Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) is a great tool that has been around in Google Ads for quite a while now. I’ve liked and used them since way back in 2017. But DSA campaigns operate differently than regular search campaigns, and sometimes I see people get tripped up on best practices that cause them to decide DSA isn’t useful.
And that’s a shame because they can deliver great results–when used correctly. Especially when run alongside regular search campaigns. But there are some adjustments you need to make to ensure you’re getting the most out of both campaign types.
Since I’m a big fan of DSA, I want to use this article to highlight what you need to know about Dynamic Search Ads to make sure you get the best results when running them.
Let’s dive in.
What are Dynamic Search Ads and how are they different from regular search ads?
Unlike regular search ads, which include campaigns built around specific keywords, Dynamic Search Ads use the content from your website to fill in the blanks with targeting and (some) ad copy creation.
With Dynamic Search Ads, the search engine will respond to a relevant query with a chosen landing page from your website and automatically-generated ad copy that closely aligns with or matches the query.
According to Google, this can help you identify relevant searches you may be missing with your regular search campaigns and can also help you keep your ads relevant to what people are searching for.
How to set up Dynamic Search Ads
When I started writing and grabbing screenshots, I realized the setup process for a Dynamic Search Ads campaign has changed, at least in Google Ads.
Here’s how to set up Dynamic Search Ads in Google Ads.
First, start by creating a new campaign and choosing your marketing goal.
Dynamic Search Ads campaigns are compatible with all campaign objectives that are compatible with search, so that limits you to these goals in Google Ads:
- Website traffic
- Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance
Then choose the search network and finish setting up your campaign-level settings.
Now this is where things get a little goofy.
Nowhere in the guided setup is there the option to create anything related to Dynamic Search Ads. Not the URLs and not the ad groups.
So go through the remainder of the campaign setup, avoid adding any keywords or ads, and simply click next and publish your campaign.
If your interface is like mine, you’ll get an alert that says you can’t publish the campaign with those mistakes, but then…you just click publish anyway.
Now that the campaign is published, you can go to the Settings tab, click Additional Options, find your way to the Dynamic Search Ads Settings section, and add your URL and choose how you target. (We’ll get to those options next.)
Now there’s one more thing before you can run Dynamic Search Ads. Technically, DSA controls live at the Ad Group level. The original Ad Group you created when you hit publish is Standard, so you can either leave that or delete it.
But for any new Ad Group, you’ll need to change the first setting from Standard to Dynamic before you can run Dynamic Search Ads.
I honestly have no idea why Google makes it difficult to find these settings, but now you know how to set them up, so let’s move on to the next point.
5 ways to make Google Dynamic Search Ads work for you
Here are five things to know to make Google Dynamic Search Ads work for you.
1. Identify if your site is right for DSA campaigns
To be successful with Dynamic Search Ads, you have to make sure it’s actually going to work for you. This is one of the few areas where I agree nearly perfectly with Google’s suggested best practices for DSA:
The moral of the story for this is to make sure your website has lots of meaningful text that accurately describes your company, product, and services and can be seen by Google’s algorithm.
If your website has minimal wording, poor page title and meta descriptions, or relies mostly on photos, you might want to rethink DSA as part of your advertising approach.
2. Understand how Google/Microsoft picks your URLs
It’s very important for you to know how the different search platforms get the URLs that they use for your Dynamic Search Ads campaigns.
You’ll remember when you visited the settings tab in your incomplete campaign that you had a few options after adding in your website URL.
Let’s go through each of these in a little more detail.
Use all URLs Google knows about plus Page Feeds
This will be the default option for any new DSA campaign and means that any page Google can find on your site is eligible to be used for an ad. While this might sound a little scary, it’s usually pretty safe to utilize.
Personally, if I opt into this, I like to make sure that I have a few pages excluded in my Dynamic Targets within the campaigns:
- About Us
- Terms of Service
- Any Client Only or Platform Pages on a SaaS Site
- Customer Service Pages
- Online Help Documentation
- Blog Pages
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should help you start thinking about which pages are or aren’t the right fit for a new potential client to land on.
When you’re ready to exclude pages from your DSA campaigns, the process is pretty simple:
Under Dynamic Ad Targets, you can create a Negative Dynamic Ad Target that gives you all the same controls as a regular ad target, but for exclusions rather than specific targeting.
Use whichever controls feel right for you to exclude the most pages as easily as possible, whether that’s using Exact URLs or using rules to narrow down pages.
Use only URLs from a Page Feed
The second option, and one I typically like better, is using URLs only from Page Feeds that you provide.
A Page Feed is just a CSV upload of URLs on your site that you want to use for Dynamic Search Ads. You can include as many or as few webpages on your site as you like and then by selecting the second targeting option at the campaign level, Google will ONLY be able to use the pages in those page feeds for DSA campaigns.
