Have a Merry Profitable Festive Marketing Season
It’s more than likely that the ‘C’ word has already been mentioned at work. Christmas is a little over 2 months away and whilst that may feel like it’s too early to start thinking about it, businesses across the country will already be gearing up for one of the biggest dates in the marketing calendar. And rightly so. If you think about just how many brands are going to be pushing out Christmas marketing messages and campaigns all at the same time, you can imagine how much planning and preparation it will take to compete with all that noise.
To take full advantage of this festive season, we’re going to talk you through some of the key points to consider to ensure that your marketing campaign is as effective and profitable as possible.
When should you start your Christmas marketing campaign?
If you haven’t already started planning for the festive season, then you’re already missing a huge opportunity. According to a study by infegy, 54% of consumers start researching Christmas presents in October or even earlier, so this is the time to start planting your products in their minds and guiding their decision making process. Now is the perfect time to start feeding your marketing messages, before the advertising space becomes overcrowded. You’ll notice this in the supermarkets, where you’ll find aisles of halloween decorations and sweets, next to aisles of Christmas food and gifts. Yes it’s only October, but if you wait until everyone is fully in the festive spirit, then you’ve left it too late and will have missed out on key marketing messaging opportunities.
It’s important to look at this long marketing period as a positive. It takes a lot more planning, time and resources, but this longer activity window is just an extended opportunity to communicate and sell to your audience and try to keep your brand at the front of their minds. It’s also important to remember that you may not see a return straight away, but that does’nt mean that there’s no value in your efforts. During this time of year, the buying journey is usually much longer. If a customer sees your marketing messages in October, this may be enough to convince them they want to buy your product, but they won’t necessarily purchase it straight away. It might be added to a list for someone else to buy for them, or they may wait until a set date when they plan to do all their shopping. It’s important to plant the idea, and then offer reminders and engage with them as much as possible at every step of their journey. Be memorable, interesting, engaging and helpful.
Stay true to your branding during the festive period
Christmas is an excellent opportunity to have fun with your marketing messages, and join in with the festivities and holiday spirit, but don’t forget about your brand. In your marketing messages, ads, social posts and imagery, of course they can be festive, but you still want your customers to be able to recognise you. Consider your brand personality, imagery guidelines, tone of voice and key identifiers when creating your holiday marketing campaign. Consumers will be bombarded with generic Christmas imagery, so be clever with your marketing and play on your existing branding to give it a festive theme so consumers can still identify you. This way, you’ll stand out from the noise better, rather than getting lost in a sea of red, green, gold, santas, reindeers and Christmas trees. Avoid stock imagery and try to incorporate your logo or products into a clever and fun Christmas theme. If you have distinct brand colours, then this is an excellent way for your customers to notice you and to keep your marketing messages consistent.
Optimise your digital marketing ad spend
At this time of year, of course we want to spend our digital marketing budget in the best way to create the most impact with the best return possible. Competition will skyrocket, so it’s more important than ever to re-look at your advertising strategy and think carefully about exactly who you are targeting. Your Christmas marketing needs to be as targeted as possible, so now’s the time to fine-tune your messaging.
If you’re targeting shoppers on social media, there’s no point focusing on generic terms such as ‘christmas’ ‘christmas shopping’ or ‘christmas gifts’. These groups are far too diverse, more competitive as there will be more marketers targeting them, and less likely to convert as they are not necessarily your target customers. Instead, you need to really look at who your audience are and exactly what they’re looking for. Base this on their previously identified interests and key characteristics. Find out what they’re interested in, and what their needs are this time of year to deliver truly engaging, relevant content to them.
Invest in PR and Influencers for your holiday marketing campaign
According to a survey by Facebook, 60% of holiday shoppers said that what they see on Facebook and Instagram does directly influence their holiday purchases and insights provided by Pinterest revealed that 87% of holiday shoppers use Pinterest to help them find products for the festive season. Influencers tend to have the largest audiences on these platforms, so whilst it’s vital that your own social media channels are brimming with engaging content and product posts, reaching out to influencers is the best way to increase your reach and brand visibility. Influencers are still trusted, and shoppers will be looking to their favourite influencers to recommend the best gifts and festive purchases. Identify which influencers compliment and represent your brand and values best and reach out to them as early as possible, before they’re inundated with requests from other brands. GIft guides are also an essential tool in the run-up to Christmas, so be sure to reach out to print and digital media outlets and blogs to get your products promoted in their Christmas features. Again, competition will be fierce, so do you research and outreach early.
Love it or hate it, the lead-up to Chritsmas is likely the most profitable time of year for your business, so it deserves the time and preparation to get the most out of it. The return could be huge so it’s worth investing in to see the rewards. If you need help executing the perfect Christmas digital marketing campaign, the easiest thing to do would be to contact an expert digital marketing agency to manage this for you (like us at Aspurian digital!).