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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jingle All The Way to Successful Holiday Marketing

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but the holiday shopping season hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. What does that mean for your business? Hold on to that marketing steering wheel; it’s time to drive those sales home! The end of the year is mere weeks away, so let your holiday marketing wrap up your brand's 2014 with a red shiny bow. 

Need help tying that bow? Check out these tips:

1.     Hark! The user-generated content sings

According to a recent MIT study, the human brain can process and identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. According to our collective common knowledge about people, we love to post photos of ourselves. So why not combine the two for your holiday marketing a la Starbucks style? Take a look at the coffee conglomerate’s cover photos album on Facebook and you’ll find several photos taken by fans a*k*a brand advocates. These photos add a layer of authenticity to Starbucks’ marketing, a layer that prompts fans to feel more connected to the brand. Fans whose photos are used feel valued and appreciate the interaction. Fans who see those photos feel more motivated to follow a brand that pays attention to and interacts with them.

Here’s an example of one of their user-generated cover photos:

And here’s how popular it was:

2.     It came upon the holiday video

Not a Christmas goes by without me thinking of my beloved late brother. And inevitably during the holiday season, I run across the Folgers commercial online when big brother Peter comes home to visit for the holidays and his sweet baby sister bounds down the stairs to see him. The soft sell in this video stands in the shadow of the overarching tone of family and holiday cheer. That cheer is of course celebrated over Folgers coffee; after all, Folgers isn’t selling feelings and big brothers. But what makes that commercial memorable? (I’m 36 years old and still remember it from my childhood.) The sense of family and the opportunity Folgers took to showcase a special sibling bond to create a holiday moment fit for Hallmark.

3.     Deck the local halls

What holiday traditions, events and trends are popular in your market? What makes prospects and clients in your market different than other markets? Recognize how holidays impact your market and who your prospects and clients are; by doing so, you can create messaging personalized just for them so that you increase the likelihood of appeal.

4.     Carol of the call to action

So you’ve created effective holiday messaging via videos, direct mail, social media and/or other preferred marketing outlets, but what have you asked your prospects and clients to do after reading the message? Don’t leave them hanging like ornaments on a Christmas tree; provide them with clear instruction on how to interact with you. Of course you would like for them to call your office, visit your website or stop by to see you, but what other actions can they take that will immediately benefit them? Encourage them to download a piece of targeted content such as a white paper or an ebook. Or direct them to a personalized landing page with more information about their particular need. 

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360