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5 Unique Holiday Marketing Ideas: Grow Your Fanbase Before Black Friday

Joe Bencar headshot
Joe Bencar
Marketing Director

It’s only been fall for about a week now, so it seems like there is plenty of time to prepare for the holiday season and the big shopping days that come with it (specifically Black Friday & Cyber Monday). In actuality, these major shopping days are less than a few months away! After the realization kicks in, you may be thinking that it’s too late to grow your brand’s following and email lists enough to actually make a noticeable impact on your 2020 product revenue numbers...but you’re wrong! If you get to work now, you can drastically increase your ability to reach new customers with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and promotions. Here are 5 unique holiday marketing ideas for 2020 that can help you quickly grow your fans and maximize your revenue potential.

1. Connect with brand advocates to review a product they purchased in exchange for a reward

The idea here is to get your biggest fans and supporters talking to their social media friends and followers about your brand and products. This can be a great alternative and less expensive way to reach new customers compared to hiring “social influencers”. Since these customers already love your company and your products, their reviews will likely be more natural and passionate, and others will notice it.

Also, these brand advocates will gain a sense of importance within your brand’s community, and this will often result in an even stronger bond with your company.

To find the right customers or brand advocates:

  • Look at your sales history for recent, repeat customers.
  • Read through recent 5 star reviews on your website, Google, Facebook, and other major review sites.
  • Scan your Facebook and Instagram pages to see who’s commenting on your posts and talking about brand and products.
  • Look at recent communications (messages, chat, contact form submits, etc.) for customers who’ve had a positive experience.
  • Find similarities in these lists.

Once you have some people in mind, email or message them with a personal note stating your intentions, why you chose them, and what you’d like to give them in return for their help. Be sure they know to include a link to your social page(s) or website so others can easily follow your company. Don’t forget to share their post on your social channels too!

2. Create social ads to connect with gift buyers (in addition to the ones you’re already running)

Any social ads that you’re currently running were most likely made for your target audience, which is great. For the upcoming holiday season, try creating some ads that connect with people that will be buying gifts for your target audience. Don't get too technical about your products regarding the ad copy and visuals because these gift buyers may not be familiar with the content. Instead, focus on high-level selling points, backing them up with customer reviews and testimonials about the great value your products offer.

You’ll want this new “gift buyer” audience to convert during their first interaction, so use promotions that include “limited quantities available”, “limited time offers”, or “best deal of the year”. It’s a good idea to run these ads just prior to the holiday season. These ads should focus on conversions such as getting people to follow your social media page or sign up for your newsletter. Let this audience know that subscribers will be the first to know about special holiday deals. You could even allow subscribers and followers to get your products at holiday sale prices just prior to the sales actually starting.

3. Create a unique branded hashtag

Hashtags offer many benefits to businesses including brand recognition and user engagement. Did you know that tweets get around 2 times more engagement if they have a hashtag included?

The key to making a hashtag successful is coming up with something that includes your brand/products, connects with your customers, and that is catchy, useful and unique. Try to avoid generic hashtags like #happyholidays or #blackfriday. Sure, these may trend very well. But your brand will be competing with all the other companies that are also using them.

In order to get your hashtag to start trending, you need to be consistent! The goal of your hashtag is to get your customers engaged when they’re posting and sharing things to social media. Use your hashtag often, and try not to bury it in a bunch of other hashtags when you’re posting.

Start using this branded hashtag now to build up brand recognition. Some ideas to create a hashtag around are something special about your company, a new product, or even a contest, sale or promotion you’re planning to run during the next couple months.

A great example is, in 2014, Barnes & Noble started using the hashtag #BNGiftTip before the holidays. Customers would include this hashtag in their tweet if they needed advice on a good book to buy as a gift for someone. What a great idea! This was a personal way to connect with people without having to rely on a sales pitch.

4. Run a contest focused on engagement and sharing

Prior to the holidays, a giveaway contest is a great way to get people talking and sharing about your brand and products as well as sign up for your newsletter and follow your social media pages. There are plenty of ways you can run a contest. One idea is to run a photo contest around your products being used in the real world. The contest should be paired with #3 in this list, so be sure to create a hashtag and generate even more engagement! Photo contests should be shared across multiple social channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

In order to generate interest around your contest, offer all participants a special discount code to use during the upcoming holidays, and obviously reward the winner with a nice prize like a free product or gift card to your store.

Promote your contest like an event and get your followers excited about it. You can even do a live stream when the winner is being selected! Note that if you plan on running this type of contest where user entries will be judged, be sure to outline the rules as well as how a winner will be chosen. Also, display the date when contest submissions are due and when a winner will be chosen.

5. Get involved with helping your community or with a charity

This is very common during the holiday season, but jumping ahead of your competition and helping charities now can make your brand stand out. Helping charities could be as simple as collecting donations or giving a small portion of each sale to a charity. Another way to help your community is taking a day for an employee clean-up in a close by area.

If you decide to give back by helping your community or donating to a charity, be sure to set time constraints about when it will take place. Reach out to local media and notify them of what your company is doing. Create an event on Facebook and share it. To take it a step further, invite your social media followers to join in. This is a great way to develop personal relationships with your customers. Don’t forget to take plenty of photos and videos to share afterwards.

Now is the time to spring into action if you haven’t done so already. You still have time to expand your brand’s reach with potential customers, which could result in more sales and revenue this holiday season. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like to share with us, shoot over a message. We’d be happy to hear from you.