Christmas maybe just under 11 weeks away, but already there are festive treats in the supermarkets and shops are starting their promotions. Every year the festive season seems to start earlier and earlier, so how could you make the most of this time of year as a small business owner? Read on to discover our 11 great christmas marketing ideas to help your business sparkle, the results will vary by what type of business you have and what kind of proposition you are taking to market.
For many businesses Christmas shopping accounts for 40-80% of their annual turnover, some brands within the drinks industry for example, they are strongly linked to the festive season such as sherry (Tio Pepe), brandy or whiskey. According to a piece of research by IMRG and Cap Gemini last year, nearly 1 in 3 pounds was spent on a purchase via a mobile device. 41% of shoppers in a recent poll by Walker Sands bought all their gifts online. Even if you are not selling products, but a service or consultancy the final quarter is really important to help drive revenue and your online presence is key.
There is now also Black Friday (24 Nov) Small Business Saturday (2 Dec) and Christmas all due to see an increase in sales of 19% YOY. So with all of this opportunity available at this time of year, how can we take advantage of it, we share our thoughts below:
- Plan, plan, plan: We talk a lot about having a marketing strategy and plan, this time of year is no different, to ensure that you know what messages you are going to promote, a discount if any and what creative. The campaign at this time of year should be part of your bigger business picture.
- Who is your target audience? This forms part of your marketing strategy but is critical to be able to identify the right offer and creative to engage with your audience. Once you know who they are and what they are looking for, you can provide them with relevant information.
- Budget: Decide what budget you have available to promote your business during this time of year, whilst the mind set is definitely to buy gifts, trying to achieve cut through will be more challenging, so plan carefully.
- Timing: linking from the above point on budget, consider when you would be communicating with your ideal audience to achieve the greatest results.
- Assess success: What would success look like for you? Increased sales; attendees to a festive event; increased purchases per customer; leads for January, etc – they will vary by your business. Ensure you know what you are aiming to achieve and by when.
- Send a card to your valued customers. With so many digital messages, it is becoming harder and harder to engage with your ideal client and cut through the clutter. Connecting via more traditional formats will enable to you achieve this, sending a Christmas card is a lovely festive way to do this.
- Show your generosity: Christmas is a time for giving so why not choose a charity and donate to it. Perhaps a % of your sales or profit eg: Stella and Dot each donate the profit to one particular bracelet during October for Cancer Research, a really nice idea. Not only does this have a feel good factor about it but it also gives them something to talk about to gain coverage – it speaks volumes about their brand and values.
- Run a promotion: This time of year people are in the mood for spending, so think about what promotion or offer you could give potential clients to encourage them to engage. Some ideas are: free gift wrapping, free delivery, a discount, incentive to buy more or encourage them to book an appointment/ commit to working with you in the new year. A great example of this could be if you work within the fitness industry to offer a buy 6 get 1 session free, buy in December to use in January, that way you are tapping into the mind set in January (to get fit as part of a new year resolution) but securing business early.
- Run the 12 days of Christmas: This is a great idea, think about what content your potential clients may wish to engage with you about and what could you offer as a reward? You would not wish to give a different offer away for each of the 12 days as this may dilute your business (unless you have planned to do this) so what other value add could you give your clients e.g.: priority booking, etc? This campaign would traditionally run between Christmas and new year.
- Social Media and Email Marketing: These media should be part of your ongoing marketing activity, with Facebook experiencing a 28% up lift in usage last year why not make the most of this channel this season. Instagram and other networks also saw a similar up lift in connections. As noted below ensure your creative ties into the time of year, but having a festive themed activity eg: email subject lines such as “Yule adore our wrapping tips” or “Ho Ho Ho our Christmas shop is open!” will definitely make people smile.
- Have Fun and enjoy the festive season!
I wanted to close by sharing some of great Christmas ads which ran last year (in my opinion):
When I hear the Coca Cola ad it tells me Christmas is here, CLICK HERE to view the ad, it has run over the last 7 yrs, which would indicate that it is helping drive their business forward.
John Lewis! Arguably the bestChristmas ad from last year, with over 25.6m views on Your Tube and 105k likes. CLICK HERE to view the ad.
M&S, a was also a great ad from last year and successful to, with over 8.2m views on You Tube and 26k likes. CLICK HERE to view this ad, it really connects with the emotion of the season and the art of giving.
Wishing you a prosperous festive season, email me and let me know how you get on and what ideas you have too.