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7 Ways to Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out

Hard to believe, I know, but the 2020 holiday season is rapidly approaching. Your clients and family are probably beginning to think about holiday gifts and parties, and companies are starting to plan their marketing strategies to bring in shoppers. Throughout November and December, the competition for holiday shoppers will be fierce, even in the Pandemic. During this hectic holiday season, keep  the image of your brand at the forefront. Bring in some new clients and reward your existing customers by taking steps to make your branding and marketing efforts reach above the clutter. Try these seven tips to give your holiday marketing a strategic edge.

1. Use tactics that attract attention

During the busy holiday season, your clients are swamped with emails, direct mailers, flashy catalogs, blinding social media posts, and other various communications—and their attention starts to wander. To bring your company upfront and center, your marketing plan should be designed to catch and retain the customer’s attention. A great way to make sure you do this is to reach out to your customers with multiple touches, both in digital marketing and traditional print. Bumping up the number of touch-points your clients have with your brand dramatically increases the probability notice and remember who you are. Think of all the various messages they are bombarded with, and how do you stand out? There are also many easy enhancements you can make to your marketing programs that will have a more lasting and impactful impression. Try sharing a compelling or important moment or images on your social media channels, or consider sharing GIFs, animations, short or fun videos - remember, the activity and movement of motion will help to attract the viewer’s eye. On your printed marketing pieces, add special features like festive foil stamping, debossing or embossing, or custom shiny UV coatings to enhance your mailers. Try to enhance your brand but follow the seasonal trends.

2. Tell your customer what sets you apart

Work on making your marketing pieces stand out from the competition. Show compelling differences of what makes your company different from your competition. Perhaps a customer testimony about what makes you unique? Your clients are attracted to the special and unique aspects of your brand. What makes them more memorable or what aligns more closely with their own core values versus your competitors. Maybe all of your offerings are made locally, or you routinely donate a part of your proceeds to a nonprofit organization. Most brands have a few unique programs or products, so make sure those are highlighted to your customers to let them know what you’re all about! Don't be shy about what makes you different.

3. Take a customer-centric tactic

It’s always commonplace to explain all the cool features of your services or products to customers, but try thinking more about things from their viewpoint. Put yourself in their shoes. If you want your customers to see value in your offerings - to know that your products can make their lives simpler, easier, or best in class. Center your marketing messages around what your products or services can do for them and how they will benefit from your products. Dive into your customer’s emotions to express the feelings and experiences they’ll have once they purchase your product or use your services. Again, put yourself in your customer's shoes when promoting your business.

4. Personalize your marketing: 1 to 1

Your clients like to know that brands understand them Use personalized or custom 1:1 highly targeted marketing campaigns created towards their individual likes, wants, and needs. Make sure you are speaking to your audience. Don't be too broad. The first step is to clearly define your specific target audience, especially around this time of year. Try segmenting your audience into logical groupings - such as new leads compared to existing customers—and create unique individual messages for each target group in both your visual content and marketing campaigns. For regular, loyal customers, create a separate list and offer them a special incentive, such as a pre-holiday discount. This can help boost sales to your current customers and let them know you appreciate their business. People today are looking for ways to safely connect with each other, with your team, and your brand. Offering them a personalized incentive can help build that connection. It is best to identify real "pain points" and offer custom solutions to make their lives easier. During the busy and hectic holidays, one of the biggest pain points is finding time for gift shopping. Use groups and other client data to make customized and personalized unique gift offerings or spotlight seasonal offers that are suited to them. Try talking directly to each client if you can.

5. Emotions are the Appeal

The holidays are an especially emotional time. Your clients are most likely to experience many emotions, such as past reflections, family guilt, gratitude, hope, delight, celebration, and nostalgia. Many of these emotions add a special "appeal" to your marketing and should directly line up with how your customers feel to create a more favorable impression. Closely consider your particular clients and use a few key emotions or holiday messaging that are most likely to directly relate to them. Parents, for example, may respond favorably to specific messages about family or kids, togetherness, and past reunions. Some younger clients may relate more to fun, new experiences and excitement. Be sure to weave these feelings into the marketing messages and the look and feel of your marketing pieces.

6. Good content strategy improves the bottom line

Too many companies take a sales-heavy approach during the holiday season and overwhelm customers with seemingly endless sales discounts, savings, and special offers. Remember, sales fatigue can overwhelm clients and cause them to "tune out" these messages. Try using informative, funny, or clever holiday content. This allows your company to stand out from the clutter. Creative content shows your value to customers and fully engages them instead of trying to sell them. Make much stronger connections with your customers by providing unique content that is relevant and timely. Helping them solve a need or lower holiday stress positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Often, the holidays are the perfect time to offer special, holiday, or emotional themed content. There are many options to choose from, including holiday catalogs, puzzles, or special holiday recipes, DIY how-to videos, special gifts, and lots more.

7. Spirit of the season, time to share

Your company and brand image can help make an impact by doing great things in the community. Imagine having your entire team volunteer with a local nonprofit, or team up with a local charity to raise funds or donations. The holiday season isn't just about selling - It's the perfect time to give back to those who help your business excel. Make sure you spread some holiday cheer to your customers, staff, and community to forge even deeper connections. Show gratitude to them for supporting you and your company by sending personalized thank-you notes. Or host a “thank-you” event and invite local community leaders. The holiday season should also extend to your customers. If you have a few key clients or customers, you could even send personalized gifts to remind them of how important they are to you. Even a small note or gift can go a long, long way!

Think strategically for holiday marketing

Marketing during the holiday season requires a bit more effort to guarantee your brand’s voice is heard. By paying close attention to your audience, your personalized messages, and what helps your company stand out, you can create marketing campaigns that expand your brand’s holiday marketing efforts.

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