Seven Ways to Step Up Your Holiday Marketing

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell, post! Social media marketing, and all types of marketing, are essential the whole year long. However, they’re especially important during the holiday season.

The onset of the holiday season means that it’s finally the time of year where we get to fully embrace family, love, and traditions. But exactly how do you combine them all to make sure you’re putting your best marketing forward?


We’ve come up with seven tasks you can complete to make sure your marketing efforts are top-notch this holiday season.

Host Holiday Events

Celebrating the spirit of the season is a fantastic way to involve your customers and show that you care for your community. If you have a physical location for your business, then hosting holiday events is a perfect way to step up your marketing during the season.

These events, which can be anything from special sales to charity toy or food drives, show your community that you are invested in its improvement. Attending events at your business also gives your potential customers the opportunity to check out your holiday sales.

Create A Holiday Hashtag

Brainstorm a creative holiday hashtag for your company. Then when customers attend one of your holiday events or make a purchase at your store, encourage them to take a picture, share the post, and include your holiday hashtag.

This is a fun opportunity for customers to feel more involved and a great way to connect your marketing efforts together across different users and platforms. Make sure that you encourage your customers to use the same holiday hashtag (spelled correctly!) across all their different social media platforms.

Swag Out Your Website For The Holidays

Your website should always remain true to your company’s principles, but that doesn’t mean that your site can’t also embrace the holiday spirit. Many major companies, including Google and Twitter, change their logos for the holidays so that users are greeted with a reminder that there are humans behind the screen. Show your customers your spirit by updating your logo and homepage to reflect the holidays.

When it comes to logo design, consider using bright colors, snowflakes, presents, snowmen, Santa Claus, and other traditional holiday images. However, make sure that the final version of your holiday logo doesn’t deviate too far from the spirit of your original, standard logo and your company’s principles. You want to show your customers that your business is celebrating just like they are, while remaining true to your identity.

copyright Google

Alter Your Newsletter For The Holidays

Once you have an updated holiday-specific logo for your website, it’s time to put it to good use everywhere else. On your email newsletter template, swap out your standard logo for the holiday version. You should also take the time to create a header and graphic that reflects your holiday theme.

Your newsletter is a great place to promote your company’s holiday events and to mention the company holiday hashtag. That way, customers will see that you’re invested in the community and in making a difference during the holiday season. Your email newsletter is a key communication tool.

Transform Your Social Media Presence

‘Tis the season to change that profile pic! Take the time to update your social media accounts with the holiday version of your logo. You should also update your Facebook Cover Photo and Twitter Header with a holiday themed graphic.

When you post to your business social media pages during the holidays, stick to one theme, which should visually tie to your holiday logo. You will have plenty of things to post about if you host holiday events that engage your community. Use all of your platforms to promote your holiday events and sales.

Highlight Holiday Testimonials

If possible, ask your customers for a quick testimonial about why they chose to shop at your business for their loved one’s gift. To make the post, pair the text of the testimonial with a holiday image that fits with your theme.

However, there’s not always time to get testimonials from a customer during the busy holidays. If this is the case for your business, you can still use previous testimonials from customers and pair them with holiday images. The ultimate goal is to make sure that your potential customers know that they can trust your business!

Create A Holiday Gift Guide

A holiday gift guide is a fun, creative way to engage your target market and show off your best products. You can photograph your favorite products surrounded by pine cones, tinsel, bows, or evergreen. You can photoshop in traditional holiday images that are connected to your new holiday logo.

How you go about creating the gift guide is up to you! Whichever direction you decide to take, don’t forget to post your guide to your company website, all your social media pages. Make sure you send out a special edition of your newsletter that highlights just the gift guide!

In Conclusion

The holiday season is an important part of the sales cycle and requires special attention. While you’re already putting in extra hours keeping your business running smoothly and your customers happy (with their loved ones’ gifts in hand!), don’t forget about your marketing. Make sure you choose a holiday theme for all your digital marketing efforts. Keep the spirit of the holidays in your business and in your heart!

