Winter is in the air! It’s getting chillier as the days go on, and everyone is getting ready for their holiday plans. This has gotten us to thinking about our marketing campaigns for right now and in the future (most of it involves website development!).

Given the drop in temperature and the anticipation for the festivities, let’s talk about winter and holiday marketing, shall we? We have dipped into the topic of holiday content marketing already, but not so much so as the winter part. With all of this in mind, let’s dive into how best you can prepare for your winter and holiday marketing campaigns.

Tip 1: Plan Way, WAY in Advance

By now you’re probably already seeing Christmas decorations and merchandise for sale appear in stores. This is because these businesses have had their plans way, way made in advance (some would argue too much so!). Regardless of your feelings on seeing Christmas related items in the earlier months, it still has an effect. It gets people thinking ahead and planning about what’s to come, who they’ll be with, and so on. Planning ahead with any marketing campaign, especially for the holidays, is going to make the difference between a campaign that succeeds and a campaign that crumbles the minute you poke at it.

If you’re already scrambling to plan your campaign, then you may have already lost to your competitors.  So, instead, why not plan in advance next year and call it your New Year’s resolution? (Or, and better yet, call it your goal for next year—big difference between the two things!).

Tip 2: Look at Your Audience

We don’t know about you, but we’re seeing a lot more customers grumbling and complaining about retail stores and how they’re setting up Christmas items earlier each year. Yet this also has the effect that the businesses running the stores want, because it makes them think about the holiday (albeit negatively) regardless. There’s nothing wrong with getting ready for the holidays sooner than later, but there is such a thing as “too soon” to think about.

Some stores have actually used this timing to their advantage in a slightly creative way. One store in particular banned Christmas stock from being displayed until after Remembrance Day in Canada was over. This is actually an effective marketing strategy in and of itself, because it shows the store’s authentic concern about the very nature of the retail industry, as well as marketing itself to show it’s different compared to the competition in a very positive way.

Looking at your audience in this fashion can tell you a lot about their buying habits, and the above is only one such example. See how you can stand out amidst all of the noise and hubbub during this busy time of year (you can also read our blog post on how to stand over your competitors in general anytime!).

Tip 3: Think Warmly

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘warmth’? For some, it means a hot drink in front of a roaring fireplace. For others, it means bundling up in warm clothes before going outside in miserable weather. For some, it means a drop in temperature they can’t handle. Whatever the thoughts are, thinking warmly will help with your wintery and holiday marketing strategy, because outside it can get really cold!

Warmth is not limited to just word associations either. This is the time of year where a brand is especially difficult to promote, because warmth is not the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they try to associate the words ‘brand’ with ‘warmth’. They may do so if the brand in particular has always presented itself with warmth, such as Campbell’s Soup and their commercials (especially this old goodie!). However, businesses that have always struggled to come across as warm in general will have a tough time this holiday season, because going back to tip 1, they didn’t plan way, way in advance.

The bottom line is, try to think warmly when it comes to your next marketing campaign during this time of the year, whether it’s helping people get ready for the holidays, helping them heat up after being in the cold, or preventing colds, period.

Tip 4: There’s More Than Just One Holiday

With all the attention Christmas gets every year, it’s all too easy to forget that there are many more holidays to pay attention to! Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are a couple, and so is New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

That’s only a handful of the classics though. Did you know there are a ton of other holidays your business could be celebrating on social media? Here are some examples:

  • Cyber Monday (held after every Black Friday in November)
  • Computer Security Day (November 30)
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3)
  • Gingerbread Decorating Day (December 8)
  • International Day of Veterinary Medicine (December 9)
  • International Tea Day (December 15)
  • Winter Solstice (December 21)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)
  • Bacon Day (December 30)

If you’re looking at these holidays and are only now realizing their potential, you’re late to the party, so to speak. Save the dates for next year unless you know your marketing team, or whoever is in charge of your campaigns, can squeeze in such deadlines to create content or posts in honour of these occasions.

The thing about these holidays is, they’re not only limited to winter. Holidays such as the above list are celebrated year-round, so you always should have a plan in mind in order to avoid the dates to sneak up on you. You also need to really consider the messages you are spreading to your customers whenever you launch a campaign. Do this, and you’ll likely see some good results.

Whatever your thoughts are about winter and the holiday season, no campaign will be successful if you don’t have the basics set up. That includes having a website. If you need help with getting a new website before you get started with your marketing strategy, give us a call at V3 Media. If you’re not sure how else to market your website or even promote your business during this very, very busy time of the year, we’re happy to consult one-on-one with you on the subject—perhaps over a cup of hot chocolate, or this year’s popular winter drink?