It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and this includes marketers and business owners!

It isn’t the holiday season yet, but it’s not too far on the calendar. This is the best time to get creative and start planning for your 2021 holiday season marketing. Whether you manage a brick-and-mortar retail store or own an e-commerce business, now is the time to get all your ducks in a row.

Hence, we have come up with our 2021 Holiday Marketing Guide to help you plan and prepare your marketing campaigns for the upcoming holiday season. We have also included some important tips that you may want to consider for your 2021 holiday marketing.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and this includes marketers and business owners!

2021 Holiday Marketing Guide

To get you organized, we have divided our 2021 holiday marketing into three parts — Planning, Creating, and Scheduling. They will help guide you through the process of discovering your 2021 holiday marketing efforts of planning, creating your marketing campaigns, and scheduling them accordingly.

Planning

Properly planning your marketing strategy will help ease your way through the rush of the holiday season. It should keep you on track, provided you start soon.

Consider Your Stock

Before anything else, you need to check what your stock looks like and what you need to do to meet customer demand.

If you have an abundance of something, you may want to consider bundling it with another relevant product for a special holiday deal. If you have something special in mind, you need to ask yourself if you’ll need extra items, pieces, or stock to make it work.

Planning

Think about your customers and how you want to market your products and bundles to them. For example, do you want to market certain stock items as “holiday gifts” or “special holiday deals?” Going through a mental roadmap will help you better understand how to approach your 2021 holiday marketing.

Think of creative ways you can market your current stock, bundle items, and unload anything you have in abundance. Consider the stock you have and the things you may need to meet the uptick in your orders.

Mark Your Calendar

Depending on your brand, customers, and marketing strategy, you will need to consider which upcoming holidays you want to target. Most businesses and marketers opt to target everything between Halloween and New Year’s Eve.

This is a smart strategy, considering most people start their holiday shopping around Halloween to avoid the rush, availability issues, and shipping delays near Christmas. There are over a dozen religious occasions, events, and international holidays to target during this time, including:

Mark Your Calendar
Halloween October 31
Diwali November 4
Veterans Day November 11
Thanksgiving Day November 25
Black Friday November 26
Small Business Saturday November 27
Hanukkah November 28 to December 6
Cyber Monday November 29
Giving Tuesday November 30
First Day of Winter December 21
Christmas Eve December 24
Christmas Day December 25
Kwanzaa December 26 to January 1

Depending on which holidays are relevant to your brand and customers, you will want to target a variety of these holidays. Moreover, you will also need to consider your international customers if you cater to a global audience.

Get Planning

After marking your calendar with the holidays you want to target, you will need to come up with a clear plan for their marketing around.

Planning may always seem like an intimidating task. However, with a clear vision and some guidance, you should have no problem planning your 2021 holiday marketing.

Think of all the marketing channels available to you and the ones you frequently use. For example, if you use email marketing platforms for email marketing, you may already have an idea of how to approach your existing audience with your holiday season offers.

Typically, this involves a series of emails that look like this:

  • Announcement email blasts to introduce your holiday offers, usually 2 weeks before they start.
  • Reminder email blasts, usually sent a week before your holiday offers start
  • Last chance/final call for your holiday offers, usually sent one or two days before they start

It is always better to segment your audience and send them targeted holiday offers that meet their expectations instead of taking the dying “spray-and-pray marketing” approach.

Similarly, you want to apply this email marketing campaign and other marketing campaigns for all the holidays you want to target. Once you have a clear plan for each holiday, you can start creating the marketing campaigns you need for them.

To get you organized, we have divided our 2021 holiday marketing into three parts — Planning, Creating, and Scheduling. They will help guide you through the process of discovering your 2021 holiday marketing efforts of planning, creating your marketing campaigns, and scheduling them accordingly.

Creating

This is the main and perhaps the toughest part of your 2021 holiday marketing efforts where you actually create the marketing campaigns you want to run.

Generally, you want to put as much thought into your marketing campaigns as possible. After all, they will bear the fruit of your efforts.

It is best to start with your email marketing campaigns and then move on to other online marketing channels like social media marketing. This is not a hard rule, and you can opt to create whichever marketing campaign you prefer first; however, email-first is the most common approach.

Here are just some examples of popular and trending online marketing campaigns and ideas you may want to consider for your 2021 holiday marketing.

