It is that time of year again. The trees are going up and the seasonal music is starting to play – The Christmas spirit is has arrived! This can only mean one thing, all the seasonal campaigns are arriving. Business both large and small will usually have a running campaign at this time of year, and so it can seem hard trying to compete, especially if you are only a tiny business and your budget is small. Just try and remember, these seasonal campaigns are worth the cost! Christmas is the perfect opportunity to engage with your consumer base: Boosting your traffic; connecting with your email database; and certainly increasing those sales. Engage and help your audience at this time of year and they are more likely to give back – Think highly useful content marketing. Here at Ginger, we are going to be giving you 12 useful tips that might help give you some extra inspiration this Christmas – Tips that you can carry through for years to come! Similar to “The 12 Days of Christmas”, read and use some or all of these tips to help push your festive campaign – Suitable for businesses both large and small. These tips will hopefully give you some extra inspiration. P.S – Make sure you keep an eye out on our social media throughout the whole of December!
1. ADD A TOUCH OF FESTIVITY TO YOUR BRANDING
Probably one the simplest and most obvious things that you can do is to add a touch of festivity to your branding. This tip can be as simple as adding a Santa hat to your social media profile pictures and logo – Something easy and minimal that doesn’t take long to do, but your customers will love! This change in logo will spark conversations, along with people looking into doing their Christmas shopping with you, even if they might not have thought about it before. The great thing about this tip is that the same branding can be used for a large period of time – Throughout the whole of the festive season, both online and offline. You can even use the same or slightly updated graphics for years to come! Before designing this branding, just keep in mind who your target audience is and how they might react to such changes – You don’t want to be adding cartoon style festive characters to your branding if this is going to ruin the positive relationships with your consumer base that you have worked so hard to build, along with your brand recognition. In this case, less is definitely more! Just have fun with your branding and experiment with new ideas that might come to mind. You could keep one image throughout the season, or instead change regularly – Especially on social media, changing your profile image and headers will really grab the attention of your audience. This can also be used within your: Email campaigns; Website; Greetings cards and more. Carrying the same throughout all these platforms is perfect if you also have running seasonal promotions. To end, as we have said before, these festive touches can be used for future years, and so don’t worry too much about the cost involved in this process.
2. SHARE REGULAR SEASONAL UPDATES
“80% of your content should add value to your customers lives, and only 20% should be about promoting your business, services or products.” This is the usual rule for all content marketing – Both blog posts & social media posts. However, these rules can be bent slightly over the festive period, Your regular posts can still add value to the lives of your audience, however having more of a seasonal focus which is relevant, instead of being too promotional: Beauty salons can share tips about the go-to looks for the party season; restaurants can share their favourite and most popular festive recipes; and gyms can share advice on how to stay fit and healthy whilst still having fun during the holiday period. Towards the end of the year, it is also relevant to share key points with your audience: Popular products; New trends and styles; The go to piece of clothing etc. There is never a shortage of topics that can be discussed with customers over Christmas.
3. GIVE BACK TO YOUR SOCIAL FANS
Many brands will find that their social media followers are their best brand ambassadors, being highly engaged customers. However, this all depends on the type of audience you are targetting. If this is indeed the case for your brand, why not thank them, holding competitions or releasing offers only on your social media platforms? Although digital coupons do tend to work the best for online stores, brands can still offer printable coupons that are promoted solely on social media – The choice is yours! A landing page could be created with these selected offers, however still only being promoted on social platforms. This doesn’t have to be limited to social media, the brand website can be used to promote alongside this, However, I would say that making your social influencers feel appreciated should be made a priority, especially during the Christmas period. If you show that you appreciate your fans and followers, then they are more likely to stay loyal customers, leading to positive word of mouth because of this.
