency and encouraged couples to make last minute dinner plans with ease.

SMS marketing targets consumers on the go, meaning that it is one of the greatest weapons to add to your arsenal during a busy holiday season.

Prioritise Your Local Customers

While you may be eager to capture new leads, the most effective way to breed success for your holiday campaign is to first target your existing customers. 

If you plan to release a new seasonal product or holiday-themed design, did you know that loyal customers are 50% more likely to invest than a new acquisition?

With this in mind, why not take the opportunity to create a campaign around your loyal customers next holiday season? Offer them discounted offers, exclusive products and a reason to stick around for another year.

Brands that focus on their loyal customer base enjoy greater sale retention, positive reviews, and mass engagement across their social platforms. If you want to expand your business during the holiday season, your existing customers are a surprisingly perfect starting point.

Hold In-Store Events

While online shopping continues to take off around the globe, holiday seasons often paint a very different picture.

In fact, according to Statista, 43% of holiday shoppers prefer to browse the highstreets for inspiration and an in-store seasonal bargain.

One way to attract a greater footfall to your small business this holiday season is to expand your Christmas marketing campaign to the shop floor. This includes holding in-store events, offering personalised discounts at your point of sale and revamping your merchandising for greater engagement.

Take the Saks Light Show in New York City, for example. The NYC flagship store invites members of the public to its doors every night for a month during the festive period. Each year, the shop windows are decorated with seasonal treats, elaborate displays, and a synchronised light show that encourages passersby to stop and stick around.

In 2023, the store partnered with high-end fashion house Dior, calling the campaign Dior’s Carousel of Dreams at Saks. 

(Image Source: Forbes)

The display aimed to “tell an enchanting story of Monsieur Dior’s dream journey from Paris to Saks’ hometown of New York City, featuring quintessential scenes and iconic landmarks from both cities, along with playful elements inspired by the Dior’s Carousel of Dreams at Saks theme,” according to Delphine Arnault, chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture.

As a magnificnet light show lit up the streets of New York, the store-bound event encouraged viewers to not only enjoy the show, but navigate their way into the store afterwards to purchase holiday themed products from the Dior X Saks partnership.

Don’t Forget Personalisation 

A powerful personalisation strategy is the key ingredient in creating any successful marketing campaign during the holiday season.

As brands battle it out to win consumer attention, customisation goes a long way when it comes to product design and promotion.

The key here is to learn as much as you can about your consumers and use that information to inspire a string of personalised targeting. This could include customised offers and discounts, original product designs based on preferences and even clever social content.

Take Spotify, for instance. Their personalised seasonal ‘Wrapped’ playlists have become an annual tradition consumers look forward to. Leveraging personalised platform data, the music app is able to curate original playlists of each user’s favourite songs and artists over the year.

(Image Source: Spotify)

Not only does this show the customer that Spotify is very much connected to their tastes and preferences, but it also keeps them engaged with the app for another year as they await their next annual ‘Wrapped’ gift. 

Report Your Findings

Once your campaign is live, the work doesn't stop there. Once your promotions have gained some traction, it’s time to delve deeper into your campaign analytics.

If you set up goals at the beginning of the campaign, it’s now time to measure your success. From social listening to in-store conversions, gathering as much data as possible surrounding your campaign is the key to creating an even better one next year.

In order to see your profits continue to rise, tracking your campaign failures as well as your successes is essential. If you take these points on board, you become one step closer to your demographic, and another step towards mass seasonal conversions.

Are You Ready For The Holiday Season?

While Christmas is still a few months away, holiday campaign planning must start now.

Brands that map their ideas at an early stage put themselves in a better position when it’s time to release the all important festive product ranges.

Take the time to learn more about your audience, the topics that pull on their heartstrings and the personal preferences that they are likely to interact with in 2024.

In a competitive marketing landscape, the brand closest to its consumers will remain victorious as the festivities roll back around.

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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