Creating

Giveaway Campaigns

Everyone loves a free giveaway! While this may sound expensive, not all giveaway campaigns need to cost you a fortune. You can opt for smaller quantities and limited-time giveaways to further drive urgency among your customers.

You can also opt for virtual giveaways that shouldn’t cost you more than an email and some desirable content. Often, brands will offer coupons as giveaways to drive their sales around the holiday season.

Lead magnets, like giveaways, are an excellent way to increase your reach and build brand and product awareness. They can also help increase your social media following, which is extremely important to reach more people with your social media content.

A holiday-themed contest is also an easy way to run giveaway campaigns. You can ask your followers to post holiday-themed pictures using your product or share posts with their friends and tagging your brand. You can even ask them to sign up for your newsletter or email list.

Live Streaming

Posting videos is great but going live on social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, is another great way to engage your followers and audiences. Live content is trending, and it works well from a marketing perspective as well.

With live streaming, you can give viewers an exclusive sneak preview of your holiday deals, bundles, or products. You can also display the Christmas tree or other holiday-themed decorations of your store. You can share your most recent holiday experiences or even details of upcoming specials and events.

Live streaming is also a great way to give your brand a personal touch and a non-corporate vibe, which audiences enjoy, especially around the holiday season.

Live Streaming

Customer Appreciation Campaigns

Showing appreciation to your loyal and regular customers for their support is always a great idea. However, you can also use it as an excellent campaign for your 2021 holiday season. Send a social media post to your followers or an email to your subscribers and thank them sincerely.

You can also include a special holiday promo code that offers them a 10 percent discount or free shipping on their next purchase as a way of saying “thanks”.

One smart social media marketing technique that many brands use is to create a holiday-themed hashtag and encourage their followers to use it to post content on their official pages. This is an excellent marketing technique for collecting user-generated content (UGC).

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Partnering with influencers is an easy way for your brand to get outsider credibility. Not to mention, the added reach and awareness influencers bring to your brand. You want to target influencers who have a large social media following that is in line with your brand and those considered experts in your field.

With influencer marketing, you can get relevant influencers to create a few posts for your brand, products, or services and increase your trustworthiness and awareness. Since the holiday season is competitive, you may want to connect with the right influencers as early as possible.

There are plenty more online marketing campaigns and ideas you can use to your advantage, and we have mentioned some more in the tips section ahead. For now, it is important that you get an early start, and once you have what you need, it’s time to schedule everything.

Scheduling

Life can get very busy during the holiday season, which is why you should schedule your online marketing campaigns beforehand. All your planning and efforts would be wasted if you do not get in on time, which is why having a schedule is so important.

Your email marketing campaigns and social media campaigns can also be scheduled to run automatically if you use email marketing platforms and social media scheduling software. However, you will need to schedule them early and not wait till the last minute.

Even if you schedule a few of your online marketing campaigns, it will save you a lot of time and effort during the busy holiday season. It will give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner without worrying whether or not you sent that important post or email for Black Friday.

Scheduling

An early start is also important because of all the COVID-19-related delays, like shipping. It also means that customers may start earlier than usual as well because they are aware of the global problems and delays.

Most people will want to shop early and also take advantage of deals and offers that pop up in October to get ahead of COVID-19 delays and the busy holidays. As a result, you can expect an earlier and longer holiday marketing season this year.

All in all, you should start planning, creating, and scheduling your 2021 holiday marketing now and save yourself the stress of managing marketing campaigns during the busiest time of the year.

Tips for Your 2021 Holiday Marketing

Here are some key tips that will help you with your 2021 holiday marketing and all the online social media and email marketing campaigns you plan to run.

Show That You Care

It is always great for any brand’s image to show they are committed to diversity, inclusivity, and the betterment of the environment. Displaying your stance is something you should do often regardless of the season.

However, the 2021 holiday season is a good time to show you care about the environmental and social issues your audience cares about.

You can post about your favorite charities or about your donations to local ones. You can even deliver presents to underprivileged children or disadvantaged communities and share the joy. If you have a diverse group of people working in your company, maybe post a “rainbow coalition” of your employees.

If your brand is cutting back on its carbon footprint, maybe show some statistics of how it’s making a positive change in the world.

However, you must remember that these are sensitive issues, and you have to be extra careful when you market them. Many mega brands have fallen into this trap, and they never came out the same. Just make sure your motivations are sincere and not just a marketing gimmick.

Most people and customers can tell when a brand is “diversity washing” or “greenwashing” their audiences easily.