4. RUN A FESTIVE EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN & ADD A FESTIVE SPARK TO YOUR
EMAIL SUBJECT LINES
Wanting to boost your email marketing strategy? The festive season is the perfect time for this! You have the opportunity to create a highly focused campaign, highlighting specific offers and sharing relevant information that is going to be important to your customers during the holiday season – Change in opening hours and new products launching being examples. An advent calendar or any countdown to Christmas themed campaign tend to be the most popular and most fitting for this. These create a sense of urgency among customers, having only a limited time to grab these offers. If you are a smaller business, the emphasis should be on showcasing products that you might not be able to purchase in generic high street stores or large retailers – Make yourself stand out from the crowd! Highlight specific items or offer a general discount, throughout the whole brand or location specific – The choice is yours. Any type of promotion will drive the all important traffic to your site. Most of these deals are suitable for brands small and large, using email, social, print an online as part of the overall campaign. The festive season is the perfect time to experiment with fun and catchy subject lines for your email marketing campaign. These should stand out from the crowd, encouraging your subscribers to open and read the message. Even though this may seem like a fairly straightforward tip, planning is defiantly going to be needed. Over the holiday season, along with you, your competitors will also be increasing their marketing efforts, as they too desperately want to capture the wanted attention of customers. Creativity is the key here if you are going to capture your audience, however do not be too vague about what is in the message itself – You have the chance to be specific about what you are truly wanting to sell, for example:
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12 Days of PERFECT Gifts is Here! Shop Now!
5. SWITCH TO SEASONAL & PRODUCT SPECIFIC ADVERTISING
It is going to be natural for most brands to focus on Christmas within their advertising efforts as the festive time of year draws closer, alongside other campaigns that might be running. However, it might be smart to hide these campaigns – Those that focuses on brand awareness for example, favouring ones that: Showcase all your festive specific products and offers; Promotes your brand as the number one shopping destination for Christmas; & ones that will drive sales specifically, cutting down on brand awareness at this time of the year. When continuing with online advertisements, it is particularly important at this time of year that they all link to a specially designed landing page. By doing this, customers can immediately buy the product/service that has been advertised, without clicking off during the process. This can also easily be combined with the advertising of gift guides, promoting either whole collections or individual products needing to be pushed. This is the perfect idea for any brand that has a website. You do not need to have an online store like you would think, just always pushing for customers to visit your website. With this, adaptations such as Google AdWords and social media are perfect combinations to help with the advertising process.
6. CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY
Incorporating a countdown into your festive advertisements is probably the best way to create a sense of urgency among customers – You can even include a countdown within your Google Adwords campaign! You can use this countdown idea, or advent calendar if preferred, to promote any discounts or sales that you are going to be doing within the Christmas period. You could even offer free deliver as part of this for some or the whole of the festive period to capture some attention – Your competitors might not be doing this! Adding to this, if you are an online store, it is also important to point out to your customers that there is a last day to order products if they are to come in time for Christmas. You need to be clear about this date, otherwise you could receive some unwanted negative feedback! Because of this, it might be a good idea to highlight this “last day to order” date as part of the countdown to Christmas, clearly showing how many days people have left to order their items. By clearly stating this date, customers can’t blame you if their items don’t arrive in time – Saving you some unwanted hassle.
7. REWARD MOBILE APP USERS
For brands that are using an app to promote their business, the best thing you can do during the festive period is to reward these customers for using the platform. Using an app can benefit both brand and customers, and so distributing offers that are exclusive to this platform can have a huge impact. This group of customers will feel wanted and appreciated, which is exactly what you want. By doing this, there is no need for these customers to print coupons if they usually go to the store, and the management of these offers is a lot easier for your brand. Adding to this, using incentives like these means that these loyal customers will keep returning to use your app! If needed, you can also combine the app with promoting the same offer on other platforms, such as social media and email marketing campaigns. However, by doing this, you are running a much larger and diverse campaign that is going to need higher control, along with the fact that the app customers are no longer getting these exclusive offers alone , meaning they could just as easily use your online store.
