As July winds down and the temperatures keep soaring up, we end our Christmas in July series with a few more involved tactics to consider for your holiday marketing strategy. We’ve covered email and social media strategy and how to use web analytics to drive promotion. Now consider how contests, apps and special events can make the holiday more magical.
Lots of companies use social media to run contests to further connect with fans and spread visual content to an extended audience. Ask customers to share images of gifts at the top of their holiday wish list this year or create a scavenger hunt for fans to find, take pictures and upload to your social channels.
Elmer’s did a Holiday Pin and Win contest on Pinterest, inciting users to pin craft projects. They integrated three communication methods into their contest, including following Elmer’s on Pinterest and posting the craft images on special boards, announcing the winners on Facebook and requiring submissions to be emailed to the company. Think about how a promotion can be used across multiple channels to engage customers and earn new ones – and make sure to carefully work through the details and rules of the contest.
The beauty of this type of contest? You’re interacting and gaining access to your most dedicated fans. Anyone who takes the time to create and send an entry is most likely a brand advocate. Interacting with them is never a waste of time.
The holidays can be an equally joyous and stressful time of the year. What can your company offer to customers to help make the holidays more enjoyable? If you sell craft supplies, would an app on five cool ways to tie a bow be of interest to your target audience? If your business offers financial services, would customers benefit from an app on how to save money now to spend during the holidays?
Martha Stewart offers a cookies recipe app that is categorized, including ones for "giftable" and "holiday." This app can be promoted and used year round, but updated with relevant holiday tips and promotions as the holidays near.
Be sure to get app updates done in September or early October so that users can benefit from the latest version of the app.
Special Event or Experience
Give special incentives to customers by offering a sneak peek at new holiday products or offering a unique experience they won’t find elsewhere. Create digital or live events to showcase new goods, chat with customers and thank them for their patronage and offer an incentive to purchase now or in the near future.
The Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas is currently promoting their “Lone Star Christmas” event for stays November 13-January 3. By building interest with unique offerings, the resort can likely sway at least a few customers to book nights in their hotel instead of somewhere else.
There are lots of opportunities to connect with customers, build interest and drive sales with a planned holiday marketing strategy, one that starts well before Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Don’t wait until the last minute – we don’t want you to end up with a lump of coal this year!