How to Get Your Marketing Into the Spirit of the Season

Christmas shoppers
Brace yourselves: Holiday marketing is coming. Many people grumble about the appearance of Christmas decorations and marketing before Thanksgiving, but if your holiday campaigns aren't already in motion, you might be missing out on leads.

Here are some tips that can help your company separate itself from a tidal wave of holiday marketing campaigns. You'll bring in customers and create a positive image during a hectic time of year.

Host a Social Media Contest

Holiday marketing is flooded with great deals every year, and there's nothing wrong with joining the chorus. This year use the gift-giving spirit of the holidays to not only engage existing customers through your social media channels but also attract new customers by hosting a contest or giveaway for a free product or service.

Social media contests can be as simple as "share this" or "like this" to have customers enter. To create a full-blown social media contest, you could ask your customers to record a video or take a picture and post it with a creative contest hashtag. Using social media will engage your customers more than having them simply submit a form, and your company will be at the forefront of their minds while they're preparing their entry.

Give Back to Your Community

Getting into the spirit of the holiday season doesn't have to mean throwing a holiday sale or a contest. You can do something philanthropic by participating in or sponsoring charitable events, such as food or clothing drives, in your community. Without asking for a purchase or offering a discount to incentivize participants, getting involved in charitable events is a great way to show your community and customer base that you’re about more than the bottom line. While you may not be focusing on increasing sales while you're volunteering or making donations, you could inadvertently end up gaining new customers.

Go Against the Grain

Black Friday is easily the busiest shopping day of the year, and retailers are constantly fighting to get a bigger piece of the (pumpkin) pie. To do so, many stores have started opening on Thanksgiving Day in an attempt to bring in more and more customers during the four-day weekend. However, some companies, such as Neiman Marcus, Costco and Dillard's, have taken a stand against being open on Thanksgiving Day, and REI has taken it a step further.

Continuing the #OptOutside tradition, REI will be closed on Black Friday for the fourth year in a row. Going against the grain this holiday season — in this case, not opening when many of your competitors are — is one way to show your employees some love and to get some good PR.

With all this new knowledge, what are you waiting for? Go forth and get marketing!

Originally posted in November 2015; updated in November 2018.