As we fast approach the Christmas holidays we believe that it is never too late to add some sparkle to your seasonal marketing. Even if you haven’t the time or experience to implement these over the next few weeks – you have approximately 52 weeks left to get ready for the next one.
Every year we can count on a few seasonal stalwarts: decorations will be up earlier than the previous year (people will be complaining about this), the John Lewis ad and Christmas FM will single the real start to the festive season and the Miracle on 34th Street movie will start showing on TV.
What is changing slightly, though, is the effect of the internet on shopping habits and behaviours.
The over-riding message of this post will be that it is really important for small business owners to boost their efforts during this hectic season of impulse buying. The rest of this post will offer 28 activities you can start, continue, or consider for next year. In fact, most of them are transferable to other holiday seasons also.
Seasonal marketing lends itself to much more than just SEO and advertising. People are usually happier and appear more open to interacting with brands. These interactions may be through channels such as social media, on-site reviews, blog comments and video feedback.
Because buying behaviour is different around this time of year, driven by festive cheer and promotions (discounts and special offers), – a simple seasonal marketing plan therefore, might include some or all of the following:
– A festive-themed landing page to promote an offer / attract the Christmas audience
– A PPC campaign that has identified keywords from your clients rather than popular festive ones
– Branded video content that will encourage positive comments from browsers (or sales)
– Email and social media activity to generate a buzz around your brand (share discounts)
– Joint marketing activity with regular activity you have planned (use search & social data)
Before we continue with the tips, however, we have two recommendations. Our first one is to check out what worked, online, for you last year. Google Analytics is a great tool for determining which channels were responsible for most of your sales. They can even reveal how your customers found you.
Our second recommendation is that right now you should review your budget. If you have budgeted a specific amount for seasonal marketing – check if you’re on track. If not, don’t worry – you might still be able to put aside a small amount to do some of the activities listed below.
Whatever activity you pursue, though, it must serve to attract traffic to your website / outlet, generate sales and/or enhance your brand.
Whatever seasonal marketing activity you pursue, it must serve to attract traffic to your website / outlet, generate sales and/or enhance your brand.Click to tweet
Make your Seasonal Marketing Smarter and Wonderful this Year
- Think about the content you share. It is a time of joy and goodwill. Relax your tone, have a bit of fun and go off-piste with your content (if you dare).
- Share seasonal content with your audience e.g. useful seasonal tips get shared the most.
- Spread a bit of holiday spirit in your campaign – relax the sales pitch (e.g. John Lewis)
- Change you visuals graphics to be more seasonal – especially for smartphones
- Organise a (brand-relevant) Christmas competition e.g. share a funny Christmas jumper pic
- Include a specific Christmas offer in your content (free shipping, BOGOF, special discount)
Digital Marketing :
Increasingly, shoppers have begun to rely on online shopping and this year looks no different. With such growth in online shopping, the number of ways your business has to reach people has increased significantly. Try these ideas to differentiate your business:
- Offer a gift messaging service – allow recipients know when the gift is en route
- Use your data base to personalise messages via SMS to customers
- Set-up push notifications to reach people when they are shopping
- Produce and share gift guides e.g. videos, flipbooks and segment into categories
- Use seasonal emojis in your messaging
- Use geo-location (beacons) to offer deals when customers are close by
- Ensure that your website has a responsive design (check here)
- Integrate your social media promotions across all channels you use
- Make use of seasonal hashtags (try hashtagify)
- Make sure your business address, directions and opening hours are correct
- Offer live support on your website (try drift.)
Use your imagination when engaging your customers, be it online or offline. Get people excited about Christmas and your brand. As competition increases around Christmas like no other holiday, don’t miss the opportunity to really engage with your audience through smarter marketing.
Tips and ideas to boost your seasonal marketing
Almost any organisation can add a bit of seasonal sparkle to their branding. If there is a small cost, well we reckon it can be justified as a renewable resource year on year. Spread sparkle on such things as social media profiles, header images, emails, online ads and of course eCards. In addition to the tips outlined above, here are 12 others that might help boost your activity:
- Remember – don’t skimp on the decorations (use brand colours if possible)
- Reward social media friends / followers with exclusive seasonal discounts
- Use a specific theme for a campaign e.g. tips over 12 days of Christmas
- Place your print catalogue / book / holiday brochure online and share ideas
- Check your campaigns / SEO for keywords that reflect your seasonal campaign
- Use remarketing and create a sense of urgency in your advertising
- Get involved with a charity campaign locally (host a fundraising event)
- Distribute exclusive offers to customers that have downloaded your app (if applicable)
- Form a group to promote the local community
- Get branded Christmas cards, sign them personally and send to customers
- Provide free chocolate samples and have gift cards available at cashpoints
- Provide gift wrapping and tagging beside impulse buy points in store
It is never too late to add some sparkle to your seasonal marketing. In this post, we provided business owners with 28 practical tips on how to boost their marketing activity this Christmas. Many of the tips will work for all types of organisations and if not perhaps it is time to start planning for 2017.
Our last tip is to make sure you load up your Spotify app (O’C&K has no affiliation) with suitable music. Although there are many playlists available for the special day – how about collaborating with the family and create a fresh one to suit all tastes.
“Thank you for reading our blog post today – we wish you Season’s Greetings and a Prosperous 2017″ – Aidan & Jim.
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