The Christmas holiday season is an excellent time to promote brand awareness and visibility to your customers, fans and prospects. The biggest challenge the holiday season can bring is competing with the noise of other businesses trying to rally their fans. This is why, when considering your holiday strategy, consider whether the goal is to drive profits and sales, or to increase brand visibility and engagement. Increasing engagement will ultimately grow sales, but it involves a different marketing mindset than simply pushing for profits. Growing brand visibility and engagement is a slow and steady race that will keep you in the game long past your competitors.
During the holiday season, consumers often get so inundated by noise from companies clamoring for their money that they often appreciate the funny, tactful company who is simply trying to participate in the Christmas season with them. Many people spend more time online during the winter season, so running active social media campaigns in the winter can have a big impact on your brand visibility.
A few months before the holiday season it is advisable to sit down, brainstorm and create a marketing strategy specifically for the upcoming season. Consider how your company can interact with customers on a Christmas level. This might be as simple as offering seasonal specials, but chances are you will need to help them see how your company can make their life easier. People often feel stressed during this time and tend to forgo regular maintenance and planning due to other demands. Your marketing strategy should involve reaching out to them in a way that makes using your company less stressful than the competition. People love sales and discounts, but time is also money. So help them see how you can save them time and stress.
Social Media is one of the best tools to use during the holiday season for increasing brand visibility and customer engagement. People are online looking for gifts, researching products, finding recipes, cleaning tips, decorating ideas, vacation ideas, etc. A company is wise to use these topics in social media to engage with customers over the things they want to see during the winter season. Use social media to engage with your customers on a personal level to remind them that you are there for them with a simple click of a button.
Consider mailing a greeting card with a personalized holiday message. Customers like feeling a connection to a company; it makes them feel special if you tell them how important they are to you. Take a company photo, have people sign the cards and mail them out. Let your customers know how much you appreciate them. If you add a company photo make sure to personalize it, maybe let people bring their dogs, or have spouses in the picture. Maybe even mail a small present with a branded, yet useful promotional product. Do something above normal so customers feel engaged and connected to your company and your brand.
If you send e-blasts either as advertisements or holiday cards, make sure it has important and relevant information, especially during the holiday season when inboxes are being filled with so many ads. Maybe consider having customers play a game where they need to find the snowflake within the e-blast or on the website, and whoever finds it gets a prize. Games can also be played over social media to help customer engagment.
People will buy when they are ready; your job is to make sure you are first on their mind when that time comes. This is done through placing your brand in front of them in a tactful manner, so they do not get annoyed, but find your company fun and useful when the time is right.