A white snowflake ornament hanging on a Christmas tree

11 Mistakes to Avoid in Holiday Marketing

Pumpkins, menorahs, and Santa Claus, oh my! That’s right, the holidays are approaching, and you need to know what mistakes to avoid in holiday marketing. The holidays are often the busiest season for businesses, so you must prepare and avoid pitfalls that might cost your business. 

Holiday marketing mistakes could be the only thing keeping your business from reaching the next level. With each holiday, there’s an opportunity to reach your audience in an exclusive way. You do your business a disservice when you fail to set up your holiday marketing well.

Why is Holiday Marketing Essential?

Families are expected to spend an average of almost $1,500 on holidays this season. It’s a money-making time for businesses, especially those that market themselves well. 

You’ll want to prepare for an increase in online and in-person sales. Your schedule will be busier and your impact greater. While the holiday rush can be exhausting, the results are worth it. Not only that, but your audience appreciates your efforts to accommodate them during the holidays. 

You know how your email inbox seems full of ads this time of year? That’s because companies know it’s the most popular time to buy. They know that when you see the email subject line that says “30% off sale,” your heart does that little excited pitter-patter. 

Use marketing to keep up with others in your industry. Incentives are attention-grabbing, but so are the endless holiday pun opportunities. There’s always something holiday-related that you can tie into your brand. Use holiday buzzwords wisely, but know they can add personality and fun to your marketing. Provide a user-friendly, enticing chain of marketing, and customers will come!

11 Mistakes to Avoid in Holiday Marketing 

Holiday marketing is necessary, but there are some ways not to do it. Avoiding these holiday marketing mistakes keeps your plan solid and lucrative. 

It’s best practice to find a healthy balance between how much, how often, and how you market in general. This balance is challenging to measure, but when you master it, the effectiveness of your holiday sales and brand exposure increases dramatically. 

The typical, year-round strategies you’re used to are not enough when the holidays roll around. Still, you’ll want to avoid some common pitfalls in your holiday marketing.

1. Starting Too Late

It’s never too early to start planning marketing strategies for the holidays. A month or two in advance is typically best, but earlier than that is acceptable, too. If you start too late, your audience will find a different brand to support this year. 

Procrastinating until the last minute results in rushed decisions and missed opportunities. Make it a goal to start holiday planning mid-year. Maybe starting that early means you can tick things off the list steadily rather than all at once. 

Another way to stay ahead is by creating a comprehensive marketing timeline. Unexpected circumstances may change the course of your schedule, and that’s OK. But a guideline is necessary.

Haven’t started your holiday marketing yet? Don’t worry! It’s better to start late and plan better next year than not to participate. Start now!

2. Lacking SEO

Search Engine Optimization helps users find your business when they Google for the types of products you sell. The data you get from using SEO best practices also tells you what generates the most traffic, so you can produce more of what works. 

Neglecting SEO reduces the amount of organic traffic you could be attracting. Using correct SEO requires you to study data and compare it with your proposed digital marketing plan. Then, you can adjust your efforts and improve search traffic even more. 

3. Not Using Targeted Landing Pages

Landing pages are not the standard “home” or “about us” pages of your website. They are pages that prompt visitors to complete a specific call-to-action to redeem a holiday promotion. Ultimately, landing pages are a quick way to highlight your CTA and get customers to act on it. 

Landing pages should make it clear that your audience is getting an exclusive or time-limited offer, so make it worth their while. Most consumers are looking for a sweet deal or unique opportunity this time of year. Your business has the opportunity to serve their holiday needs.

4. Not Having Promotions

Holidays without promotions? No way! Neglecting to capitalize on promotions during the holiday season is like ignoring your business. You could miss out on new supporters or even turn away your old ones. 

Sales, incentives, loyalty programs, free samples, email marketing, and social media blasts are some ways you can promote your business. Creativity is your only limit. 

