For many brands, Christmas is the most crucial sales period, with between 50% and 80% of total sales often generated in the last few weeks of the year. That also means every year, brands should create strategic Christmas marketing campaigns to increase their holiday turnover and boost brand awareness. But where is the line between peaking too soon and piquing consumer interest?
“Reach people before they make their plans, and you’ll reach them before they make their purchase….”, according to Hubspot’s Jeffrey Hoffman. But reach doesn’t have to mean bombarding your audience with Christmas sales messaging from the get-go. Recent popular opinion would have it that the slow burn method of growing consumer relationships profits the savvy marketeer with better engagement rates, follower retention and greater brand loyalty.
A recent poll from Attest Market and Brand Intelligence showed 48% of people are planning to purchase Christmas gifts in the first two weeks of December, with smaller percentages either having done it all already or planning to leave it to the last minute. Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically since 2020, with a marked increase in the immediacy of purchase following research. Referred to as ‘I want what I want when I want it’ behaviour, online shopping not only facilitates this trend, but it also actively encourages impulse purchasing with pop-up offers and ‘hurry buy now’ messaging. For marketeers, this means consumers are leaving less and less time between decision making and purchasing. In this current retail climate campaigns need to focus sales messaging on the key shopping window in early December instead of spreading their efforts across every week of festive messaging. Storytelling, inspiration/elevation and consumer journey are all industry buzz phrases that still hold true in today’s post pandemic marketplace. Engaging an audience with your brand by teasing content over the whole of December sparks their curiosity, gives value in inspiration and thus elevates your brand in the mind of the consumer.
Research has indicated that the whole purchase experience is as important – and for some audiences more important – than whether products are competitively different. Gearing your marketing strategy to improve your audiences’ experience of searching for inspiration and discovering new ideas early in the season appears to yield better results than hard sales messaging and insubstantial money off codes.
5 Tips for Successful Festive Marketing
1. Genuine connection
It has been said that people buy from people. Think about what you will be doing this holiday season, how could your experience of Christmas resonate with your audience? Sharing a human side to your brand builds stronger audience connection than sharing overly idealised and aspirational filler content.
2. Authentic message
Don’t lose your brand’s distinctive edge in the flurry of festive cheer. Keeping brand communication consistent is key to reaching your awareness goals, even at Christmas.
3. Clear, concise messaging
Consumers are particularly busy at this time of year, meaning they are more likely to engage with your brand if you get straight to the point, and answer the need they have quickly without requiring much effort on their part.
4. Amplify your message
Encouraging shares, a competition that requires tagging and following is ideal, particularly if the pay-off is a give-away.
5. Remember to have fun
Christmas is the ideal time to show personality in your brand. Have fun getting creative with your messaging and let your audience see the human side to your company.
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