The end of the year can be hectic for many businesses, considering trends skew in drastic directions during the holidays. This volatile seasonality affects virtually every industry, especially digital marketing because marketers need added effort to stand out among holiday shoppers. So what can brands do to appear in more seasonal searches? For starters, create relevant seasonal content. To help you do that, Forge Apollo has compiled a detailed list of online marketing hacks to help your business shine during a particularly bright time of year.
1. Don't just celebrate - help others celebrate better.
Identify what your audience celebrates and figure out how you can help them enjoy it more. How can you observe this holiday together as a community?
It’s the time of year where social media feeds get clogged up with redundant and overused well wishes. Instead of posting just for the sake of posting, post with the intent of making the holiday season more enjoyable than it would've been without your involvement. In order to really connect with your audience during the holidays, you must celebrate with them instead of simply advertising to them.
There are several ways you can get your customers involved and engaged with seasonal content. One way to observe the giving spirit with your brand is by hosting a giveaway or special promotion. It may also benefit your campaign to create a unique holiday hashtag associated with this incentive. To learn more about generating promotional sweepstakes on your pages, explore these tips by Social Media Today for running a successful UGC (user-generated content) hashtag contest. Such crowdsourcing efforts are an excellent way to unify and gather insightful feedback from your market as well. As a bonus, running giveaways or special promotions are a great way to spread brand awareness.
2. Post celebrations with considerable discretion.
Post your company holiday party photos, but not without the subject's permission. And don't go overboard - certain traditions should remain private!
Hosting and posting your company's holiday party can be an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand's personality to your network. Festive, good-natured celebrations are a productive way to bring your team closer while gathering genuine, unique content for your posts. Attendees expect an appropriate level of professionalism at every office party. Yet, social media has introduced a new etiquette category: what kind of celebratory images should we share on business accounts?
HubSpot offers a list of 10 Dos and Don'ts For Your Company Holiday Party, complete with helpful suggestions for what kind of content you might want (and not want) to share to your pages. For example, users should be especially mindful of sensitive material that's likely to appear in photographs taken on work property, such as private correspondence or personal account information.
Another important factor: keep in mind your colleagues' right to their privacy. Avoid posting candid photos or videos without their explicit permission. Be sure to exclude alcohol or other elements that could be considered crass. Sharing such team-building events to your personal and corporate accounts is intended to build brand authenticity, not embarrass your staff.
3. Show demonstrable appreciation and respect for your audience.
Practice gratitude and focus on brand awareness over sales messaging.
Most holidays, particularly this time of year, are sacred events centered around sensitive cultural beliefs. Appeal to the high emotional state that this time of year brings by being attentive and receptive to these feelings and ideologies in your content. Tipping Point suggests marketers tread lightly when posting holiday verbiage and metaphors and put additional thought into how your audience may react to this type of sales messaging.
Instead, shift the focus of your campaign to instilling brand awareness. The seasonal mixture of heightened feelings makes consumers more susceptible to content with high emotional value, so try to channel this sentiment in your posts and ads when appropriate. Encourage the holiday spirit by attempting to capture the hearts of your market with moving and uplifting imagery.
Lastly, it doesn't hurt to remind your audience that your brand appreciates them. Showing genuine gratitude to your customers can go a long way, certainly during the holidays. Most likely, you think of your customers as friends and family - don't hesitate to treat them as such by implementing exclusive offers, discounts, and specials for loyal subscribers.
4. Practice strident social responsibility.
Better yet, partner up with a non-profit.
Today's consumers aren't satisfied with a brand simply because they offer a good product or service. According to the 2022 Social Media Trends Report by HubSpot and Talkwalker, consumers "are no longer interested in performative allyship, empty promises, or one-time donations - [they] want more from the brands they follow and buy from." In other words, your product alone doesn't sell your brand anymore. To remain relevant and progressive and effectively connect with their audience, businesses must actively (and consistently) practice corporate social responsibility.
If you're looking for a good way to celebrate the giving season, BigCommerce advises partnering with a non-profit organization as a way to get into the holiday spirit. It's the ideal time of year to jumpstart a charitable campaign, ending the year on a positive note. Randy Kohl, Head of Marketing at Gorilla Group, suggests that brands "align with a cause that maps to your customers' values… and use compelling storytelling to show how you give back to the community."
5. Focus on optimizing your email marketing campaign.
Consumers' inboxes are amassing an insanely high amount of emails promoting campaigns for the holidays. Make sure yours is capable of conversions.
As cookie tracking becomes an increasingly outdated way to monitor user data, marketers will have to develop these relationships more creatively. Fine-tuning your email marketing campaign may be the necessary step to establish that customer connection.
Forbes Council urges all marketing campaigns to implement a solid email strategy - particularly during the holidays. Apart from delivering near-instant feedback directly from your audience, promotional emails are also incredibly versatile - they can be quickly created, sent out, and adapted to sudden changes and trends as they occur. Forbes describes this accommodation as "riding the wave of buyer interest," which is notably significant this time of year as consumers generate their wishlists.
In summary, your brand should strive to be the reason your consumers enjoy this jubilant season. Show gratitude, give back, and leave a meaningful, lasting message. You purchase gifts for your cherished loved ones - what gift are you giving to your treasured customers? Business owners must invest in this valuable asset, especially during the holiday season.
Give yourself the gift of an award-winning marketing strategy.
It’s never too early to get a jumpstart on your 2022 digital marketing strategy. Fortunately, Forge Apollo can help advance your digital marketing strategy so 2022 can be your best year yet. Contact our team today to discuss how we can implement cutthroat content that sends your brand to the top of social media feeds.