Holiday Marketing: 13 Festive Campaign Ideas
This post was last updated on November 16, 2021.
The holiday season is an excellent time for strengthening ties with your customers, improving your online presence and engaging with your audience. Moreover, putting together a holiday marketing plan is extremely valuable for generating extra buzz, increasing your website traffic and improving sales.
As you plan your marketing ideas for the holidays, be sure to create a website (or update an existing one) that includes eye-catching holiday content. Consider sharing cheerful social media posts, creative newsletters and other themed materials. While there are numerous ways to maximize this crucial period in which website sales are up 32%, we’ve gathered 13 of the best holiday marketing ideas you should consider.
Holiday marketing ideas
01. Spread holiday cheer through email marketing
One of the most effective types of small business marketing for the holidays is email marketing. In fact, over 80% of retail professionals claim that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention more than any other form of digital marketing—and yes, that number even takes social media into account. The last, most important reason, is that it’s extremely inexpensive (and sometimes free) to send effective newsletters.
Holiday email marketing is your opportunity to invite subscribers to visit your website for new products or services, and to offer an exclusive discount code. To create a gorgeous and engaging holiday email, you can use Wix’s holiday themed template for the newsletter design.
While crafting your email, be sure to think creatively, as you certainly won’t be the only business sending out a holiday email this year. You’re going to have to put in some work to stand out. Here are some out-of-the-box examples of holiday email marketing for your inspiration:
Launch a countdown leading up to a specific holiday date: Create urgency to purchase by reminding them that there are only X days until a particular date.
Share a numbered list with handpicked items: For example, you can list X number of products or services (with links to your store) in descending order, enticing readers to scroll through the whole email. You can include a theme for a specific audience or type of service.
Animate with videos and GIFs: These are two engaging forms of content that will get visitors interested in your email.
Send a holiday gift: This can be anything from a voucher for an actual product to something much simpler, like a coupon or printable greeting card that they can share with their loved ones.
Announce a holiday sale campaign: Consider creating a sales campaign to incentivize people to buy now.
Give out warm holiday wishes: Create a digital greeting card with a festive photo of you or your team— including your pets (because we know that’s what people care about most).
02. Partner with an influencer
Although working with influencers as part of your marketing strategy can be relevant all year long, the holiday is a great time to double down on your influencer efforts. Influencer marketing greatly impacts people’s buying decisions in more authentic ways, so make the most of the chance to improve brand awareness and sales during this critical time of the year.
Influencers can suggest your product as a recommended holiday gift. They can also effectively market it by showing themselves using the product, such as by sitting by the warm fireplace or during an unpackaging video. In the case of lifestyle influencer Tiffany Wang, she endorses Monkey 47 Gin as a recommended holiday party gift.
Take advantage of influencers’ high-quality content production and make sure to lock in these partnerships early on, as they likely have many other brands reaching out for joint holiday marketing campaigns.
03. Appeal to holiday emotions
Whether it's the excitement of being surrounded by friends and family, or the many holiday parties on the horizon—emotions run high during the holidays. Incorporating the emotional aspect of this time into your holiday marketing is a powerful sales psychology method.
The sentimental elements of your marketing can come out in written copy, photos, videos and much more. The goal here is to get happy tears, laughter and create heartfelt moments. By using emotions in your holiday marketing approach, you'll show your caring side and allow customers’ positive emotions to impact how they perceive your brand.
The renowned WestJet Christmas Miracle Real-time Giving campaign was one of the best holiday campaigns to use the "get emotional" tactic exceptionally well. The campaign video has over 49 million views on YouTube, proving the success of their heartfelt approach. In the video, WestJet surprised airline passengers with the gifts they asked for before boarding their flight. Customers were overtaken with emotion when receiving the gifts upon arrival at their destination. They were seen hugging, crying and overjoyed with surprise. This holiday marketing miracle didn't just leave the travelers speechless, but also fostered a sense of joy for people watching the campaign afterwards.
04. Do good by supporting a nonprofit
There's no better gift than the act of giving. Show your company's charitable side by including a fundraiser or donation initiative as part of your holiday marketing campaign. Many companies also offer to match donations and spread positive cheer to the less fortunate. Whether it's a toy drive for underprivileged children or sending gift baskets and food, the most crucial part is the thought behind this.
Not only will a philanthropic effort be for a good cause, but it can also be used as holiday marketing content that isn't focused on sales and self-promotions. Once started, share your cause to inspire audiences on your social media, newsletter, and website. Don't forget to encourage others to join your goal and increase the impact of your generosity.
The visual artist and Wix user Hannah Jacobs is a good example to follow. Hannah used her talents to partner with Bookblock and Action for Children, in which she illustrated a postcard and promoted it to support children in need.
05. Run targeted holiday ads
The holidays are an essential time to catch the attention of new audiences as well as bring back past customers. Both of these goals can be achieved through various types of advertising.
We recommend running holiday marketing ads on platforms such as social media and Google Search Ads—and not to forget retargeting. Deck out the holiday ads with festive imagery, colors and text, then send people to your website to take your desired action.
Retargeting ads are crucial to set up because using this ad format can prompt users who once left your site without coming back to finish their order. Everyone knows that we do a lot of research during the holiday season before finalizing our gifts, so it’s a good idea to remind people to complete their purchase.
06. Spoil your existing customers
Don't make a mistake and plan all your holiday marketing around acquiring new customers. It's important you show some love and appreciation to existing and loyal customers as well. To show your gratitude, you can send them a small customer appreciation holiday gift, handwritten note or offer some other act of kindness towards them. This should be done in a personalized way as the goal is for that person to feel valued. As a result of strengthening your customer satisfaction, you'll be setting yourself up for a more fruitful relationship with them down the road.