Choosing the Right Font: Sans Serif vs. Serif

Whether you’re developing the brand identity for a new company or you’re re-working an existing company’s brand, you have plenty of important decisions to make. Not only do you have to decide on the colors, logos, graphics, and messaging, but you also have to make a decision about one of the most important components of the brand guide, a choice that will be seen all over your website and emails: your font.

Choosing a font requires a lot of thought and attention to detail. Before you choose your specific font, take a step back and look at the big picture. There are two main categories of fonts: serif and sans serif. How do you know which one will be the right fit for the brand?

What Is A Serif?

First, you need to know what exactly a serif is. Simply put, a serif is a small, decorative curved stroke. It is added on to the end of a letter stem, either at the top, on the sides, or at the the foot of the letter

So, serif fonts have serifs, which are extra decorative lines. The word “sans” is French for “without.” A sans serif font is without, or does not have, these small extra decorative lines. (See image below, left is serif, right is san serif)

Choosing a font that has serifs will impact how customers perceive your brand.

When To Use A Serif Font

Serifs were first used in typefaces in the 1700s. Because they’ve been in use for hundreds of years, they are, first and foremost, considered traditional. Serif fonts are very useful for when a company wants to be perceived as trustworthy, reliable, and established.

Businesses that typically choose to use serif fonts in their branding include newspapers, like The New York Times, law firms, banks, and other long-established institutions who want to cultivate a sense of trust.

The most commonly-used serif font is Times New Roman. Many organizations (like the Modern Language Association, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association) prefer submitted works to be formatted using Times New Roman.

Teachers and professors want to prepare their students for the high standards of these organizations, and therefore require their students to turn in papers formatted in these fonts from a young age.

Because they want to also hold themselves up to these high standards, and because they want to be perceived as trustworthy, schools and universities often use serif fonts in their branding.

Serif fonts are an excellent choice for companies and organizations who want to inspire confidence and trust. If you want a brand to be perceived this way, choose a serif font as part of the brand identity.

When To Use A Sans Serif Font

Sans serif fonts do not feature the small, decorative strokes at the end of their letters and are characterized by their absence. Sans serif fonts have become extremely popular in the last 30 years. When a company wants to be perceived as modern and accessible, they choose a serif font.

One important reason for this choice is that sans serif fonts are more readable than sans serif fonts. The way they render on a screen makes them easier to read.

Companies who want to be perceived as forward-thinking and “with it” often choose sans serif fonts for their brand identities. Google, Hulu, Netflix, and many more tech companies feature sans serif fonts across their platforms; in fact, sans serif fonts are the default for the tech industry. Adidas, Uber, and Airbnb are other companies that choose to use serif fonts.

Very popular sans serif fonts include Arial, Helvetica, Open Sans, and Proxima Nova.

If you want to establish a brand as modern, approachable, and friendly, choose a sans serif font.

To Sum It All Up

Ultimately, serif fonts send a message that the company or organization is trustworthy and well-established in their field, while serif fonts sent a message of modern approachability.

It’s up to the marketing team to determine what font best reflects the brand’s values and will make the intended impression. To do this, test out several fonts and decide which one best matches the brand’s vision.

At the end of the day, there are no hard and fast rules for what font choice will be best. Try out a serif, sans serif, or a combination of these two font styles, and survey plenty of people about how each font represents the brand before you come to a final decision.

The Power of Email Marketing

You’ve come up with a brilliant idea for your next marketing campaign. You know exactly how you want to sell your product: the features you want to highlight, the unique selling proposition you’re going to emphasize, and the marketing copy you’re going to use.

But there’s just one problem: you don’t have time to develop the campaign for multiple platforms. Your to-do list is a mile long, and adding more marketing tasks to it is going to over complicate your life. You can’t delegate the task to anyone else: it’s all up to you. Where should you focus your marketing efforts?


