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8 Effective Ways to Boost Religious Holiday Marketing in 2023

Global trends, celebrity hype, new technology, and even ecological, social, and economic calamities cannot overshadow people’s excitement and anticipation for holidays, especially religious ones. In the US alone, nearly all Christians (96%) and non-Christians (81%) celebrate Christmas. Therefore, many brands take advantage of major religious holidays to test new marketing strategies to increase awareness, engagement, and sales.

To help you leverage these holidays, here’s a marketing calendar of the world’s most important religious celebrations, as well as eight ways to boost your holiday marketing. Plus, you’ll learn what to avoid during a holiday marketing campaign. Continue reading to find out more!

A religious holiday marketing calendar


Date: April 9 (Catholic Easter), April 16 (Orthodox Easter)

Religion: Christianity

Significance: one of the largest and most important Christian holidays, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Observances: church services, family gatherings, Easter egg decoration, Easter egg hunt, giving gifts.

Eid al-Fitr

Date: April 21–22

Religion: Islam

Significance: the first of Islam’s two canonical holidays. It marks the end of the holy month-long fasting of Ramadan.

Observances: communal prayers, family gatherings, charity events, gift showers.


Date: May 5

Religion: Buddhism

Significance: one of the most important Buddhist holidays, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as Buddha.

Observances: worships, dances, parades, processions, meditations, theatrical performances.

Eid al-Adha

Date: June 28–July 2

Religion: Islam

Significance: the second and the bigger of Islam’s two canonical holidays. It marks the culmination of the hajj (pilgrimage).

Observances: the sacrifice of a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo, or camel; prayers; family gatherings; exchanging gifts.

Rosh Hashanah

Date: September 15–17

Religion: Judaism

Significance: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, one of the two High Holy Days in Judaism. It begins a ten-day period of penitence ending with Yom Kippur.

Observances: prayers, family gatherings, eating symbolic foods, blowing a shofar.

Yom Kippur

Date: September 24–25

Religion: Judaism

Significance: one of the holiest Jewish holidays and one of Judaism’s two High Holy Days. On Yom Kippur, Jews seek atonement for their sins and peace with God.

Observances: fasting, prayers, confessions.


Date: December 7–15

Religion: Judaism

Significance: Hanukkah is an eight-day festival of lights that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BC.

Observances: lighting candles, family gatherings, eating special holiday foods, playing a dreidel, exchanging gifts.


Date: December 25 (Catholic Christmas), January 7 (Orthodox Christmas)

Religion: Christianity

Significance: the most important Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Observances: gift-giving, family gatherings, feasting, festive decorations.

What to avoid during a holiday marketing campaign

Since many holidays have religious or cultural value for those who celebrate them, misusing them may jeopardize your brand’s reputation and negatively impact sales. Therefore, avoid using religious imagery, metaphors, and references to promote something contrary to a belief or practice, such as gambling, alcohol, or sex toys. Also, be very careful about your messages to your target audience. Always test your advertising on focus groups with different genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds, as well as double-check your visuals and texts.

8 ways to boost your religious holiday marketing

Determine which holidays are important to your target audience

To start with, do your research on holidays that are relevant to the markets you operate in and the target audiences your business serves. You can run a survey among your regular customers to find out which holidays they find most important, and whether they think it is appropriate for a brand to leverage religious topics in their marketing efforts.

After that, determine which holidays are important to your brand based on your marketing budget. Focusing on smaller events and campaigns may help you cover more holidays throughout the year. Also, there may be less competition. Conversely, you can only cover major holidays. In this case, the chances of attracting more customers are higher. However, the competition is fiercer there as well.

Adjust your content calendar

Once you’ve identified the priority holidays you want to focus on, add them to your content calendar. However, when planning your holiday marketing campaigns, schedule them ahead of time rather than over the holiday. Usually, people spend these days with their family and friends. As a result, online traffic is lower than usual, and your company won’t spend money on ads that will go unnoticed.

