When you think about it, Americans love their holidays: The Super Bowl (and every other championship game for every other sport); 4th of July; Labor Day; the big ones such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving; Birthday (which of course you must have a separate kids party and family party); graduation from middle school, high school, and college; Halloween; Valentine’s Day; April Fool’s Day; Anniversaries, etc. This led me to wonder whether or not it is worth the time for a company to create a marketing campaign for every single holiday. The short answer: Yes. The long answer: Yes but have a strategy, know what you’re doing, and don’t go overboard; explained below.

To Market or Not to Market for the Holidays

Marketing for specific holidays can be tough because a lot goes into a campaign. With all of the new mediums and platforms available to send out information to the public, marketing a product or service has become expensive and time consuming. Most companies want all of their efforts to stand the test of time for this very reason, but holiday marketing tactics simply cannot offer this long-term satisfaction.

Aside from just the time commitment involved, marketing for the holidays can become stressful. It is difficult to know when to start these campaigns (after all, everyone makes fun of those shops ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving), and it’s difficult to know whether or not your holiday tactics have made a difference. For this reason, some companies pass on the holiday marketing festivities. Unfortunately, this is a terrible mistake for a few reasons:

According to a HubSpot Slideshare presentation, in 2014 the top five days by sales conversion volume included Black Friday at 23% (the day after Thanksgiving), Nov. 28 and 30 at 17%, Dec. 6 at 17%, and Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) at 16%. In other words, marketing during the holidays is a great idea. Furthermore, the holidays are on the minds of these buyers, and your company should capitalize on that by getting into the holiday spirit.

5 Thanksgiving Marketing Tactics to Start Thinking about Now

Although Thanksgiving is coming up quickly, it isn’t too late to create a marketing campaign for the holiday. The general rule of thumb is to start marketing for Thanksgiving just after Halloween (and Christmas just after Thanksgiving), but as the statistics show above, there is still plenty of time. Consider a few of the things you can try to help jumpstart your holiday efforts:

  • Greeting Cards. Send Thanksgiving themed greeting cards to your customers thanking them for being loyal. Consider giving out a coupon in the spirit of the holiday.
  • Newsletters. The holidays are a great way to jumpstart that newsletter you’ve always wanted to offer. Customers and clients will be more apt to join during the holidays in the hopes that your company will help them know what to buy their friends for the holidays.
  • Thanksgiving Deals. If you offer a deal specifically around Thanksgiving, consumers will certainly pay attention. While Christmas promotions are common, Thanksgiving deals are still a hidden secret.
  • Fall Occasions. Creating a fall event is a great way to get consumers interested in your company. Consider setting up a corn maze, fall festival, or pie eating contest to help draw in new customers. This may be a bit on the expensive side, but it should be a very positive way to get people noticing your business.
  • Volunteer. Thanksgiving time offers many opportunities to get involved with other companies. This will help you not only network and spread the word about your company, but you’ll be doing something that really matters (ex: work at a food shelter, donate toys for children, etc.).

In the end, marketing for a specific holiday is a fun experience. Do not worry about having to pull the marketing tactic after the holiday because it should give you what you need for the short time it’s up and running. Many companies also recycle holiday commercials or materials each year to help make it even more worthwhile.

So What about SEO?

Your SEO strategy will change around the holidays plain and simple. Whether you’re thinking about optimizing your content or creating ad campaigns, it’s the keywords and the search volume that you’re going to have to watch. Consider the screenshot below taken from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner:

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 11.53.13 AM

As you can see, the search volume for “turkey” is much higher around the holiday season, particularly Thanksgiving (it’s the most obvious example, but you will find other trends in your own research!). This means that you’re going to want to write content that involves that keyword or create campaigns with that keyword more often than you would other times of the year. This will improve your SEO and overall CTR.

Keep in mind, however, that your content has to be relevant. Turkey is definitely not going to be relevant for all businesses, so do not try and force something that isn’t there. Your readers will be able to see right through your plan, and Google will likely catch on as well. This can sometimes be called “keyword stuffing” and can even get you penalized by Google. Instead, get creative with the terms you search and find something that works for you.

Do you have any quick thoughts on marketing for the holidays and/or for Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comment section below.