Yes, it’s that time of the year again; pretty silver bells twinkle everywhere, winter wonderland decked with snowmen, and the Christmas spirit is in the air!
Just like every other year, all businesses are planning their holiday campaigns and getting ready to make the most of their shopping spree; 46% of holiday season shopping takes place online. Here’s your chance to make 2016 extra special with campaigns to delight your customers and establish a real connection with them.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few promotional ideas you can use to take advantage of the holiday season.
1. Start early
It’s never too early to start a holiday campaign. People get into the Christmas spirit and start shopping during Halloween. It might sound early, but it is always better to rev up your marketing engines and have an edge with an early start. Did you know that nearly 49% of businesses start their holiday campaigns before Halloween? Don’t be left behind. Send pre-Christmas offers or freebies to your customers. Grab the early shoppers, plan ahead, and make the most of the early bird shoppers.
You can do this by creating a calendar well ahead in time. This way, you’ll be able to put a proper holiday strategy in place without rushing into your marketing activities. Here’s a really good social media calendar template – your best friend for planning all social promotions starting now!
Content marketing is your best friend here! This is the ultimate list of content marketing calendars that you’ll need, holiday season or not.
2. Reward your customers
It feels great to get something extra, so why not give something extra to your customers! Christmas is the time for spreading love and giving gifts. Gift your customers a little something to keep them coming back for more. Do you have a loyalty program in place? Did you know that 75% of customers anticipate that there will be a gift from the retailer just like last year? Use customer data at hand to understand your customers. Find out what works for them, and come up with an irresistible offer.
A reward could be anything – freebies, special discounts, inside access to one of your events, and much more – as long as it’s good enough to have your customers coming back to you.
Here’s a good resource if you’re looking to start a good customer rewards program.
3. Run a contest
Contests are a great start if you want to attract more attention to your brand without making a big investment. More than 63% of Facebook users say they’re likely to share a link to a holiday contest or giveaway. It’s one of the best ways to reach your audience and generate leads and quick sales.
You can organize sweepstakes, photo/selfie contests, hashtag contests, caption contests, refer-a-friend contests, or get creative and come up with something that’s never been done before. These never get out of trend, and are a great way to engage and interact with your customers.
Take a look at some last minute Facebook contest ideas for your business.
4. Use videos
A viral video can work wonders for your Christmas marketing campaign. A video ad campaign if done right can catch attention of millions of users. It’s a well-known fact that videos are the best in promoting your brand. Using videos in your email and social media campaigns increases the click through rate by 200-300%.
Get inspired by taking a look back at some of the most successful video campaigns of previous year.
5. Email marketing
Nearly all the businesses increase their email marketing by 50% during the month of November and December. Christmas, the gifting season, comes with lots of opportunity for marketers. Introduce new Christmas goodies and merchandise. Send out emails on a regular basis to customers and subscribers, and let them know what is up for grabs this Christmas.
It’s a good idea to start your email campaigns a month before the actual offer starts to create anticipation for your offer. Give away promotional code and discount coupons in your emails. 85% of the customers say that an email with promotional/discount coupon would influence them to buy.
6. Make social media your best friend
Social media is every marketer’s best friend. Though it’s used throughout the year, marketing for holiday season is always special. It’s the right place to get people talking about your brand. Social websites have become customers’ first place to find something or have a direct interaction with the brand.
Get your customers to find, share, and spread the word about your brand. Hold contests, promote an offer/event, or just do a simple post – it has become the ONE place where brands can engage users. Understand your users and find what works for you, learn from the past and get that social media campaign going!
7. Special holiday season app
If you already have an app, then this is a must do for you. Spice up your app with a holiday and Christmas theme, and this would be the right time to introduce a new feature in your app or add something extra for the season.
If you don’t have an app, this is a great opportunity to start having one. If you’re hesitant to dive deep, here are a few simple app ideas for you:
a. Create a simple Christmas wish list app that can be shared among friends and family. This is a sure deal to ensure that your Christmas gifts never disappoint you again.
b. A shopping list tracker is a great idea for those shopaholics who never want to miss out on any items on their list.
c. Holiday season expense tracker, where one can manage all the discounts, spending, and everything in between. This is a good pick for those who don’t want the holiday expenses to put a hole in their pockets.
d. Share the spirit of the holiday season with an app that helps friends to tag and share their photos, recipes, shopping, and more!
Still need help? Check out these holiday season apps for more inspiration.
8. Do something special for the holiday
Want people to notice you and share your content? Then you need to stand out from the crowd and not blend in. Think outside the box, and come up with something that your customers have never done before. This is a sure deal to get people talking about you.
For instance, Google came up with its Santa Tracker, which is an interactive holiday experience that helps track Santa till Christmas Eve. Every day there is a new activity that gets unlocked in the Santa Village. The activities range from simple fun games to play, to games that help learn something good. Google has stepped up a notch this year with an interactive app, a Chrome plugin and Google Maps integration.
Here’s a list of marketers who got it right with their holiday campaigns.
9. Get a little holiday makeover
It’s Christmas time! Time to bring out the red, white, and green! Spice up your website and social media pages by giving it a holiday theme. We bet that your customers will enjoy a cool, new makeover to your regular website. Adding a holiday theme to your website and e-commerce store not only enhances its appearance, but also helps customers get into the holiday shopping realm.
However, make sure that all your web properties have a similar holiday theme. One common mistake many marketers make is having one holiday theme in social media, and using a different one for their website. Ensuring the similarity of all your brand imagery in the email, website, and social pages will give your customers a great brand experience.
Get some Christmas design inspiration from these websites.
10. Give back to the community
Last, but not the least, giving back to the community is very essential, especially if you‘re a local business. Christmas is the festival of spreading love, hope, and cheer so it’s a great opportunity to do something on those lines and help people around you. This is also a great way to get to know your community and vice versa.
“Every delivery starts with a wish,” UPS used this for their 2014 Christmas on their social media. They even launched the “Your Wishes Delivered” campaign to encourage customers to share their wishes during the holidays. UPS will donate $1 to one of three charities: The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The Salvation Army, and Toys for Tots Literacy Program (up to $100,000) for every wish shared on ups.com/wishes or social media channels.
It’s time to get creative and put on your thinking hats, and get started with your Christmas marketing campaign!