Christmas is upon us and businesses are after a share of the market mince pie. The three month period leading up to Christmas is called the ‘golden quarter’, and for good reason. Christmas spending in the UK rose to nearly £79 billion in 2019, and many businesses experience their biggest sales bump of the year. It’s never too early to start planning Christmas marketing ideas, but you can be too late. Key deadlines creep up in October as larger websites and marketing campaigns can take months of work.
Before we dive into Christmas marketing ideas…let’s quickly look at shopping behaviour during COVID-19.
- Lots more consumers will be shopping online over safety concerns so boost your website capacity, performance, visibility, and user experience.
- Christmas shoppers will buy gifts earlier because of delivery and stock delays, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
- People are conscious of price due to economic uncertainty so offering value for money is more important than ever.
- Global tensions demand more careful planning and strategy to dodge cultural and political turmoil.
With these in mind, here’s what you can do to boost Christmas sales.
#1 Festive Email Campaign
Email is one of the best ways to engage with likely buyers. Your newsletter subscribers are already interested in your brand and have opted in to know more about you. Use this opportunity to build upon your relationship in the run-up to Christmas and sprinkle in some exclusive festive offers just for them. You can promote discounts, do a year-in-review to shine a positive light on your deeds, or a12 days of christmas informational/gift series.
#2 Christmas Ecards
Christmas cards are symbolic of your appreciation to those you value in your life. Digital ecards are a cost-effective way to touch base with customers and write a heart-warming message. Whether or not this leads to immediate sales, it strengthens your brand advocacy by delighting customers.
#3 Branded seasonal assets
People feel inspired to buy Christmas gifts when you get them into the spirit (not the kind they’ll regret the next day). Customise your packaging. Add snow animation to your website. Create branded festive graphics for web pages, Zoom backgrounds, and social media banners. Just like the dusty box of tinsel and baubles in your attic, you can reuse some of this content each year.
#4 Competitions and giveaways
Christmas is about gifts – and community. Get everyone involved in a friendly competition and drum up excitement by offering giveaways. Free gift cards and in-demand stock? Sign me up! Competitions provide a greater return on investment than you might think. By giving away a high-value product or service, you collect a ton of leads and awareness in the process. The cost to acquire each lead is often lower than other forms of marketing. Competitions are more cost-effective for established companies with a large base of existing customers or followers on social media. Small businesses may need an extra push with advertising to become visible.
#5 Live virtual events
Take advantage of the growing popularity of Facebook Live and Instagram Stories to broadcast live videos to consumers. You can announce new offers, company updates or celebrations. Host a fun, engaging event that interacts with viewers to create buzz around your brand.
In this time of giving there are some good opportunities to show the caring side of your brand by creating a PR stunt, take inspiration from some of the great brands that have done this in the past, our favourite is still WestJet Airlines with their Christmas Miracles.
#6 Mailing personalised gifts
If you have high-value customers, send them a personalised present by post. Bonus points if you can find something novel they will remember. A few years ago, Zeun Digital delivered brussels sprout chocolates to our clients’ offices. There are also companies like Sweets In The City, which let you write messages inside sweet boxes. Alternatively, hampers contain lots of goodies to share around. When somebody asks where their basket of treats came from, you generate word of mouth. You can do this out of gratitude, but small gestures also contribute to keeping customers for longer, and therefore, increasing customer lifetime value.
Wow! Small gestures can really go a loooong way!— Zeun Digital (@ZeunDigital) April 28, 2020
It's easy to lose a real-world connection while working from home during a lockdown
Our team received personalized @SweetsintheCity boxes from Jessica, who wanted to show her appreciation as we support clients through #covid19 🙂 pic.twitter.com/nItNG4IqRL
#7 Social media ad campaign
We’ve all seen the iconic John Lewis Christmas TV adverts. They have become a much-anticipated staple of British culture. They use emotional and storytelling marketing to capture the hearts and wallets of people searching for meaningful gifts. And every year it works like a charm. You may not have their large budget but you can still invest in video, GIFs and images to advertise on social media. Don’t advertise your best deals too early but generate a want or interest months in advance. Inform and inspire with creative marketing campaigns. Social media is the easiest way to get in front of a large audience at a reasonable price.
#8 Targeting seasonal keywords on search engines
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) often slips under the radar for Christmas marketing ideas. Big mistake! Many people search Google for gifts all the time. If you want more sales, target products and services in your industry that people search in the run-up to Christmas. For example, if you own a garden centre there are 500 people searching for ‘Christmas gifts for gardeners’ each month, on average. This number spikes in Autumn and drives more traffic to your website. Research a list of festive keywords and then create/use landing pages designed to rank high to direct these warm leads to your products.
Monthly searches on Google: Christmas gifts
#9 Optimise eCommerce on your website
Improving your website is a biggie. Most of your marketing activity will lead people to your website to get more leads and sales. If your website is a leaky bucket then all that effort is wasted and visitors will pour out and make their way somewhere else.
Make your website easy to navigate. Place your biggest sales front and centre. Include recommendations for similar purchases. Use remarketing to track will people show interest in one of your products and target a deal towards them later. Hire a copywriter to optimize your product pages to match a target audience and convert more sales. Provide several lines of support from chatbots to faqs. Your website can revolutionize your business. With the latest government digital funding and a momentous rise in online shopping, there is no better time to rebuild or refresh your website. The easiest, most cost-effective step forward is to request a website audit to review your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
#10 Christmas puns, jokes, and fun on social media
The closer we move to Christmas, the more people want to loosen up and enjoy themselves. Be part of the festive season and litter your content with ho ho ho’s, present emojis, and, dare we say, cracker jokes. It’s a low bar. We think you can come up with something better. And don’t hesitate to take pictures of your team celebrating and having a laugh. People love it.
#11 Christmas-themed hashtags
Expand your online Christmas marketing reach by using hashtags on social media. Examples may include your products with other hashtags such as:
Websites like Hashtagify can show you the popularity and variations of hashtags.
#12 Charity donations
The Christmas period can be stressful at the best of times. During the pandemic, one of the best ways to be festive is to show people that you care about a cause. It’s a great way to end the year on a high and build public trust. Consider a local or lesser-known charity and explain why it matters to you and your company.