Updated: Feb 27
Author: Ania McNamara
’Tis officially the season! Christmas decorations are already on the shelves at major retailers, peppermint mocha lattes and gingerbread-flavored coffees have made their return. Although December can be busy and stressful for business owners, it’s also wrought with opportunities! If you can take advantage of all the holiday fun in your marketing strategy, you’re likely to reap the rewards of your efforts!
How can you use the holidays to boost your marketing efforts? One place to start is with holidays and observances that aren’t Christmas. There’s more happening in December than just Christmas! Plus, you can tie most of these events into the holiday season, offering deals, contests, and just general fun for your customers in the process.
"We've outlined 10 dates to mark on your calendar this holiday season to supercharge the holiday spirit; Santa approved!"
Get Online This Cyber Monday
Taking place on November 30 this year, Cyber Monday is a great opportunity to offer sales or deals. Thanks to COVID-19, many businesses have ramped up their efforts online. (Not to mention, many businesses are 100% online, to begin with!) Whatever you’re selling, try to come up with sales or bundles you can offer your customers this Cyber Monday. There’s little doubt people will be shopping for Christmas gifts that weekend. Share your deals on social media with the hashtag #cybermonday and watch the orders come in.
Give Back with #GivingTuesday
After the chaos of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has ended, many consumers and businesses try to give back. Giving Tuesday is the result, and your business can participate this year. Kicking off on December 1, it’s the perfect way to show you care about the people in your community. In fact, you can even involve them!
There are plenty of fun things you can do to celebrate Giving Tuesday, but here are some of our favorite ideas:
Donate a certain percentage of sales that day toward a local charity.
Participate in a toy drive and have your customers drop off donations.
Participate in a food drive and have your customers drop off canned goods.
Take some time to volunteer. (Invite your staff along to make it a store activity!)
Break Out the Ugly Sweaters
Thanks to ugly sweater parties, Christmas sweaters have become a staple of the modern holiday season. Why not join in on the fun? Customers like to see businesses that get festive this time of year, and celebrating Ugly Christmas Sweater Day will help you do just that. (It can also be a fun way to get any employees involved in your holiday marketing!)
To celebrate Ugly Sweater Day, have your employees or family members dress up for the occasion. You can wear sweaters (obviously), but hats, antlers, Christmas socks, and other accessories will make your looks even more fun. (Ugly face masks could make fun additions to this year’s outfits.) Once you’re all dressed for the occasion, post a photo of the people in your store to your social media accounts. Note: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is celebrated on the third Friday of December each year. In 2020, it falls on Friday, Dec 18th.
Be sure to hashtag #uglysweaterday and encourage customers to share their own ugly sweater photos too.
Build a Gingerbread House
Making a gingerbread house is a holiday tradition, so much so that there’s a whole day dedicated to it. December 12 is National Gingerbread House Day, and you can turn this holiday into a store event. Here are some ways to do that:
Host a gingerbread house contest between your employees and have customers vote on which they like best.
Involve your customers! You can do an online contest with all of them, or you can just have them share their own creations.
Decorate your store as a gingerbread house or display for the occasion. Bonus points if your staff or customers share photos of it!
Get Your Flu Vaccinations!
Did you know there’s an entire week dedicated to getting flu vaccinations? That’s right, from December 6–12, it’s National Flu Vaccination Week. And with the current health crisis underway, it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot. Health care professionals are recommending it repeatedly.
It seems like an odd holiday for a business to celebrate, but yours can get involved by spreading the word in your community. Not only does this show you care about your neighbors and customers, but it shows you’re taking health seriously. (Yes, that’s something consumers are judging you on these days!)
Share details about what locations in your area are offering free flu shots.
Get flu shots with your family members or team and post a photo on social media.
Work with health care members and facilities in your community to spread the word. You can even invite them to speak on your social media accounts!
Take Advantage of Free Shipping Day
Believe it or not, free shipping can appeal to customers just as much as sales and bundles. Shipping costs can actually prevent consumers from ordering your products online, even if you believe they’re reasonable! Of course, you can’t just forego shipping charges the entire year. You can, however, ditch the shipping costs on Free Shipping Day.
For 24 hours on December 14, many stores will be offering free shipping with purchases. If you don’t already have plans to join in, you should! You may bring in the business you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.
If you do decide to partake in Free Shipping Day this year, make sure you publicize it on social media! The #freeshippingday hashtag is a great way to get the word out.
Be Personal - Share Some Holiday Baking Ideas
Personalizing your company’s social media accounts can go a long way toward building relationships with customers. And what better way to give your followers a glimpse of your everyday life than by showing them what you’re baking this holiday season?
There are several national holidays dedicated to baked goods in December, and you can easily use them for marketing purposes:
December 4: National Cookie Day
December 8: National Brownie Day
December 15: National Cupcake Day
So, make some holiday goodies and share them to your Instagram or Facebook feed! You can also challenge your followers to share their own creations and recipes.
Give Hanukkah Time to Shine
Not nearly enough businesses focus on holidays outside of Christmas, but your customers will appreciate your inclusivity. Include Hanukkah in your marketing plans, even if it’s just by wishing your customers a “Happy Hanukkah” on social media. Of course, you can also add some Hanukkah decor to your store. (Pinterest has plenty of cute decorating ideas!) And depending on how many of your customers celebrate, this is another great day to run promotions.
Say Hello to Winter
With cold weather and holiday preparations underway, it’s strange to think winter doesn’t technically begin until December 21. Why not celebrate the new season by sharing some wintry images to your social feeds? Whether it’s a photo of snow, another sweater picture, or some hot cocoa, it’ll give your customers a reason to look forward to winter.
To engage your customers further in the big day, you can run promotions that build excitement about using your products in the winter (if applicable).
If you can find a way to tie your business into the first day of winter, do it! After all, it’s always a great time to promote yourself.
On the 12th Day of Christmas…
Pretty much everyone has heard the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” so why not make it one of your marketing themes? Instead of giving your true love turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree, give your customers 12 days of promotions.
Depending on what kind of promotions you plan to run, you can make these in-store, online, or a bit of both. You can also run a 12-day marketing campaign based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s a fun way to make your emails and social feeds feel less “all business”—even though you’re still hyping up your brand in the end!
Author: Ania McNamara, McNamara Marketing
For a free marketing consultation to learn how to leverage your new year marketing, contact us today!