Last year the Christmas lights on Oxford Street were lit on November 1st, the earliest date since the tradition started in 1959. According to Quartz, if we keep up this pace, London will be hanging up Christmas decorations in July by 2100.
Christmas is the time to feel the holiday cheer and be around your loved ones, but if you’re running a business it is also the time to take advantage of the marketing opportunities the holidays offer. It is estimated that the average British family will spend around £800 on Christmas in 2016. Additionally, the entire holiday sales industry in the UK, which lasts from mid November till the end of December, amounts to £70bn. So for a business, it is never too early to run the Christmas ad.
Try not to be too pushy, nobody likes the Christmas Creep. Obviously any business is out to make money, but subtlety is key here.
Trusting you wont be shoving Santa Hats down your clients throats from September, here are a couple of marketing ideas for this holiday season:
#10 Reward your best customers
If there is one thing that is true about startups, it is that loyal customers are highly important. To get your business off of the ground, some regulars are essential. So when your business is doing better, make sure you do not forget about the faithful customers from the very beginning. Give them something on the holidays, for example a sale that is only available to your most loyal customers would be a nice way to make them feel remembered. Not only will it bring you extra business, but it will remind your customers why they backed you in the first place.
#9 Stocking Stuffers
People love trinkets. Especially for Christmas, little gifts that would seem pointless any other time will brighten people’s days and make them want to buy from you more often. Include it with any purchase over a certain amount of money. Maybe a T-shirt (we can help you with that), a custom glass, or a keychain. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Something small, creative, and funny will be perfect. Bonus points if you sneak your company’s logo onto the gift somehow.
Note: Organising a Christmas party? Learn how to do so here.
#8 Have a Pinteresting Christmas
Take the wish list one step further and create Pinterest boards. Have fun and run wild: showcase funny gadgets your target audience can’t live without, or be naughty and highlight where other start-ups have gone wrong with their holiday marketing campaigns. Whatever you do, choose a clever angle. Don’t be too obvious, people usually don’t like being told what to do. Avoid pins with descriptions that scream BUY NOW, REGISTER, SIGN UP etc. – don’t just pin your products or service, but look for themes elsewhere that your customers will respond to. As it is the end of the year, you can also use Pinterest to mark special moments from your business year: top blog posts, milestone moments and product launches.
#7 Custom candies
Candy can be a great marketing tool, especially during the holidays when people are constantly giving each other sugary treats. M&Ms and many other sweets can be customised to show your businesses logo, or any message you want to show. This is a perfect way to advertise, because people will think about your business every time they eat one of the candies. Without imposing on people too much, you will be able to advertise and brighten people’s days at the same time. Include the candies with any purchase, or even just give them out for free, and watch the business roll in.
#6 Make it musical
Yes, Christmas is the season of countless jingles that make our ears bleed – but, when done well, it can also be an opportunity to stand out. Surely your start-up has a theme, so how about a theme song? What musical message can you share that does not add to your customers’ existing Christmas stress, but offers an antidote? Sponsor a social competition where your followers build their perfect Christmas playlist on Spotify. It’s an engaging, feel-good way of getting attention that also creates shareable content for you.
#5 Hold a contest
This can really be done any time of year, but Christmas time is a perfect opportunity for a clever contest to entertain your customers and allow them to participate. Have a photo contest on your website or social media, for example. Whoever takes the best holiday photo wins a free T-shirt, or something of that sort. You can really get creative with this one, and people will be engrossed in the contest and won’t think your business is just trying to make money.
Nothing gets people in the Christmas mood like the proper decorations and ambiance. Hang some mistletoe, put up a Christmas tree, and maybe even go the extra mile and have your workers dress up a little bit. Your store will make people feel happy and welcome, and more willing to spend money. It is also not a bad idea to have some Christmas music playing, just make sure you are not going overboard.
#3 Last Minute Gift Ideas
We all know how tough it is to buy gifts for everyone on your list, and far enough in advance before it becomes impossible to buy anything. So cater to those “procrastinators” that still need a gift weeks or even days before Christmas. Offer some last minute gift ideas, that won’t break the bank and don’t seem like it just someone scrambling to find a gift in the last second. This a perfect way to snatch up the business from those forgetful souls that would otherwise be making lots of apologies during Christmas time.
Note: Christmas party coming up at the office? Here’s an etiquette guide.
#2 Collaborate with other companies
Kill two birds with one stone, and help promote another company while still marketing your own. Give a free gift or some form of advertisement for the company you are collaborating with, and have them do the same. People will be more willing to pay attention to an advertisement if it is for a different company than the one they are shopping at. Also you are doing a good deed helping out another fellow startup or small business. Give and you shall receive.
#1 White Elephant Gift
Some people may not like surprises, but when it is a free surprise gift there is really nothing not to like. If you’ve ever heard of a white elephant party, then this is more or less the same idea. Give people a random gift with their purchase, and you will almost definitely see a growth in customers. People will tell their friends about your company’s generosity, and will probably be more willing to come back and spend more.
People spend loads during Christmas time, so as an intelligent business owner, it is important to take advantage of this fact. Try some of these creative marketing tools for the holiday times, and drastically increase your profits.
Got any valuable advice on how to run a marketing campaign during the Christmas season? Then please, let us know in the comments below or send us a message via any of our social media outlets.
In the meantime, keep reading the Printsome Blog for more awesome content.
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