The holiday season is fast approaching, which means it’s time for businesses to start planning and executing their marketing strategies for the busiest time of the year. With so much riding on this season, it’s not enough to recycle the same old marketing campaigns you’ve used in years past. Instead, try thinking outside the box and coming up with a fresh, new strategy that will entice and engage consumers throughout the season.
To help you shake up your holiday marketing, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council shared some innovative tactics they believe companies should try this year. Follow their advice to set yourself up for a successful holiday sales season.
1. Pop-Up Experiences
Due to the pandemic, many people feel cooped up and are looking to go out to feel a taste of pre-Covid normality. If you are coming from the hospitality world like I am, I would suggest a ticketed physical pop-up experience that allows small groups to attend something fun and unique. As an example, we are creating a Winter Wonderland dessert pop-up at a hotel to showcase our new dessert concept opening after the new year. – Michael Sinensky, WeShield
2. YouTube Video Content
Youtube is the second largest search engine globally and has over 2 billion active users per month. Yet, a considerable number of businesses fail to utilize this video platform to its full potential. Creating “infotainment” pieces that you upload to the site can take more time and effort than other marketing methods, but the payoff can be huge. If you already have a blog going, simply repurpose the majority of this content into video blogs. This can be done by simply getting some voiceover work that reads that blog and a series of free domain images if you want to keep the costs low—but the more you put into it, often the more you will get out of it. Creating a video push directed toward this holiday season may be the perfect way to see a boost in your numbers. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
3. Virtual Webrooms
Over the past year and a half, consumers have gotten used to purchasing products online. This holiday season, use webrooms to showcase your wares. Webrooms are like in-person showrooms, except that the product is featured solely online. Webrooms allow shoppers to experience the product in much the same way as in person. Start early. To effectively set up webrooms, you’ll hire developers as well as a team of professional photographers to take images of all your products from every angle. Effective webrooms open up your “showroom” to buyers around the country or the globe (depending on shipping) and work great for expensive and one-of-a-kind items. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
4. Personalized Campaigns
Using personalization is one of the best things that companies can do this holiday season to attract more of the right customers and retain existing ones. Personalized communication in emails, website copy, social ads and landing pages is the key to growth this holiday season. Connecting with customers on an authentic level will help a company scale and retain customers. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
5. Free Gifts
Include a creative free gift. The keyword is “creative.” You want your free gift to not only stand out, but you also want it to remind customers of your brand. I recommend a box opener with your company name on it. While initially a box opener may not seem creative, it actually is perfect. First, an increasing number of shoppers have moved online, and a box opener with your brand name on it is something they can continually use, even beyond the holiday season. They’ll always be reminded of your company. Additionally, a box opener is inexpensive, so it would be ideal for even small companies. Affordable, practical and memorable—a perfect marketing strategy that customers will appreciate during a busy holiday season. – Shu Saito, SpiroPure
6. Charitable Tie-Ins
In the upcoming holidays, appeal to your audience’s altruistic spirit in your marketing. Create campaigns where every sale creates a contribution to an important cause, or get involved in helping your community in some way. Seasonal holidays are times when community spirit, cheer and generosity are highlighted in the media and everyday life. By focusing on giving and sharing, you’ll create a positive brand image and drive sales too. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
7. Voice Search
I think business leaders and marketing teams should start thinking about how voice search will impact their holiday traffic. There are more people using voice-activated devices than ever before. If you’re not there to reach prospects in key moments in their shopping journey, they may find one of your competitors. I suggest optimizing your site for keywords that sound like something your prospects might say instead of type. For instance, instead of “local bakery,” you may want to optimize for “Buy fresh bread near me” because it’s tailored to speech and local search. A robust voice search strategy will lead more people to your site, which can help you dramatically boost profits during the holidays. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
8. User-Generated Content
Focusing on your audience’s user-generated content can be an interesting focus for your holiday marketing campaign. Usually, businesses focus on their product, brands and other elements that highlight the business itself. But what if you focused on customer stories and your audience instead? Look for inspiring, funny or interesting posts made by your audience. I think doing something like an end-of-year highlight reel or making a social feed on your website celebrating your audience will make an impact. You’ll show that you’re listening to your customers and appreciate them too—and you’ll build a closer connection with your audience. – Blair Williams, MemberPress