How to prepare for holiday marketing

By |Published On: November 12th, 2021|Categories: Marketing|

The holidays are a big marketing opportunity for almost literally any business. For those of you in the marketing field, this is probably one of the most hectic parts of the year. Holiday marketing is extremely important for every business, as customers are spending more on average than they normally would throughout the year. According to the National Retail Federation, despite the pandemic’s economic toll, holiday spending for 2021 is expected to rise.

If all your research has got you here, reading this article, you’re most likely stuck in a rut with your holiday marketing strategy. But, please don’t panic. You still have time. And we’re here with some easy-to-implement holiday marketing ideas to help you get started easily. Also, we’ll be covering some of the best holiday marketing campaigns to inspire your next marketing and advertising endeavors. 

Let’s get started. Here are the main topics we are going to cover in this article:

  1. Why is holiday marketing important?
  2. Most important holiday days for your marketing calendar 
  3. Holiday marketing during the pandemic
  4. Holiday marketing strategies for 2021
  5. Steps for implementing holiday marketing campaigns 
  6. Holiday marketing examples

Why is holiday marketing important?

We all remember the famous Coca-Cola Santa Claus ads that are usually running during Christmas. It’s safe to say that Christmas and Coca-Cola are almost synonymous, mainly because the Santa Claus we all know today, didn’t always look that way. Santa has been featured in Christmas Coca-Cola ads since the 1920s and it’s only fair to say that Coca-Cola shaped the way we think about Santa today. 

Why am I mentioning all this? To highlight the importance of holiday marketing and to tell you that, especially today, after a pandemic year, having a solid holiday marketing plan can be a lifesaver for any brand. 

Do you want to conquer the busiest time of the year and increase your sales? Course you do! Well, then you must be aware of all the holiday marketing tactics out there. But before we get to that, we should probably start with the basics, which is…

Most important holiday days for your marketing calendar

  • Earth Day, April 22
  • Halloween, October 31
  • Thanksgiving, November 25
  • Small Business Saturday, November 27
  • Cyber Monday, November 29
  • Christmas Eve and Day, December 24–25
  • New Year’s Eve/Day, December 31st-January 1st

Earth Day

Every year on April 22, the world celebrates the world. People stop for a moment and acknowledge the beauty that surrounds us, and highlight important topics surrounding maintaining the Earth. We call it Earth Day, and in recent years, this holiday has become just as important as any other when it comes to marketing.

You see, brands nowadays put themselves out there and stand up for what they believe in. they establish a green marketing strategy, and it helps accomplish some amazing things, like cleaning up the world, all while building a powerful brand story. People find themselves spending more money with brands that stand up for what’s right, and tend to shy away from companies that, well, don’t.

This isn’t to say that you need to jump out there and point out every little thing you do to save energy. And you certainly don’t want to lie about it. That’s called greenwashing, and it’s not something anyone should be involved with. Instead, you really want to try and change what you can to make a difference. this might be planting some trees, having a few days per week where everyone works remotely, or even recycling in the office.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you produce some sort of content or incorporate it into your brand. It’s a subtle holiday marketing strategy, but it does mean a lot to the people that are looking for that kind of stuff, and the planet, of course.

Halloween

In October, as summer fades and autumn comes, we can expect spooky masks, pumpkin-flavored treats, candles, and superhero costumes: simply put, Halloween marketing at its best. Each year, big brands are trying to create impressive campaigns to trick competition and treat customers. Based on the National Retail Foundation’s research, 40% of active buyers tend to complete their shopping before Halloween hits the ground. So even though 31 October is the official date, you have the chance to prepare Halloween discounts and deals for your customers and increase your income in the early bird sales fever. 

If you feel uninspired or do not know how to get started, take as an example the M&Ms 2018 Ghosted Halloween marketing campaign. For a candy brand such as M&M, Halloween marketing is essential and for years, their Halloween commercials were impatiently awaited. In 2018, they created a new spot to continue that excitement around the holiday and surprise their fans in a colorful new way that brings humor to one of the scariest nights of the year by sharing a comedic M&M’s take on the classic ghost story.