Should you write the campaign for Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? TikTok? Or email?

Taking a look at the statistics can help you to find out exactly why you should prioritize using email for your marketing campaigns.

Do Customers Open Their Emails?

We know that email has been around for years. But is it the most effective way to reach customers?

What’s the first thing you do when you log on to your computer? For many people, the answer is that they immediately check their email. In fact, 99% of email users check their inbox every single day.

Statistics show us that not only do 99% of consumers check their email every day, but workers spend, on average, 28% of their workweek reading or responding to emails. That’s a lot of time spent looking at their inbox.

However, sometimes marketing emails are prevented from reaching consumer inboxes. Why? The spam filter sends them straight to no-man’s land.

Don’t give up on email yet, though: there’s good news. Email clients have become more effective at separating spam messages from genuine marketing communications. Therefore, nowadays it’s more likely that your outreach emails will land where they’re supposed to be: in your customer’s inbox, ready to capture their attention.

Email vs. Social Media

Some people might be tempted to think that, even though emails are landing in customers’ inboxes, there’s still no comparison between the power of email marketing and the power of social media. To find out for sure, let’s take a look at the statistics.

According to Hootsuite, 45% of the global population is active on social media. That’s a good chunk, but it doesn’t quite compare to email users.

What’s even more interesting is that on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, companies are seeing an engagement rate of less than .6%. People will see an ad, or the word “Sponsored,” and just scroll past the post. Even if they’re following your business account, they might not read your posts.

On average, customers open their emails at a rate of 22.86% and click-through at a rate of 3.71%. That’s much better than the social media engagement rate of less than .6%!

Social media might be flashy and fun, but it’s not as reliable as email. Algorithms might work in your favor; or, they might bury your carefully-crafted messaging so that it never reaches your potential customers’ eyes.

You’ve spent precious time and energy working your marketing campaigns. Don’t waste your effort by relying on social media algorithms to convey your message to the right customers.

It’s also important to realize that a social media platform can delete your account at any time (remember those pesky Terms and Conditions you agreed to?). That means that you might lose all your followers, and all those potential leads could disappear.

When you build your email list, you own it. Customers can unsubscribe (and they do), but ultimately, you are still in control.

How To Leverage Email To Your Advantage

We know that consumers consistently check their emails and that you have more control over email than you do over social media.

So, how do you take the power of email and put it to good use?

The first step you should take is to analyze your email list and create a segmented version. Segment your potential leads into groups based on the factors that make the most sense for your business. Consider their purchase history, geographic location, demographics, industry, occupation, position or seniority level, past engagement activity, location in the sales funnel, and the amount of time since the last brand interaction.

Once you have your segmented email list, you can change your messaging. Don’t use a general, vague sales message. Craft your marketing email so that it specifically appeals more to each segment.

Then, after you have your email crafted just for each segmented list, you should further personalize them as much as you can. Fortunately, there’s software available that can help you easily personalize the subject line, preview text, email body, call-to-action, and sign-off.

Keep in mind that recipients are 26% more likely to open emails that have subject lines tailored specifically to them.

Remember, above all else your emails should be valuable to your customers. Don’t give them a reason to unsubscribe by sending too many emails or emails that are worthless!

Conclusion

Ultimately, email is an extremely powerful tool because people check their inboxes daily, because social media is unpredictable, and because emails can be usefully tailored to segments of your customer list.

Don’t believe the pessimistic and incorrect idea that because email isn’t trendy, it’s not worth your time. Email is a fantastic way for companies to communicate with their customers and to prove how their products can meet their customer’s needs.

How Alone Time Can Increase Your Creativity

The image of the solitary artist, painting alone in her studio or typing away by herself at a writing desk, is a familiar one. But how important is alone time, really? It turns out that alone time is actually critical to creative success. Studies have shown that spending time alone leads to many benefits, including better memory, focus, creativity, and mood.