Create easy-to-share campaigns

Every brand must ensure its content is easily shareable when creating new marketing campaigns. It is crucial because easy-to-share content:

  • Increases brand awareness;
  • Strengthens the brand’s authority;
  • Boosts engagement.

You can make your content useful or entertaining. If the content you post is helpful (infographics, case studies, listicles, reviews, videos), users are more likely to share it with their friends. You can also gain organic backlinks from reputable media and blogs, as well as mentions of your company in videos of opinion leaders and influencers. Entertaining content (GIFs, animations, memes, TikToks) usually evokes positive emotions and creates positive associations with your brand. You can take advantage of user-generated content as well. It requires no cost on your part and increases trust between the customer and the brand.

To make your content shareable, make it visual with catchy headlines and simple language. Many studies have shown that people perceive visual content better and share it more often compared to other forms of content. Also, make sure you have share buttons that are visible and easily accessible.

If you are looking for high-quality and affordable audiovisual content for your religious holiday marketing campaigns, check out stock content platforms like Depositphotos. You’ll find rich collections of thematic visuals for your marketing efforts there. For example, you can browse to download Buddha stock images for the Vesak holiday.

Diversify your brand’s online communication channels

You’ll be able to reach your target audience in the places where they spend the majority of their online time if you diversify your online marketing channels. Moreover, using multiple marketing channels can help you fill a vacant niche on the platform that your competitors are missing. Diversifying communication channels also decreases risks and dependency on a single channel, which might change its algorithms, policies, or advertising costs.

When developing a new marketing campaign, always tailor your content and messaging for each channel. It would be best to test content to see activity and engagement patterns, as well as differences in customer purchasing power.

Create a unified experience across all channels

When creating a marketing campaign that spans multiple communication channels, you need to ensure that people get a seamless and consistent user experience regardless of where they see your content. To deliver a great shopping experience, unify your brand voice, image, proposition, and overall messaging across all channels. These actions can help boost customer loyalty and sales.

Prepare relevant offers and discounts

During the holiday season, one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year, some people want to purchase gifts for their friends and family, while others want to treat themselves. As a result, most businesses plan holiday promotions and discounts to boost sales. You should do the same to stay competitive and thank your loyal consumers. This way, you can get additional sales, clear out inventory, and make room for new products.

Depending on your product or service and business style, you may plan in-app or in-store sales. Additionally, provide your customers with holiday packaging and competitive delivery options to make your company more appealing to potential consumers looking to send a gift to loved ones.

Run a giveaway or contest

Looking for cost-effective marketing methods? Run a giveaway or contest. People love to get presents, especially around the holidays. This way, you can engage with and reward your loyal customers, as well as attract new followers and leads.

Make your giveaway or contest festive to match the holiday theme; all while keeping it relevant to your company and product. Decide on the scale based on your giving abilities and the size of your team. When it comes to the task, think of something that will engage existing customers and get new followers who may become regular customers in the future.

Simple tasks include leaving a comment, tagging a friend, sharing a post, creating a hashtag, or writing a caption. Complex tasks include creative submissions, ranging from the best thematic photo, costume, or make-up to the best artwork, video, or audio track. Alternatively, you can challenge your followers to solve a riddle or play a multi-level puzzle game. To increase engagement, invite your followers to vote for the winner in the finale.

Sponsor an event

If you don’t have any expertise in organizing contests or don’t have enough people on your team, you can sponsor an event or competition. Sponsoring other businesses’ contests can allow you to engage with potential consumers more deeply over the holiday season, as well as enhance brand recognition and introduce your brand to new audiences. You can, for example, sponsor Christmas carol writing contests or Easter egg hunts.

Wrapping up

Be consistent in your marketing efforts to get positive results and connect with your audiences more effectively. Use this marketing calendar and follow the tips on boosting your religious holiday marketing to create an omnichannel presence, increase brand awareness, engage customers, and drive sales.