Creating a Page Feed is pretty simple. I like to start by getting a sitemap of my website, then pulling out all the URLs I don’t want included. (Depending on how large your website is, this might be a completely insurmountable task and you would be better served using all URLs as a target and creating extensive, but powerful exclusion filters in the process mentioned above.)
When you’re ready to upload your list, you head to the top navigation menu, select Business Data under Setup and be sure you’re on the Data Feeds page in the left-hand navigation.
From there, just click the blue “+” button, select Page Feed, and follow the instructions for uploading.
The main thing to remember for your URL source is that Google will show whatever it wants within any list of URLs you’ve given permission for.
If you have pages on your site that should NOT be used for DSA, make sure you either have them excluded through Negative Dynamic Ad Targets or change your permission list to only Page Feeds and leave those URLs out of those lists.
3. Know how ad copy is generated for DSA campaigns
Unlike regular search ads, Dynamic Search Ads only allow advertisers to input a portion of the ad copy: the two description lines.
Here, it’s important to make sure you’re sharing information with your potential customers that’s relevant, impactful, and compelling. Just like all other ads.
But this also means that Google is making up some of the ad copy for you, namely, the headlines associated with your ads.
The good news is that you can review the headline copy Google is using for your ads. You just need to navigate to the Search Terms report under Dynamic Ad Targets, and while you can’t make any specific adjustments, you can see the search terms and the headlines and landing pages Google used for your ads.
Unfortunately, the screenshot above is for a live client account, so it has to be blurred out, as does the image below, but I want to show you where the headlines used for DSA ads usually come from.
If I navigate to the page associated with the search term and right-click, then View Page Source, I can see the code of the page.
In that code, I find the page <title> and what do you know…it matches up.
Now, that’s not to say that it will always match up, but more often than not, if you run DSA campaigns, you’ll notice that the headlines Google uses are pretty close (if not identical) to the meta title or other meta information on your page. So keep a close eye on how your headlines look and, if needed, maybe think about tweaking the page titles to better suit your ads. (That’s assuming your company’s SEO team doesn’t yell at you for it.)
4. Take steps to prevent cannibalization
One of the stated goals of Dynamic Search Ads is to find new queries outside of your existing keywords. In fact, it’s part of their Benefits section.
But here’s the thing, that might sound nice in principle, but it’s not how things always work in reality.
In the majority of accounts I see running DSA and search campaigns, DSA is targeting many of the same search terms as the other campaign’s keywords. This is supposed to be prevented from happening, according to Google, but it still does. And very, very frequently.
The good news is that there’s a very easy fix for this.
Each time I launch a DSA campaign, I take all of the Exact match (and sometimes Phrase match) keywords from the existing search campaigns and add them all into a single Negative Keyword List. I then apply that list to ONLY the DSA campaign, ensuring that none of my existing keywords can be targeted in that campaign.
It may sound a bit strange and some Google reps might tell you it’s not needed, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself for having much cleaner search terms reports later.
5. Add negative keywords
My last note might not be groundbreaking for many of you, but for some, this will be news.
Just because you’re not using keywords as your targeting method does NOT mean that you can’t use negative keywords in DSA campaigns.
Just like a regular search ads campaign, you can view the search terms in your Search Terms report, under Keywords, and add negatives as you see fit.
Make the most of Dynamic Search Ads
Dynamic Search Ads are still one of my favorite types of campaigns to use for full search advertising coverage, but they can be a bit finicky and require some attention to details not needed for regular search ads.
Here are those five tips for effective Dynamic Search Ads:
- Identify if your site is right for DSA campaigns
- Understand how Google/Microsoft picks your URLs
- Know how ad copy is generated for DSA campaigns
- Take steps to prevent cannibalization
- Add negative keywords
Hopefully, this article helps you make the most of your DSA campaigns by making sure you have the right setup and expectations on performance.
8 Super-Helpful AI Features in Google Ads
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in society, particularly with the widespread attention garnered by advanced AI platforms like ChatGPT in recent years. However, even before AI became a household term, it was already embedded in the fabric of digital marketing strategies through platforms like Google Ads.
Google has been a pioneer in harnessing AI to transform the advertising landscape, leveraging machine learning and automation to help businesses optimize their online presence and advertising performance.
In this article, we’ll explore helpful Google Ads AI features that can help you enhance your outcomes, forge stronger customer relationships, and deepen your marketing know-how.
Let’s delve into how these Google Ads AI features are purpose-built to amplify your success:
- AI-driven search campaigns
- Performance Max AI features
- Automatically created assets
- Conversational Experience in Google Ads
- Google Analytics 4 measurement enhancements
- Optimized targeting
- YouTube AI-powered creative tools
- App campaigns
AI features in Google Ads
Let’s take a closer look at the essential offerings that seamlessly incorporate AI to elevate your Google Ads experience.
1. AI-driven search campaigns
Leveraging the sophistication of machine learning, AI-driven search campaigns are now smarter than ever, fine-tuning bidding strategies, broadening match types, and honing ad relevance with incredible precision as it happens. This evolution means your targeting is not just effective—it’s strategic, maximizing your investment returns.
