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How To Engage Your Customers Around The Holidays

Marketing campaigns and audience engagement around the holidays can do more than just promote your product and service in hopes of a gift purchase. Holidays often carry with them an emotional connotation, and connecting your brand with positive connotations can be just as valuable.

But how can you make your brand stand out from the crowd and get your consumer base excited? By keeping the following in mind, you can get the attention of your desired audience and keep it.

1. Organize Interactive Contests

Contests are a great way to engage your customers. At the most simplistic level, a contest will usually require entrants to submit email addresses or other contact information. If that’s the only degree of interaction you are creating, it’s the electronic equivalent of a business card in a fish bowl. To get the most engagement, make your contest interactive.

For example, Ace Hardware recently held a Father’s Day contest where three winners were awarded a new grill and a pair of custom grilling shoes. To enter the contest, individuals must post photos of their dad’s grilling shoes or attire on Instagram and include certain tags.

The interactive nature of the contest creates multiple touch points for the campaign and uses social media effectively. Customers first have exposure to the Ace Hardware brand when initially hearing about the contest. They have more interaction when finding and posting their photo for entry. After that, they will get notifications on any comments or responses to their post.

By making contests interactive, you can more efficiently engage your customers on an emotional level. Not only that, but by engaging one customer, your brand receives attention from that customer’s social media network.

Granted, the prize needs to be appealing enough to your audience to motivate the extra time and effort of posting to social media. But putting that extra time and consideration into the prize more than justifies the overall impact of the campaign.

2. Appeal To Your Target Audience’s Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a surprisingly powerful thing. It’s also something very appealing to Americans when they are feeling stressed or cynical. With current inflation rates and the potential for a widespread recession, nostalgia might be an even more effective tool for engagement than usual.

Knowing which holidays might tie in the most organically with fond ideations of the past can be especially useful for brand loyalty and engagement.

That doesn’t mean you can always captivate your intended audience by just making sure to mention the Backstreet Boys. To use nostalgia to your advantage, you need to think about your target demographic and work backward.

If you’re trying to sell farm equipment to men in their 40’s and 50’s, boy bands probably aren’t going to fit the nostalgia bill. Brands such as Carhartt and John Deere have long and successful track records of emotionally connecting their brands to the idea of rugged, rural pioneerism.

For those who typically court this same demographic, the 4th of July is a holiday that may carry a great deal of nostalgia. Therefore, such a seasonal campaign would need to tie your brand to positive memories from past 4th of Julys. This could be anything from family gatherings to fireworks to rustic Americana.

3. Get Your Timing Right

Timing is important for holiday campaigns, and your timeline will be different depending on which holiday you’re focusing on. Ideally, you want to get your audience’s attention when they’re just realizing the holiday is coming up.

For the Christmas season, some recommendations stress getting the word out as soon as possible. While it’s somewhat common for people to start contemplating their Christmas purchases as early as September, other holidays aren’t as pre-planned.

If your business wants to have a product launch coincide with Valentine’s Day, for instance, the run up time is shorter. If you try to get people’s attention the second week of January, they are likely burned out from the December holidays and don’t care. Most people get their wake up call when February 1 rolls around. And if they’re aware of a product before the last minute panic, it can potentially register as more valuable and thoughtful.

Know What Fits

The holidays aren’t just a six-week block of time from the end of November through January. Holidays throughout the year can give you all sorts of opportunities to connect with your client base. By taking advantage of the holidays most in line with your brand, you can use the calendar to your benefit.

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