M&Ms halloween commercial with M&M characters in a haunted house

Thanksgiving

Elegant Thanksgiving Flyer Template

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful. And a proper and truthful Thanksgiving marketing campaign needs to integrate this theme. This is the perfect opportunity to get festive and share your best deals. Whether it’s through a social media contest, creative giveaway, or engaging video, make sure to start early. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of November, plan your marketing strategy ahead. Be creative and include your audience, this holiday season is all about them. 

For example, start creating a challenge or competition to get people excited about your brand. That will help to boost your social media engagement and can be useful for building your email list.  For instance, you can encourage people to submit their Thanksgiving wish lists, then give the winner everything on their list as a prize. Or be more generous, as this Old Navy giveaway gave the first 500 shoppers in line at every store in North America a chance to win one million dollars on Thanksgiving, selecting the winner on Black Friday. 

Sure, that is a bit of a stretch. Not many brands have the economic power to host a contest like that. But at least you can take out the main idea from this, which is to give back to your customers in any way possible. You should do that and let us know how it goes.

Small Business Saturday

If you haven’t heard, Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held during the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the United States, one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. This Saturday is always the last one in November, so it falls between November 24 and November 30. While Black Friday is typically a day that “big box” retail stores blossom and Cyber Monday is one of the most successful days for online retailers, Small Business Saturday is intended to help small businesses or local merchants within communities. The main purpose of this shopping event is to shift the focus from retail giants to local merchants on Thanksgiving weekend nationwide. 

What’s great about this holiday is that it comes as an opportunity for small businesses to be put into the spotlight in all the Black Friday, Cyber Monday noise. 

That means another great opportunity for business owners to increase their income and come up with new deals for their existing and potential customers. Are you looking for a useful holiday marketing strategy? Support a local charity! Customers love knowing where their money’s going — especially if it is for a good cause.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is an e-commerce term referring to the Monday following the Thanksgiving weekend. It is the second-biggest shopping day and, until 2019, the busiest day for online sales. In 2019, U.S. online holiday sales reached $135.35 billion and shopping events such as Cyber Monday continue to play a big role in holiday shopping success. So with Christmas around the corner, this is the perfect time for your business to take full advantage of the online shopping rush. But how to prepare for Cyber Monday? For a successful shopping event, make sure to follow these steps:

Green, black, and white Cyber Monday digital catalog template.

Christmas

As a small business owner, you probably don’t want to make something special for the entire holiday season, what’s most important is that you choose one or two and only focus all your holiday marketing efforts on that, especially if you own or represent a smaller business. Bigger brands have more resources and some millions of dollars to give as a prize, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from all these holiday marketing examples we’re going to give all throughout this article. 

The most important thing is to know what your audience responds to, what channel you can reach them, and when. Content and context. Two very important concepts you need to master. 

When it comes to Christmas, our advice is to start simple, with the good old gift card. Gift cards are always a good way to sell. Not only that, the widespread offering of them will impress the customer. At first sight, they will motivate buyers to search for your other promotions and deals, so increasing your customer loyalty will be possible. 

It just happens that you can create your own Christmas gift cards within minutes. Not to brag or anything, but you may want to click on the image below and see for yourself. 

Pink Merry Christmas $100 coupon template from Flipsnack

This Christmas gift voucher template will be the perfect idea for any gift giver. So, if you own a small boutique and you wish to get ready for the most hectic time of the year, or you have a well-established brand and you want to fully customize it, to make it your own, then this Christmas gift card template is ideal for you. Print it for selling it directly in your store or download the QR code of this flipbook and display it on your store’s windows for fast access, but also make sure you share it with your social media audience.

New Year’s

New Year's Eve party invitation template from Flipsnack

A lot of people view the holiday season as Halloween through Christmas, but the truth is that it doesn’t stop there. Not by a long shot. Sure, the year comes to an end, but there are still quite a few holidays that we could talk about as being part of the “Holiday season.”

Starting with the most obvious, New Year’s boasts a lot of marketing potential. It’s the start of the New Year! This means that any promotions that you have going on should stop on December 31st, and new ones should start on January 1st. New year, new you! This is the perfect time to reinvent yourself, fortify your brand story, and get people to associate your business with something new and inspiring. Take a look at this social media post example:

This is the perfect example of relating to the customer without being overly promotional. Old Time Pottery provided a solution in the form of content and marketed it based on what was going on at the time. It’s quite clever since a lot of people immediately forget about Christmas and jump to the New Year. Few people take the time to stop and think about having to clean up Christmas decorations. 