Over the years, the capabilities of broad match have significantly advanced, allowing you to refine your search ads campaigns further. By pairing broad match keywords with Smart Bidding and responsive search ads, you’re not just casting a wider net but also capturing a plethora of conversion opportunities that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks, thereby unlocking new avenues for ROI.
🛑 Want to improve your Google Ads results? Find out where to focus with a free, instant audit >> Google Ads Performance Grader
2. Performance Max AI features
By now, most digital marketers are familiar with Performance Max, a crucial tool in Google’s advertising suite. But are you fully aware of all its AI-driven features?
Performance Max stands apart for its ability to leverage the extensive range of Google’s advertising channels and resources, going beyond traditional search terms to identify opportunities for high returns on investment.
It’s engineered not just for broadening reach but for diving deep into previously unexplored audience segments and conversion opportunities.
At its core, Performance Max harnesses Google’s vast data resources to unearth potential customers who might otherwise remain hidden, tapping into new market segments and user interests. This capability is powered by sophisticated AI signals and machine learning, which analyze user behavior, preferences, and trends across the internet, offering a more nuanced and effective approach to targeted advertising.
3. Automatically created assets
This tool is a standout for enhancing search ad relevance. It crafts headlines and descriptions based on your ad’s context, like the landing page and existing ads, improving Ad Strength. Supporting multiple languages and soon integrating generative AI in the US and UK, it offers even more tailored content.
4. Conversational Experience in Google Ads
Engage in natural language conversations with Google Ads to create effective keywords and assets. Just input your website URL, and the AI suggests campaign elements, which you can modify. In beta testing for English in the US and UK, it’s a significant time-saver and a source of creative inspiration.
⚡️ Is your Google Ads account set up for success? Download now >> The Last Guide to Google Ads Account Structure You’ll Ever Need
5. Google Analytics 4 measurement enhancements
Incorporating AI, Google Analytics 4 stands as a robust measurement tool that can automatically extract insights and anticipate future consumer trends. This predictive ability is particularly valuable for advertisers looking to refine their campaigns for optimal performance and gain a more nuanced understanding of their consumer base.
To illustrate this, I’ve crafted a video detailing how reports within GA4 can effectively integrate purchase data and revenue predictions.
This resource is designed to empower advertisers with the knowledge to leverage GA4’s advanced reporting features to their fullest potential, ensuring that every campaign is backed by data-driven strategies and a clear view of expected financial outcomes.
6. Optimized targeting
Optimized targeting with AI represents a leap forward in audience solutions. It doesn’t just work with the top audiences you already know; it also harnesses signals from across Google’s entire ecosystem to direct you to new, relevant customers. These customers are selected based on their likelihood to convert, aligning with your specific campaign objectives.
Your understanding of your customer base and their value is crucial—it guides the AI to make smarter, more relevant matches. When you blend this understanding with Google’s AI capabilities, you’re not just expanding your reach; you’re also fine-tuning it for relevance, which can significantly enhance your ROI.
This synergy between your insights and Google’s technology paves the way for more efficient campaigns that don’t just aim for reach but aim for the right kind of reach.
7. YouTube AI-powered creative tools
AI-powered creative tools on platforms like YouTube are revolutionizing the way video ads are created and enhanced. This is especially relevant given the diverse ways audiences consume content. Whether it’s scrolling through Shorts, watching the latest drop from a favorite creator on the TV screen, catching an upcoming NFL game, or tuning into live events like the Oscars, YouTube is where the world watches.
In this landscape of varied viewer habits, connecting with audiences on YouTube is easier than ever. Using AI-driven tools, you can generate engaging video ads or enhance existing ones with options like trimming, flipping, and adding voiceovers. These features ensure your ads are not only high-quality but also perfectly tailored to match the viewing preferences of your audience.
You can also launch targeted video campaigns tailored to your specific goals. For instance, Video reach campaigns are great for building awareness, Video view campaigns are designed for driving consideration, and Video action campaigns are aimed at prompting action. This strategic approach, using AI-powered tools and campaign types, helps you not only reach your audience on YouTube but engage with them in the most effective and relevant ways, regardless of how they interact with the platform’s diverse content.
8. App campaigns
App campaigns, specifically tailored for mobile applications, utilize AI to streamline the promotion of apps across Google’s most prominent channels within a single campaign. They are adept at identifying and retaining high-value app users, as well as re-engaging those who already use your app.
Whether you’re marketing a retail app or rolling out a new game, App campaigns are your go-to strategy for connecting with the most valuable users. By simply setting your goals, these campaigns leverage the full might of Google AI to effectively promote your app across vast channels, all from one consolidated campaign effort.
To take this further, consider trying AI-powered solutions like App campaigns for engagement and tROAS (Target Return On Ad Spend) for ad revenue. These tools are excellent for re-engaging existing customers and exploring new avenues to grow revenue. They represent the cutting edge in digital advertising technology, enabling you to maximize both reach and profitability with unprecedented ease and efficiency.
