There’s a lot to be said for planning ahead, but I for one think that displaying Christmas paraphernalia in October is slightly unnecessary. It’s not like the date changes every year! Nope, sure enough, like gospel, Christmas is always December 25th so do we really need reminding with still two months left on the calendar? Not really. Sometimes taking advantage of ‘the last minute’ can be just as lucrative as ‘getting in there early’. I am, of course, talking about how to advantage of the pre-Christmas period in order to create a final buzz and generate some last minute interest and Christmas sales.
Take advantage of last minute advertising and promotions
You may think that Christmas is the busiest time of year for advertising, but in fact there are often great deals to be had in daily or weekly publications especially in the run up to Christmas. The reason for this is that a lot of national brands, or those in the non-local area have order deadlines and delivery deadlines that fall a week or so before Christmas. Newspapers and magazines always struggle to fill the advertising space in the week or so before Christmas so this is the best time to capitalise and get advert space that would usually be expensive at a great deal. What better way to get buzz than to be appearing in highly viewed areas and publications.
Make sure you create seasonal special offers
This may sound obvious, but make sure that you are doing some form of special offer for Christmas. If you don’t you risk not being positioned well next to your competition and you could slip into the background and be overtaken by them.
My advice is not to go mad with discounts and special offers but to make sure that the products and services that are most in demand at Christmas are competitively priced, and in order to do this you may offer a discount or incentive. To really make a buzz it may even be worth having a tremendous discount on one or two products, there will always be someone looking for them, especially at this time of year.
Utilise social media
Christmas time generates the most activity of the year on Social Media. In order to take advantage of the high volume of interest and traffic it is important to not only be active during the Christmas period, but to use this opportunity to do something to stand out from the crowd.
A social media campaign including easily created and shared content can help your company be noticed and talked about. If there was any time to be active, different and create and share new and unique content then Christmas is the time of year to do this. You could also combine your video sharing campaign with a competition. For example, send us a video of your homemade Christmas jumper and we will give a prize to the most unique one. Or link your activity to a charity. This year Save the Children are doing a Xmas Jumper campaign, you could encourage more people to join in with your activity by offering a donation for every video that is shared on your page… think out the perfectly wrapped box, people.
Whilst this is not going to be feasible for every business, it also doesn’t have to be something large that you give away, making it a lot easier and affordable for small companies. Instead of just giving something away with a purchase why not get something branded, a Christmas cracker perhaps, and use it as a marketing tool as well as an incentive. You could combine this with a social media campaign and ask your customers to post their Christmas photos with your branded item to be entered into a prize draw, or to make sure they keep hold of it you could tell them to bring it back in the new year to receive a discount. That way you will stay at the forefront of their minds into a time (i.e. the sales) when people are looking to spend money.
So, in conclusion, no matter how close to Christmas you are there is always something you can do to create an impact over the festive season. Christmas is about having fun and being social so get your get your thinking Santa caps on and make the most of it.
Next week I will talk about ideas for post-Christmas sales.