8. BE MORE PERSONAL WITH CHRISTMAS CARDS
Sending Christmas cards to family and friends is the norm for most. With technology continuously evolving, this has made the process much simpler. However, this simplicity has taken away the personal touch! Sending a festive card to customers is something that will be hugely appreciated, and is something that doesn’t have to take up a large amount of time. Depending on how much customer information you have received, these cards can be sent out electronically or via the post – This will all depend on how much time you are willing to spend doing this, along with how large your business is. Just remember, the more personal you make this, the more your customers will appreciate your efforts. You even have the opportunity to take the personal touch one step further, by handwriting the individuals name on the Christmas card or adding a note thanking your loyal customers for their support at this time of the year. – Something small which will go a long way. This will take a little longer and will require more time and planning, however this is something your customers will love. With this, there is a high chance that your customers will turn to social media to thank your brand – Showing off what they have received and showcasing the efforts you have put in. This outcome is definitely worth the time and effort. All you need for this is a customer database that is up-to-date, making sure that all data is going to be correct.
9. STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WITH A FESTIVE VIDEO
“Almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store”. Making sure they aren’t too over promotional, Christmas is the perfect time to post videos – Being short and relevant to help your customers. One idea for a video could be you showcasing items that many might have difficulty wrapping, due to their shape or size. Videos can be made, formal or comical, depending on your audience, demonstrating how these items can be easily wrapped. It is important to keep these videos short – Each social media platform has a different video length limit and so you might want to experiment shooting a separate video for each item, or showcasing multiple in one – Just make sure you keep your audience captivated! A perfect demonstration that customers will find really useful is flat-packed items. Show how easily these can be assembled and customers will be eternally grateful! A few brands will be doing this at Christmas time, which can be expected – However, make yours unique and you will win the audience “Product videos can increase sales by 144%”. Plus, although this idea would work best on social media, posting on your website, mobile app and email campaigns are also perfect platforms.
10. USE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS TO DELIVER OFFERS & REMINDERS
If you are a brand that uses an app, Christmas is the perfect time to promote exclusive offers and discounts by sending users push notifications. However, too many companies use these notifications incorrectly – It is vital that you do not annoy your fanbase. If so, this can lead to customers turning off these notifications, or worse, deleting the app completely – Which is something you do not want to happen. These notifications must be sent in moderation, reminding customers about a change in opening hours and more relevant information that people might find helpful over the holiday season. This is a very simple and easy tool that is perfect for the festive season, and as long as you don’t come across as irritating, you can’t go wrong!
11. HOST A LOCAL CHARITY DRIVE
We all know that Christmas is the time of giving. Most of us will be buying gifts for our friends, family and work colleagues etc. Even your brand will most certainly be distributing discounts and other special offers to your customers – Letting them know that you appreciate and are thinking about them at this magical time of year. However, some companies are too focussed on their specific customer base that they forget the surrounding community – What about these people? Christmas is the perfect time for brands, both large and small, to give back to others. It is best to identify a local charity who’s mission matches your own, along with their main audience. Connect with this chosen charity and see how you can both work together to help the cause. It could be as simple as holding a clothing toy or clothes sale – Something that everyone can get involved in! It is important to remember when advertising these events that you are fully focused on the cause at hand. Don’t get me wrong, this material can include branding and what you as a business are doing to help, however do not take the focus away from the charity – Otherwise you could receive some negative backlash. You want to show that you are supporting the cause, whilst encouraging your fanbase to help as much as they can – Add some small brand awareness elements when you can!
12. USE INSTAGRAM THIS CHRISTMAS!
“Instagram’s growth and recurring success shows why it’s one of the most powerful social media networks.” Social media in general can be a very powerful tool to use as part of your festive campaign. However, using Instagram in particular can have major benefits for your brand. Instagram is a storytelling platform, being a visual touchpoint for both brands and consumers. During December, most brands will compete on this social platform, wanted to gain the all important engagement from their customer base. Social media is rapidly becoming one of the most important tools when promoting an upcoming campaign, and so you don’t want to miss out on the action this festive season! You don’t have to be a social whiz to engage on these platforms, simply post relevant and engaging content that your customers aren’t going to want to miss!