Find the right Google Ads AI-powered feature for your business
In conclusion, the integration of AI in Google Ads represents a significant advancement for digital marketers. It multiplies your expertise, allowing you to augment your creativity and knowledge with powerful, data-driven insights.
This technology enables you to market faster and more effectively, meeting customers precisely where they are, even in the most unpredictable scenarios. Most importantly, it drives reliable and strong ROI, unlocking new avenues for growth.
By leveraging AI in your Google Ads campaigns, you’re not just keeping pace with the digital marketing landscape; you’re setting the bar higher, transforming challenges into opportunities for success and growth.
How to Get Clients for Your Agency (That You’ll Love Working With)
You can’t grow an agency if you don’t get new clients. Heck, you can’t even stay the same size, as some clients will leave eventually. And that’s why new client acquisition is always a top challenge for agencies.
AgencyAnalytics proved what most know: getting clients is a constant struggle for agencies.
What’s even harder is finding the right clients. You know, the ones your agency can make successful and that you actually enjoy working with.
That’s why we included tips in this guide that will not only help you get new clients, but also sift out the clients that aren’t a great fit (and will become a drain on your resources).
We’re focused on ad and marketing agencies here, but most of these principles will help any service provider get more amazing clients:
- Generate referrals
- Get reviews
- Network with complementary businesses
- Turn employees into ambassadors
- Share your secrets
- Present fixes to prospect’s problems
- Price properly
- Be active on social media
- Create an ideal customer profile
- Go big on social proof
- Be transparent
1. Generate referrals from past and present clients
Referrals come from happy clients that introduce your agency to new prospects. That means a referred lead already has some trust in your agency, making it one of the most valuable types of leads you can get.
The first step in generating more referrals is simply to ask for them. Reach out to current and even past clients and ask if anyone else they know could benefit from the results you’ve provided.
But to really put your new client acquisition on overdrive, take a page from other high-growth companies and create a customer referral program.
B2C companies like Hello Fresh rock customer referral programs and your agency can, too.
To get your referral program going:
- Choose the offer: Pick an incentive, like a free service or future discount, to give to clients that successfully refer a new lead.
- Make it easy: Create a simple form clients can use to refer other businesses.
- Promote your program: Remind clients during regular meetings and via email so your referral program is always top of mind.
🛑 We’re just getting started! Get this free guide and learn actionable strategies to get new clients, expand your team, and refine your agency offerings.
2. Get reviews
Reviews are like referrals on blast. A single detailed review of your services in a highly visible place like Google can influence hundreds of would-be clients. And since 88% of people say an online review is as influential as a personal recommendation, reviews are an important method to get clients.
Reviews on popular online platforms are new-client magnets.
Of course, the first step in getting great reviews is to provide great service. Assuming you have that covered, you’ll want to attract new reviews in as many ways as possible.
Here are a few tactics you can use:
- Directly ask (here’s a list of templates to ask for reviews by phone, email, and more)
- Add a link with a call to action on your website
- Hand out physical “leave us a review” card
- Include review opportunities in customer satisfaction surveys
Don’t forget to respond to reviews, since most people reading a review also see your response. It’s a chance to celebrate great reviews and rectify the less-than-flattering ones.
3. Network with complementary businesses
Other businesses in your sphere need clients, too. You can help each other out by trading referrals.
LinkedIn is an amazing place to build your professional network. Message complementary businesses and let them know you’ll look out for them if they do the same.
4. Turn employees into ambassadors
Each of your employees has a network and a sphere of influence. As they work in their field longer, their influence grows. Tap into this network by helping your employees become ambassadors for your agency.
Even if it’s just reposting content your agency creates, employees can introduce your agency to lots of new audiences.
An easy way to do this is to ask your team to post about important company milestones on their social media accounts. Maybe it’s your 100th client, 10-year anniversary, or the company retreat. Posts like this help build your brand without pushing a hard sell—something many people would be reluctant to do on their personal feeds.
Another option is to send employees to conferences. Junior team members can benefit from the educational and networking experience. Senior employees could be speakers or panelists. In either case, you’ll have people out in the field drumming up awareness for your business.
5. Share your secrets
Most people will run marketing in house before they turn to an agency. Teach people how to do it themselves, and your agency will be at the top of the list when it’s time to hire.
That may sound counter-intuitive, but some of the biggest modern businesses grew rapidly using that exact technique.
TikTok is a sleeper hit for educating prospective clients with quick, fun videos.
The good news is, there are plenty of formats and channels to educate your future clients. Without getting terribly creative, here are 10 options:
- Produce a blog (bonus points because it’ll help your SEO)
- Create a newsletter
- Speak at conferences and events
- Publish guest posts
- Be a podcast guest
- Create (or co-host) a webinar
- Share educational videos on TikTok or YouTube
- Post content on social media (especially LinkedIn!)