Holiday marketing ideas during the pandemic

Whether we like it or not, it looks like COVID-19 is here for a little longer. That’s not to discourage you, but actually quite the opposite. COVID came out of nowhere and made an impact on the world that won’t soon be forgotten. Needless to say, it’s really changed the way businesses do marketing.

So what does all of this mean for this holiday marketing season? Well, it’s a little tricky. Because of how volatile the whole situation is, anything that anyone says can only be speculation. That being said, here are some things you can do to prepare:

  • Offer free shipping – It’s not always applicable to offer free shipping, but it certainly does make the situation a lot easier for some. Going out and getting holiday gifts might not be possible for everyone. But, with a special coupon for free shipping, gift shopping will be a lot more accessible.
  • Move as much as you can online – Since the beginning of the pandemic, companies have moved everything they possibly can to an online setting. Whether that’s working from home or expanding your online shop, online holiday sales are going to be booming bigger than they ever have before in 2021.
  • Invest heavily in ads – Depending on your audience, you might find yourself experimenting with various ad platforms for 2021. But, one thing that you can be sure of is that Facebook Ads are absolutely killing it right now. This makes sense if you think about the fact that more and more people are online each year, and since the pandemic, more people have invested in social media both business-wise and personally. For that reason, setting up a comprehensive holiday ad campaign is vital this year.

Holiday marketing strategies for 2021

This year is atypical, we can all agree on that. However, there are some easy-to-implement holiday marketing strategies that could work wonders, even for the busiest marketing teams, even when running low-budget campaigns. 

Holiday marketing ideas for 2021:

  1. Go beyond discounts
  2. Have a thematic product catalog
  3. Go for a smooth selling process
  4. Optimize your website for mobile
  5. Use social media to your advantage
  6. Engage with your audience by email 
  7. Give back to your customers

Let’s take them one by one:

1. Go beyond discounts

Let’s face it, we’re all used to having our inboxes full of discount codes on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And there is nothing bad about that. But, step back for a second and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Chances are, you would probably only interact with those brands that have already established a connection with you. If Black Friday or Cyber Monday are the only days of the year when you’re interacting with your audience, you shouldn’t expect high email open rates. Same goes for social media, PPC advertising or any other channel you’re using. 

Go beyond the traditional way of doing holiday marketing. Here’s a cool idea: plan a content strategy and make some valuable content you can share and interact with your audience, months before it’s time to offer those discount codes. How? 

banner promoting the holiday templates from Flipsnack

Create some cool-looking gift guides, craft valuable newsletters and make use of your already existing audience. Interact with your social media following and so on. 

And speaking of gift guides, articles like “60+ gifts for men 2021”, or “55 gift ideas for your girlfriend” are always going to rank high on Google. Wrote an article like this one? Great! Make sure your SEO optimizes it and distributes it everywhere. Don’t have a blog or don’t quite know how to get started? Do not worry! 

In case you didn’t know, Flipsnack is home to a multitude of cool-looking gift guides templates you can start from.  

Customizable gift guide template with minimalist design from Flipsnack

Customizing this holiday gift guide template will give you plenty of space to add your products and build content around your brand. Grab it, make it yours and distribute it wherever your audience is. You can even embed it on your website’s homepage. 

Content is a very important part of the holiday marketing season because people have a natural attraction to stories. They want something they can relate to. If you manage to capture that relationship in your words, then you have a new customer, my friend.

2. Have a thematic product catalog

Product catalogs are an incredibly important tool at any time of the year, but especially around the holidays. These are probably some of the simpler holiday marketing strategies out there. The idea is to set up a fast and easy way for your customers to see the products, prices, and short descriptions, without having to visit the store. Or, on the other hand, you can use a QR code generator to link them to the online product catalog without having to print it out.

If you’re in retail, this is even more important. There’s no way someone will be able to walk through the isles of a store and look at every single product. It’s exhausting, and nobody has that kind of time.

With a holiday-themed catalog, you eliminate any sort of issues someone might have when looking for a specific product. They don’t have to wander aimlessly down the aisles of a store, wondering what’s on sale and what isn’t. Right on the front cover, you can tell them what they should expect, and then continue through the catalog with the various items, and list each discount.

