It’s coming to that time of year again when the supermarkets are full of tinsel and turkeys, and the faint sound of Mariah Carey starts filling your ears every time you enter a shop. Yep, Christmas is coming! It’s an exciting time of year; Halloween and Bonfire Night are over, and anticipation is filling the air. Children are frantically writing their lists for Santa, and we are stockpiling the mincemeat.
As small businesses we want to make sure that we are making the most of our marketing around this time of year. How can you maximise your reach when everyone is competing for attention? We wrote a blog last year with some great advice on making the most of your digital marketing, and so we wanted to add more ideas to that to really boost that!
Getting involved in local events
There will be plenty going on in your area, whether it is Christmas markets or the turning on of Christmas lights. Get involved by sharing to your followers and engaging with others who will be attending. Twitter is the best platform for this – just search the event you are interested in (they may even have their own hashtag) and see what people are saying about it. By being up close and personal with the people involved you can broaden your audience and start building up a larger network.
Starting an Instagram Challenge
This is immensely popular and brings a huge amount of engagement to your account. Just by googling ‘Instagram Christmas challenge’ you will see the amount that have been shared over the years. Can you add to that? It may be that you want to encourage images of products that they have bought, or evidence the great service they have received. We’ve told you many times about the power of User Generated Content and this is another way of accessing that. Either way, remember to include a relevant hashtag within your challenge, and get them to tag you in it.
Getting a series of videos throughout December is another way of boosting engagement. It may be that you want to take the idea from ’12 days of Christmas’ and have a member of staff filmed for 30 seconds or so singing a line? Or even sharing their favourite Christmas tradition. Or even wishing your customers a Happy Christmas? There are many different ways you can bring video into your Christmas marketing, and if you are keeping it under a minute it can be shared on Instagram too.
Share your experiences
There’s nothing better than all sharing the best things about Christmas – what are your favourite Christmas traditions? The best recipes? Favourite walks? We touched on this in our last blog, but by going one step further and sharing your own experiences (ideally through your own blog) you can generate engagement and conversation.
If you are within the gift industry, why not give suggestions to what would be a great gift to give that special (or difficult to buy for!) person in your life. Even better, if you have a shop front (real or virtual) you can suggest gifts from there. By giving people an idea of what they could buy, and making it easy for them to do so, will help them enormously and they will appreciate that. It’s a busy time after al, and the least amount of thinking they need to do, the better!
Remember to let your audience know your opening times – regardless of whether you are a shop or work in an office. It is important that they understand when you are closing so you can get as much business in before you shut up shop for the festive break. The best way to do this is by creating a visual (we have used Canva as usual!) This can then be shared throughout your channels and also posted on your website if relevant.
If you struggle to find images within your own library that suit your Christmas message, then take a look at Pixabay – they have a huge copyright free library which you can use.
However you want to include the festive season in your digital marketing, it’s important to make sure it fits with your overall strategy. Remember to keep speaking your own unique voice and work out if it does suit the message you are trying to convey. Your audience will be feeling a mixture of excitement and exhaustion at this time of year, and Christmas affects all people differently, so make sure you’re saying what they want to hear.
These are just a few more of our suggestions; don’t forget to check our blog from last year too! We’d love to hear your ideas – let us know by tweeting us @Cosmic_UK.