- Create mini-courses on your website
- Hold in-person lunch-and-learns
With a little imagination, you can probably come up with more. The goal is to pick the platforms that you’re comfortable with and that will appeal to your future clients.
6. Present fixes to prospect’s problems
This is an underrated tactic for getting new clients. Google companies in your target niche and see what their existing ad campaigns look like. Make a list of what you’d do differently, then email the company with ideas for them to improve.
This strategy works great for any type of marketing agency because advertising is, by nature, public. You can also use tools like Ahrefs or Moz to learn more about what’s working or not with your prospect’s marketing efforts.
Sure, some will take your thoughts and run with them. But many will want your help to make sure their next campaign is better.
7. Price properly
Agency pricing isn’t just about making a profit, it’s part of your brand. Let’s break this down.
Do you offer a truly a premium option with white-glove service? Then your pricing should be a little higher than your average competitor. Not just to cover the costs of the additional service, but also to signal to clients that what you do is different.
Alternatively, if your niche is helping fledgling businesses get a foothold online, and you do it at scale using automation, then your pricing might be lower. Again, it’s not just about the cost-plus-profit calculation. It’s another way to express your brand.
👋 Want to know how other agencies price their services (plus what they see as their biggest challenges)? Download the free State of the Digital Marketing Agency Report and find out.
8. Be active on social media
But here’s the thing: you can’t just be a lurker. You have to be consistently active to get the benefits of social media.
Don’t just post on social media; reply to comments on your posts and comment on other people’s posts.
Here are a few actions that’ll get you more clients quickly from social media:
- Look for hashtags relevant to your business and join those conversations
- Reply to other people’s posts
- Save your replies and expand on them to create new posts
- Reply to everyone who comments on your posts
- Fill out your profile completely (add links, professional images, and a business description)
9. Create an ideal customer profile
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a little like a buyer persona, but it focuses more on your client’s organization than just the point of contact. This works well for agencies selling to other businesses, since people change positions, but the company remains relatively the same.
Creating an ICP takes a few minutes, but the time is worthwhile. An ICP will help you find the clients that help you be more successful while filtering out those that’ll drain your agency’s resources.
Here are a few steps you can use to create a basic ICP for your agency:
- List client traits you want to have on your ICP: For agencies, it’ll be things like marketing goals, business model, company size, and industry.
- Review past clients: Where do successful and less successful clients fall in these categories?
- Create a point system: Assign points to each trait (so if your dental clients are always successful and construction clients aren’t, then dental prospects get 3 points and construction prospects get 0).
Place all of this on a spreadsheet. Then continue to refine your ICP based on the success of new clients. Over time you’ll have a foolproof way of finding the best clients for your agency.
10. Go big on social proof
We’ve already mentioned how positive reviews and referrals help you build a fast-growing agency. Social proof does the same thing, only it’s much broader and more flexible.
Splash your awards, reviews, and results all over your website.
Social proof is just about any trust signal that shows people how awesome your agency is. That can be quotes from customers, the total revenue you’ve earned clients, logos of companies you’ve helped, or awards you’ve won.
Social proof can also be long form, like customer stories or case studies.
As you gather proof that your agency is awesome, put that stuff on everything. Landing pages, emails, proposals, anywhere a potential client might learn about your business should be decorated with social proof.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of signing a new client. But it’s really important to communicate the realities of working with you at the very beginning. If the truth of what you do and how you do it scares a client away, that’ll save you a ton of headache later on (and allow that client to find the right agency for them).
Here are a few points to make clear as you’re wooing new clients:
- What you can and can’t do: If you’re a PPC expert but haven’t focused on SEO, let the client know.
- Set a communication schedule: Let your new client know they’ll get a review every month and that Fridays are off-limits.
- Set proper expectations: Tell a customer upfront that results will take a while if they’re in a heavily populated market and have a small budget.
- Don’t be afraid to say no: If a client asks for something that will not work, tell them so.
- Put everything in writing: Document each call in an email that you can refer to if there are questions later on.
You may turn a few clients away who have unrealistic expectations. But know that they’ll be back after the agency that lies to them doesn’t deliver.
Learn how to get clients faster
If you don’t have a team of dedicated, experienced business development professionals selling your agency, then you might find it difficult to keep new clients flowing through the front door.
No problem! Just remember these tips and you’ll find plenty of ways to get clients, even without a team of salespeople.
45+ Inclusive Holiday Marketing Ideas (+Examples!)
Diverse and inclusive marketing should be something you aim for year-round. However, it’s all that much more important during the holiday season as the more “traditional” holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving take the spotlight.
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating these holidays and incorporating them into your marketing, but there are other groups and events that individuals in your audience appreciate.
A marketing calendar like this can help you plan your inclusive holiday marketing.
That’s why we’ve rounded up over 40 inclusive holiday marketing ideas and examples so your business can shine bright this season.