Having a well-crafted product catalog is just another way in which you can tell your brand story. And you probably guessed it by now, Flipsnack is here to help. Choose from a variety of catalog templates and customize them for your needs. 

Black Friday free customizable catalog template.

Not only can you tell your brand’s story through a catalog template like the one above, but most importantly, you can sell products. Yes, you read that correctly, Flipsnack makes it easy for you to add shopping links, product tags, and even a shopping cart. Not to mention you can add videos and GIFs. Great for showcasing your products in action! 

Make sure you have your catalog ready to be shared with your audience, just in time for any holiday. Because you can save it in your account and customize it for Christmas, Valentine’s day, and so on. 

3. Go for a smooth selling process

When it comes to selling online you should keep in mind to always offer a smooth selling process for your customers. In Flipsnack, you can easily do that with the shopping list feature. Clients will be able to easily add their desired products to a list, and select the quantity they want for each product.

The only thing left to do is to download the order list as a PDF and send it by email to your company as a request. You can start the negotiation process, reply to them or send the order with their desired products. By doing this, you get rid of long emails filled with information and products from all over your digital catalog, and instead, you get concrete and concise shopping list. Easy as that!

Take a look below to see what I’m talking about.

How does the shopping list feature work in Flipsnack

4. Optimize your content for mobile

Optimizing your website for mobile is more important now than it’s ever been, especially for holiday marketing. So much so, that if you don’t have a way for users to interact with your brand on mobile, you need to get that started right now.

Flipsnack landing page titled "create a stunning flipbook online" for both desktop and mobile.

There are more than 6.37 billion people using smartphones in 2021, and that number is expected to increase drastically every year. That is insane! So it’s no surprise at all that people not only want something that they can interact with on mobile but need it.

Think about all the times you’ve looked something up on your phone, but the website you went to was all out of whack because it wasn’t optimized for mobile. I’m sure that there’s probably not even a unit of measurement that can accurately measure how quickly you clicked away. 

If dealing with an unoptimized website on mobile isn’t enough to convince you to optimize your own website, then nothing is. After all, you won’t be spending that much money and effort with your holiday marketing plan, just to let it go to waste because visitors click away so easily. 

When considering optimizing your website for mobile, make sure you check these main points:

  1. Go to analytics to see how many visitors you have coming from mobile devices.
  2. Think about the customer journey and see how to optimize it for mobile.
  3. Responsive design or mobile-friendly? 
  4. Can you solve the problem by optimizing for mobile? Consider building a custom app, if not. (Best practice in case of eCommerce).
  5. Last but not least, keep it simple and test it on multiple mobile devices. 

4. Use social media to your advantage

Just like most people are using their mobile devices, most people are also on social media. Social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest realized this and made it possible to promote your brand directly on their platforms. It’s honestly one of the most successful ways to advertise out there right now.

Facebook, for example, has a catalog-style promotion tool that allows you to display your products in a carousel. Customers can click to slide left or right and view your beautiful products. We all know that Facebook and Instagram reach is a whole other topic, nonetheless, if you worked on building a valuable audience here, make sure to engage with it. For example, if you’re planning to launch a new product or line of products for the holiday season, make sure to advertise this all over your social media feeds.

Want all the attention? Organize a giveaway! Offer discount codes by working with the best influencers for your audience. Even better, make your audience, your influencers! Reach out to the people who are already interacting with your posts and who are frequently talking about your brand in a positive manner. They are your brand ambassador!

5. Engage with your audience on email 

Holidays are always a great way to reach out to not only current subscribers, but to help generate even more leads for potential customers. When it comes to holiday marketing, ideally your promotional campaign should have been running for at least a week before the holiday festivity begins. Naturally, the closer to the big day, the more intensive your marketing efforts should be. You can start your campaign with some good old welcome emails. For a higher open rate, use more attention-grabbing words, such as:

  • Order now
  • Free shipping
  • Today only
  • Last minute 
  • Open now
  • Big discount  
  • Hot deals

Just as there are various holidays to celebrate throughout the year, there are even more email examples out there to help guide your creative process. Like this one:

Over the years, Taco Bell has been great with their holiday marketing, and quite creative. In previous years, they had campaigns where if you bought a $15 gift card, you received an additional $5 gift card for free. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Taco Bell’s menu, but that buys a lot of tacos!

