One of the challenges of marketing a small service-based business is deciding how to incorporate a holiday season into your content, especially your copywriting. This question highlights yet another way a small business differs from the big brands.
The big red cola brand regularly delivers holiday-themed commercials (e.g.., this tear-jerker for 2020).
Sainsbury’s department store, in the UK, draws on emotion with a story almost every year. A few years ago they showed the Christmas holiday In World War I, the soldiers on opposite sides called a holiday truce to sing carols and play European football.
Big brands also respect the more sober moods of their environment. Budweiser gets creative with remembrances of September 11.
Occasionally these commercials draw some controversy. Sainsbury’s Christmas ad once showed an old man alone in his home. He called his children to tell them he was dying, although he wasn’t. The guilt-ridden offspring dropped everything to fly home and they all celebrated a festive dinner together.
Many viewers applauded the sentiment – kids owing a duty to their parents – while others saw the old man as manipulative.
These ads don’t sell anything. They create a mood their audience will (hopefully) associate with their brand.
Small business owners can’t depend on the mood to create brand associations. Some ignore the holidays and keep everything “business as usual.” We’ve all gotten sales pitches delivered on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
That raises another point. Most small businesses will benefit by including a Call to Action in any content. It’s about asking directly, not hoping for subtle mood shifts.
What’s the best way to deal with holidays?
As you’d expect, my answer is, “It depends on your archetype.”
Role Models share stories of their own holiday gatherings. Celebrities do too with a different emphasis. Educators and innovators refer to holidays in connection with points they want to make; they rarely go into great detail about how they spent the holidays.
I’ll expand on these ideas in future messages. Meanwhile, I’m curious: how do you refer to holidays in your marketing communications?
Our next holiday coming up is Halloween. I just created a Halloween-themed podcast – based on an article I’ve revised and reprinted regularly: A Halloween Special: 5 Tips To Remove The Ghosts From A Haunted Website.
I’ll be curious to see if my audience finds it too over-the-top for my usual style. So far it’s gotten many downloads. You can let me know what think. Visit the podcast, Strategic Storytelling, on all major podcast platforms or go to http://cathygoodwin.com/ghostweb
And for ghost-free websites, here are 3 resources:
The Strategic Intensive gives us time to review your content in the context of your business and your story. We review your message and strategy as well as your content. Click here to get more results from your marketing.
The Website Review gives you a detailed video commentary – well beyond a critique. You’ll be clear on the next steps you need to take…or you may realize you’ve nailed it already. Click here to take the first move toward a more productive website.
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