Holiday Marketing Guide for 2021

The post-Halloween through Christmas stretch of the calendar is marked by holiday cheer…and a dramatic increase in consumer spending. If your business is looking to grab a piece of the pie, it’s necessary to formulate a marketing strategy that connects with audiences and stands out from other brands in your industry.

By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, most media consumers are already becoming immune to holiday ad messaging. Deviating from traditional creative practices might sound risky, but it’s worth considering during the most crowded time of the year for advertisers.

Here are 5 things to consider when you’re building out your holiday marketing strategy:


1. Different Audiences, Different Messages

Chances are your business appeals to more than one single type of customer. For example, a local restaurant may want to capture the 20-something “brunch crowd” with a special promotion, while still appealing to families for dinner time meals. The solution? Different platforms.

Utilizing Instagram or TikTok – with paid or organic content – is ideal for getting in front of younger audiences. On the other hand, when you’re looking to reach a little older crowd, a platform like Facebook, or even an email campaign, might be your best option.

The bottom line is that effective marketing goes beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. Speak directly to specific members of your audience and you’ll experience a much more enthusiastic response.

2. Host a Virtual Event

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. Combine cold temperatures with the lasting effects of the pandemic (aka, everything can be done from home) and there’s only one logical conclusion: it’s necessary to build your marketing push around virtual interaction.

Round up the most creative members of your team and have them host a live event that provides an opportunity for real-time interaction between your brand and your audience. This can be anything from a virtual tasting hosted at a local wine shop, a stylist showing off perfect holiday looks at a boutique in town, or even a cook-along demonstration that is put on by a restaurant chef.

If you choose to put on one of these virtual events, be sure to record it and host it on your page throughout the holiday season!

3. Create a Gift Guide

For many, the most stressful thing about December is figuring out what gifts you should get loved ones. Dad already has enough dress shirts, mom got that new bracelet she wanted last year, and unfortunately you probably aren’t going to be paying for a vacation for the whole family. Businesses who are trying to sell products during this time of year can provide an invaluable service to their customers: a gift guide that takes the guessing out of holiday shopping!

You’ve almost certainly come across this type of thing in the past – the terminology is usually something like gifts “for him,” “for mom,” etc. Even if someone reads your article but doesn’t purchase from your brand, the simple fact that they engaged with your content will  reinforce brand awareness that could lead to potential sales down the road.

4. Get Involved With Your Community

‘Tis the season of giving, and if you’re a local business that’s well-known throughout the surrounding neighborhoods, it’s imperative that you give back to your community. Whether it’s a coat or food drive, volunteering with your employees, or any number of other creative ways to show that you care about helping others, the benefits of your service are extensive and create a lasting impression in the minds of your neighbors.

Aside from the primary reason (helping people is, undoubtedly, a good thing to do), you want your business to be viewed favorably. People want to do business with companies they think are morally good and share their values. Need some ideas? This list has a number of options to help get you inspired.

5. Focus On All Things Mobile

It’s no secret that the vast majority of content consumption – including advertisements – happens on a mobile device. More than half (55.4 percent) of internet users use their mobile phones to purchase products online and seven in ten (69.4 percent) say they use shopping apps on their mobile devices – be it a phone or a tablet (DataReportal, 2021).

Establishing a mobile-first marketing strategy isn’t always achievable for businesses that are working with limited resources and a tight marketing budget. With that being said, there are still ways you can get your message out where people are spending hours each day.

A number of platforms have been developed that make setting up a mobile online booking feature, for example, quick and easy. Not to mention it probably costs less than you think to install this type of a system on your current website. It might be something you implement specifically for the holiday season, but it can help drive sales all year long.

6. Get (Actually) Creative

Each year, from mid-November through the end of the year, consumers are bombarded by holiday-themed advertisements. In fact, it’s harder to separate one brand from another than it is at any other stretch of the calendar. But what can you do, just ignore the holidays in your ad creative altogether? Not exactly.

You don’t need to shy away from using holiday messaging, but rather you should be thinking of ways you can do it in a way that’s truly creative. Try taking a humorous approach, and don’t be afraid to get a little bit “edgy” if that type of content is likely to resonate with your audience. Depending on your industry and customer base, it might be in your best interest to take real risks in your ad creative.

Even if you don’t want to push the boundaries, you can still go beyond the traditional themes that become white noise by December 1st. Check out this article for examples.

Wrapping Up

Getting your audience’s attention during an extremely hectic time is a complicated, and at times frustrating, but if you strategize effectively it will pay off during the holiday season and beyond.

If your brand needs help putting together creative solutions that are customized for your business, budget, and customer base, get in touch today.