Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

December 18, 2013

10 Pitfalls to Avoid in your Holiday Marketing Campaign

5 min read

Written by: Sierra Calabresi  |  Share:

Happy Holidays! Holiday-Marketing

It's December Inbound Marketers, and you know what that means, right? – The holiday season is in full-swing! (Cue the holiday music)

Whether you're excited (like blasting the holiday music station on Pandora) or totally dreading the holiday rush and stress (currently wearing black every day to work and avoiding all things red and green), it really isn't a time of the year we can ignore. Especially as marketers.

No matter what we do, our customers and prospects are also living through this time of the year, and rather than just going along business as usual, we encourage you to use the holidays to your advantage. 

Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing lots of tricks and tips for optimizing your marketing campaign during the holiday season. We're going to give you ideas for your own campaigns and show you just how to capture the spirit of the holidays and build engagement with your visitors.

To kick off our holiday marketing series, rather than showing you what to do, we wanted to first focus on the things not to do for holiday marketing success. In today’s post we would like to ho-ho-help you avoid the 10 pitfalls that are easy to make when executing your holiday marketing campaign!

1. It’s Not All About Christmas

When the holiday season arrives it’s easy to feel like everyone is celebrating Christmas – from the music to the decorations, it’s hard to escape the infectious spirit that is Christmas. One thing to remember when developing your holiday marketing campaign is who you are selling to - to your target audience very well might have different religious views and beliefs and your Christmas messaging will not push them away. Be considerate and knowledgeable of other holidays celebrated this time of year, like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

2. What Campaign?

We understand how quickly the holiday season approaches every year. And if, like many of us, you let the months escape you and are now feeling the need to scramble and catch up, just take a breath, and think about a few quick things you can do before the Holiday season is over.

We like these simple, yet creative ideas:

  • '12 Days of Christmas' blog campaign
  • Holiday themed infographics
  • Premium Content Offer: Best Practices for a Successful Holiday Season

If you think you have missed your opportunity or your team is just too busy, start planning for next year. At New Breed, we value our editorial calendar, set topics early in the year to serve as a tool for your marketing plans for the next holiday season and all year-round.

3. Regifting is Bad Practice

Some people think that regifting is totally unacceptable. I'm a firm believer in regifting. If you're given something that you'll never use, but you know someone in your life would enjoy, why wouldn't you give it to them? Let them enjoy it. 

The same methodology rings true for your marketing campaign. The holidays are a great time to rewrap some of your offers and give them a festive twist. Themes like goal setting, strategy development, redesigns, etc., are great for this time of year as they play into the turn of the year as people begin to think about their business in the coming year. Transform the design of your offers, and add a little updated content, so they align with the holiday season. 

4. Show a Little Appreciation

You are managing your holiday campaign, daily tasks, personal holiday shopping list and holiday parties. We get it! – You’re very busy and it’s easy to let things slip past you.

One thing that should be on the top of your to-do list is to show a little appreciation for your customers. Remind your customers that you are grateful for their loyalty, send them an e-mail that includes a personalized holiday message with a free content offer and sharing how you're looking forward to grow the partnership in the coming year. Your customers will appreciate your thoughtfulness during this busy season, and it will help keep you top-of-mind as they begin to budget for next year.

5. Don’t Lose Sight of your Creativity

One of the most valuable tools we can utilize in any campaign is our creativity. During the busy peak of the holiday season it's easy to reference existing or previous campaigns. I am all for referencing other content for inspiration, but stealing has never been something I have encouraged. Let's be honest, how many times have we seen those dancing elves or an ugly sweater group shot? Sure, it's entertaining, but it's been done before.

Start getting into the holiday spirit by thinking how you can set yourself apart from the competition this season. This is a perfect opportunity to showcase a behind-the-scenes look of your organization - maybe take a holiday picture of your whole team doing something sily - and humanize your brand. It also shows clients and prospects that you are creative, thinking of new ideas and having fun doing it. 

6. You Forgot to Leverage Social Media in your Campaign

As always, social media is a great place to engage with your customers, but it’s also a great place to showcase your festivity this holiday season. Don’t let your social media page stay the same all year-round, what are you, the Grinch? Your followers and friends will appreciate the small touches you have implemented to your site. Here are a few ways you can show a little cheer this season…

  • Add some holiday cheer to your cover photo
  • Include links to holiday blog posts in your tweets or posts
  • Include employee holiday highlights – is your company throwing a party? Show the pictures off!

7. You Don't Decorate your Keywords

What's your holiday campaign without optimized keywords? By decorating your keywords for the holiday season you'll have a better chance of ranking higher with search engines, increase traffic and build your brands perception, which will ultimately increase number of conversions. If you don't optimize your holiday content for the holidays - you may miss out on a number of different valuable opportunities.

Before you start picking random keywords, start thinking about what keywords relate to your brand. Now that you have a couple in mind, start thinking of keywords that may be popular this holiday season, such as “gifts for mom” or “tis the season.” After you have finished conducting your keyword research, start optimizing your content by optimizing your URLs, meta descriptions and titles with the targeted holiday keywords.

It’s easy to pick random keywords, but picking a keyword that will resonate with your personas will take some work. Avoid the pitfalls of unsuccessful SEO and carefully craft your keywords to your audience and the holiday season.

8. You Let your Inner-Grinch Take Over

Everyone loves a good old fashioned Grinch movie, but the real thing? No thank you. If your audience celebrates the holidays then your company should get in the holiday spirit as well.

The holiday season is about harnessing all of the cheer, joy and warmth of the holidays and conveying that to your audience. A little cheer goes a long way and your customers will notice if you forgot the holidays completely. Give generously, offer promotions, align your content and give your social media a little face-lift. Your generosity and thoughtful spirit will improve your image, brand and overall online presence.

9. You’re Rewrapping Last Year's Campaign

It’s okay to repackage a couple different recent existing offers for the holiday season, but using last year’s campaign? – Definitely not! Using last year’s campaign decreases your creativity and seems a bit lazy, your customers are busy but chances are they will remember seeing the same campaign twice.

10. You Forgot to Wrap your Efforts

Your campaign could be positioned for success but if you forgot to tie all of your efforts together you may miss out on potential opportunities. Think of your blog campaign and your premium content offers as the ornaments to your Christmas tree. All you're really missing is your shining star. To get the most out of your campaign you will need holiday-themed calls-to-action (CTAs), banners, infographics, landing pages and thank you pages. 

Happy Holidays! What is your business doing this holiday season?

Topics: Demand Generation

About The Author

Sierra Calabresi is a former New Breeder.

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