Table of contents
Jump to inclusive marketing ideas for…
Inclusive November holiday marketing ideas & examples
To kick things off, check out these inclusion-focused marketing ideas for November:
Native American Heritage Month
If you’re hoping to incorporate Native American Heritage Month into your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts this season, you’ll be in good company as The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Insituation, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum all regularly pay homage to this November monthly observance.
Native American Heritage Month is observed annually every November, and it celebrates the contributions the first Americans made towards the growth of the United States. It also honors and reflects on the struggles indigenous American people have endured.
National Day of Mourning
A historically accurate description of Thanksgiving would include the reality of its damaging impact on Native American people, which is why we have the National Day of Mourning every year on Thanksgiving—to remind us of the pain Native American people have gone through, and still may be feeling today.
Here are some ideas for ways your business can pay its respects to Native American Heritage Month as well as the National Day of Mourning:
- Amplify the voices of Native Americans by handing off your Instagram account to a Native American in your community for a day-long “takeover.” They can then go live on your stories or share posts about what Native American Heritage month means to them.
- Loop Native American Heritage month and the National Day of Mourning into your Thanksgiving messaging by sharing more concious content around the holiday’s impact on Native American people.
- Check out the free Native American Heritage Month resources on the U.S. Small Business Administration website. There you can find statistics to share, lists of Native American-Owned businesses to partner with, and more.
- Spread awareness using a social media hashtag. The official hashtag for Native American Heritage Month is #NAHM.
National Adoption Month
There is always a lot of messaging around family during the holiday season, which makes it particularly important to stay mindful of those with non-traditional families. National Adoption Month, celebrated every November to bring awareness to children in foster care, provides an opportunity for this. Here are some ways to incorporate it into your holiday marketing campaigns:
- Avoid using traditional parent roles in your holiday copywriting, like “mom” and “dad” which may make your audience members who don’t have that type of parental figure feel excluded.
- Adjust your content to be more sensitive to those with different family structures. For example, instead of promoting an event as a “family fun day,” try “friends and family fun day” or “festival fun day.”
- Highlight a superstar adoption story in your business’s community. If you have an employee, friend, or community member who was part of an adoption process, ask to share their story to showcase how they inspire your business during this month and beyond.
- Raise awareness about adoption within minority groups. For example, did you know that adoptions done by LGBTQ+ couples only became legal in all 50 states just a few years ago in 2017?
❤Find the right words for your inclusive holiday marketing copy using our free guide to emotional copywriting complete with over 130 words and phrases for marketing with emotion.
Day of the Dead (November 1-2)
Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday that honors the soulds of the deceased. It’s a two-day celebration that starts every year on November 1 and carries into November 2. This colorful and fun holiday is believed to open the passageway between the real world and the spirit world in traditional Mexican culture, so many people of Mexican descent feel they can connect with their loved ones who have passed during this time.
Nearly 20% of the U.S. population is of Mexican heritage, so you’ll likely have audience members who celebrate Day of the Dead. Make your Mexican audience members feel included in your holiday marketing with these ideas and examples:
- Share fun facts or hold a virtual trivia event centered around Day of the Dead to spread the word about the holiday’s traditions.
- Decorate your store or office with traditional Day of the Dead skulls, flowers, and more. Be sure to snap a picture of your temporarily updated decor so you can share it on your company website or social media platforms.
- Honor those who have passed. Have you or an employee ever lost a friend or loved one you’d like to commemorate? Day of the Dead is the perfect opportunity to do so! You could share their story on social media to give your audience a more personalized perspective of your business.
Forget-Me-Not Day (November 10)
Having been around since World War I, Forget-Me-Not Day happens annually on November 10 — right before Veteran’s Day on November 11. Forget-Me-Not Day is meant to honor and remember wounded soldiers who have become disabled due to their time fighting for our freedom.
The number of veterans who carry the weight of service-related physical and mental hardships is very high. In fact, counting only wars from 2001 and beyond still amounts to about 1.5 million veterans in America with a service-connected disability. While wounded veterans should be remembered every day, here’s how your marketing can honor them on Forget-Me-Not Day:
- Donate your time, resources, or (if your marketing budget allows) money to a local Veteran’s organization or shelter.
- Be mindful of your veteran (and civilian) customers who have a disability by focusing on your website accessibility. Take time to ensure your site is easy to navigate regardless of what assistance someone might need. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this complete website accessibility checklist.
Women Entrepreneurs Day (November 19)
Only four out of every ten entrepreneurs in the U.S. are women. Women Entrepreneurs Day, occurring annually on November 19, aims to change that.
This inclusive holiday is much needed, as America is still far behind other countries in terms of women entrepreneurs. In comparison, women represent 50% of entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Here’s how your business can make an impact with this holiday:
- Share surprising statistics about women entrepreneurs through an email marketing campaign or social media post. These are sure to engage your audience while spreading awareness. You can find plenty of diversity, equity, and inclusion in marketing statistics here.
- Partner with a woman-owned business. You could cross-promote one another in-store or online, and offer samples or discounts on each other’s offerings.