For 2020, Taco Bell got even more creative. As you can see in the image above, they launched a campaign where you can give a taco with the tap of a button on their app. Not only does this drive traffic to their app, but it also increases brand awareness with free tacos! Who doesn’t love a free taco?

6. Give back to your customers

With the current situation the way it is, we’re all lucky to even have jobs. Because of that, there are many reasons why someone wouldn’t want to spend any extra money, but they have. This year, more than ever, businesses should be thankful for their loyal customers.

A simple way to thank your customers and promote your business this holiday season is to give back to your customers. This doesn’t mean giving them a Christmas present, per se, but it does imply a little something extra. What does that mean? 

  • Thank the customer more – Not every business has the budget or resources to hand out free items. That being said, you would be surprised at how far a genuine thank you can go.
  • Encourage your customers (and employees) – This holiday season might hit a little hard for some people, and that’s stressful for so many reasons. Just like you should be thanking the customers, you should be encouraging them, too. You can do it!
  • Reward those who deserve it the most – Creating holiday-specific rewards programs can be an easy way to spread some extra holiday cheer. Such a program could prove to bring customers back even after the holidays are over.

Steps for implementing holiday marketing campaigns

Depending on who you talk to, the steps for implementing a holiday marketing campaign can either be huge and detailed, or short and simple. Of course, we definitely don’t have time to talk about every little detail, but here are a few things that you should know:

  • Plan ahead
  • Analyze your previous campaigns
  • Start early
  • Make a schedule
  • Choose your words wisely
  • Keep it simple
  • Be genuine

Let’s take each step one by one.

1. Plan ahead

This is probably the most important tip for marketing in general. But a global pandemic strikes, and then making plans seems like a funny joke. Knowing your business to the fullest, who your audience is, and reaching out to them can be a more effective way to start implementing an efficient holiday marketing campaign. Usually, planning ahead will help you narrow in on your goal for the season, and it will help you track your metrics a lot easier. This still applies to any marketing campaign; however, we should all learn something from a quite different year. The most important lesson is: ADAPT!

Black and white social media planner on blue background.

Simple things like creating a content plan, preparing your marketing materials ahead of time, and starting ad campaigns early are just a few examples of how you can get ahead of this holiday frenzy.

Believe it or not, a lot of those Christmas and Black Friday ads you see are prepared well in advance. Some of them are prepared while most of us are still getting our sun-tan on in the summer.

Yes, that is right. If you wish to stand out with your Christmas campaign, you must plan it ahead. Not only the ad but, probably just as important, everything that leads to it. Let’s face it, if you’re not Coca-Cola or John Lewis, people probably don’t wait impatiently to watch your Christmas ad. This is why you need to build tension and create a marketing plan. Being organized is key! 

 It can be very, I repeat, VERY easy to get lost in all the confusion of the holiday season. Being organized will help cut back that confusion and allow you to focus more on the important stuff. 

2. Analyze your previous campaigns (and mistakes)

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday campaigns analysis example

Aside from being generic on the topic, planning also means analyzing your past campaigns. We highly recommend you do that before even starting to work on even the slightest holiday marketing idea. That means getting your hands deep in Google Analytics metrics, thoroughly analyzing the past 2 years, and on top of that, making sure you get into some customer data. Read reports from customer service, see how your social media profiles are doing, what people are talking about your business, products, and services, and so on. 

Maybe last year, you messed it up with logistics or customer service. Make sure you go beyond marketing and fix all the other issues you may encounter with your holiday marketing plan. 

Sometimes even if your marketing is on point, you planned every little thing about your ads, social media posts, and you have it all figured out, things can go wrong easily. 

What makes a winning holiday marketing strategy? Our simple answer to this question is: go beyond marketing. Analyze more than your previous marketing efforts and review who your customers are today. This should be the starting point for any holiday marketing plan.

Also, the basis of any marketing campaign is to sort out your goals. The first step in setting realistic goals is to analyze data from previous campaigns. If you didn’t run any, think about what you wish to accomplish by running holiday marketing campaigns. 

Do you want to increase loyalty? Increase holiday sales by 25%? Or maybe you want to promote your newly launched eCommerce. 

Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Specific) goals. 

Think about what you wish to achieve and only afterward about the actions that need to be taken to reach them. I can’t stress enough the importance of really knowing your audience. 

