So what is the problem? It’s Christmas. We love the day (hopefully, if we get all the preparation in before, if we remember the food, the impossible gifts and manage to wrap it all, get the family together, avoid the arguments, and really master the “Merry” Christmas) and IF you, as a brand make the run up to Christmas as easy as possible for your audience, bravo!! Mission complete. YOU are the savior.
But if you're in need of some inspiration this year, then here are some things to get the festive period off to a good start...
Consider your creative
Images - let your pictures do the talking. It’s time to invest in some great images to go with your campaign. Facebook is pushing harder and harder towards zero text in ad images. Don’t resist, it won’t work.. Get some great images that communicate your Christmas message. You can use them across posts and cover images.
Video - With Facebook predicting that 9/10 posts in your news feed will be video in the next couple of years it’s worth exploring the world of motion picture. They don’t have to be blockbusters, start small if you are worried - make some little gifs and slideshows to see how your audience engage. A stopmotion video of wrapping a gift could be a simple addition to your page with a subtle christmas theme. If you decide to get an expert on board find someone who can capture your style and brand story, you won’t look back..
Can you make your campaign connect? The best campaigns have real people and real stories. Don’t shout at your market this year, invite them round for a glass of mulled wine and create something beautiful together.
Be honest - who would we rather shop for?
You have a shopping list as long as your arm for family, friends, even the milkman - but we all know it’s much more fun shopping for ourselves...
Harvey Nichols covered this in 2013 with the “Sorry I Spent It On Myself” Gift Collection.
Relax and review - think how they think, try different messages, lengths and formats, have fun and review what is successful.
Christmas is a great time to run competitions, the M&S Christmas Countdown had the whole office clicking back to their website on a daily basis to be in with a chance of winning M&S prizes or discounts.
Twitter has just confirmed that repeating key messages and successful tweets is a good thing and the data suggests a lot more clicks. Twitter analytics is a great tool for finding and re-posting those winning tweets.
Explore new platforms
A contending platform for this year and one with a youthful captive audience is Snapchat. Consider Snapchat collaborations and there is the chance to make snapchat a big feature of an in-store experience with an exclusive behind the scenes look at the run up to Christmas.
Snapchat is the perfect platform to give your audience a first look at the preparation because the posts expire so there isn’t a lingering Christmas message too soon in the year. Take a very gentle approach, more a passing comment than a Christmas message. Even during the summer you can start to drop in little hints that Christmas is on the radar, months to go but time to get started. This isn’t about the hard sell message, it is more about letting your audience know that this is going to be a HUGE Christmas for your brand and let them figure out the rest.
If a follower sees glimpses of the product journey they will have a stronger affinity for the product come Christmas and possibly even associate the brand with Christmas. Making you their first port of call by the time it finally dawns on them that Christmas Shopping is about to begin.
Paid social targeting at Christmas
Christmas is the perfect time to test some audience targeting. One that we will certainly be testing is targeting “friends of people who like your page”... In theory this should reach the correct audience, the friends and family of those who already like your product. This is just one option and there are many many more. Based on your customer persona try mixing and matching interests and behaviours to drill right into your audience. Customise the images and text for this targeting and take Facebooks advice.
Bear in mind that the most effective adverts generally reach between 10,000 and 500,000 people, so watch the reach estimator as you adjust your budget to see your potential audience size change.
From there you can test, optimise, test, optimise...
You can do the same on Twitter - targeting interests and even competitor handles, time to get your hands dirty?
B2b Christmas marketing
Marketing for B2B brands can be a little different at Christmas but not more difficult. There are still big problems to be solved and a strong need for understanding from brands. It is important to understand the customer's issues and do your best to make their ride to Christmas as smooth as possible for them.
B2B marketing is not so different to B2C marketing, you are still speaking to humans so use inspiring content and emotional campaigns were possible.
Talk about things that they are interested in and around Christmas… Try to make their lives easier. Great options for B2B Christmas marketing would be a review of the previous year, end of year check lists, countdown to Christmas, prizes, discounts, giveaways and don’t forget to reward your own staff!
It seems that businesses either run a million miles an hour at Christmas or they slow right down. People take time off and holidays begin but before that the mad rush to tick boxes and send gifts to key customers is in full swing - during this time you could make their lives easier. Feed them with great content to inspire, clarify and streamline both their work and home to do lists and they will thank you for it.
As the Christmas holiday create a stall at work don’t forget that the New Year is just around the corner. A busy time for all - with planning for the new year, January sales and promotions all over the place. Enjoy social over Christmas, all those eyeballs mean it’s the perfect time for testing new ideas, products and creating eye-catching content.