- Support the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization. Also known as WEDO, this organization acts as a hub for Women Entrepreneurs Day. On its site you’ll find many ways to elevate your marketing for the day, including events you can attend, ways to donate, custom hashtags, surprising statistics, inspiring stories, and more!
Transgender Day of Rememberance (November 20)
Transgender Day of Rememberance occurs annually on November 20 to honor and remember transgender people who lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence. It started in 1998 in memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was stabbed in Allston, Massachusetts that same year.
This inclusive holiday is important to acknowledge because, sadly, these acts of violence are still occuring as 2020 was the most violent year on record for transgender people. Your business can become a transgender ally on Transgender Rememberance Day and beyond with these ideas:
- Donate or volunteer to a local LGBTQ+ organization.
- Spread awareness and acceptance by openly sharing your allyship on your website, social media, local listings, and more.
- If you have an employee, family member, friend, or community member who is openly transgender you could ask their permission to highlight their story in an email send or social post.
- Amplify transgender voices by resharing public speeches, posts, and more from transgender people. You could even handing off your “mic” by allowing a transgender person in your business’s community to do a social media takeover.
Inclusive December holiday marketing ideas and examples
Rosa Parks Day (December 1)
Rosa Parks Day is celebrated twice annually, once on December 1 and once on February 4. This inclusive holiday is to, of course, honor civil rights hero and leader Rosa Parks.
The Rosa Parks story is one no American citizen can forget, as she bravely did not give up her seat to a white passenger after a long day of work on December 1, 1955. This action jumpstarted the Montgomery Bus Boycott organized by E.D. Nixon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders at the time. Here’s how your business can observe Rosa Parks Day:
- Encourage your audience to educate themselves on Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement by sharing with them your favorite books around the era. For example, Rosa Parks herself wrote a couple of books, including Rosa Parks: My Story and Quiet Strength: The Faith, The Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation.
- Partner with a black-owned business in your community and run a joint campaign themed around civil rights and standing up (or sitting down) for what you believe in.
- Run a Rosa Parks-themed giveaway. There is a Rosa Parks museum at Troy University in Alabama. You could entice your audience to enter to win free tickets to the museum or do a full-on sweepstake by offering a complete trip to tour the museum.
Human Rights Day (December 10)
Inclusivity means making sure all types of people feel like they belong, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, etc. That’s why Human Rights Day (occurring on December 10 each year) is the perfect holiday to incorporate into your inclusive marketing this season.
Human Rights Day was created by the UN in 1948 to proclaim the rights everyone is entitled to as a human being “regardless race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” Show your audience you support the rights of all people with these Human Rights Day marketing ideas:
- Attend a human rights event and share a recap of your experience with your audience to inspire them to do the same. There are plenty of political summits, cultural conferences, and more held on Human Rights Day, so simply being present at an event in your community can spread awareness and inspiration.
- Create a shareable, public playlist of your favorite songs about human rights. There are plenty of inspiring songs your audience will want to listen to, so you could simply build a quick list on a platforms like Pandora, Spotify, Soundcloud, and more. Be sure to include your business name in your playlist’s title so that your audience will think of your brand as they listen. As a bonus, you could have the playlist play for the day in your store or office, and share a quote from one of your top songs on social media.
Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration. The dates of Hannukah change each year as it starts on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. Hanukkah traditions include lighting a menorah, exchanging gifts, and enjoying cultural cuisine like latkes (potato pancakes). Over 5% of Americans celebrate Hannukah, so here’s how your business can take part:
- The best part of any holiday? The food! Try sharing a traditional Hanukkah recipe on various marketing channels.
- If you’re decorating your office or store for Christmas, stay mindful of those who celebrate Hanukkah as well by including a menorah, dreidels, and more in your display.
- Use our Hanukkah Instagram captions for post inspiration.
- Play off the eight days of Hanukkah by writing a blog post or email that shares eight tips or eight top products for your audience to check out.
Speaking of email, do you have your annual holiday customer appreciation email written? If not (or even if you do), don’t miss our heartfelt holiday email templates.
Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1)
Kwanzaa is a seven-day African American holiday that occurs annually from December 26 to January 1. Each day of the celebration is dedicated to the following seven cultural principles: unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Work the values of Kwanzaa into your inclusive holiday marketing plan with these ideas:
- Focus on one of the seven Kwanzaa principles and share with your audience how your business strives to embody it. For example, you could incorporate unity or collective responsibility into your video marketing strategy by giving your audience a behind-the-scenes look at the teamwork of your employees.
- As you decorate your store or office for Christmas and Hanukkah, be sure to include Kwanzaa as well. For example, each day of Kwanzaa requires one of seven candles to be lit — which are in an arrangement called a Kinara. You could add a Kinara to your decor, or include other Kwanzaa decorations like traditional African crops such as ears of dried corn and more.
- Try out any of these Kwanzaa Instagram captions.