3. Start early 

banner promoting the holiday templates from Flipsnack

For us at Flipsnack, we see a pretty big influx of Christmas holiday marketing materials as early as September. The earlier you can get your big sales and promotions in front of your customers, the earlier they can anticipate those sales.

Black Friday ad example that says two weeks away.

But, as a side note, some people do get very annoyed with Christmas advertising if it’s too early. Plus, you don’t want to advertise so early that whoever sees the promotion will forget about it when it comes time to buy. So balance is key and most importantly, knowing your customers.

4. Make a schedule

Having a defined schedule is very important. The momentum leading up to the actual big event should build slowly, but not too slowly. You want to tease the customers, but you don’t want to irritate them. This may take a little practice, but there should be a very clear schedule for when ads are placed and items go on sale. Let’s give an example.

Let’s say that you’re building up your business that sells video games for a massive Black Friday blowout sale. Well, that industry has a lot of competition. You’ll want to define your schedule very carefully so that your customers have enough time to think about the sale, but not so long that they forget. How can you do this?

Black Friday is always the day after Thanksgiving. Most retailers will advertise about two weeks in advance. But the real trick here is to be ready ahead of time. You may want to start prepping holiday ads as early as summer. A well-defined schedule is essentially a map with landmarks (deadlines), leading you to the treasure (sale day).

Calendar that breaks down November to help businesses prepare for Black Friday.

Be sure to sharpen this schedule over time. You will not get it right on the first go. Heck, you probably won’t even get it right on the 20th try. But, you will definitely benefit from a nice and organized schedule.

That being said, you can always prepare your materials early, and choose to release them at the most ideal time. For example, in our Design Studio, you can create whatever you need, keep it safe within your account, and then set it to the public or distribute it at any time. Share it however you want. It doesn’t have to be right away.

5. Choose your words wisely

Let’s be real here, you’re going to have a lot of competition during the holidays. I don’t say that to discourage you, but to sort of keep you focused instead.

You know the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword”? It’s incredibly true. Words (even though we usually type them nowadays) are such powerful tools. Very few things in the universe can build something so elaborate, and tear it right down just as easily. Translating that into marketing terms: your words, depending on how accurate and compelling they are, can either attract customers or push them away. Choosing the right thing to say, whether it be in a brochure, an online catalog, or anything along those lines is absolutely dire. Whatever you choose to say not only needs to sell your product, but it needs to showcase customer empathy. It needs to show them that your product or service fits into their lives.

6. Keep it simple

Simplicity is a very important aspect of holiday marketing. Potential customers can get very confused if you’re not straightforward. Confuse them too much, and they’ll go right to the competition.

Nobody wants that, right? Simple and powerful holiday ads that point customers directly to what they want with straightforward calls to action are the best approach any brand could take. 

But the trick here is to remain simple and keep your brand’s voice unique. So without trying to be ironic, it’s not so simple being simple. But, with the right amount of preparation, and clean execution, it’s perfectly possible.

Take, for example, Starbucks. They’re a huge corporation with millions of dollars to drop on marketing every year. And yet, one of the most simple tactics they use for holiday marketing are festive cups.

7. Be genuine

This kind of plays along with the points above, but it deserves a separate section here. Being genuine is incredibly important. Customers aren’t dumb. They know when they’re being tricked.

What does this mean for you? It means that you should be bringing something to the table that the customers can be excited about. Shoppers wait all year for certain items to go on sale. Let them know that the wait was worth it.

Christmas 50% promotion example with blue background.

Creating great deals is the perfect way to retain existing customers and attract new ones. It really is as simple as that.

Best holiday marketing examples 2021

Although we aren’t all industry giants, when it comes to holiday marketing, it helps to see what big brands are doing right. Seeing as all eyes are on them for the season, they’re always under a lot of scrutiny. That means that they’re always having to come up with creative and impactful ads and marketing strategies to stand out. Let’s take a look at a few.

H&M

One of my favorite clothing brands, H&M, is a mastermind when it comes to holiday marketing. They bring an element to the table that really nobody else can, all while maintaining their brand story. Just check out this video ad they created with Wes Anderson back in 2016:

In fact, they have a long history of creating meaningful advertisements with the help of celebrity influencers, and not just for holidays. And video campaigns are a must if you can afford to take your brand’s storytelling to the next level. 