Plus, your promotions need to be advantageous for your audience. It only takes one perfect offer to convince someone to support your business, so get creative with your promo ideas. But remember, the promos you offer should be distinctive to your business.

5. Skipping Holidays

“Holidays” doesn’t just mean Thanksgiving and Christmas. It also includes Halloween, Black Friday, Giving Tuesday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day… you name it. If people celebrate it, it could be an opportunity for your brand. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, so be mindful of the way you market each of them. Your brand’s inclusivity is paramount in your customer retention and overall desirability.

person holding gift box
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

6. Not Expressing Gratitude

Your customers are the reason your business thrives. Be sure to express how thankful you are that they’ve chosen to support you and your brand this year. You can do so with an effective “thank you” email, special promotions, or whatever fits your business’s personality. Customers are the heartbeat of why you do what you do. Don’t forget the importance of letting them know they’re valued.

7. Neglecting Audience Segmentation

While it’s simple to send generic marketing messages to all customers, it may not be effective this holiday season. Segment your audience during holiday campaigns instead. Segmenting allows you to directly and personally target different subsets of people to pique interest in what’s meaningful to them. 

For example, you know what your OG audience is looking for and interested in. But those desires could be different for your newer audience. Also, different age groups, demographics, and lifestyles will respond uniquely to your content. 

Let’s say you own a reusable water bottle company. People who have outdoor occupations may be interested in your leak-proof bottles that have a pop cap and a strap for easy transport. People with office jobs may be OK with a tumbler with a lid and straw. You’ll be more effective in selling both when you take the extra time to cater your marketing to each group.

8. Overlooking Mobile Optimization 

When was the last time you looked at your website from a mobile device? If you haven’t lately, it’s time to check it out and click around.

People increasingly shop from their phones, with 61% of all online purchases done on mobile devices. You don’t want to miss out on that audience.

Your website should be user-friendly on a phone, tablet, and computer alike. Your audience will likely turn away and support a different company if they can’t access or navigate your site on their phones, especially during the busy holiday season. 

Mobile optimization is crucial for customers who want to take advantage of your promotions quickly. Neglecting mobile users could be detrimental to your business. 

Keep your mobile design clean, concise, and simple so phone screens aren’t riddled with overstimulating, confusing information. And make sure it’s easy to go from product view to checkout in as few steps as possible. Doing so will help reduce cart abandonment.

9. Ignoring Social Media Engagement 

The holidays present opportunities for FUN on social media platforms! Social allows you to actively engage with your audience and relate to one another. 

Holiday social media content should stand out from your normal content, spark conversations, and incite joy for your audience. 

When you fail to engage with your audience during this time, you’re potentially losing support. 

Use social media to have meaningful conversations, post customer reviews, provide quick updates, promote deals, run useful ads, and curate holiday gift guides.

10. Email Marketing Pitfalls 

Email marketing can be your business’s best friend if you do it well and a huge missed opportunity if you don’t. Specific, targeted emails can boost your sales and online engagement. Excessive, poorly timed, generic emails will not. 

Emails can feel personal to your audience, unlike a social media blast. They appear in each inbox and reveal direct links, exclusive information, and personal touches. So don’t neglect email marketing this holiday season. From your subject line to email sign-off, be mindful about what you send to ensure positive results.

11. Not Measuring Results 

How will you know what’s working or what to improve next year if you don’t track the data? Analyze holiday marketing results to see what you did well and what you need to change in the future. Failure to do so is rejecting information that could be a game changer for your business. 

Use tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, and email marketing stats to measure your performance. Focus on ways you can improve each aspect.

Win This Holiday Season

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to market for the holidays, contact Content Journey for help. We will assist behind the scenes to make your holiday content marketing amazing. We know holiday content marketing, and we want to know you! 

While you focus on all the other details required to run a business, we will help you grow. We’ll take you from Hanukkah to Valentine’s Day before you can say “Happy Holidays!” OK, maybe not that fast, but you understand our enthusiasm!

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