Engage Through Conversations

This is something you want to start doing immediately if you want to reap its benefits in time for your 2021 holiday marketing.

Engaging audiences with conversations on social media not only increases your customer engagement but also helps ensure that social media algorithms show your posts on top to those who “liked” or commented on your previous posts.

Almost every social media platform uses algorithms to connect people with brands that their users engage with. Simply put, conversations help get your posts in front of audiences more often.

For increased engagement, you can post questions ahead of the holidays asking your followers what they like most about a certain holiday, what their favorite holiday tradition is, or what they want from their holiday season.

Although, you must remember that a conversation is a two-way street. Therefore, you have to stay on top of the comments, whether positive or negative. Simply asking questions and then ignoring the answers will not help. In fact, it creates a negative impression of your brand rather than a positive one.

If you cannot find the time or resources to engage with your audiences, conversations may not be your thing. For those who can, starting now will ensure you get maximum results when the time comes to launch your 2021 holiday marketing campaigns.

Incorporate Loyalty Programs

If you have any experience as a marketer, you know how great loyalty programs are and how well they work. They are a tried-and-tested marketing strategy that yields excellent results. Hence, incorporating them into your 2021 holiday marketing campaigns is a no-brainer.

It can truly give you the competitive edge you need this holiday season. You can design separate marketing campaigns for your loyal customers or give them special treatment in your existing ones. You want to give them the perks they deserve for their loyalty.

If you can create a seamless and exclusive experience for them, you will likely end up with more sales and more loyal customers, who will continue to benefit your brand and business long after the holiday season is over.

Prepare Your Website

Your website is the home of your business and the face of your brand. It should be dynamic without compromising on your core brand image. Any website worth visiting repeatedly is one that’s changing or updating constantly.

Adding a holiday theme to your website that targets your audiences is a nice way to show your holiday spirit and highlight your holiday offers. You just need to make sure the changes are attractive and do not hinder the user-friendliness of your website.

There is such a thing as overdoing it, and you do not want to change the things your visitors love about your website. Often brands go for things like special holiday countdown clocks or holiday-themed landing pages to avoid excessive changes on their website.

You will also want to consider some very practical things before you get carried away. Your website must be prepared to handle the increased holiday traffic to ensure visitors and customers have a smooth experience, and you must also ensure that all changes are responsive on mobile devices.

If you can deliver a seamless, holiday-themed website experience without compromising on practicality and function, your website may just be the highlight of your 2021 holiday marketing efforts.

Avoid Excessively Promotional Messages

Holidays are hectic, and people are bombarded with promotional messages everywhere they look. Whether it’s email, social media, print media, or even the office message board, there is always someone promoting something for the holidays.

This is why your marketing messages need to find a balance and not come off as too promotional. Of course, you still need to market your products and promote your brand. You are a company that needs to generate revenue after all.

However, you must do it in a smart way.

Think of creative marketing messages that deliver your ideas without complicating or exaggerating the pitch. A simple yet effective technique is to acknowledge the difficulties around the holiday season and highlight the efforts you are making to overcome them.

You can also focus on the things that have always made your brand great. Audiences appreciate that a brand isn’t being overly promotional or changing its messaging and sticking to its guns during a time when everyone else is going crazy.

You can easily promote your brand, market your products, and run all your 2021 holiday marketing campaigns without excessive marketing messages and with simple, positive holiday traditions. It is a great way to add authenticity and sincerity to your brand and marketing campaigns.

Conclusion

The holiday season is meant to spend time with loved ones, spread joy, and share gifts. To that end, there is plenty of shopping going around, which is only amplified by all the other events taking place during this time like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and New Year’s.

It is a time when brands and businesses are constantly competing to get the biggest piece of the holiday pie. Hence, your brand should plan, create, and schedule marketing campaigns effectively to attract as much business as possible, because that is exactly what your competitors are doing.

However, you need to deliver what you offer seamlessly; otherwise, you are creating more negative impressions than positive ones.

If you start following our 2021 Holiday Marketing Guide today, you should be able to execute your marketing campaigns in time for the holidays easily.

It will help you overcome the craze and pressures of the holiday season and take your brand to new heights. Of course, you should also consider the mentioned tips to ensure you have an edge over the competition and can avoid the traps of holiday marketing.

If you want to learn more about our 2021 Holiday Marketing Guide or need help with the email marketing and management of your brand for the upcoming holiday season, please visit our website today.

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