H&M are considered titans when it comes to holiday marketing. It would almost be an understatement to say that they know what they’re doing. They create trends, and others follow. For example, they launch a completely new and unique Christmas collection each year.

On the social media front, H&M rocked the show, too. They create visually pleasing yet fairly simple ads that get the message out there without overwhelming the viewer.

Outside of the holiday season, they remain customer-focused with their social media campaigns and brand apps, constantly updating them on sales and special promotions. Plus, if you take a look at the image above, they’ve even stepped into the home decor market and are launching a stunning 2021 Christmas collection.

To summarize all of this, H&M absolutely crushes it year-round, but especially during the holiday season when it comes to marketing.

How video ads impact holiday marketing

Speaking of H&Ms festive ads created by Wes Anderson and the much anticipated John Lewis video ad, video campaigns are a must if you can afford to take your brand’s storytelling to the next level. 

Video campaigns are a great way to generate sales and increase brand engagement. In an increasingly busy online world, you must work hard to grab attention. A video advert should use the first 3 precious seconds to draw your audience in with something inherently eye-catching. Take for example the John Lewis & Partners Christmas advert released by British department store chain John Lewis & Partners. 

John Lewis & Partners launched their first Christmas advert in 2007. It has since become one aspect of the holidays that can always be relied on to spread some cheer, so much so that it has become a hallmark of the festive season, signifying that Christmas time is upon us. For example, the John Lewis 2020 Christmas advert, titled “Give a Little Love”, is inspired by the sense of community spirit shown by the British public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike previous years, when the advert was focused on a single protagonist, this one is filled with a number of different characters who each perform touching acts of kindness.

The two-minute film begins with a boy looking up at a football which has become stuck in a tree. In a bid to help, a young girl opens her umbrella, which turns into an enormous red heart that she throws at the tree, nudging the football loose.

The heart emblem is then carried through a series of animated scenes, featuring an array of characters and animals depicted in different forms of moving art, such as claymation, CGI, and cinematography. The storyline illustrates how acts of kindness, large and small, can multiply and positively impact the world in which we live as we pass them on to others. 

Starbucks

Since we’ve mentioned them once before already, let’s use Starbucks as an example. Everyone knows what Starbucks is and what they do. They are world-famous for delicious coffee and treats that are sure to make your mouth water and leave you wanting more. But around the holidays, Starbucks really takes the way they do marketing up a notch.

Sure, they have holiday drinks and treats, decorate their stores, and try their best to seem merry, but what they’re most well known for is their cups.

Every year, Starbucks changes their disposable cups to a bright and festive red, signifying that the holidays have officially begun. It’s such a big deal for a lot of people, that they have online countdowns for when it begins.

On top of that, they sell holiday-themed reusable cups that are quite collectible. They’ve even collaborated with the likes of Disney to create the ultimate coffee lover’s showpiece. All-in-all, Starbucks knows what they’re good at, and they exploit it during the holidays. They are marketing gurus, and the people love them.

Oreo

Oreo, the cookie brand from Nabisco, brought out the big guns this year and really made the most of this festive season. As a marketing strategy for Christmas 2021, Oreo unveiled that they will be letting Oreo lovers design and purchase their own Oreo packaging.

From a marketing standpoint, this is a great tactic because it reinforces the brand as a great gift for the holiday season. Think about it. Delicious treat: Check. Custom Wrapping paper: also check. What else do you need for the perfect Christmas gift? Great job, Oreo.

Krispy Kreme

Speaking of delicious treats, Krispy Kreme is jumping on board the holiday marketing express with what they’re calling the 12 days of donuts.

Don’t be afraid to break the mold      

As important as it is to follow in the footsteps of the successful ones in front of you, it’s also important to make a name for yourself, too. Sure, all of the holiday marketing tips above work great, but there’s no way possible to explain every strategy, simply because there are an infinite number of them. Every year, brands get more creative, learn new things, and get more ambitious.    

That being said, and in addition to the rest of this article, there’s one thing we suggest here at Flipsnack. START EARLY. The early bird gets the gingerbread man. Appeal to your audience in festive and creative ways. Grab their attention and hold it tight. Only you know what makes your audience tick. Use these holiday marketing tips to make your current marketing strategy light up like a Christmas tree this holiday season.

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