Better Memory

Research has proven that, when you spend time alone, your memory works better than when you spend time with others. When you’re alone, your brain doesn’t have to focus on others’ needs and actions; it only focuses on remembering what you’re trying to recall. Studies show that you will most likely remember facts you’ve learned, associations you’ve made, and ideas you’ve come up with better when you’re alone.

For the creative process, this has enormous benefits. You can better remember your past creative projects and the steps you took to get to your final product. Alone, you’ll also better remember the mistakes you made, which will help you know how to avoid them. Alone time empowers creatives to fully utilize their past experiences when completing a new project.

Better Focus

Similar to improving memory, increasing focus is another benefit of spending time alone. Again, you don’t have the distractions of others’ actions and needs diverting your attention from the project at hand. When you spend time alone, you can zone in on exactly what needs the most of your focus, time, and energy.

If you’re researching a copywriting project, for example, it’s much easier to focus when you are the only person finding articles, reading them, and taking notes on their content for your project.

When there is another person sharing your space or assisting you with the task, you might be sidetracked by their ideas. When you have a creative task at hand, focusing in on your own resources and ideas saves you confusion and time.

Better Creativity

Collaborating with others can often lead to great ideas, but not always. Studies show that when we brainstorm with others, we don’t put all our ideas on the table because we are afraid of judgement and limited by the group’s thought process.

Creative tasks require idea generation that leads to results. If you aren’t coming up with ideas, or if you aren’t following through on the ideas that you’ve thought of because of the group, then you’re reducing your creativity.

Let your ideas flow unchecked. Come up with a list of ideas for your next creative project on your own. You’ll be surprised by what you’re capable of when you work independently.

Better Mood (Long Term)

The research about the effect of spending time alone on your emotions appears to be contradictory, but actually makes sense when you consider the big picture. Here it is: in the short-term, alone time has a negative effect on our emotions, but in the long-term, alone time puts us in a better mood.

When you’re in a better mood, you’re more likely to trust yourself and your creative process. Better moods lead to better relationships and more satisfaction with your work. While it may feel lonely in the short-term, in the long-term, spending alone time will actually make you happier.

One Disadvantage of Alone Time

However, there has to be a balance. While research across the board shows that alone time is needed for creatives to thrive, it also shows that spending too much time alone can lead to negative emotions.

Make sure you are regularly connecting with others outside of your creative hours. Keep in touch with family, friends, and others in your field. Don’t spend too much time completely alone.

When you balance alone time with meaningful connection time, it is ultimately is more helpful than harmful for creatives.

The Benefits of Alone Time

Studies have shown that alone time leads to better memory, focus, creativity, and mood. Having the mental space to work out your problems and generate new creative ideas is key to leading a fulfilling life.

Nowadays, though, it’s easy to get caught up in constant online communication. Whether you’re connecting with friends, family, or coworkers through email, text, chat, or social media, it’s easy for our alone time to become internet connection time. And that’s not really alone time at all.

Here’s how you can make your alone time a truly solitary space.

A Beginner’s Guide to Alone Time

  1. Set limits.

Tell everyone that you won’t be available at a certain time because you need to focus on deep creative work. Put your phone in a different room. Turn off your WiFi (unless you absolutely need it). Isolate yourself as much as possible from the internet.

  1. Stick to a time.

Research has shown that our brains function best in 90-minute blocks. Find an hour and a half to put your phone in another room, block all distracting sites, and sit down and truly focus on your creative work.

  1. Create a solitary space.

If you can, set aside a corner of a room and designate it the place where you’ll spend your alone time. Make it as distraction free as possible. Keep it clutter-free and stocked with all the tools you need for your creative projects.

In Conclusion

Alone time is critical for creativity. Protect your alone time from intrusions (whether they be people, pets, or the internet) and rely on just your brain for your creative tasks. While it might feel lonely in the short-term, in the long-term, alone time will lead you to fantastic ideas.