Marketing campaigns and audience engagement around the holidays can do more than just promote your product and service in hopes of gift purchase. Holidays often carry an emotional connotation, and it can be just as valuable to associate your brand with positive connotations.
But how can you make your brand stand out from the crowd and delight your customer base? By doing the following, you can attract and keep the attention of your desired audience.
1. Organize interactive competitions
Contests are a great way to retain your customers. At its most basic level, a contest usually requires entrants to provide email addresses or other contact information. If that’s the only level of interaction you create, it’s the electronic equivalent of a business card in a fishbowl. To get the most engagement, make your contest interactive.
For example, Ace Hardware recently held a Father’s Day contest where three winners were awarded a new grill and a pair of custom grill shoes. To enter the competition, individuals must post photos of their father’s barbecue shoes or clothes on Instagram and include specific tags.
The interactive nature of the competition creates multiple touch points for the campaign and makes effective use of social media. Customers are first introduced to the Ace Hardware brand when they first learn about the competition. They have more interaction when they search and post their photo to enter. After that, they will receive notifications about comments or replies to their post.
By making contests interactive, you can address your customers more efficiently on an emotional level. Additionally, by interacting with a customer, your brand gets the attention of that customer’s social media network.
Granted, the price has to be attractive enough for your audience to motivate the extra time and effort to post on social media. But putting that extra time and thought into the price more than justifies the overall impact of the campaign.
2. Appeal to your target audience’s nostalgia
Nostalgia is a surprisingly powerful thing. It’s also something very appealing to Americans when they’re feeling stressed or cynical. With current inflation rates and the potential for a widespread recession, nostalgia could be an even more powerful tool for engagement than usual.
Knowing which holidays can be most organically linked to good ideas from the past can be especially useful for brand loyalty and engagement.
That doesn’t mean you can always captivate your target audience simply by making sure to mention the Backstreet Boys. To use nostalgia to your advantage, you need to think about your target demographic and work backwards.
If you’re trying to sell farm equipment to men in their 40s and 50s, boy bands probably won’t fit the nostalgia bill. Brands like Carhartt and John Deere have a long and successful track record of emotionally connecting their brands to the idea of rugged, rural pioneering.
For those who usually court the same demographic, the 4th of July is a holiday that can bring a lot of nostalgia. Therefore, such a seasonal campaign would have to associate your brand with positive memories of the past 4th of July. This can be anything from family gatherings to fireworks to rustic Americana.
3. Get your timing right
Timing is important for holiday campaigns, and your schedule will vary depending on which holiday you’re focusing on. Ideally, you want to grab your audience’s attention just as they realize the holiday is coming.
For the holiday season, some recommendations emphasize getting the news out as soon as possible. While it’s fairly common for people to start thinking about their Christmas shopping as early as September, other holidays aren’t so pre-planned.
For example, if your company wants to schedule a product launch on Valentine’s Day, the lead time is shorter. If you’re trying to get people’s attention in the second week of January, chances are they’re burned out from the December holidays and don’t care. Most people get their wake-up call when February 1st rolls around. And if they’re aware of a product before the last-minute panic, it can potentially register as more valuable and thoughtful.
know what fits
The holidays aren’t just a six-week block of time from late November through January. Holidays throughout the year give you all sorts of opportunities to engage with your customer base. By taking advantage of the holidays that best suit your brand, you can use the calendar to your advantage.