Planning Your Holiday Marketing

Time for Planning Your Holiday Marketing

Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your holiday marketing.

I know. I know.

But this isn’t just another example of Christmas Creep.

Unlike decorating or putting your Holiday Mix on repeat, holiday marketing is not something you can do over the weekend or with the flip of a switch. It takes planning. So, what should go into planning your holiday marketing?

Let’s dive in.

What Do I Mean By Holiday Marketing?

First off, let’s define the subject. Holiday marketing is any marketing you do around a holiday that incorporates elements of that holiday, from a “Happy Halloween” post on Instagram to a blowout Black Friday sale that you start advertising a month ahead of time.

For this blog, we will be referring to the Winter Holiday Season when we discuss planning Holiday Marketing – from Halloween to New Year’s. You can market around any holiday. (I love to mention the lesser-known and/or fun ones like Star Wars Day.) But for today, we’re talking about the biggies.

Why Should You Be Planning Your Holiday Marketing Now?

While it may seem odd to talk about the holidays in September, there are good reasons to have your campaigns figured out ahead of time. Firstly, with few exceptions, I typically try to have my post scheduled a month ahead of time for my clients, but this becomes even more critical in the coming months.

The Holidays Are Closer Than You Think

When you consider that I advise having your posts planned out 30 days ahead of time and that the first of the big holidays (Halloween) is a month and a half away, you realize that it’s not early planning at all!

It’s the Far Busiest Time of the Year

The holiday season is a time when we’re hopefully enjoying time with loved ones. So business isn’t the only thing you’re considering.

But depending on your business, you might be busier than ever, too! So it’s easier than usual to let your weekly posts or your monthly blog slip through the cracks when you feel like you’re drinking out of a fire hose!

Holidays Are Personal

Holidays also bring up a lot of emotion, both good and bad. We may remember people we lost. We may be excited at what’s to come. Regardless, whenever emotion is involved in business decisions, you need extra time to plan them out, and your marketing plan is no exception.


If you’re the type to big holiday sales, the logistics of that take time. Not only do you need proper staffing and signage. You must inform people about it in time for the sale to be effective.

Planning your holiday marketing campaign will do that.

Tips for Marketing for the Holidays

With all the reasons for planning for your holiday marketing early out of the way, let’s talk about some good rules of thumb for planning your holiday marketing.

Keep It Authentic

Authenticity matters, especially with social media. Social is about connection. Hopefully, you’ve taken my advice to establish your brand value and brand values and regularly create content that supports them.

Don’t blow it for the holidays.

If you’re typically snarky, you can add some snark. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, you don’t need to pretend to.

The important thing is to remain consistent with who you are and what you’ve presented while respecting your customer base.

Respecting Your Customers

So, let’s say you’re a devout Christian, but you have a diverse customer base. It’s OK to say something about Christmas! Just be respectful of the fact that not everyone will be celebrating it. And maybe give a shoutout during Channakah or whatever holidays your community celebrates, too, if you’re comfortable.

Likewise, if you don’t celebrate Christmas but your customers do, there’s no need to pretend. You do a generic Happy Holidays, say “Merry Christmas to my customers who are celebrating it!”, skip it altogether, or focus on winter.

Be you, but leave room for others to be them, too.

I love Thanksgiving. So, I devote a blog post every year (so far) to it and showing gratitude for what the previous year brought. I happen to think that would work for most brands, but it takes some time, and you need to do it right if you do it.

Will Planning Your Holiday Marketing Involve Sales?

Let’s talk about planning for that uniquely American holiday that comes along every November…Black Friday.

Unless you’re one of a very select few, you won’t be competing with Walmart and Best Buy, sales-wise. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something.

Run one sale and make it worthwhile to your customers. Or wait until Small Business Saturday, and instead of a deal, remind your customers why they love you in the first person – good service, hometown care, whatever your brand value is.

Go Big Home or Go Home?

Not every marketing campaign needs to be a blowout. Simply acknowledging how much you appreciate your customers for Thanksgiving or giving out candy canes in December can be enough to make an impression.

Again, stick with authenticity. If you hate the commercialism that surrounds these holidays, you can even do something ironic, like a tropical theme.

Besides, no rule says you have to participate in the holidays. Perhaps staying out of that trendy stuff is your brand. If so, skip it.

Above all, keep it consistent, and keep being authentically you!

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