A comprehensive and engaging seasonal marketing campaign can place your business at the top of consumers’ minds this Christmas, and beyond.
Content in this guide
- Start early
- Have your content ready
- Upgrading your web design and logo
- Develop a blog
- Customise for your customer
- Keep an eye on your competition
- Social media campaigns
- Keep last year’s trends in mind
- Create reusable assets
- Advertise with Google Ads
- Grow your database during the festive season
- Accumulate customer reviews
- Create engaging post-festive season content
- Keep up that social media campaign
- Expose your business to a niche market
For your retail business, the peak sales period is around the corner. Actually, it’s already upon you. The festive season is when numerous retail businesses make the most profit, which sometimes enables these businesses to keep its doors open for another year. A business action plan is essential for this time of year, particularly when it comes to assisting your business in making the most out of this profitable season with seasonal marketing.
Promoting growth within your business during every season is important. But, remember, it’s how you monetise and grow before, during and after the festive season that has the potential to make or break your business, and no one wants to be phased out because they didn’t adequately prepare, right?
Integrated marketing campaign
An integrated marketing campaign involves creating a promotional theme, and then executing branding, messaging, ads and product promotions on multiple platforms over an extended period of time. This strategy will enable you to receive a constant supply of revenue that continues to build and attract repeat sales.
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Here are a few elements to keep in mind when creating your integrated seasonal marketing campaign:
- Decide on a theme and its message. This theme will influence your entire campaign so make it something that fits with both your customers’ tastes and your company’s vision.
- Promotional and sales banners in various sizes should keep everyone informed as to what your campaign is about, and how they can benefit from it.
- Create a pay-per-click campaign. This will allow you to advertise, but only pay once the customer has clicked on your ad. Customers love clever campaigns; just ensure your adverts appear on a complimentary website.
- Add a clearance sale event to entice festive season shoppers. It’s recommended that you do this on new items, or new items combined with other items. This sale should still reflect your chosen festive season marketing campaign theme.
- Measure your progress. Set dates for each portion of your campaign to ensure that you can measure how effective or ineffective it was. Check your analytical data to determine who your campaign is impacting and where the sales are actually coming from. Once you’ve determined your successful campaign strategies, increase those budgets and cut the budgets on the campaigns that aren’t performing as well.
Your business doesn’t have to specialise in seasonal products for you to take advantage of holiday promotions and seasonal marketing.
Here are fifteen essential seasonal marketing tips to improve your sales during this festive season:
1. Start early
You don’t want to be the last one out of the gate, especially during the festive season. Consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier and earlier every year, and in order to sidestep the noise of everyone else’s festive season campaigns it’s a good idea to start campaigning before everyone else.
Current and potential customers are planning ahead, earlier than ever, every year for purchases, trips and activities. If you’re on customers’ minds months in advance, you can be the one to spark their interest when the festive season rolls around.
2. Have your content ready
Don’t start your seasonal marketing from scratch, because last year’s campaign could still be relevant and effective. However, you will need to ensure that you’ve organised your seasonal marketing campaign efficiently before you even start. You can recycle your best-performing ideas from last year, or even use your best performers from this year for next year.
Keep your team on the same page so that everyone is aware of your business’ position and everyone is on point. Otherwise, your various branches or even different departments could be sending out conflicting messages, which will turn customers away faster than no message at all.
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3. Upgrading your web design and logo
From Google to Starbucks, businesses across the world show their Christmas spirit by sporting a festive season logo during this time of year, and you can do the same. All you need to do to pull this off is to add some digital Christmas lights, decorations or a Santa hat to your logo.
Your customers will notice the change, and appreciate your business joining in on the holiday season cheer. Compliment your new festive logo with limited edition holiday season products to increase sales if possible. Update your web design to include festive season decorations and holiday discount campaigns. Ensure your customers can see what you have to offer. If they can’t see it, because your website is too busy or difficult to navigate, you’re going to lose that customer.
4. Develop a blog
This will help your business stay relevant and on consumers’ radars during the festive season. On your business’s blog, you can publish content seasonally, changing themes with the time of year and what promotions your store is offering at that time. Developing a blog will help to drive traffic to your website, as well as give your customers ideas of how they can use your goods.
Amass a following throughout the year with valuable content that your customers can utilise. This will assist you in gaining extra festive season sales. Another idea is to populate your blog with tips, tricks, recipes, ideas or anything that is relevant to your customers and your products. This will enhance your business’ image by making you a trustworthy source of information.
5. Customise for your customer
During the festive season, try to customise your offerings to what your customers need the most. You could even offer value-added services that you normally don’t to match customer needs, such as gift wrapping, adding stocking fillers for purchases over a certain amount or even child-minding if parents constitute a large portion of your target market.
Taking advantage of a limited customer need, even if it’s not relevant during the rest of the year, will show your customers that you have them in mind, and they will appreciate the added value you offer them.
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6. Keep an eye on your competition
Look into what your competitors have done in the past and what really worked and what didn’t. You can then use elements of these tried-and-tested marketing campaign ideas as a benchmark for your business during festive season promotions.
You can also adapt your strategy and use your messaging and differentiation points to set your business apart from your competition. This will also assist in helping you to stand out amongst your customers during the holiday season. Tell your customers what you offer that your competition doesn’t to increase foot traffic into your business.
7. Social media campaigns
If you haven’t already explored this option, it’s time to. A study reveals that 65% of shoppers use social media to find gifts for their loved ones. A well thought out festive season social media campaign could be the key to enhancing your festive season sales.