07. Host a holiday contest
Anything from an ugly sweater contest to a race to sign up for a free scented candle can generate buzz around your business. Whether you're giving away a product, gift card or featuring a customer on your website, you need to offer a prize to the chosen winner of your contest. A contest or giveaway is also a great chance to gather user-generated content from submissions.
There are a couple of competition guidelines you should consider before launching your holiday marketing contest:
Set a clear goal: Is your goal to get more followers on your account? Or is it to promote your website and newest holiday product? You’re going to want a game plan for how you can reach that goal. This includes everything from choosing the platform, to researching the guidelines of how to host a contest there.
Entice your audience with a prize: Whether it’s a gift card to your online store or a holiday present, keep it relevant and in the spirit of your chosen festivity.
Include all of the rules: For legal purposes and overall transparency, this step cannot be neglected. Think about all the possible factors that go into your contest, write them out, and display them for participants to see.
Promote the contest: Run promotional efforts to inform people of the contest, such as email marketing, social media promotions or even paid advertising.
Post about your winner: The last step is sharing the results. It's the final opportunity to generate more content from your activity. So, make sure you create exciting content centered around your winner and company, and share it all around: your website, blog, newsletter, social media and more. Just don't forget to ask for the winner's permission first.
08. Decorate social media channels
Just like putting up lights in your front yard or garnishing your front door, the point of decorating your social channels is to signal that your business is aware the holidays are in full swing. It’s a good idea to add a touch of the holiday spirit to the photos and posts you share.
The type of content you can share includes anything from upcoming events to promotions for the holiday season—such as contests, themed sales, and blog posts full of holiday inspiration. You could also post "behind-the-scenes" images that reveal how you prepare for the holidays in your business and in your home.
Other holiday content ideas are to show off the decorations to your store or office, or make your pet wear a silly costume to gain extra likes from your fans. Whether it's with self-promotional content or user-generated content, focus on filling your social media pages with holiday joy and spirit.
If you want to create your own designs for social posts, you can utilize Wix’s social media graphics tool for holiday-themed templates. The tool enables you to pick a pre-sized, beautifully designed template, then simply drag and drop your text and add images for a personalized look. Here are some other social commerce tools we recommend incorporating into your holiday social media efforts.
Take a look at how food photographer and Wix user Bene Tan shows off his creative skills on his feed. A post with a holiday-decorated Bundt cake surrounded by candlelight is sure to get his Instagram followers in the holiday spirit.
09. Shoot a holiday themed video campaign
Consumers are 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. This might explain why video is one of the strongest marketing trends. If you're scrambling to find a topic or theme to create a video about, then the holidays are the perfect excuse. Video holiday marketing ideas include describing a product, giving a behind-the-scenes look at your business, or adapting your blog post for a video. Just remember to make it festive.
Research shows that when it comes to marketing, short videos are much more effective than their long-form counterparts. So, don't stress about creating one longer than a minute. Thirty seconds is a great length and is the perfect format for Instagram Reels, TikTok and more. You can create videos within social media apps or turn to one of the many video creation tools like Magisto, Splice or the Wix video maker.
You can even take a video screen recording on your phone navigating your website, like Wix user Pillows by Kae has done. The brand turned a website screen recording into an Instagram Reel, overlaid a Christmas song, and added several related emojis in the caption, bringing it all together. Pillows by Kae is an exceptional example of how limited resources can still result in an effective holiday marketing video promotion.
10. Redesign your website homepage
Show your holiday spirit by introducing a special redesign to your website’s homepage. It doesn't have to be a complete overhaul. Adding a touch of winter-themed illustrations, green and red colors, or well-known holiday symbols can be enough to show that you want to give site visitors a memorable browsing experience. You can even use one of these holiday and celebration website templates for your redesign.
Since so much holiday shopping and gift research is done on the go, make sure your website is mobile optimized and loads quickly.
11. Create a holiday-themed version of your logo
A logo certainly represents your business’s personality. So let your logo reflect your fun side and celebrate the holiday season by creating a logo with a festive spin. This can be as simple as replacing a letter with hanging lights or candles like the special Google logo below. Get as creative as you wish here. When you’re done, you can update the logo on your website and social media channels.
12. Highlight a sale on your website
If you're hosting a sale, contest, or simply looking for newsletter subscribers, using a lightbox on your website is the perfect way to ensure that you've grabbed your audience's attention. No, we aren't talking about the box of string lights you stored away from last year, although we are sure that you can find something festive to do with those, too. Digitally speaking, a lightbox is an interactive message that appears on your website immediately upon a visitor's arrival and then prompts them to take a specific action.
When you create a lightbox for your website, you can customize everything—including content, colors, fonts, calls-to-action (CTA), layout and background images. This way, you can design it specifically to suit the holiday theme and sale you want to target. A lightbox is an excellent use of holiday marketing and a festive background theme will likely increase sales, registrations or form fills.
13. Write festive blog posts
Combine the festive state of mind with your skills and talents to offer your audience expert advice, guides and tutorials on various holiday-related topics. Using a free blog to promote holiday guides isn’t only a great practice to boost your SEO but also something that your customers will appreciate.
You can highlight anything holiday-related, such as holiday gift ideas, recipes, or a listicle of something. If you happen to be a photographer, why not publish an article on taking professional photos for holiday cards? Or if you are very craftsy, you can write a post about how to build a Hanukkah Menorah from reusable kitchen items. Be creative (and you can certainly use this blog post as an example).
Once you've completed it, make sure to share your posts on your social media channels and marketing emails. This will help drive traffic to your website and lead to a positive engagement with your business.
By Lena Sernoff
Senior Digital Marketing Expert & Writer
By Jennifer Kaplan