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Top Christmas marketing tips for small businesses

Top Christmas marketing tips for small businesses

Posted 08th November, 2018 by Aidan

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming and it’s time for businesses to start planning their Christmas marketing strategies.

You don’t have to have the budget of the brand that’s responsible for the opening earworm of this blog to be able to implement a festive marketing masterplan.

Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of holiday season marketing, best practice, and how to do it all on a tight budget.

Why is festive marketing important?

Retail giant John Lewis claims that its festive advertising campaign delivers its most profitable return on investment from the whole year. In fact, the Independent reported that the store’s sales have increased by 35 per cent since 2012 as a result of its festive campaigns.

The same sort of success applies to social media marketing. Aldi’s Christmas marketing efforts have been shown to increase social media engagement by 152 per cent.

Of course, these companies are the titans of their field, but it shows just how important festive marketing can be.

Examples of stand-out holiday marketing campaigns

There are some big companies that knock the ball out of the park every year when it comes to festive marketing.

As mentioned above, though, you don’t need to have the budgets of these companies to create a memorable and impactful festive campaign.

Take the Christmas marketing campaign created by Parts Town in 2016. Their job was to tell people about their Christmas opening hours. What made their email memorable was the wording below, set against a backdrop of Santa and his reindeer flying in front of the moon.

You’re not the only one working today, fat man. Parts Town is open Christmas Eve day.

Food 52 also created a memorable Christmas marketing campaign the same year. Picking up on the theme of Christmas cookies the company created an infographic cookie map, showing all the different types of cookies around the world.

You can read more about why these two campaigns were so impactful in the tips below.

Tips for Christmas marketing that won’t break the bank

User-generated content (UGC)

Christmas is a time for sharing and giving. Businesses can benefit from running with this sentiment and creating a social media campaign that calls for user-generated content. This sort of approach to marketing is all about fostering engagement and exposure for your brand, so don’t expect direct or instant sales.

In terms of campaign content itself, think of a fun and festive way your customers can engage with your products or services and ask them to take photos of themselves doing so. You can offer a reward for the best shot. Make sure you come up with a unique hashtag for your followers to use when they upload their images, too.

The more creative you get with this, the more likely you are to spark your clients’ imaginations and get them to contribute.

Prepare your website for Christmas

Make your website as welcoming as a crackling log fire during the festive season and customers will feel more inclined to stick around. Add a festive banner to your website, add a falling snow plugin to WordPress sites, use a temporary brand logo with a Santa hat or snow on, or add a Christmas countdown to your home page. If you have time you could also tweak your calls to action, switching words like ‘Add to basket’ for phrases like ‘Put it on my Christmas list’.

Craft a Christmas email campaign or two

Businesses need to take a slightly different approach to email campaigns during the festive period. All companies ramp up their email marketing output over Christmas and there’s a good chance your customers’ inboxes will be crammed with similar email subject lines.

Sales are a big part of marketing at Christmas, but you need to be a little bit inventive to stand out from the crowd. Don’t send out the same Dear John email to everyone on your email list. Send customers details about products based on their tastes.

Christmas is also the time to reward loyalty. Tailor a campaign for regular customers that offers them a special discount or gift. Or offer them the opportunity to buy a new product or service 24 hours before everyone else.

If you’re a B2B company, meanwhile, a simple Seasons Greeting email can go a long way.

It helps seeing what the competition is doing here, too. Sign up to their email lists to keep an eye on their offering.

Up your social offering

At Christmas time, most of your customers will be in a playful festive mood and they’ll be most responsive to social media campaigns that tap into that spirit. Aim to make 80 per cent of your posts something that will add value to your customers’ lives – entertain them, inform them and make them smile.

The other 20 per cent can be built around promoting your business or brand. At this time of year, you need to ditch the hard sell, though. Try to add warmth, entertainment and enjoyment to your sales and brand-based posts. You can add warmth to a sales post by using plays on words and graphics.

The great thing about Christmas time is that it lends itself to social activity. Are you having a Christmas jumper day at work? Have you had a mince pie bake-off? Did you take some great images at the Christmas party? Sharing photos and videos of things like these can build engagement and loyalty.

Get emotional

Forbes reports that when customers are happy, they are inclined to buy more. There are many ways you can tap into your customers’ festive cheer with marketing. Talk about time off work, family moments, the warm fuzzy feeling you get when giving gifts, and the cosiness of the time of year to get your customers in the right mood.

Categories: Tips, Marketing, Small Businesses

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