- Add a twist to one of your products or offerings and refresh it for the Kwanzaa season by changing its name or colors.
Inclusive January holiday marketing ideas and examples
Some of the “bigger” holidays may be over by the time January comes around, but there are still plenty of diverse holidays you can leverage in your inclusive marketing strategy this month:
National Braille Literacy Month
January is Braille Literacy Month because Louie Braille, the creator of the braille system, was born in January. This monthly observance is meant to bring awareness to those who are visually impaired. Here’s how your business can take part in National Braille Literacy Month:
- Audit your website for visual accessibility features and optimize where you can to cater to your visually impaired audience members.
- Share fun facts about the braille system to entertain your audience while spreading awareness of the need for braille literacy. For example, did you know that Braille is primarily created by just six dots? And, there are separate codes used for music, math, walkways, and more!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day occurs on the third Monday of every January to commemorate his birthday on January 15. It’s no secret that Dr. King played one of the most impactful roles in American history as he helped lead the civil rights movement. In fact, this holiday is also often called Civil Rights Day, since Dr. King had such an influence on the civil rights movements during the 1950’s, 1960’s, and beyond. Dr. King’s legacy still resonates today as we continue to strive for equality across the nation. Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with these ideas:
- Share an inspiring story or quote from Dr. King’s life to celebrate his work with your audience.
- Lead by example by embodying Dr. King’s principle of peaceful protest. Is there a cause in your community or industry that you feel passionate about? Hold a peaceful in-person or virtual event to discuss the topic with your brand’s community members.
National Religious Freedom Day (January 16)
National Religious Freedom Day is celebrated each year on January 16 because the Statute for Religious Freedom was signed on January 16, 1786. This statute created the base for the core principles our country still stands by to this day, and guaranteed freedom to practice any desired religion is one of the privelages Americans rely on. Show how your business cares this holiday season by implementing these Religious Freedom Day marketing ideas:
- If you’re using stock photos on your website, social media, Google Ads campaigns, and other marketing materials, try to ensure you’re using diverse visuals to embrace religious freedom. For example, you might try to include images of women wearing hijabs, or men wearing kippahs or yarmulkes. We share more tips on inclusivity in advertising here.
- Join a National Religious Freedom Day online discussion to share the religion you practice and encourage your audience to do the same. If you don’t currently practice any religion, that’s okay too! Acknowledging the norm that everyone’s religious journey (or lack thereof) is different will be the point of this inclusive marketing idea. Plus, you’ll be building your brand community as you foster an open discussion with your audience.
- Educate your audience on their religious freedom rights by sharing out resources on laws and regulations relating to religious freedom.
💡 Make the most of these inclusive marketing holidays with our guide to the 30 best ways to promote your business year-round.
International Day of Acceptance (January 20)
International Day of Acceptance is fairly new as it was established back in 2010. It was created to foster social acceptance for those with disabilities. International Day of Acceptance happens every year on January 20 and reminds us that people should feel comfortable to be who they are regardless of their varying abilities. Here are some inclusive holiday marketing ideas you can leverage on this day and beyond to make your audience feel more accepted:
- Promote a new product or service offering that’s tailored to the needs of those with disabilities.
- Share helpful resources for your customers to educate themselves on disabilities, acceptance, and allyship.
- Spread the word of this inclusive holiday on social media with the hashtag #dayofacceptance and implement the symbol of acceptance (a wheelchair intertwined with a heart) in your creative elements.
Chinese New Year
Many people assume the holiday festivities end on December 31, but the Chinese New Year keeps the celebrations going since it happens shortly after, between January 21 and February 20 depending on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The public holiday will last for seven days, but celebrations can go on for 16 days.
Try out these Chinese New Year celebration ideas:
- Share the Chinese zodiac chart on your website or social media so that your audience can check out what their own chinese zodiac would be. For example, 2023 will be the year of the rabbit. Perhaps it will be a special year for some of your customers whose birth year aligns with the rabbit!
- Use our New Year’s Instagram captions to publish engaging and thought-provoking posts.
- Partner with a local Chinese-owned business and offer a special deal to patrons of both your businesses during Chinese New Year.
Make your holiday marketing more inclusive this year
It’s super important to recognize beliefs and perspectives other than our own and to give a voice to minority groups—and clearly, there are endless ways you can demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusion during the holiday season. So be sure to use these inclusive marketing ideas and examples as inspiration to ignite your own holiday promotions.
To recap, here are the holidays and observances we covered:
- Native American Heritage Month
- National Adoption Month
- Day of the Dead (November 1-2)
- Forget-Me-Not Day (November 10)
- Women Entrepreneurs Day (November 19)
- Transgender Day of Rememberance (November 20)
- Rosa Parks Day (December 1)
- Human Rights Day (December 10)
- Hanukkah (changes annually)
- Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1)
- National Braille Literacy Month
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15)
- National Religious Freedom Day (January 16)
- International Day of Acceptance (January 20)
- Chinese New Year (changes annually)
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