5 Marketing Tips This Holiday Season

Whether attending events, giving to charity, or spending on gifts for family and friends, people are eager to engage during the holidays. Their wallets are open and they are full of the spirit of giving. No matter what your industry, this time of year can be a great opportunity to reconnect with old customers and reach out to new ones.

That’s why we’ve compiled some ways you can stand out on social media and marketing emails by tying your cause, service, or product to the holidays.

1. Tailor your campaign for specific occasions.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday – there are a ton of occasions around the holidays that give you the opportunity to create tailored ad campaigns. Aside from these staples, the holidays are a great time to create your own event (think 24 hour flash sale or donation drive).

For small businesses and local organizations, look for events in your community that you can use to engage. The holiday tree lighting in your town is just one example.

This ad was created for Black Friday, and does a good job of promoting Macy’s handbag sales specific to the occasion.

2. Create a sense of urgency.

People will respond when they sense that they have limited time to do something or buy something. You can use this to your advantage by highlighting limited time offers in your ads. This technique works year-round – not just during the holidays – and is a useful tool for any call-to-action or advertisement.

“Only 24 hours left to cash in on these savings!”

“City Council votes on December 1. Make your voice heard today!”

This technique is so effective, it even helps Groupon sell ugly Christmas suits – which are an actual thing that you should totally buy.

3. Focus on driving site traffic.

This is especially important for ecommerce businesses. This may seem basic, but remember to include as many links to your site as possible in your ads and marketing emails. If they click the picture, they should go to a landing page on your site. If they click your site name, they should be directed to your homepage. List your link in the actual ad copy as well.

Your call to action should be clear in everything you post or send. Keep the call to action simple, and include the link to the page where it is easiest to fulfill.

US PIRG provides a good example here: they provide information about the problem and then a large link to their website, which takes users to a page where they can contact the Governor-elect.

4. Create holiday-specific messaging.

Keep your messaging festive, and give people new ideas for product uses. The best holiday ads include recipes, tie-ins with traditions, and emphasize family and togetherness.

If you’re a local political, business, or community leader, you may want to talk about how your family engages with the community during the holidays. Highlight a local charity or event to tie in with holiday traditions and remind folks how much your city or state means to you.

If you’re marketing a product, talk about how perfect your product is for gifting. For example, the below ad talks about how the Kohl’s Cares books and toys are ideal as stocking stuffers. Giving out ideas like this can help your audience think of uses for your products.

5. Keep an eye on engagement.

If you’re scheduling many holiday posts, it can be easy to “set it and forget it.” But don’t! Watch for engagement. If someone has a question, you’ll want to quickly and helpfully respond. If you don’t, you could lose a customer!

Below, Wander Beauty has someone responding to customer questions that can crop up on their product ads. Make sure you have notifications enabled, and a dedicated team member to respond to concerns. Great customer service is responsive and has the answers that people need.

Hopefully our holiday ad tips will help you to promote your product, service, or cause. Whether you’re a big retailer working the Black Friday sales, a small town politician trying to make an impact over the holidays, or a charity trying to raise awareness, these social tips will come in handy from now through the New Year.

14 of the Best Advertising and Marketing Campaigns of All Time

Calling a marketing campaign one of top campaigns of all time can seem subjective at best, and reductive at worst. But going into this year’s holiday season, it’s worth looking at the highlight reel of some of the most insanely successful and memorable advertising campaigns in history.

Some of these campaigns are so widespread you may not even think of them as advertising anymore, like Dos Equis’s “most interesting man in the world,” who is now mostly an internet meme. Or like Nike’s Just Do It campaign, which entered the vernacular of most Americans.
Click here to read the full article from Hubspot.

Branded Merchandise: Physical Strength in a Digital World

In a world where we encounter hundreds of online advertisements per week, it might seem like standing out in the crowd is a near impossibility. While digital marketing can be cheap and easy, it is also easily forgotten by your audience.

This is where physical marketing comes in. Consider the trade shows or job fairs you’ve visited. You probably took home a whole “swag bag” full of branded merchandise and happily put some of it to use in your everyday life. Personally, I have at least two pieces of promotional merchandise in my bag today: a branded pill case and a branded pen.

These promotional products have a huge return on investment, according to a study done in 2012. Out of the people surveyed, 66% recalled the brand name on the product they received in the last year. 87% of people keep the items longer than a year, and the majority kept the items because of their usefulness. In fact, the return on investment (ROI) for promotional products is higher than radio and outdoor advertising, and is on par with TV advertising.

Mugs are the item kept the longest.

Targeted Persuasion’s take on a promotional product came about while we were working on passing the NC Brunch Bill, which would allow restaurants to serve alcohol before noon on Sundays. We needed signatures on a petition and social media support for the bill, so we wanted to put our message in front of people who would be likely supporters. What better place to find drinkers than at bars and restaurants? So we created a branded coaster, below, and distributed them to North Carolina drinking establishments.

The coasters are useful to our target audience, and sat in front of them in the restaurants where they will drink at Sunday brunch. The brunch bill, of course, was a smashing success, with no small thanks to the power of physical object marketing.

The coaster was useful and it provided a strong call to action. It was related to the cause- allow these restaurants to serve alcohol on Sundays- and it told the audience what to do to support the initiative, and the two hashtags to use. The best branded merchandise will provide a call to action and perform a function related to the thing being sold.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best and some of the weirder examples of physical object marketing. 

  1. Rimmel Quick Dry Nail Polish: Fast

Rimmel’s new quick dry nail polish is advertised with a sculpture installed in an urban public space. The function of the product is clear- it dries extremely quickly, and the sculpture is fun and interactive.

  1. Save Memories with Alzheimer’s New Zealand

This one is both functional and contains a call to action. The outside of the memory stick is a working eraser, which says “Alzheimer’s Erasers Your Memories. Save Them,” with a link to their website.

  1. Dogs are Stronger with Iams

These are frisbees made to look like barbell weights, and the message is clear: with Iams dog food, your dog will be stronger. This one is particularly neat due to its functionality- you use it while playing with your dog, and you’ll be reminded of the food every time your pup brings it back to you.

  1. Y+ Yoga Centers and Straws

These bendy straws were given away at a juice bar in close proximity to the Y+ Yoga Center in China. They are fun and functional, and were given to health-conscious consumers who are more likely than most to attend one of the yoga classes.

  1. Abbott Vascular: Heart Shaped Stress Ball

Abbott Vascular’s anatomically correct heart shaped stress ball has an obvious message: keep your stress down to take care of your heart. Stress balls are a fun choice for professionals because it can be kept on desks as a functional trinket.

Keep branded merchandise in mind for your marketing. Bring a useful object to your target audience that they’ll keep and remember. Include a call to action if you can, even if it’s just a website link. You can also take this opportunity to be creative and have some fun with your advertising, keeping it relevant to your brand, of course.