Are you ready for Christmas? 5 Festive Marketing Ideas.
By now you’ll have seen the plum puddings and mistletoes. Although you’ve probably tried to ignore them since it’s still warm out, Halloween is yet to pass, and it’s just too early in the year to start thinking about Christmas.
But, whether you like it or not, the holiday season is well and truly upon us — and in record fashion. In 2017, some major retailers started the festive push as early as August. Preparing for what will be a huge surge in online festive spending — forecast at 14 percent growth on 2016 — and an all-round exceptional year for e-commerce in the UK.
The impressive growth is largely being fuelled by the increase in purchases from smartphones. More people are enjoying the convenience of mobile shopping to tick off items on the Christmas list and make sure they’re prepared for the holidays in due time. Today, nearly half of online shoppers get their Christmas shopping underway before Halloween
All this holiday shopping and online activity is creating immense opportunities for e-commerce stores. But it’s also raising many challenges, especially when it comes to the rising above the competition and getting noticed. If companies are to fully capitalise on the busiest and most lucrative time of the year, they need an adequately robust plan.
So, if you still think it’s too early to be planning for Christmas, think again. Here are 5 stellar ideas for marketing your business throughout the holiday season. Put them into action from today, and 2017 could just well be your merriest and most successful year yet.
Come Christmas time, the value of convenience, time, and energy go through the roof. And more people are willing to spend that bit more to bag that perfect gift.
As an online retailer, it’s your job to be the omnipresent Mr. Claus and reach your customers wherever they may be — on social media, in their inbox, on search engines, on shopping channels.
This is omnichannel marketing. And it’s going to be the major driver of retail growth moving forward.
For a retail business, omnichannel marketing could mean shifting products to online shopping channels like Google shopping or eBay. For a service-based business, it could mean building an email list and driving downloads through targeted content marketing.
A successful business will utilise as many of these channels as relevant to them as possible, tailoring their strategy according to the season and customer behaviour.
Merry Mobile Email Marketing
Christmas shoppers want to be aware of holiday deals and discounts early, and the best way to do that is by receiving them in their inbox and directly to their mobile device.
A few years ago, shoppers would see promotional emails and switch to the desktop to complete the transaction. But more shoppers are now picking up emails on mobile with immediate purchasing intent
This is huge. 76 percent of Black Friday emails and 63 percent of Cyber Monday emails are opened on mobile devices. And in 2017, it’s expected that over 2 billion people will make some form of mobile transaction.
For retailers, this makes email marketing one of the most valuable channels during the holiday period. And it becomes ever more important to pursue relevant list building strategies, find the right templates and content, and run effective, sales-driven campaigns.
A Nutcracker of a PR Campaign
It’s the classic strategy to generate buzz around a brand at Christmas. But it’s amazing how many businesses lose out on the opportunity by either winging it, leaving it too late, or not bothering at all.
With the right planning, businesses can peak the interest of journalists and media outlets and get pride of place in major publications. But in the age of fast news and infinite PR budgets, this requires much more than the traditional product announcement or survey release.
Businesses need to think outside the box, conjuring up creative and unique ideas that will make them stand out from the crowd of other holiday pitchers. It doesn’t need to be an expensive stunt or revolutionary breakthrough; some of the best Christmas PR campaigns come well under budget. It does, however, need to be meticulously crafted, appropriately targeted, and strategically delivered.
Compete at Christmas with PPC
Pay per click (PPC) marketing is key in enabling retailers to make the most of the significant increase in traffic over the holiday period.
With a well-planned and highly relevant PPC campaign, retailers can get their brand to appear alongside much bigger players and start competing for sales. If listing a product with Google Shopping Ads, for example, that means taking advantage of the more than half of all search engine shoppers who start their journey on Google and click through to its shopping results.
The great thing about PPC is that even if shoppers don’t immediately transact, they still get you on their radar and shoppers may come back and buy through other channels. This is particularly true early on in the holiday season when people are simply gathering ideas for their shopping list.
Sleigh Bells and Social Media
You can’t talk about marketing at Christmas and not talk about social media. The average person spends around an hour and 40 minutes browsing channels such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram everyday, and over the festive period when people are idea hunting and have more free time, that only rises.
9 out of 10 shoppers turn to social media for help with a buying decision. And 75 percent of people buy something because they saw it on social media. To make the most of e-commerce at Christmas is really to make the most of social media, using all the above marketing methods — mobile, email, content, PPC — to create the merriest social media campaign ever.
But the social scene is a funny one, and many brands attempt to be cool and likeable fall so flat on their faces they’re not worth the effort. An effective campaign will not add to the noise but resonate with its audience, picking up on the latest trends, using natural language, understanding the world of hashtags, and, above all, being shareable.
E-commerce is growing at a staggering rate, and no time is it more noticeable than at Christmas. To many online retailers, this can make the holiday period stressful and overwhelming. But Christmas is a time of sharing, caring, good memories, and good times. And if you make sure to remember this in your festive marketing efforts, then your journey into the New Year is bound to be a prosperous one.