Don’t think I’m jumping the gun here but now is the time to be talking online Christmas marketing campaigns.
If you haven’t already started thinking and planning for the festive season you should be doing it as soon as possible.
With only twelve weeks until Christmas the big stores are slowly populating their shelves with all manner of Christmas goodies right under our noses. I spent an entertaining five minutes in M&S on Sunday showing my son the musical biscuit boxes. He was sold = early marketing success for M&S!
Your Christmas marketing campaign strategy should be exactly the same as the big stores’. Now is the time to start sprinkling thoughts of mistletoe and wine into customers’ minds in preparation for your own marketing campaign kicking off.
So, how do you go about planning it? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
If you haven’t already started drafting your marketing plan you should think about doing it soon. Ideally, your campaign should kick off at least six weeks before the big day. This gives your campaign ample time to generate a buzz around your products or promotions and reach as many potential customers as possible.
You should define your parameters at the start – after all this is a campaign and all campaigns should be in some way measurable. Think about what you want your campaign to achieve – more sales, increased awareness, engagement – then consider how this will be measured, both during and after the campaign has ended.
Ecommerce stores should also consider the practicalities of a marketing plan – what products will be pushed, deadlines for order or delivery, target audience.
The Christmas story
The best marketing campaigns tell a story – how many of us are waiting to see how John Lewis will follow up The Bear And The Hare this year? How many of us thought the snowman’s Journey (my personal favourite) couldn’t be beaten? And who remembers that cute Little Boy impatiently waiting for Christmas Eve?
These campaigns were successful because they stirred within us nostalgic feelings of Christmases past and anticipation for Christmases yet to be. Like the little boy waiting for Christmas Day, we’ve all been there, when three weeks feels like a lifetime. It rarely snows in the UK but the plucky snowman forging his way across an icy landscape gave us all hope for a White Christmas (incidentally, 2010 was the last ‘official’ WC).
When planning your marketing campaign consider your own story or angle. Here are some ideas:
- an overarching story from start to end, e.g. 12 days of Christmas;
- a festive competition;
- a specific theme;
- focus on a particular product/s;
- tap into an aspect of the season, e.g. parties, food, hairstyles.
Some of the above will suit your business better than others. For example, hairdressers can create entertaining campaigns focusing on the Christmas Party hairdo whilst ecommerce sites might prefer to run a 12 days style campaign, unveiling different products or gift ideas every day. However, be wary of choosing an angle that makes your business appear gimmicky or doesn’t suit your brand as this can be very damaging.
Align your content marketing channels with seasonal branding – a custom banner is eye catching and raises awareness of your marketing activities. Banners are quick and simple to create but create huge positive impact. They can easily be applied to everything from your website to your email headers and your social profiles.
Write your list
A simple editorial calendar should be used here to mark out key dates or milestones during the campaign, for example last order dates for ecommerce sites. It should also be used to schedule the key messages of the campaign and the channels they will go out across so you can auto-schedule the bulk of your campaign in advance – leaving you plenty of time to listen to and interact with your audience.
Just because the campaign is over doesn’t mean your work is done. In the new year make time to analyse the results of your campaign so you can gauge its success and fine-tune your marketing activities for Christmas 2015. It is also a great opportunity to catch up with any leads generated but not converted over the Christmas period in an effort to kick off your new year sales.
Your little helpers
If all this sounds great but you’re tearing your hair just getting stock or services ready for the Christmas rush then, like Santa, you might need some professional help. Treat Stori as your content marketing elves and let us create an online Christmas marketing plan on your behalf. Get in touch to arrange your free consultation and no obligation quotation today.