Dress Up Your Marketing for the Holidays

7 Ways to Incorporate Holidays into Your Content

Traditionally, marketers have used official holidays like Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Halloween as a starting point for promotional planning. Marketers also use personal or corporate occasions like birthdays and anniversaries as a theme on whitch to base their efforts. Google and Yahoo have taken this a step further by making small modifications and/or added garnishes to their logos in recognition of various celebrations.

In my hometown, school children paint the store windows for Halloween. As a marketer in a social media environment, think about how to integrate holidays into your content just as you’d decorate your store. Content marketing encompasses a wide range of conceptss such as content topic, wording, voice, design, look and feel, offer, promotion, products and other aspects of your brand to ensure that you’re in sync with the holiday and your target market.

Allow yourself to think big. For example, Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report wanted to do something for the Winter Olympics 2010. Instead of running a few small stories, he created a speed skating sponsorship tie-in that got his fans involved, raised money for a good cause, and garnered lots of outside media attention (which is hard to do if you’re part of the media!)

To help you take your marketing to the next level, here are seven ways to use your website and various social media platforms to celebrate those special days.

  1. Add holiday designs to your logo. Google and Yahoo are masters of making small changes to their site to celebrate popular and less known holidays.
  2. Create holiday related promotions. Holidays are a great hooks for making your prospects and customers a special offer. Think about how make all of the elements of the offer tie-in into the holiday theme by using special product, packaging, copy and artwork.
  3. Use holiday for content hook. A number of bloggers and other writers used the Halloween festivities as the basis for their October 31st posts. Richard R. Becker wrote “Treating Halloween: The Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media” which was in tune with the spirit (no pun intended) of the holiday. Similarly, Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim blog featured the article “Cup of Joe: There are Zombies on the Horizon.” When planning your annual calendar,  include all of the celebrations unique to your offering and location. 
  4. Develop related marketing communications specifically for the holidays. For example, Newegg.com used “Trick or Treat! $12 OFF Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Pre-Order + Fun Halloween Deals” as the subject line for their Halloween emailing and continued that message throughout the entire communication  design and body copy.
  5. Continue holiday spirit in your social media messaging. Halloween can be incorporated into tweets.  
  6. Change your avatar. Across social media platforms, some users swapped their photographs for Halloween characters. Think in terms of dressing your avatar up for the holiday with symbols, clothes and/or background.
  7. Share the fun. Photographs of Halloween costumes and pumpkins were shared on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. Depending on the holiday, can you add special photographs related to your brand and/or product? Have you encouraged your prospects and customers to do so?

When doing next year’s marketing plan, start with the calendar and determine which holidays you’ll use to extend for promotions. Add in some special dates that have meaning for your target market, such as the start of fishing season. Alternatively, create some fun new celebrations related to your product. Once the party’s over, take down your decorations. Otherwise it looks like you’re behind the times and your customers will notice.

Do you have any other holiday-related suggestions? If so, please add them in the comments section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Photo credit: GiddeanX via Flickr

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