- Get yourself prepared.
You know yourself that Christmas shoppers often fall into two camps. Team prepared and team last minute. I personally fall right into team prepared, almost edging into team far too eager, because I like to buy or make gifts that won’t become clutter in a few years, but still have a lot of thought put into them.
This means I often need to research something to make or buy way before Christmas to make sure I have the time to craft it, or the time to get it shipped. Therefore, you need to be aware as a brand or organisation that individuals are Christmas shopping, or at least looking for good ideas, way before the holiday season.
I would advise that you have a plan in place at least twelve weeks before as a minimum. Know what your campaign is, highlight what you want to sell, know when you are going to post and where, and keep tracking it!
- Christmas Emails
A really good way to let your audience know what you have on offer over the festive season is to email them to keep them updated and interested.
Have free shipping available for loyal customers, email them and let them know with a link across to your site!
Want to make people aware of a festive campaign you are running? Send them a festive themed email and get them hyped. If you are doing an advent calendar give away, count down to it each week and remind them of the great gifts you have in store for them to buy.
If you have a popular item that is running low in stock and want to let people know, send them an email and make sure you tell them that there’s just a few left at a certain price. It will encourage them to buy now whilst they still have a chance.
- Christmas Competitions
This is the perfect time of the year to run your biggest and best competition. No matter what your budget is, think about what you can offer your customers to draw them to your site and to engage with your brand over the holiday season. Plus, the marketing is free if you are using social media to promote it!
Some ideas for a Christmas Competition can include:
- Advent Calendar Giveaways. Give something away each day as part of a ‘12 days of Christmas’ giveaway. If you are a hairdresser, make a Christmas Party YouTube hair tutorial each day and share it. If you are a retailer, have a new offer each day such as free shipping or 30% off.
- Get people to share their traditions and pick one to win a prize. For example, if you are a restaurant, get people to share their Christmas recipes and photos with you and you can pick one to add to your Winter menu and give them a gift voucher to eat with you over the festive season! This will increase engagement, and get your customers involved in your brand.
- Make festive free printables. If you are a design company, why not make free printables for the festive season such as banners, posters or labels for homemade jams and mulled wine? People will come to your site, love your work and maybe even commission you for something more personal!
- Look to the experts!
Each year, there are certain brands and organisations that have outstanding festive social media campaigns. If you need inspiration, look to the experts!
John Lewis – John Lewis are the masters of Christmas marketing, and recently they have been winning at social media marketing too! Apparently, this year they will be spending more than ever on social media marketing. Not surprising when they now use YouTube and social platforms to release their much anticipated Christmas Advert (I don’t know anyone who didn’t love Monty the Penguin from 2014). Gone are the days of waiting to see it between your favourite prime time shows. The big retail stores have switched to social, and so should you.
Coca Cola – Remember last year when people looked out for the Coca Cola truck and lined up to have their photo taken with it in their local area? What a great viral marketing campaign this was. People were tweeting their pictures with the truck and #HolidaysareComing hashtag in their thousands. We no longer wait for the iconic Cola advert to know Christmas is coming, we use social media.
- Involve your customers
Get people to be sharing your content, by making them excited about what you are doing, and involving them in the process.
Great a custom hashtag for your brand, such as #LyndsayGrantsAWish and get people to tell you their Christmas wishes for 2016. Then, choose a few, and make them happen.
How about you ask people to design your corporate Christmas Card or write your adverts theme song. By involving people and taking their content on board, you engage with your customers on a whole new level.
- Think where people are looking socially at Christmas
Where do you go to for present ideas, Christmas party outfits or favourite festive recipes? I personally go to Pinterest and so do a lot of people within my ‘demographic’. Therefore I know that I will probably reach a lot of women in their mid-twenties who like to cook and craft if I post a pin of my product on Pinterest.
You need to be aware of what people use to find gift ideas, and then make sure you are visible there! Instagram festive fashion choices for your followers to like and buy. Use YouTube for tutorials on how to cook your winter recipe of choice.
Research your demographic, and put your brand in front of their feeds!
Topshop did it fantastically last year. They created a competition across Pinterest where they got people to Pin their favourite Topshop items onto a Board, with the hashtag #DearTopshop. They then chose boards that looked great and gifted the creator with £500 for an in-store shopping spree.
Think outside the box this Christmas, and get your audience involved.
- Track and Analyse
If you are putting in all this effort and time to drive up winter sales, you need to know what kind of ROI you are getting from your digital marketing campaigns.
Track your posts, and see who they are reaching, if people are engaging, and if they click through.
Know what is working, and what is not, and use the formula to keep having the same online success.
Make sure you use different platforms own in-built analytics tools to get a good overview of what you are posting in addition to Google Analytics and Tags Manager. They can often give you a deeper insight into what in particular is working on that platform and who it is specifically reaching.
I hope that you have fun with, and most importantly make some great returns, with your winter
Download and share this handy seven step reminder for digital marketing this Christmas.
marketing campaigns this year!
Just remember, most people like to be marketed to by a ‘human’ not a corporation, so keep those campaigns fun and festive and make them as personalised as possible.