7 Ways to Escape the Same-Old Same-Old in December and January
December 8, 2015 | Elizabeth Wellington
Every year, marketers panic just as the holidays roll around. High expectations and an increasingly competitive market, make the challenge of shining brighter than their competitors even more challenging.
The best holiday marketing is authentic, warm, celebratory, on brand — and — it doesn’t have to be one thing. In fact, it shouldn’t be one thing! Awesome holiday marketing captures the spirit of different community events rather than targeting Christmas in one, big mega-campaign.
Instead of doing the same old song and dance, change it up with these 7 unique holidays — the more holidays, the merrier!
Hanukkah, which also means Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. During each evening of the eight-day holiday, celebrants commemorate this miracle in the Jewish faith by lighting an additional candle on the menorah, a nine-branch candelabrum.
Hanukkah accompanies a rich tradition of oil-fried foods like latkes and donuts, and dreidel playing. Because of its proximity to Christmas, this time has also become an opportunity for Jewish families to exchange gifts with eight days of giving.
Make your marketing inclusive by recognizing this Jewish holiday and incorporating the theme of “light” and the colors blue, white and silver. Hanukkah’s dates depend on the traditional Hebrew calendar, shifting each year — make sure to account for those changes in your email marketing campaigns.
Dates: Sunset on Sunday, December 6 to Sunset on Monday, December 14
Winter solstice is an age-old opportunity to reflect on the shortest (and darkest) day of the year, and the return of the light. Rather than holding holiday parties, some communities and businesses choose to celebrate this day. Many spas or yoga studios, for example, will align their holiday events with the solstice to recognize a soulful change in our environment without any religious undertones.
In an increasingly secular holiday season, the solstice is a great opportunity to meet people in a neutral, new way. Although it’s less famous than other December holidays, civilizations have been honoring the solstice since Neolithic times. Maybe incorporate a quiz on the holiday to peak your audience’s interest and bring their attention to this monumental day on our calendar?
Date: December 22
Haven’t heard of Festivus? It’s the Seinfeld-inspired holiday that parodies the absurdity of the modern holiday season. Festivus is for an audience that wants to laugh and escape the pressures of gift buying and overbearing holiday nonsense. The day includes three main components: a Festivus pole, the airing of grievances, and feats of strength.
If your company wants to duck holiday markets trends, get creative and connect with audiences through a parody instead. In particular, add Seinfeld memes and video clips to your social media accounts — the sight of a plain, metal Festivus pole will make an audience laugh.
Date: December 23
For many people, Christmas signals a time for family gatherings, gift sharing, and good cheer. The emphasis on heartfelt giving makes it an ideal time for companies to connect with their audiences in genuine ways while hitting big numbers.
In an oversaturated market that boasts sugar plum fairies and dancing penguins, hone and focus on your brand voice and image. The effectiveness of your campaign relies as much on staying true to your identity as much as does on partaking in the merriment. Interactive content, with its multifaceted connections to an audience, allows you to cater your content to your brand.
Date: December 25
Boxing Day is a secular holiday celebrated primarily in the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Boxing Day parallels Black Friday as an opportune time for sales. With holiday shopping taken care of, people can focus on using their gift cards or making purchases for themselves.
Particularly, retailers with strong bases abroad would benefit from a big email marketing push on Boxing Day — in the UK, it’s often the strongest online sales day of the year. Do you have a Canadian, Australian or British presence in your office? Ask them to give Boxing Day its due on your company blog. Explain the who, what, where, and when of this beloved holiday, and maybe even include a quiz, too!
Date: December 26
You may have heard of Kwanzaa, but do you know how it started? In 1965, Maulana Karenga, a scholar and activist, created Kwanzaa to celebrate the unique heritage of African Americans and the Pan-African movement. This seven-day holiday celebrates seven principles — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
Recognizing Kwanzaa is a wonderful way to celebrate and honor diversity. It’s important to note that many African Americans do not celebrate the holiday — don’t make assumptions about the holiday based on someone’s identity.
Date: December 26 to January 1
New Year’s may not be a traditional time to buy gifts, but it is a time to celebrate. Extra time off, as well as the reflective nature of moving into a new year, encourages employees to solve enterprise challenges and better their workflows. Motivate your consumer base with content on New Year’s resolutions and positive changes both at work and at home.
Don’t forget the other side of the sales funnel either — because companies like to sign deals before January 1, emphasize purchase-stage content like ROI calculators, interactive videos, and client testimonials leading up to New Year’s.
Date: January 1
Although marketers tend to think of the holidays as a collective group, when we market to our target buyers, we need to get more specific. Tuning into specific days diversifies your content and reaches audiences on their terms.