Customers often forget what they wanted to buy for their loved ones; help them out by sharing your popular sale items on social media. They will appreciate your help in jogging their memory, and you could even add a value-added service to assist them in keeping all their gifts and purchases in order.
A good way to raise awareness about your products and potential gift ideas is to get your customers to share their Christmas pictures on your social media sites. This creates engagement with your customers, which they will appreciate, and it creates free advertising for your products and your business.
8. Keep last year’s trends in mind
Every year, numerous businesses do something new, exciting and innovative with their festive season marketing strategies. Whether it’s engaging social media campaigns, mobile or online coupons; it’s important to keep previous year’s trends in mind. Use trends that were popular and steer clear of trends that didn’t.
Even if the idea was from another industry, if you thought it was a clever idea, try it out; see what your customers think of it. You should always try to combine the best from the past and the innovative from the present to create a winning seasonal marketing strategy.
Also, keep in mind that trendy promotional items can bring about nostalgia for shoppers. These items can be anything from snacks to clothing. If it’s been trending for a few years in a row now, chances are it will be trending again this year.
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9. Create reusable assets
Spend some time designing campaigns and developing assets that you can use for multiple seasonal campaigns into the future. Examples of these would be creative websites, mini-apps, Facebook pages, email lists, or even actual physical assets like interesting decorations that fit with your store and your brand message.
Even if you don’t use the item exactly the same way the next year, ensure that it offers multiple possibilities and opportunities. This will provide you with a cost-effective way of decorating, whether it’s digital or physical.
Keep in mind that you want to create campaigns that are investments that your business can leverage for many years to come, instead of a once-off cost that you’re never really sure gave you a return on investment.
10. Advertise with Google Ads
During this time of year, a useful and strategic marketing tool is Google Ad extensions that focus on the holiday season. You can advertise through Google Ads to assist you in reaching a larger target audience, as well as to remind your current customers about the item they were interested in on your site.
Ensure the advertising is clear and concise; if you’re having discounts or a sale then state that on the advert as this will increase the likelihood of customers clicking on your advert. Using time-sensitive offers will enhance your customers’ incentive to click.
Once the festive season is over, you should still have an after-festive-season marketing campaign to ensure you don’t experience a slump in the months that follow. Here are marketing campaign ideas to help you keep your sales up after the holiday season:
11. Grow your database during the festive season
Ensure that during the festive season, when your business is at its busiest, you take advantage of the amount of traffic coming through your doors. Growing your database will allow you to reach first-time and repeat customers with your New Year’s sales and promotions.
Gathering a strong list of past customers and people who have expressed an interest in your business will assist you in staying on top of your customers’ minds after the festive season rush. This list can also help you to convert new leads into customers throughout the year and potentially create repeat customers too.
Create a newsletter that informs your following; what promotions are available at your business? Advertise items that everyone needs and would be willing to spend money on in January, after the festive season rush. Keep your target market in mind when creating the content and compiling the information for these email newsletters.
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12. Accumulate customer reviews
During the festive season, but specifically when the festive season is coming to a close, you should ask your customers to review your products and services. By gathering real customer stories and testimonials you’ll have detailed reviews that are personal, and will resonate with post-season readers.
You want to elicit nostalgic, good, feelings about your business after the festive season boom to keep your customers coming in during that slow period post-Christmas. You can do this by sharing your customers’ stories on your website, social media and through newsletters. You can even ask customers to share stories themselves, based on using or experiencing your product or service. The more real and engaging content you can accumulate, the better your business will fair after the holiday season.
13. Create engaging post-festive season content
After the festive season, keep in mind that many customers are still on holiday and can still come to your store to buy the things they need. Keep creating compelling content to speak to your target market no matter what time of year it is.
Just because its post-Christmas doesn’t mean people aren’t shopping and buying the things they need or want. Create helpful information that can assist your target market, which will build a solid and loyal relationship through your content. This will assist in bringing in not just familiar faces, but new faces whom you’ve gained because of your inviting content.
14. Keep up that social media campaign
It’s important to continuously engage with new leads and past customers throughout the year. Social media can serve as your virtual storefront; helping you to stay connected with customers who tend to forget about you outside of the festive season.
Consider asking your customers how they and their families are enjoying the Christmas presents they received from your store, offer a voucher or a prize for the best picture. Keep the discounts, reviews, testimonials, new content, competitions and polls going throughout the year to generate hype for your store, which will assist you in enjoying both Christmas and post-Christmas sales.
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15. Expose your business to a niche market
Consider that it isn’t just Christmas at this time of year, and many cultures and religions continue to celebrate into the New Year. By offering these niche markets specific products or services, you could reduce the slump many businesses experience in the beginning months of a new year.
If you sell food products, you could branch into Kosher, Halaal or even gluten-free and Banting options to increase your market reach, and appeal to a wider audience. Specialising in these markets can give you a competitive edge that will make you the go-to business in your industry and give your niche market even more reason to come and see you.
Keep in mind that Chinese New Year is in January, along with Tu B'Shevat, which takes place in early February. By catering to these religious and cultural events, you can support your business through, arguably, the hardest times of year.
Once you’ve picked the ideas you are going to incorporate into your seasonal marketing campaign, you need to keep one more thing in mind; cohesion. You need to run a cohesive and integrated seasonal marketing campaign for it to be efficient and effective.