1. Connect with customers earlyIn today’s marketing world, there are so many ways to connect with your customers, and when it comes to marketing at Christmas time, the earlier, the better. Especially when it comes to those big ticket items that require some research.
Start sending incentives and loyalty packages out in October, to lure customers to your store over your competitors. Make sure your customers know all about the latest products, and give them reason to purchase early to ensure that they don’t miss out.
Drip feed campaigns linked to marketing automation software throughout the entire Christmas period is critical. Start with a plan for what you want to talk about in the leadup to christmas, then break it down into a series of campaigns or stories. Marketing Automation helps by scheduling your stories and providing data as to who is interested in each one – and it provides analysis after each campaign that allows you to tweak and improve the next one.
2. Drip Feed Campaign
Be sure to keep your stories interesting and ensure that your visuals are of the highest quality!
3. Social Media is everything
Start your social media campaign early using a teaser campaign encouraging consumers to be inspired by your products and services. Instagram is the new Facebook, so don’t ignore the impact of Instagram on your Christmas marketing campaign. Using both along with Twitter will ensure that your gifts are top of mind, shared and most of all “liked”.
4. Have online buying capabilities and order taking
Whether you are selling a Christmas ham or the latest kids craze, the ability for time poor parents to buy gifts online, fast and efficiently is a godsend. If you have online shopping cart make sure it works effectively and you have plenty of stock of all your Christmas goodies!
And even retailers who don’t sell online can have a good landing page with order taking capabilities, and of course make sure you respond to all online enquiries straight away.
5. Reconnect with past customers
Customers who have bought from you in the past will appreciate you touching base with them and letting them know what’s new. Give people a reason to come back and buy from you by sending them a VIP Christmas offer that’s just for them. Everyone loves a bit of personalised attention and your great service will remind them why they bought from you in the first place!
6. Reach out to bloggers
Bloggers are the modern day experts on everything hip, cool and worth having. They post the latest products and gift ideas online and in real time, to thousands of followers. So if you want your products to be where the cool kids are… send them to a blogger for a shout out.
There are bloggers across all industries and retail sectors, and here are some good ones to help spruik your Christmas products:
7. Product placement in magazines
Do you ever look at the “best buys” and “hottest trends” pages in your favourite magazines? The editors of magazines are recognized as experts in their fields, and a tick from them is worth a thousand likes… not to mention worth it’s weight in gold from an advertising perspective.
Send your product to the editor of relevant magazines, and remember to do it early… September/October at the latest for the monthly glossies as they go to print early.
Some good examples are Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, WIRED, ELLE, Gourmet, Choice, Vogue, Belle, Real Living.
And don’t forget that editors also have massive social media followings, and will share their latest favourites every day. So even if your product doesn’t make it to print, there’s still a good chance of being shared to thousands if you can snare their interest in your product.
8. Xmas windows
There is nothing more inspiring when you’re out shopping than a gorgeous, eye catching window display. Then add in some Christmas fun and multiply that by a thousand! The important things to remember when you are creating your shop front window are:
- Make it eyecatching – make people stop dead in their tracks, and preferably then walk in and buy;
- Relate it to your overall promotion - What is it you’ve been emailing, posting and talking about? Those products and themes should be reflected in your merchandising when customers come into your store;
- Inspire people!! - There is a reason you’re in this business… you are good at what you do. People want to be inspired by what you know and how you put things together.
9. Integrate your offline and online marketing campaigns
Its one thing to have a great product, but does it match and translate to what you are saying and doing online? If you are selling the worlds greatest reindeer cupcakes how can you translate those delicious goodies into beautiful images, communicated through an enticing story to capture the imagination of your readers? And most importantly… get the customer to come in and buy?!
Make sure your story, imagery, service and product offer are consistent at every stage of the selling process and you’ll have loyal customers for life.
10. Get your timings right!
Timing can be everything when it comes to shopping at Christmas...
First cab off the rank is the Gift Ideas campaign, which can start in October…
Let your customers know what are the latest gift ideas and crazes that everyone will want in on. Share this information through email newsletters and social media, and keep them going in the leadup to Christmas.
Technology gadgets are a November purchase.
Why, you may ask? People need to put more thought into technology gadgets and they also need to make sure that that new Apple Watch is available. There is nothing worse than promising your child or loved one the latest gadget and waiting until the last minute to purchase only to find out that there is none in stock anywhere.
Hold off on Novelty Gifts Until mid December.
It’s proven that people purchase novelty gifts mid-December, and right up to Christmas eve, so that means books, wine, chocolates and flowers orders. Have plenty of stock of gifts around $20 for all the office and family ‘Kris Kringle’ presents.
So let’s get started! Reach out and connect to your customers, share some great content with them, and most of all have a fantastic and profitable Christmas period!