When holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, you may be thinking more about what to serve guests for dinner, or how to decorate your home-not how to increase sales with seasonal marketing. (That is, unless you sell Christmas ornaments or turkeys, then I’m sure it’s top of mind.)
Holiday promotions aren’t just limited to important dates, either.
You can go as broad as you like: the seasons, festivals and statutory days, to name a few. You only have to spend some time on social media platforms to see everything from International Coffee Day to World Teachers’ Day; get creative and find the ones that make sense for your business.
No matter what your product or service is, there are some great ways to appeal to your target audience.
5 Seasonal Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Business
From clothing stores to grocery stores, many businesses offer gift cards-and not just seasonally; you’ll often find them year-round. Even if you don’t have a product or service traditionally associated with a special occasion like Christmas, with a little creativity, you can make it work.
For example, you probably wouldn’t think of Subway sandwiches when you’re brainstorming Christmas presents, but if you saw this gift card you might get an idea to give it to a friend or family member.
Maybe you’re a life coach or a business coach who could design a festive-looking gift certificate for a certain number of sessions.
Or, perhaps you’re an interior designer or feng shui consultant who could sell an introductory session as a housewarming gift.
Have you ever received a freebie email or e-greeting card on your birthday?
While some customers may shy away from entering their birthdays on your website or eNewsletter signup form, you can make it easier by not asking for the year and telling them why you’re requesting it.
Then, send your birthday customer a seasonal discount or freebie with your best wishes.
Here’s a tasty one: The family restaurant chain Red Robin offers a free birthday burger as one of the perks to signing up for their Royalty program.
If you don’t offer free shipping throughout the year, making this a prominent holiday offer on your website during can encourage visitors to buy from you.
If you already offer free shipping over a certain amount, consider lowering it for a special occasion.
You can remind customers that it’s a special offer by having them enter a promo code at checkout or showing them the regular shipping cost crossed out.
A social media photo contest
Ask your followers on Facebook or Instagram to share festive photos with your product and tag you for a chance to win a prize. You could have followers submit summer vacation photos, Easter dinner pics, a favourite first-day-of-school memory… whatever!
Tie it in with your business and it’s a win-win situation: your followers get a chance to win a prize, and you get exposure and user-generated content.
A simple thank you
It’s always a thoughtful gesture to thank the people who make it possible for you to stay in business!
I appreciate our clients so much, and I always want to wish them a happy holiday and let them know if we are going to be closed for a stat or special event.
While this isn’t a tactic to gain more sales, the more gratitude you feel and show to your loyal clients the better. Take the time to send a short holiday newsletter when you feel it’s appropriate.
As a business owner, it’s your main purpose and what you focus the bulk of your energy on. However, it can be a challenge-especially when you’re so close to your brand-to see what’s missing and to make the necessary changes.
Now that you have some ideas around what to do for your customers, I’m going to share how you can pull off a successful holiday marketing campaign.
1. Do your keyword research
It’s important to do keyword research anytime you create content. You want to have a nice balance of targeted short- and long-tail keywords.
Don’t wait until the last minute to create your compelling content, especially for big holidays like Christmas. According to the National Retail Foundation, 40 percent of consumers begin shopping for the 25th before Halloween.
Rather than stuffing your content, you should be writing for your readers and sprinkling these well-researched keywords throughout your content. For special occasions, brainstorm the event + your product/service/timely offer + your location. Here are a few examples:
- Valentine’s Day + gift cards + Vancouver
- New Year’s + women’s dresses + Mississauga
- Father’s Day + spa packages + Edmonton
2. Provide valuable content
Think about what your visitors will find valuable when you’re creating website copy and articles as part of your seasonal marketing.
People are looking for solutions to their problems, whether it’s how to make spring cleaning easier, or how to shop for birthday gifts on a budget.
You could create a “Top 5” list, gather the “Most popular” products or services around an occasion or post some “Easy ways” to do something to catch people’s attention.
Turn your keyword research into well-written and -researched articles and guides that your customers will want to share on social media.
3. Be data-driven and flexible.
It’s essential to capture as much data as possible during your seasonal marketing campaigns. Are people engaging with your social media posts? Is your website content converting visitors into leads and sales? Is a particular page getting more traffic than others?
As you collect data, you can review your campaign’s performance to develop your strategy for other important dates and holiday promotions.
You don’t want to miss out on a profitable Black Friday or New Year’s opportunity because you weren’t sure how your campaign was doing.
As you can see, seasonal campaigns are about more than just putting up store decorations or adding a greeting to your website’s home page. By creating meaningful campaigns that resonate with your target audience and following these three steps, your holidays can be happier -and more successful -than ever.